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With there being about 5.4 million non-fatal car accidents every year on U.S. roads, people are always looking for the safest, most reliable car on the market. And thanks to J.D. Power's 2019 U.S. Vehicle Dependability Study, U.S. consumers can now know which car is best to buy and why.

Research firm J.D. Power has been putting together it's annual study for the past 30 years. This study looks at three-year-old models, so this year they looked at 2016 models. The researchers examine any and all problems that original owners of 2016 models have reported within the past 12 months. And to rank the dependability of the vehicle, the researchers also take into account the number of problems that were experienced per 100 vehicles. With this ranking system, a lower score means a vehicle is more dependable.

This year's study consisted of responses from 32,000 vehicle owners and the research was conducted between October and December of 2018. According to the study, the overall dependability of all vehicles increase 4% from last year.

The results had some expected outcomes as well as a few surprises. Toyota, as usual, came out on top. The automaker came in first place again, with the Toyota Lexus brand being ranked as the most reliable in the United States. Tying with Toyota for second place was Porsche, which was quite the surprise, as they haven't done all that well in the past. Power's first award for the industry's most dependable vehicle also went to the Porsche 911 sports car.

The study also looked at which vehicle brands showed the most improvements over the past three years. Although China is the number one car manufacturer in the world, Detroit's Chrysler was deemed the most-improved automaker. And for the first time in 30 years, the major German automakers, including Audi, Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen, and BMW all were found to have shown improvements above the industry's average.

And speaking of BMW, one big surprise from the study as that MINI has made big improvements to increase its dependability. With Americans spending an average of 87 minutes in their cars every day, they want a car that can be both fun and reliable. While MINI has had a reputation of having fun cars in the past, their reliability has never been as good. But this year's study ranked MINI as sixth, which is quite the improvement.

Unfortunately, Honda didn't rank as well. In the past, Honda has been right up there with other leading brands, like Toyota. But over the past few years, Honda has started slipping down the last. And the recent problems with product quality have lead the automaker to fall below the industry average.

And lastly, Chevrolet surprised many people by flying up in the ranks. Chevrolet's dependability ranking was better than Subaru, Honda, BMW, Audi, and many others, leaving them ranked as fourth overall. This is its highest ranking in this study ever.

With the auto body industry being valued around $42 billion, it's clear more people are caring about their vehicles than ever before. So if you're looking for a dependable vehicle to last you for year's to come, consider checking out more information from the 2019 J.D. Power Vehicle Dependability Study.

Pictured Top: 2019 Lexus UX/Photo Lexus USA

Published in Rock Father Rides

When it comes to radio-controlled vehicles, 2015 is already off to an exciting start with the arrival of the HOT WHEELS R/C High Jump Frenzy vehicle from Toy State. The latest entry into Toy State's growing Hot Wheels line (produced under license from Mattel) actually hit the streets just before Christmas last year, but it's taken a little time to get back up-to-speed here in our state-of-the-art Toy Testing Facility at Rock Father HQ  (our house) to present an accurate review.

Published in Rock Father Rides

It used to be a rare feat to find a sequel that surpasses the original film. With a few notable and major exceptions (THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK, DESPICABLE ME 2, etc), generally the second go is not as fun, which makes it even more surprising that I enjoyed Disney's PLANES: FIRE & RESCUE more than last year's PLANES (review).

Published in Movies, TV and More

Seven movies in, and for the first time, I actually have a desire to see a film from THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS franchise. I was lost on the first two movies, which I thought at the time (perhaps a revisit is in order?) were terrible - the first I recall being worse than I'd expected. So I tuned out for the next four installments, and here lands the trailer for FURIOUS 7, and I'm in. Directed by James Wan (SAW) and with Jason Statham (EVERYTHING) joining the massive ensemble cast, how the crew has become parachuting globetrotting government agents (?) with Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Kurt Russell is beyond me, but the film that the late Paul Walker was working on prior to his untimely death is now planted firmly on my "most anticipated" list for 2015. Check out the trailer below...

Published in Rock Father Rides

We have a few different products from Uncle Milton here at Rock Father HQ (like this cool one), and one of the more recent arrivals is currently hanging in Little Finley's bedroom. The Wild Walls Lightning Speed Grand Prix is a "light and sound experience" that features Lightning McQueen, Tow Mater, Francesco Bernoulli and other characters from the Disney•Pixar film, CARS 2. As car-fixated as my youngest daughter is, you'd figure she'd like this one, and she does... but my wife's not a fan.

THE BOO HOO CREW are back again with the follow-up to last month's "Teddy Bear March." For June, this West Coast Kindie Crew is paying tribute to something a little more... rumbly. "Vroom!" is their sonic ode to muscle cars and American-made horsepower, and it's available on BandcampiTunes and Amazon right now. Stream the track below, right here on THE ROCK FATHER!

Published in Rock Father Rides
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