The Toyota Motor Corporation received eight awards in the 2012 Vehicle Dependability Study conducted by J.D. Power and Associates, the global marketing information services company. Four Toyota, two Scion and two Lexus models finished first in their respective segments, with each of these brands finishing in the top five among the 32 brands reported.

Reported Problems

The 2012 study takes a look at owners of 2009 vehicles and their reports of problems. Overall dependability is determined by the level of problems experienced per 100 vehicles (PP100); the lower the score, the higher the quality.

2012 JD Power Dependability Study Results

Among brands, Lexus easily finished first, with owners reporting 86 problems per 100 vehicles over the past 12 months. Porsche was second at 98 PP100 and Toyota tied with Cadillac for third at PP104. Scion placed fifth with a score of PP111. The industry average was PP132 with 12 brands beating the average and 20 finishing behind the curve. Importantly, scores surged in the latest study with the average increasing by 19 points.

Toyota Winners

The four Toyota brand winners included the Toyota Yaris in the subcompact category, which was followed by the Scion xD and Honda’s Fit. In the compact car category, the Toyota Prius finished first followed by the Toyota Corolla and Hyundai’s Elantra. In several instances Toyota had second and third place finishes. Among minivans, the Toyota Sienna finished first followed by the Honda Odyssey. For large pickup trucks, the Toyota Tundra won out, finishing ahead of the GMC Sierra HD and the Chevrolet Silverado LD.

Other Toyota brand models performing well included the Toyota Camry in the midsize segment, finishing third behind the Ford Fusion and Mitsubishi’s Galant. Toyota’s Avalon finished behind Buick’s Lucerne and ahead of the Ford Taurus among large cars. Among compact SUVs the Toyota RAV4 placed third behind the Chevrolet Equinox and the Honda CR-V. The Toyota Highlander finished third in the midsize SUV segment, behind first-place winners the Ford Explorer and the Nissan Murano.

Lexus, Toyota’s luxury brand took top honor in the entry level premium car segment as the ES 350 tied with the Lincoln MKZ. In the midsize luxury crossover category the Lexus RX350 won out. Scion’s two winners were its tC compact sporty model and its xB, winner of the compact MPV segment.

Customer Perceptions

The annual Vehicle Dependability Study is a good measure on how cars will perform once they have been owned for several years. Keep in mind that we’re looking at 2009 models — vehicle offerings change as do customer perceptions. Yet, if you’re looking for a trustworthy source for gauging a brand, then the Vehicle Dependability Study offers you a measurement you’ll want to keep in mind the next time that you shop for a new or a dependable used car.

Matt Keegan is editor and publisher of the online Auto Trends Magazine. This website features industry news, automotive specifications, book reviews and related information about new cars and products.

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