Toyota Repeats as 2013 Vehicle Dependability Study Leader
Ram Brand Claims Title as Most Improved
As the hubbub over the Toyota Recallathon of years past continues to diminish—and at a much quicker rate than the automaker’s actual recall totals—consumers have once again voted the company to the top of the J.D. Power and Associates Vehicle Dependability Study (VDS). The No. 1 overall brand in the study was Toyota’s Lexus division (for the second straight year), while the No. 1 mainstream brand was Toyota itself (also for the second straight year); the Toyota brand also tied with Lincoln for third place overall in the 2013 VDS. Unsurprisingly, the company also led the way in terms of segments winners, with seven: Three for Toyota, two for Lexus and even a pair from Scion.
General Motors also had multiple segment victories—with four—and Ram improved its score by nearly 30 percent—the most in the study—to leapfrog multiple brands and claim a place among the VDS’ top 10 performers. Speaking of which, here are those top performers in this year’s survey, representing the 12 brands that finished with above-average dependability scores:
Lincoln, Toyota (tie)
Ram, Suzuki (tie)
Note: The annual VDS is a measure of long-term reliability that looks at vehicles from previous model years, not current ones. Thus, this year’s study was based on feedback from more than 37,000 owners of model-year 2010 vehicles, with survey respondents reporting on problems within the previous 12 months of ownership.
Of course, given the continuing industry-wide improvements in dependability, Power’s vice president of global automotive operations, David Sargent, is confident that “new vehicles being sold today will be even more reliable in three years.”