Saab rises in the 2010 JD Power Vehicle Dependability Study

The button dash wasn’t that squeaky, was it?? Say it ain’t so!
Results for the 2010 JD Power Vehicle Dependability Study have been released today and it’s good news for the Saab marketing people. Saab have a had a massive climb up the rankings, are now the third-highest ranked European brand in the study and are pretty much on par with the industry average.
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The Vehicle Dependability Study measures problems experienced by original owners of three-year-old (i.e. 2007 model year) vehicles. Saab recorded an average of 158 problems per 100 vehicles. The industry average was 155.
There has been some criticism of studies like these due to the nature of what owners can include as a “problem”, but I guess these manufacturers have to take the good with the bad. Saab have taken plenty of bad over the last few years, so they can enjoy the good for a change.
This result represents a massive jump for Saab.

  • In 2007 they measured 318 problems per 100 vehicles (MY2004) and Saab finished 4th last amongst all manufacturers. Industry average: 216
  • In 2008 they measured 258 problems per 100 vehicles (MY2005) and Saab finished 5th last amongst all manufacturers. Industry average: 206.
  • Just last year, in 2009, they measured 226 problems per 100 vehicles (MY2006) and Saab finished 6th last amongst all manufacturers. Industry average: 170

A finish this year in the middle of the table and incredibly close to the industry average is a massive improvement in results for Saab.
The major change in Saab’s model range for 2007 was the move from the button dashboard to a more conventional dashboard controls system in the Saab 9-3. This certainly reduced the complexity of the car and it seems it might have ironed out some problems, too.
It’s not something the marketing people can sell, necessarily, but it is one millstone removed from around their necks.
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Thanks to Kirk for the tip via comments and Yuri via email!

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