J.D. Power has released its annual U.S. Vehicle Dependability Study, which attempts to rank automakers based on reliability using data obtained through consumer polling.
J.D. Power’s 2019 edition of the study shows some small shifts in vehicle dependability over last year. Some brands have moved rankings, the competition has gotten better, and there are some surprises.
For the study, J.D. Power surveys the original owners of vehicles after three years of ownership on various categories, including Exterior, Interior, Seats, Engine/Transmission, Driving Experience, Audio/Navigation and Controls/Displays. The survey measures the number of problems experienced per 100 vehicles, with J.D. Power then ranking brands based on that metric, assigning them a ‘PP100’ score. The higher the score, the more problems experienced by owners of vehicles from that brand, so a lower score is actually a better score.
Scroll below to see which brands achieved the worst PP100 scores from J.D. Power this year. It should be noted that small problems with technology, such as faulty voice recognition systems or a slower-than-usual infotainment screen, count as a “problem” in this study, so a low-ranked vehicle may not be unreliable in a traditional sense, but may instead have issues related to the way its technology operates.
Here are the least dependable automakers of 2019, according to J.D. Power.
GMC is a new appearance on this list, posting up a PP100 score of 161.
Another GM brand on this list, Cadillac had a PP100 score of 166 this year, down from its 2018 score of 186.
Jeep posted PP100 score of 167 this year, down from its 2018 P100 score of 188. You will see many FCA brands on lists like these, unfortunately. Historically, FCA brands have struggled with reliability surveys like J.D. Power’s.
Jaguar posted a PP100 score of 168 in this year’s list, but perhaps rather surprisingly, it did not appear on last year’s list. British automakers have also struggled with reliability and dependability in the past.
Acura is a surprising entry on this list, with a PP100 score of 171. It did not appear as one of J.D. Power’s 10 least dependable automakers in 2018. It’s a surprise to see Acura on here because its parent brand Honda typically ranks very high in term of reliability and dependability. Perhaps it comes down to the fact that the two brands use a different infotainment system or interface?
Another FCA brand on this list, Ram was 5th with 171 problems per 100 vehicles, worse than last year, when it posted a PP100 score of 167.
Yet another FCA brand, Dodge was fourth with a PP100 score of 178, worse than its 2018 score of 166.
Volvo is third on this list with a PP100 score of 204, which is much worse than its 2018 score of 162.
2. Land Rover
Second on the list is Land Rover with a PP100 score of 221, significantly worse than its 2018 score of 204.
The final FCA brand, Fiat recorded 249 problems per 100 cars this year, which is a downgrade from its 2018 performance, in which it recorded 209 problems per 100 cars. It was the worst in 2017, though, when it had a score of 298 problems per 100 cars.
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