Lexus overtook Mercedes-Benz to came out on top in a recent U.S. customer satisfaction study while recalls and rising prices across the industry are driving down average new-vehicle customer satisfaction scores.
Industrywide, customer satisfaction fell 3.7 percent to 79 on a 100-point scale, the American Customer Satisfaction Index found in this year’s Automobiles Report, released today. That’s the lowest level of customer satisfaction ACSI has reported since 2004.
ACSI’s annual Automobiles Report is based on customer evaluations of recently purchased automobiles from the largest automakers in terms of market share, plus an aggregate of smaller nameplates.
Toyota Motor Corp.’s Lexus brand scored 84, achieving this year’s highest customer satisfaction score. This was enough to propel Lexus past the previous winner, Mercedes.
Mercedes’ customer satisfaction fell 3 percent to 83.
The only two nameplates to achieve improvement in customer satisfaction were Audi, up 8 percent to 83, and BMW, up 3 percent to 82.
Of the 27 nameplates the index tracked in the study, 15 saw a decline in customer satisfaction. The other 10 brands were unchanged or their comparisons were not applicable.