Lexus was the top-ranked brand overall in the latest J.D. Power U.S. Vehicle Dependability Study, with Kia leading the pack of mass-market brands.
The American survey reported an industry average of 186 problems per 100 vehicles (PP100), an improvement of six PP100 from 2022 – 182 PP100 for mass-market brands, 205 PP100 for premium brands.
The lower the number the better, with the study looking at three-year old vehicles first examined in the 2020 US Initial Quality Study and with their original owners. Six of the highest-ranked brands from this survey remain in the top 10.
Lexus had the best PP100 score with 133, ahead of Genesis (144) and Kia (152). Mitsubishi (167), Toyota (168), and Hyundai, Mini and Nissan (170) were further down.
Tesla was included in the survey for the first time and sat towards the bottom at 242 PP100, but it wasn’t ranked as Tesla doesn’t allow J.D. power access to owner information in the states where that permission is required by law.
Sitting below the industry average were Ram, Jeep, Honda, Porsche, Subaru, Volvo, Volkswagen, Chrysler and Jaguar.
Bringing up the rear were Mercedes-Benz (240), Ford (249), Audi (252), Lincoln (259) and Land Rover (273).
Brands that showed the most improvement were Ram, with a 77 PP100, followed by Volvo (41 PP100) and Nissan (35 PP100).
Other podium finishers across the 17 segments included the BMW 3 Series, X1 and X3; Hyundai Santa Fe and Elantra; Jeep Cherokee; Kia Sorento and Sedona (Carnival); Mercedes-Benz GLA; Toyota Corolla; and Volvo XC90 and S60.
J.D. Power cited the increasing amount of technology in new vehicles and its inherent complexity as affecting dependability, with premium brands most affected.
Infotainment was the most problematic category with an average of 49.9 PP100, with twice as many problems as the second-place exterior category. Issues included outdated maps, difficulty in operating infotainment screens, not enough USB outlets, and voice recognition issues.
Following a redesign of the study in 2022, other categories comprise driving assistance; features, controls and displays; driving experience; seats; climate; interior; and powertrain.
Compared to last year’s study, nearly two-thirds of vehicles required fewer replacements of components like the key fob, headlight bulbs, and brake rotors.