NPR : News

Filed Under:

Auto Dependability Hits 22-Year High In New Study

Toyota and Ford won the most awards in the J.D. Power and Associates 2012 U.S. Vehicle Dependability Study, which came out today. Vehicles made by Toyota led the way with eight awards, while Ford models received three. In general, vehicle dependability was the best since the study first began in 1990, according to J.D. Power.

That's on the strength of a 13 percent gain from 2011 to 2012. The study compares the number of problems owners of three-year-old cars experience in the most recent 12-month span. This year's study carries particular importance, as it measures the three-year dependability of 2009 models — when the U.S. auto industry was in turmoil.

"Three years later, owners of these models are enjoying unprecedented levels of vehicle dependability and manufacturers are experiencing market recovery," J.D. Power Vice President David Sargent said on the firm's site. "This is good news both for owners — who are holding onto their vehicles for longer than ever — and manufacturers, since perception of quality and dependability is a critical factor in vehicle purchase decisions."

In terms of individual nameplates, Lexus, Porsche, Cadillac, Toyota and Scion were tops. U.S. carmakers improved at a slightly faster clip than their international rivals, J.D. Power says.

Ford's winners were the Explorer, the Fusion and the Lincoln MKZ. Toyota's eight award winners were the Prius, Sienna, Tundra and Yaris; along with the Lexus ES 350 (tied with the Lincoln MKZ) and Lexus RX 350, and two Scion cars, the tC and xB.

General Motors and Nissan each netted two awards, GM for the Buick Lucerne and Chevrolet Equinox, and Nissan for its Frontier and Murano. Out of all the brands measured, only six saw their dependability decline.

Here's a chart showing the full results:

The Detroit Free Press has more about the study, including an analysis of how GM, Ford and Chrysler performed.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit


Christopher Marlowe Credited As Shakespeare's Co-Author On Henry VI Plays

True authorship of Shakespeare has been debated for centuries. Now, the New Oxford Shakespeare edition will list Elizabethan playwright Christopher Marlowe as co-author on the three Henry VI plays, part one, two and three. NPR's Robert Siegel talks with Florida State University professor Gary Taylor, one of the general editors of the new volume.

2,500 Years Ago, This Brew Was Buried With The Dead; A Brewery Has Revived It

In an ancient burial plot in what is now Germany, scientists uncovered a cauldron with remnants of an alcoholic beverage. They teamed up with a Milwaukee brewery to re-create the recipe.
WAMU 88.5

Do Hyper-Local Term Limits Work?

Montgomery County residents are voting this fall on term limits for their local council representatives. Are they picking up on lessons learned from Prince George's County?

WAMU 88.5

AT&T’s Proposed Acquisition Of Time Warner

AT&T’s bid to acquire Time Warner: Join us to talk about what the proposed merger of the country’s second-largest wireless carrier and a major content company could mean for consumers and the future of U-S media and telecommunications.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.