The newly released J.D. Power and Associates 2013 Vehicle Dependability Study doesn’t just compare cars; the study reviews the performance and reliability of over 37,000 foreign and domestic made vehicles. This report allows consumers to compare cars before purchasing or leasing to determine safety and dependability ratings, predict future resale value and estimate a vehicle’s overall worth. Having this information before purchasing or leasing a vehicle can save consumer’s time and money and may also prove to be beneficial in the future to help consumers avoid a potential lemon law claim.

The study elicits responses from approximately 37,000 original owners of three-year-old vehicles about problems the owners experienced with their vehicles within the past twelve months. Not only does this study allow consumers to compare cars and to receive alerts for unsafe or unreliable vehicles, manufacturers are also using the information provided by the study to design more quality vehicles that won’t require the consumer to spend time at the repair shop. Offering this information to manufacturers before a vehicle is produced may have a significant effect on the quality of vehicles produced in the United States and worldwide. What this may mean for consumers is less time spent waiting for their vehicle to be repaired, less time worrying about whether their vehicle will operate properly and, most importantly, less time seeking legal advice for a lemon law claim.

What remains different about the J.D. Power and Associates study is that researchers are not looking at the reliability of the vehicle as it is released from the manufacturer; they compare cars after the original owners have used the vehicle for years. Gathering information at this stage provides the most useful consumer information because they compare cars after being driven thousands of miles having endured potholes, quick stops and fast turns that test the durability of the vehicle.

The California Lemon Law helps consumers that have purchased a new or used vehicle, or leased a vehicle, that is materially defective. Safety standards and vehicle reliability has vastly improved over time and overall vehicle dependability as at an all-time high because of studies like the J.D. Powers and Associated Dependability Study. Providing manufacturers with information that compares cars, the cars they produce and the cars that their competitors produce, creates an incentive to manufacture the safest, most reliable vehicle on the market. This incentive not only benefits the manufacturer, it also offers the consumer a high-quality product that is, hopefully, free from material defects that could require filing a lemon law claim. The improvement in vehicle dependability means that consumers should have more confidence in their vehicles even past the protection of the manufacturer’s express written warranty.