The good news today from J.D. Power and Associates is that overall vehicle dependability across all brands and vehicles has improved 13% over last year's scores. The data company's annual Vehicle Dependability Study rates the reliability of 3-year-old vehicles, so this year’s scores examine the performance of model-year 2009 cars, trucks and SUVs.
Most brands improved, with 25 out of the 32 gaining points. Six brands fell in the ranks, and one stayed the same. Brands awarded the top four slots are Lexus, Porsche, Cadillac and Toyota. The scores are toughest on Chrysler, whose brands rounded out the bottom of the list: Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram vehicles performed the worst, according to the study.
Predictably, Chrysler went on the defensive, arguing the company and its vehicles have been through major changes since 2009. "These results are based on cars sold three years ago. Since that time, we have made significant changes to our product lineup and everything else about our company's structure and the way it develops cars," Doug Betts, Chrysler's senior vice president of quality, said in a statement.
J.D. Powers' rating is determined by the number of problems reported per 100 vehicles. The lower the score, the better the rating. The group polled 31,000 original owners of model-year 2009 vehicles and recorded problems they've experienced over the past three years. J.D. Power also publishes an Initial Quality Study that looks at the first 90 days of ownership.
Check out the charts from J.D. Power below for the full list: