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Lexus No. 1 in Survey of Long-Term Dependability

June 30, 2005|From Reuters

Toyota Motor Corp.'s luxury Lexus brand won top honors for the 11th consecutive year in an annual long-term vehicle quality survey released Wednesday.

The closely watched J.D. Power & Associates survey of long-term vehicle dependability is based on responses from 50,635 owners of 3-year-old vehicles when questioned about scores of specific problems such as wind or brake noise, uneven tire wear and engine stalls.

The survey is important to the auto industry because new-car buyers say long-term quality is one of the most important factors in their choice of brands, according to J.D. Power. It is also important to automakers because of warranty costs.

Lexus had 139 problems per 100 vehicles, a 14% improvement from last year. It also has the top individual model, the LS 430, which had 90 problems.

General Motors Corp.'s Buick nameplate led mainstream brands, with 163 problems per 100 vehicles, followed by the Toyota brand with 194 problems.

All the flagship brands of Detroit's Big Three automakers -- GM's Chevrolet, Ford Motor Co.'s Ford and DaimlerChrysler's Chrysler -- were ranked above the industry average of 237 problems per 100 vehicles.

Eight individual GM vehicles also topped their respective segments in long-term quality.

GM's Chevrolet Prizm, Chevrolet Malibu, Buick Century and Buick LeSabre sedans, Chevrolet S-10, Chevrolet Silverado and Cadillac Escalade EXT pickups and GMC Yukon sport utility vehicle all topped their class.

Hyundai Motor Co.'s Hyundai brand saw the largest reduction in problems reported by owners, improving 31% from last year with 260 problems per 100 vehicles.

Hyundai's sister nameplate, Kia, was ranked as the least reliable, with 397 problems per 100 vehicles.

High-profile European luxury brands such as DaimlerChrysler's Mercedes; Ford's Volvo, Jaguar and Land Rover; GM's Saab and Volkswagen's Audi all scored well below the industry average.

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