The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Lexus tops 2014 vehicle dependability list, but quality falls overall

  • Print

DETROIT - The race to increase vehicle fuel economy is taking a toll on quality.

Owners of three-year-old vehicles are reporting more problems than they did a year ago, according to J.D. Power and Associates' annual survey of vehicle dependability. It's the first time since 1998 that the average number of problems per vehicle has increased.

J.D. Power, a California-based ratings and consulting company, said engine issues accounted for most of the increase in problems reported by the original owners of cars and trucks from the 2011 model year. Owners reported an average of 133 problems per 100 vehicles, up from 126 problems a year ago. Only problems within the prior 12 months are counted.

Automakers are rapidly implementing new engine technology to save fuel, including direct fuel injection and turbocharging, stop-start systems that automatically shut cars down at traffic lights and transmissions with higher gears. But those more complex systems can cause problems. David Sargent, J.D. Power's vice-president of global automotive, said the company saw an increase in complaints about engine hesitation, rough transmission shifts and lack of power.

"While striving to reduce fuel consumption, automakers must be careful not to compromise quality," Sargent said in a statement.

The scores could improve in coming years because since 2011, automakers have worked to make new transmissions shift more smoothly, they've refined clunky stop-start systems and improved other fuel-saving technologies.

Lexus, Mercedes-Benz and Cadillac had the vehicles with the fewest reported problems. Lexus had just 68 problems per 100 vehicles, the only brand with fewer than 100 problems.

General Motors Co. had the most winners in each segment, with eight, including the highest-ranked compact car, the Chevrolet Volt, and the highest-ranked pickup, the GMC Sierra. Toyota Motor Co. was second with seven segment winners, including the Toyota Camry minivan and Lexus ES luxury compact car.

Mini, Dodge and Land Rover had the most reported problems. Mini, the worst performer, had 185 problems per 100 vehicles.

The survey questioned 41,000 owners of 2011 model year vehicles between October and December of last year.

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Jim Flaherty remembered at visitation as irreplaceable

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Marc Gallant / Winnipeg Free Press. Local- Weather standup. Sundog. Refraction of light through ice crystals which caused both the sun dog and and fog along McPhillips Road early Wednesday morning. 071205.
  • Marc Gallant/Winnipeg Free Press. Local- Korea Veterans Association stained glass window at Deer Lodge Centre. Dedication with Minister of Veterans Affairs Dr. Rey Pagtakhan. March 12, 2003.

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

What are you most looking forward to this Easter weekend?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google