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BAMAPHIN 22
08-09-2006, 04:03 PM
Japan's Toyota Motor Corp. won top honors in eight categories of a closely watched vehicle dependability study, more than any other company, while mainstream brands closed in on luxury nameplates, J.D. Power and Associates said Wednesday.

Lexus, Toyota's luxury brand, was the top-ranked nameplate for the 12th consecutive year. It was followed by Ford Motor Co.'s Mercury and General Motors Corp.'s Buick and Cadillac.

Last-place Land Rover, which is owned by Ford, lagged far behind the second-to-last brand, Saab, which is owned by GM. Land Rover owners reported 438 problems per 100 vehicles, while Saab owners reported 326.

For the study, Westlake Village, Calif.-based J.D. Power questions owners of three-year-old vehicles about problems they are experiencing. This year's survey questioned 47,620 original owners of 2003 model-year cars and trucks.

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