The 3 Least Dependable Brands According to New Study
The goal of any business is to improve continually. This is especially true for the automotive business, in which a few bad years of spotty vehicles can lead to the downfall of even the most influential automakers. J.D. Power has recently released a study which explains that new cars are becoming more dependable, but some brands like Land Rover, Lincoln, and Audi seem to be falling behind.
How does J.D. Power determine dependability?
When reading over any study, it’s essential to have at least a basic understanding of how they got their results. This can help you determine whether you trust the source, or whether you should check out another site.
J.D. Power is renowned for in-depth studies and research, and is one of the most trusted review sites in the world. Here’s how it determines whether a vehicle is dependable or not.
According to J.D. Power,
“The J.D. Power 2023 U.S. Vehicle Dependability StudySM (VDS), released today, reports an industry average of 186 problems per 100 (PP100) vehicles, an improvement of 6 PP100 from 2022. The study examines how 2020 model-year vehicles are currently performing in terms of quality, component replacement and appeal—including those vehicles with new technology—and helps automotive manufacturers design and build better vehicles to stand the test of time and promote higher resale value. A lower PP100 indicates higher performance.”
Lexus was the gold standard for the survey, with only 133 PP100. When compared to this score, Audi, Lincoln, and Land Rover fall far behind. Let’s take a closer look at these three brands.
Audi had 252 PP100. That’s 119 more than Lexus, making Audi the third least dependable brand in the study.
The German automaker has recently been hit with lawsuits due to premature engine failures. The lawsuit alleged that Audi was aware several models were having issues with engine power loss, excessive oil consumption, and potential piston failure, but didn’t do anything about it.
These problems were not covered under warranty. The vehicles affected in the lawsuit were mainly 2010-2017 TT, A3, A4, A5, A6, Q3, and Q5 models.
More recently, Audi recalled 289,000 vehicles. Water spilled on the back seat could potentially leak into the car’s computer, and short circuit it while the vehicle is being driven. This would result in a crash.
This recall included the Q5 and SQ5 models dating back to 2018, and the 2021 and 2022 Q5 and SQ5 Sportbacks.
Lincoln is the luxury brand owned by Ford. It received 259 PP100, which is 126 PP100 more than Lexus. Ford received 240 PP100.
This may have to do with the fact that many Ford and Lincoln SUVs have been plagued with issues since 2020. Lincoln SUVs look fantastic, and gain lots of points for styling, but that tends to be where the praise ends.
Some of the problems which may have contributed to the poor score from J.D. Power include issues with the infotainment system, drive system failure, transmission failure, and keyless entry.
Despite its popularity, Land Rover is not a brand known for its reliability. This study once more highlights this, as Land Rover has 273 PP100. That’s 140 more than Lexus, making it the least dependable brand from the study.
Land Rover CEO Thierry Bollore admitted that the lack of quality played a huge role in a decrease in sales in 2021. In fact, the British automaker lost a reported 100,000 sales annually thanks to this.
Many of the Land Rover models are riddled with poor reliability scores from critics. This is across the board for all models.
Land Rover does have plans to increase the reliability by going electric. Whether this will help increase both sales and reliability remains to be seen.