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2006 STS V8 Blackberry,2004 CTS 3.6 Loaded, 2016 SRX LOADED
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Buick, Lexus Tie in Dependability Study by J.D. Powers

Buick tied with Lexus as the highest-ranking brand in a closely watched study of vehicle dependability, marking the first time in 12 years that Lexus has shared the top award, J.D. Power and Associates said Thursday.

Cadillac, Mercury and Honda rounded out the top five brands in the annual survey, which measures problems experienced by the original owners of three-year-old vehicles. Both Buick and Lexus had 145 problems per 100 vehicles. The worst-performing brand, Land Rover, had 398 problems. The industry average was 216 problems, down from 227 problems in last year's survey.

"People don't have to necessarily spend premium money to get equal value," said Neal Oddes, director of product research and analysis for J.D. Power. "That's good news for people."That's also good news for General Motors GM.

Vice Chairman Bob Lutz said the automaker is moving toward its goal of Buick becoming a direct competitor to Lexus, with the same level of quality and elegance - but selling for $10,000 to $15,000 less.

"Increasingly it's becoming evident that it's exactly coming out the way we planned," he said Thursday.

An official with Toyota Motor, which owns Lexus, says the company is pleased that its Toyota, Lexus and Scion divisions took 10 of 19 segment awards and doesn't see a problem when other automakers improve.

"It's always good to see the industry ... as a whole perform better than prior years - that's a positive trend for consumers," Bob Carter, group vice president and general manager for the Toyota division, said Thursday.

"It continues to push the benchmarks even higher."

The 2007 survey is based on the responses of 53,000 owners of 2004 model year vehicles. The survey gives all problems equal weight.

Oddes said the most frequent problem cited is wind noise, followed by noisy brakes, seat belts that fail to retract, poor ride handling and uneven wear on tires. Oddes said complaints about seats and interiors rose slightly this time around, but in most categories, complaints were down.
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