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J.D. Power: Car quality on the decline

Special to SEGAZINE

J.D. Power’s annual Vehicle Dependability Study showing the most reliable 3-year-old vehicles — a key study for finding a good used car — was released today, and the most stunning news is that the reliability of late-model used cars is down for the first time since 1998.

The widely watched report card says owners of 3-year-old vehicles (2011 models) reported 6% more troubles than owners of 3-year-old vehicles (2010 models) did last year — 133 problems per 100 2011 vehicles ,vs. 126 for 2010s in last year’s survey. Power says that reverses steadily improving industry scores since the 1998 study.

Brand rankings and a list of category winners follow this story.

Automakers are striving to convince buyers that quality is continuing to rise — a hard sell if dependability scores continue to get worse.

A Chevrolet tag line asserts that its trucks are the “longest-lasting, most-dependable.” VW not only touted 100,000 — and 200,000 miles — in a Super Bowl ad, but also claims to have more vehicles still in service than any other maker.

Such claims will begin to seem hollow if the latest Power VDS is not a hiccup, but the start of annually declining dependability — and that seems quite possible.

via J.D. Power: Most reliable 3-year old cars.

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