"For the most part, automotive manufacturers continue to meet consumers' vehicle dependability expectations", J.D. Power vice president of global automotive Dave Sargent said in a press release.
The survey measures problems that vehicle owners experience after three years of ownership.
Consumers who purchased a new vehicle in 2015 and are still driving them gave their rides high marks, with overall dependability rising by nine percent, the first increase since 2013. Audio/Communications/Entertainment/Navigation was the most troublesome area in this year's study, with voice recognition and Bluetooth connectivity causing the most problems for owners. Chrysler lagged at the back of the pack, with almost twice as many problems as those two rivals, but it also showed some improvement. "Improving dependability ultimately supports new vehicle sales and provides a better perception of the brand". Porsche was close behind with 100 problems per 100 vehicles. The result is the third mass-market win by Buick in four years.More news: Celebrate Chinese New Year in Las Vegas
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Although still well below the industry average of 142 PP100, Fiat showed the biggest improvement of any automaker in this year's study, with the company seeing 106 fewer PP100 than last year (now at 192 PP100). Other brands with strong improvements include Nissan (37 fewer PP100 than in 2017) and Ford (31 fewer PP100 than in 2017).
"FCA US values feedback from our customers and third-party evaluators, including J.D. Power whose recent report reflects a survey of 2015 model-year (MY) vehicles", said Fiat Chrysler in a statement responding to the new study. Dodge and Nissan also post their best-ever rankings.
Toyota was also a standout with six segment winners, the most of any corporate group: Lexus CT, Lexus ES, Lexus GS, Lexus RX, Toyota Prius and Toyota Tacoma. The brands were followed by Buick, Infiniti, and Kia. In the 2018 study, Kia improved across every category.