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J.D. Power & Associates 2011 Vehicle Dependability Study

J.D. Power & AssociatesJ.D. Power & Associates
Toyota had 7 award winners, including the 4Runner.
Porsche 911 had the lowest # of reported problems.

You would think that after all Toyota went through with their “memorable for all the wrong reasons” 2010, the brand would have taken a hit in the many surveys and studies that are taken on the topic of dependability.

That is not the case, according to a recent study conducted by the vehicle quality trackers at J.D. Power and Associates.  In their recently released 2011 US Vehicle Dependability Study (VDS, for short), which tracks vehicle long-term dependability on 3 year old vehicles (2008 model year), Toyota Motor Company (including Toyota, Lexus, and Scion models) scored seven segment level awards, more than any other manufacturer.  Ford (including Ford and Lincoln models) followed with four, GM (including Buick, Cadillac, and Chevrolet models) and Honda (with Acura and Honda models) both received three awards; while BMW, Mazda and Mercedes each scored one. 

The study looks at long-term ownership from more than 43,000 original owners of 2008 model-year vehicles after three years of ownership.  A high percentage of the Toyota vehicles covered in the study were involved in their recall efforts, which covered nearly nine million cars worldwide and changed the way the company did business, from manufacturing to marketing.

The great news for consumers is, overall, vehicle dependability across the industry has gone up six percent.  Though not as much improvement as in years past (the industry average had been eight percent), with all of the easy to malfunction electronics and other new technology, a rise in the rate was unexpected and very much welcomed.

Specific VDS winners in each segment were:

Sub-Compact Car: Honda Fit

Compact Car: Toyota Prius

Compact Sporty Car: Mazda MX-5 Miata

Midsize Sporty Car: Ford Mustang

Midsize Car: Ford Fusion

Large Car: Buick Lucerne

Compact Premium Sporty Car: Mercedes-Benz CLK-Class

Entry Premium Car: Lincoln MKZ

Midsize Premium Car: Acura RL

Large Premium Car: Cadillac DTS

Compact MPV: Scion xB

Compact Crossover/SUV: Honda CR-V

Entry Premium Crossover/SUV: BMW X3

Midsize Crossover/SUV: Toyota 4Runner

Large Crossover/SUV: Chevrolet Tahoe

Large Pickup: Toyota Tundra

Midsize Pickup: Toyota Tacoma

Minivan: Toyota Sienna

Midsize Premium Crossover/SUV: Lexus RX

Large Premium Crossover/SUV: Lincoln Navigator

Also worth noting that although it did not receive an award because of a limited sample size for it's category, the Porsche 911 had the fewest problems in the industry as reported by it's owners.   For trucks, the Toyota 4Runner had the fewst problems reported.

For current auto buyers, the models listed above are a helpful guide for the quality of the 2011 versions, and can help you identify a great used auto value.

For more information on the J.D.Power Study, click here >>

 To research these autos in more detail, visit the Auto Research area of AutoBuying101.com.