Ram moved up 20 positions in J.D. Power’s brand rankings this year, with 30% fewer problems reported in three-year Vehicle Dependability Survey (VDS). The VDS looks at problems experienced in the previous year by owners of three year old (2010) vehicles; more than than 37,000 surveys are sent in, according to J.D. Power and Associates.
Doug Betts, Chrysler quality chief, wrote, “After three years in service, owners are now experiencing the benefits of all the behind-the-scenes development we did, including enhanced durability testing and more stringent quality targets. The 2010 model year Ram Truck brand improvement bodes well for the Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep ® brands in the coming years. ... Many of the quality processes we initiated for the all-new Ram trucks were institutionalized across the board ...”
Although Ram was the most improved vehicle in the survey, no Chrysler product managed to hit the top of any segment; the only Ram to actually make the top three was the Dakota, which is no longer made, but came in ahead of Honda Ridgeline and other mid-sized pickups. Ram's improvement was 52 problems per 100 vehicles.
The rankings were once again dominated by Japanese imports, particularly Toyota-built brands; Toyota, Lexus, and Scion together swept seven first place finishes. General Motors had a good showing, with the Buick Lucerne, Chevrolet Tahoe, GMC Sierra, and Chevrolet Camaro at the top of their classes, and CTS, Impala, Avalanche, and LaCrosse each taking third place in their classes, taking second place for "number of vehicles getting first place." Ford had one top entry, the now-discontinued Ranger, which beat the Toyota Tacoma. Toyota took top place for minivans.
For the 2010 model year vehicles, as measured in the 2013 study, dependability increased by 5% over the 2012 VDS, and set a new record. 21 of 31 brands increased, and domestics came closer to imports. Lexus remains the top brand, with the RX setting a new record of just 57 problems per hundred vehicles.