Think cars today are more reliable than ever before? Think again. According to the 2014 Vehicle Dependability Study by J.D. Power, the number of problems per 100 vehicles increased 6 percent last year. It's the first time since the 1998 study that the average number of auto repair problems has increased.
How bad is the problem? Consider that Lexus ranks highest in vehicle dependability among all nameplates for the third consecutive year. While Lexus averages 68 problems per 100 vehicles, the overall average for all vehicles is 133. This means that, among 2011 model year vehicles, there are 133 problems reported for every 100 cars and trucks on the road.
The study covers some 200 problem areas in eight major categories including exterior, seats, engine and transmission and is based on responses from more than 41,000 original owners of 2011 model-year vehicles after three years of ownership.
According to J.D. Power, engine and transmission problems increased by nearly six problems per 100 year over year, which accounted for the majority of the overall seven-problem-per-100 increase in reported problems. The decline in quality is particularly an issue for vehicles with 4-cylinder engines, where problem levels increase by nearly 10 problems per 100.
Lexus ranks highest in vehicle dependability among all nameplates for a third consecutive year with 68 problems per hundred. And the gap between Lexus at the top and the second-ranked MB at 104 problems per hundred is substantial. Following Mercedes-Benz in the rankings are Cadillac (107), Acura (109) and Buick (112). Out of the 172 vehicles included in the study, six of the 12 highest-scoring models were made by Lexus.
No matter what model you drive or how old it is, proper auto maintenance and auto service will help it last longer. From used car inspections before you buy to routine maintenance and repairs (even if your car is under warranty,) Auto Select can help keep your car on the road for years to come.