2011 JD Power Vehicle Dependability Study puts Saab ahead of Industry Average

As you may have seen from Tim’s post on the Finnish reliability study earlier today, Saab’s dependability levels have been steadily increasing in recent years. This year’s gold standard of the auto industry’s efforts in increasing the reliability of their cars is out. The JD Power Vehicle Dependability Study makes headlines in the US, so much so that car makers who fare well like to brag about it in television, radio, and print advertisements as much as possible. This year’s study was formulated from the responses of almost 44,000 owners of 2008 model year vehicles.It covers 202 different problem areas from eight major vehicle categories, like engine and transmission, seats and exterior. Out of every 100 Saabs surveyed, 146 problems were reported. As has been covered here in the past, this could be something as simple as not understanding how to unlock the child safety lock on the back doors, no matter how small the problem– it doesn’t matter. If the customer thinks there’s an issue, it’s reported.

The industry average is 151, and for the first time Lincoln has beat the perennial winners Lexus and Porsche who scored 109 and 114 respectively. The most direct rivals to Saab fared worse, Volvo with 156, Subaru with 157, Audi with 161, and BMW with 164. If Saab doesn’t boldly point this out in future brochures or ads, there’s something wrong with their marketing department.

The complete list is after the break.

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Saab reliability ratings from Germany

I wrote about Saab 9-5 reviews a few days ago and in that post, I wrote the following:

“Saab’s reliability also needs to improve” – I’ll challenge that in a post coming soon and I’d love to see WhatCar to back up their statement with facts.

This is the post I was referring to.

Given the language constraints, I’m not totally up to speed with what these ratings represent. But from what I can tell, they combine two separate reliability surveys, one by DEKRA and another by TUV. They are published by ADAC-Automarxx, which is effectively the German Automobile Association.

We covered the 2008 ratings back in the Trollhattan Saab days. These are the latest tables, compiled in June 2010. I’ve got three tables to share. The first of these is for vehicles with up to 50,000kms on the odometer.

Click to enlarge.

You can’t do any better than that, can you?

The second table is for vehicles with between 50,000km and 100,000km on the odometer…. click.

OK, so they can do better there as they’re only in second place on that table.

Finally, a table ranking all brands across the various ranges and vehicle classes. Click.

So, across all applicable ranges, Saab are placed in the top four in the very tough German market. (There were no Saab rankings for vehicles 100-150K).

English publications seem to be giving the Saab 9-5 low marks for perceived reliability (I say perceived as this is a brand new car, so how can they tell?) when the data seems to point that Saab is quite possibly at the other end of the reliability table.

Saab did have some reliability issues when the Saab 9-3 SS range was a few years old. But that was 3 or 4 years ago. Saab’s ratings have consistently climbed the tables ever since – both in this German survey and US-based surveys as well.

I’m not sure what data the English are relying on, but it definitely seems at odds with other recent data. I think they should spell out the reasons for their ratings if they’re going to pan the 9-5 for it. People are relying on reading these road tests and Saab are relying on the road tests being accurate, too.

If they can back it up, then fair enough. But this data seems pretty conclusive to me.

——

With thanks to the guys at Saab Club Polska for the tables.

Saab score high on Consumer Reports reliability rankings

UPDATE below
——
I can’t believe my eyes!!
A news release today from Consumer Reports ranks Saab at #11 for predicted 2010 model year vehicle reliability.

  1. Scion
  2. Honda
  3. Toyota
  4. Infiniti
  5. Acura
  6. Mitsubishi
  7. Lexus
  8. Hyundai
  9. Porsche
  10. Mercury
  11. Saab
  12. Subaru
  13. Suzuki
  14. Kia
  15. Mazda
  16. Ford
  17. Nissan
  18. Volvo
  19. Buick
  20. Lincoln
  21. Volkswagen
  22. Pontiac
  23. Mercedes-Benz
  24. Audi
  25. Chevrolet
  26. BMW
  27. Mini
  28. GMC
  29. Saturn
  30. Jeep
  31. Dodge
  32. Cadillac
  33. Chrysler

