J.D. Power’s Reliability Ratings Decline – More Potential Lemon Vehicles On The Road

Published on February 27th, 2017

For 25 years, J.D. Power and Associates has published an annual study which details the average number of problems that every 100 owners of three year old vehicles experience. On February 12, 2014, J.D. Power and Associates released its latest study- Increased Engine and Transmission Problems Contribute to Decline in Vehicle Dependability for The First Time in More Than 15 Years. While every model in the study experienced some type of problems, certain models are clearly more reliable than others. For instance, Lexus vehicles received the highest marks from J.D. Power with 68 problems per 100 vehicles, whereas Mini Cooper received the lowest marks with 185 problems per 100 vehicles. Ford, Nissan, Audi, Kia, Volvo, Scion, Chrysler, Volkswagen, Ram, Mitsubishi, Hyundai, Jeep, Land Rover and Dodge all received below average grades, as well.

Most notably, for the first time in 16 years, the average quality ratings for vehicles declined. In fact, per J.D. Power, the average number of problems per 100 vehicles increased to 133 from 126 in last year’s study, or an increase of 6 percent. J.D. Power referred to the 6 percent increase as “very significant” and a “step backward” in automotive quality control. It attributed engine and transmission defects as the largest culprit for decreased reliability.

J.D. Power’s reliability ratings provide a valuable resource for consumers when looking to purchase a motor vehicle. However, while selecting a higher ranked vehicle from the 2014 study might reduce your chances of buying a lemon, it will not eliminate it. Conversely, just because you purchased a lower ranked vehicle does not mean that you will get stuck with a lemon. The fact is that every new car is sold with a factory warranty that promises to repair defects in materials or workmanship for a designated period of time. Even if your vehicle experienced a defect early in its life that does not mean that it cannot be fixed or that you own a lemon. However, if you experience multiple problems with your vehicle or issues that simply cannot be fixed, you may own a lemon.

Per the federal Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, car manufacturers and the warrantors of other consumer products must comply with the obligations in their warranties within a reasonable time.   In other words, as a consumer you must only give the automobile dealer a reasonable opportunity to repair your vehicle before the manufacturer has broken the promise made to you in its warranty. Furthermore, most state lemon laws provide if the manufacturer, through its dealers, has failed to repair your vehicle after a reasonable number of attempts (typically 3 to 4 attempts or 30 days out of service), that you may be entitled to a refund or replacement vehicle. Accordingly, whether your vehicle is highly rated by J.D. Power and Associates or not, you should consult an experienced lemon law attorney who can tell you if you have purchased a lemon and are entitled to lemon law relief.

The experienced attorneys at Krohn and Moss, Ltd. Consumer Law Center ® have successfully represented consumers who have purchased lemon vehicles since 1995. We offer a FREE CASE REVIEW for you to assess whether we can assist you with your lemon car, truck, SUV, or other vehicle and a free and quick Lemon Law case evaluator. Please do not hesitate to contact us toll free at 1-800-875-3666 or visit our website at

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