I am not sure whether the J. D. Power reliability surveys are statistically valid or not. Is a total of some 45,000 data points out of some 50 million new cars sold over a three-year period - with some low-selling brands surely accounting for only a few of those points - enough to draw proper conclusions?
Like I say, I don't know.
What I DO know is that the Power surveys are taken very seriously by the car makers and by most consumers.
So the news yesterday that Lexus has been toppled from its perennial top spot in the three-year problems-per-100 cars survey is news indeed.
Even more so that an American brand (Buick) and a brand recently sold off by an American manufacturer (Jaguar, which Ford sold recently to Tata of India) tied for the top rank, given the problems North American brands have been experiencing in the marketplace recently.
Lexus remains a close third.
That Buick and Jaguar rank highly should not be a surprise - both have been consistently near the top for a long time.
Jaguar's quality took quantum leaps upward a few years after Ford took it over and taught the Brits how to measure quality - until you actually know HOW you are doing, it is hard to improve.
Buick has the distinct advantage that one of its best-selling models (the mid-size Allure/LaCrosse) is built in Oshawa, which again is consistently among the top-quality (and top productivity) car factories in the entire world.
It wasn't all bad news for Lexus, or its parent Toyota - Lexus had four models at the top of their respective market segments, and Toyota had five.
Odd then that Toyota's youth-oriented brand Scion, recently introduced in Canada, ranked very near the bottom.
I mean, those cars are essentially built from the same bits by the same people as various Toyotas.
And you wonder why I'm a wee bit sceptical about surveys like this?