The study measures problems experienced during the past 12 months by original owners of a three year old vehicle. It includes 202 different problem symptoms across all areas of the vehicle. According to J.D. Power, overall dependability is determined by the level of problems experienced per 100 vehicles (PP 100,) with a lower score reflecting a higher quality.
The Vehicle Dependability Study is used extensively by automotive manufacturers worldwide to help design and build better vehicles which in turn translates to higher resale values and higher customer loyalty. It also helps consumers make informed choices for both new and used vehicle purchases.
“Automakers, as a whole, have made significant improvements in reducing traditional problems, particularly with vehicle interiors; engines and transmissions; and steering and braking during the past several years,” said David Sargent, vice president of global vehicle research at J.D. Power and Associates. “However, as manufacturers add new features and technologies to satisfy customer demand and new legislation, they face the potential for introducing new problems.”
According to Sargent, as newer technologies become more widespread, enhancing the dependability of these features has become an important point of differentiation among automakers.
Toyota Motor Corporation continues to perform well in long-term dependability and garners seven segment awards—more than any other automaker in 2011. In the Midsize Pickup category, the 2008 Toyota Tacoma was ranked most reliable, followed by the Honda Ridgeline. No other models in this segment performed above the segment average. In the Large Truck category, the 2008 Toyota Tundra was the award recipient while the Dodge Ram 1500 and Ford F-150 both receive honorable mentions.