Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Lexus retains title as most dependable

By John Porretto
The Associated Press

DETROIT - Toyota Motor Corp. remains the automaker with the most dependable vehicles, led by its Lexus luxury brand. But Detroit's Big Three manufacturers all showed improvement in the past year, according to the latest J.D. Power and Associates vehicle dependability study released Tuesday.

For the 10th consecutive year, Lexus was the highest-ranking brand. It was followed by General Motors Corp.'s Buick nameplate, Nissan Motor Co.'s Infiniti brand, Ford Motor Co.'s Lincoln label and GM's revamped Cadillac lineup.

GM was the only one of the domestic automakers to score better than the industry average of 269 problems per 100 vehicles, but Ford and DaimlerChrysler AG made significant headway. Last year's industry average was 273 problems per 100 vehicles.

The study is based on responses from more than 48,000 original owners of 2001 model-year cars and trucks.

Toyota had seven models score highest in their respective segments.

GM was tops among the Big Three, with 262 problems per 100 vehicles, two fewer than last year.

Ford (275) improved by 12 problems from a year ago, and DaimlerChrysler (302) was better by nine problems.

The bottom five in terms of problems per 100 vehicles were Volkswagen (386), Isuzu (393), Daewoo (411), Kia (432) and Land Rover (472).

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