Lincoln tops JD Power dependability study as industry gains overall

JD Power has released the result of its annual dependability survey, and in a somewhat surprising turn of events, Ford's luxury Lincoln brand ended up on top.

Lincoln has never topped the survey over the 21 years its been run, but the marquee was able to edge past Lexus. JD Power reported that Lincoln owners tallied an average of 101 maintenance problems per 100 3-year-old vehicles, while Lexus had an average of 109.

Jaguar and Porsche grabbed third and fourth place, respectively. Toyota was rated as the most dependable non-luxury brand, with an average of 122 problems per 100 vehicles.

Overall, the industry turned in its best year ever for the survey, with automakers averaging 151 problems for every 100 vehicles. That was down from recent totals of 155 in 2010 and 167 in 2009.

"Automakers, as a whole, have made significant improvements in reducing traditional problems" the past several years, claims David Sargent, vice president of auto research for JD Power.

Still, while the industry is doing well, some companies were not up to par. The Chrysler group fared particularly poorly, with Ram trucks at 173 problems and Dodge, Chrysler and Jeep all over 200.

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