Lexus received top rankings for the 14th consecutive year in a widely watched 2008 US survey of long- term vehicle reliability releasedlast Thursday.
Survey rates Lexus, slates Land Rover
Long-term vehicle quality improved 5% industry-wide in 2008 from 2007, JD Power and Associates said.
The annual survey measured the problems experienced by original owners of 2005 vehicles in a study conducted from January to April. More than 52 000 original owners took part.
The results are closely followed because the number of problems affects warranty claims, residual values for vehicles, customer loyalty to particular brands and whether or not an owner would recommend a car or truck to another person.
Over the past three years, Lexus owners in the survey reported 120 problems on average for every 100 vehicles on the road, compared with the industry average of 206 problems, the JD Power survey found. That was an improvement of 25 over the 2007 survey of owners of 2004 vehicles.
Ford's Mercury brand jumped to second in the survey, with owners reporting an average of 151 problems per 100 vehicles, an improvement of 17 over 2007.
General Motors’s Cadillac brand and Toyota's flagship brand, which placed highest among the high volume light vehicle producers, finished third and fourth in the survey.
Honda's luxury Acura brand finished fifth, while GM's Buick brand, which had tied Lexus for the top spot in 2007, slipped to sixth in the 2008 rankings, reporting 163 problems on average per 100 vehicles, an increase of 18.
Several mass-market brands beat the industry average in addition to Toyota and Buick. Honda, Mitsubishi, Hyundai and Ford also beat the industry average.
Toyota dominated the segment awards, with its Lexus brand capturing six awards and the Toyota brand taking five. Ford and Honda took two segment awards each.
Nissan, GM's Pontiac, GMC and Chevrolet brands and Chrysler's CBS.UL Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep brands all trailed the average.
Land Rover, the luxury nameplate that Ford recently sold to Tata, finished dead last with 344 problems on average for every 100 vehicles on the road.