GM does well in J.D. Power Dependability; Stellantis and Ford, not so much
The big winner in the J.D. Power dependability survey was, again, Toyota; they took the #1 spot with Lexus, and then the #4 spot with Toyota-the-brand. Both were well below average in problems (0.81 and 0.98, respectively). Hyundai/Kia also did quite well, coming in at #3 and #7, with Genesis at #8. But GM has much to be proud of, too.
The best-built American automaker, it seems, General Motors’ Buick and Cadillac came in #5 and #6, between Toyota and Hyundai. Chevrolet was above average, with 1.15 problems per car, about the same as BMW and Mazda, and better than Mercedes. Only GMC, among the General Motors brands, was problematic, and that matched Volvo exactly at 1.43.
Ford’s Lincoln brand was above average, at 1.06 problems per car—between Genesis and Acura—but Ford itself was well below average, with 1.3 problems per car, below Ram, Dodge, Audi, and Nissan.
Ram and Dodge topped Stellantis’ brands, but neither managed to hit the industry average. They were just below average, and almost identical to Mercedes; the luxury car maker has 1.22 problems per car, on average, while Ram has 1.23 and Dodge had 1.25. Ram and Dodge beat Mini, Subaru, Audi, Nissan, Ford, and Infiniti, among others.
Jeep was around ¾ of the way down the chart, with 1.41 problems per car, enough to beat GMC, Volvo, Honda, and Volkswagen. Chrysler came in next, with 1.66 problems per car, beating the usual suspects — Jaguar, Alfa Romeo, and Land Rover.
There were not enough Teslas to be included in the chart, but the ones that did show up had 1.76 problems per car, making them the worst American built car. They did, however, beat Alfa Romeo’s dismal 1.96 problems per car. Land Rover improved quite a bit; it’s still dead last, but now fits on the chart, with just 2.44 problems per car (roughly double the number from Ram).
The dependability study is more important than the initial quality study, because it looks at problems that crop up over three years; it’s therefore less influenced by dealer or factory inspection.
Clark Westfield grew up fixing up and driving past-their-prime American cars, including various GM and Mopar V8s. He has ghostwritten auto news for the last few years, and lives in Farmingdale, New York.