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Finding a car that's built to last

November 23, 2010
For the first time, a major quality survey by J.D. Power & Associates that looks at vehicle dependability revealed some of the duds of the industry as well as the stars. Mercedes-Benz, Audi and Volvo all showed significant declines in quality between when their 2000 models debuted and when they were assessed again in 2003. In the survey, Japanese vehicles continue to dominate in terms of long-term vehicle quality. Porsche topped the dependability list, and General Motors also scored above the industry average in the survey. Among makes, Lexus scored J.D. Power's highest ranking for reliability for the ninth year in a row, with just 163 problems per 100 vehicles. The industry average was 273 problems per 100 vehicles. Toyota models received the highest ranking in nine of the 17 vehicle categories J.D. Power measured this year. Other notable performances in the 2003 results include Subaru and GMC, both which performed considerably better when measured at three years than when they were measured at 90 days of ownership.