Our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy have changed.

By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to the new Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

Lincoln tops in vehicle dependability

2010_lincoln_mkz.top.jpgCars like the Lincoln MKZ are helping Ford's luxury brand close the quality gap against Asian and European rivals. (2010 model shown) By Peter Valdes-Dapena, senior writer

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Ford's Lincoln luxury car brand scored No. 1 in dependability in the latest annual survey from J.D. Power and Associates, its first time in the top spot.

The survey asks owners of three-year-old cars how many problems they've had with their vehicles. The results are then tallied in terms of the problems per 100 vehicles.

Lincoln had an average score of 101. Toyota's Lexus brand, which came in second, had a score of 109. The average vehicle score was 151 problems per 100 vehicles.

The rate of improvement in dependability has slowed down in recent years. J.D. Power attributed that to increasingly complex vehicle technologies, including entertainment systems and tire pressure monitoring systems.

"As manufacturers add new features and technologies to satisfy customer demand and new legislation, they face the potential for introducing new problems," David Sargent, vice president of global vehicle research at J.D. Power, said in the announcement.

Besides Lincoln and Lexus, the top-ranked brands were Jaguar, Porsche, Toyota (separately from Lexus), Acura, Buick, Mercedes-Benz, Cadillac and Hyundai.

While domestic automakers Ford, General Motors and Chrysler Group have been improving, they have not yet caught up to the Asian competitors in making high quality cars.

Despite Lincoln's strong showing and two GM brands ranking among the top 10, domestic automakers did not perform as well in the survey, on average, as import brands.

However, domestic brands slightly outperformed import brands in J.D. Power's most recent Initial Quality survey. The Initial Quality survey measures the number of problems people have with vehicles in the first three months, and it tends to strongly predict performance in dependability surveys three years later.

That means the dependability gap between domestic and imported cars should close in the future.

The survey of 43,700 owners of 2008 model year vehicles was conducted in late 2010. To top of page

Find Your Next Car
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 17,813.39 1.20 0.01%
Nasdaq 5,116.14 13.33 0.26%
S&P 500 2,088.87 -0.27 -0.01%
Treasuries 2.23 -0.01 -0.49%
Data as of 8:10pm ET
Company Price Change % Change
Pfizer Inc 32.87 0.90 2.82%
HP Inc 12.64 -2.00 -13.66%
General Electric Co 30.36 -0.30 -0.98%
Bank of America Corp... 17.44 -0.03 -0.17%
Freeport-McMoRan Inc... 8.10 -0.20 -2.41%
Data as of 4:02pm ET


Brazilian police arrested a prominent senator and billionaire CEO for interfering in the investigation of Petrobras, which has pushed Brazil into recession. More

Watsi crowdfunds donations to cover healthcare costs of those in need. And it's seeing a surprising trend: micro-donations via the popular Chinese social networking app, WeChat. More

Some of the coolest toys this year are from small businesses. Here are 10 hot toys that just might be a smash hit this holiday season. More

American consumers saved more in October compared to a year ago -- a sign of a behavioral shift in consumer spending. More