I’m not sure what the etiequette is in this situation. I’ve spent a lot of time deriding CR’s methodology in the past and I stand by that 100%. I guess it would be somewhat duplicitous of me to get too excited about this.
I’m please to see the improved result, however, if only because it helps remove some of those negative GM stereotypes that Saab would like to shuffle off before proceeding down their own path in the United States.
Of course, it’s interesting to see that two of the brands GM is discarding are placed higher than any of the brands they’re keeping. Interesting too, is the not-unusual domination by Asian carmakers in the top 10.
Congratulations, Saab!
Thanks to Seth for the heads-up
——
UPDATE:
Saab jumped 12 places in this study.
The big loser was Mini, falling 14 places, with Lincoln down 9 spots and Subaru down 5.
Click to enlarge…. of view the full chart at autoblog.
crreliabilitychart_4_opt.jpg
——
Also, the Saab 9-3 is now a recommended pick…..
crreliabilitychart_1_opt.jpg

Thanks to Logan for the heads up on these…..

Used Saab 9-3 scores well in German defects report

Here’s a nice way tos tart the working week, especially if you’re considering the purchase of a not-quite-new Saab 9-3.
German magazine Auto Zeitung has published a report covering cars from different classes. Radulf was kind enough to take a scan, make some highlights and send it in.
His notes:

Defects Report: Out of more than five million cars examined from the GTÜ, Auto Zeitung identified the most reliable used cars.
Here I send you the “Medium class” with SAAB 9-3: Not so bad at all!
From left to right we see them sorted by age “1 – 3 years” to “9 – 11 years”. One to five years, the 9-3 beats all German premium cars …

Click to enlarge.
AZ_GTÜ_2.jpg
This really is quite an impressive result and again raises the same old concerns about US ratings (where Saab doesn’t tend to do so well in reports like JD POwer, etc) – vs – European ratings (where Saab seem to do consistently better).
Thanks again to Radulf for sending it in.

Are Saab having issues with Springs?

Mo has drawn my attention to a recent thread over at Saab Central where a number of Saab 9-3 SS and SC owners have realised they have something in common – snapping springs.
SaabSnappingSpring.jpg
There are at least half a dozen complainants there in that thread, and all entries are within the last month.
Complainants have had mixed success with getting their dealers to help out on the fix, but there’s a growing call there for a recall to be issued. Some are lodging receipts with the NHTSA in the United States to bring some more attention to the issue.
Some of these guys, in speaking to their mechanics about the spring problem, are finding out that the dealerships are changing multiple sets of springs per month.
I’m not one for creating a panic, but perhaps it would be prudent to get your post-2003 Saab 9-3 springs looked at and assessed.
And maybe Saab need to take a closer look at this, too. A broken spring at speed would be pretty nasty and would kill many years of safety leadership.

How reliable is your Saab?

I was chatting with a friend of mine the other night. He’s a regular here and a fellow Saab nut, though he doesn’t currently own one. He’s in the market for another car but is a bit worried about picking up a Saab because of reliability problems.
Now, I should explain further….
This car will be used a fair bit for his small business, so uptime is important. He’s also got a young family to go along with the business, so running costs are important.
Me? I don’t place a huge premium on reliability. I never expect a machine to run perfectly and therefore, I’m never disappointed when something goes awry. I absolutely never expect a car to work perfectly. All those moving parts and the way I drive most of the time are a recipe for wear and tear.
Having said that, my luck with Saabs seems to have been rather good. In 4 years with the 9000, the only unexpected item we’ve had to do is a radiator. With the Viggen, the only surprise was an exploding shock absorber. With my C900 there was an intermittent fuel delivery problem that annoyed me a bit, but it was a 23 year old car and issues are to be expected.
I tend to class Saabs as pretty reliable vehicles. Look after them and they’ll look after you. But maybe I’m one of those who wears rose coloured glasses a little too often.
So how do you rate your experiences with Saabs in terms of reliability? When they go, they tend to go big, but I’ve just never had one go on me and regular maintenance (5,000km services) and a top notch mechanic seem to do the trick for us.
How about you?

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