USA vehicle dependability improved 9 pct over 2017

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With 99 problems per 100 vehicles, Lexus was the leading marque in the study.

Lexus topped the survey for the seventh consecutive year. Ratings are based on the number of reported problems per 100 vehicles.

The 2018 average problem figure came to 142, against the previous year's 156, showing a decline for the first time in five years, J.D. Power said.

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Porsche of Germany's Volkswagen AG, which tied with Lexus past year, came second, followed by Buick of US auto giant General Motors Co.

The J.D. Power annual survey found that overall dependability improved 9 percent from 2017, which is the first time since 2013.

"Strong dependability scores not only improve demand for used vehicles, but also are a contributor to higher residual values", Jonathan Banks, Vice President of Vehicle Analysis and Analytics at J.D. Power said.

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Buick led the mass-market segment with 116 reported problems per 100 vehicles, 10 fewer than a year ago.

On a day when people traditionally demonstrate their love for another person, consumers' affection for their three-year-old vehicles is equally apparent in the J.D. Power 2018 U.S. Vehicle Dependability Study (VDS), released today.

Consumers reported the most problems with their vehicles' infotainment systems.

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Buick ranked third in overall vehicle dependability and highest among mass-market brands with a score of 116 problems per 100 vehicles. Fiat, Nissan, Ford, Kia and Dodge also showed significant improvements. The Lexus CT, Lexus ES, Lexus GS, Lexus RX, Toyota Prius and Toyota Tacoma all earn category awards in the 2018 VDS. The Audi Q3 small SUV was the only new-for-2015 vehicle to get a segment-level award. The survey covers 177 specific issues collected into eight major vehicle categories, including exterior, features/ controls/ displays, seats, interior, the driving experience, audio/communication/ entertainment/ navigation, HVAC, and engine and transmission.

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