The 2014 J.D. Powers Vehicle Dependability study saw a decline this year for the first time since 1998 due to a proliferation in four-cylinder engines, it said.
The poll of 2011 model year cars allowed owners to report issues, and it appears a strategy employed to increase fuel and emissions efficiency has not been without some hiccups.
Four cylinder engines used in place of larger engines have become a common strategy to meet fuel economy and emission regulations. The U.S. new car market now sees 53 percent of vehicles sold being four-cylinders, and by 2020 it may be two-thirds.
J.D. Power scored the number of problems per 100 vehicles sold. The average increased from 126 problems per 100 (you read that correctly) to 133.
Consumers are free to report what they feel is a dependability problem which allows for subjective impressions adding to the complaint list.
Among notable green cars, the Chevy Volt was named top in the Compact class, and GM won eight category spots.
Here is the list of respective top-ranked models:
Subcompact car: Honda Fit
Compact car: Chevrolet Volt
Compact premium: Lexus ES
Compact sporty: MINI Cooper
Midsize car: Toyota Camry
Midsize sporty: Chevrolet Camaro
Midsize premium: Lexus GS
Large premium: Cadillac DTS
Large car: Buick Lucerne
Subcompact crossover: Honda Element
Compact crossover: Honda CR-V
Compact premium crossover: Acura RDX
Compact multi-purpose vehicle: Scion xB
Midsize crossover: Honda Crosstour
Midsize premium crossover: Lexus RX
Midsize pickup: Honda Ridgeline
Minivan: Toyota Sienna
Large crossover: GMC Yukon
Large premium crossover: Cadillac Escalade
Large light-duty pickup: GMC Sierra LD
Large heavy-duty pickup: GMC Sierra HD
Lexus was the most dependable brand with 68 problems experienced per 100 vehicles (PPM) followed by Mercedes-Benz (104), Cadillac (107), and Acura (109), and Buick (112).