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Porsche takes top spot

Published:Sunday | March 21, 2010 | 12:00 AM


Porsche shot to the top of a closely watched study of long-term vehicle dependability, overtaking United States (US) and Japanese rivals, JD Power and Associates said Thursday.

The German sports car brand took the number-one spot in the annual study, which gave it ninth place last year. Lincoln came in second, while Buick and Lexus tied for third. Mercury and Toyota rounded out the top five.

The annual study measures problems expe-rienced by the original owners of vehicles after three years. In last year's study, Buick and Jaguar tied for fewest problems, but both brands lost ground to rivals this year.

US brands had a particularly strong showing this year, reflecting concerted efforts in Detroit to catch up to foreign rivals, who have traditionally dominated the quality study, said David Sargent, JD Power's vice-president for

Vehicle research.

Top-five finishers Lincoln and Mercury are owned by Ford Motor Co, while Buick is owned by General Motors Co. The Cadillac DTS full-sized sedan, which is sold by GM, was named highest-quality car overall.

'Domestics catching up'

"The domestics are moving a little bit faster catching up," Sargent said.

Toyota, whose reputation has come under scrutiny in the face of massive recalls, fell two spots from its third-place standing last year. While average vehicle quality across the industry improved from last year's survey, Toyota's quality score fell slightly.

However, the Japanese nameplate still swept four segment awards, more than any other brand, while its luxury Lexus brand took one segment award. Japanese rival Honda took three awards, while Ford Motor Co's Lincoln brand took two.