But it was not a clean sweep for the domestics. All the Chrysler group brands finished below average. Many owners of Jeep Grand Cherokees and Chrysler and Dodge minivans complained that problems weren't fixed right the first time.
Traditionally strong players Lexus, Saturn and Infiniti all dropped in the ratings despite showing better CSI scores than last year.
"They showed fairly sizable improvements in hard-core service quality, not just the soft skills," Ivers said. He said that Buick and Mercury were beginning to threaten Saturn's lead among nonluxury brands.
Toyota Division continues to suffer in the customer satisfaction arena, finishing well below average. Toyota customers blasted dealerships for their handling of maintenance work, mostly in the post-service tasks of paying the cashier, getting the car returned promptly and having the charges explained adequately.
Ivers said Honda had a profile similar to Toyota's but has worked hard to correct its problems. It moved up to 14th of 39 brands, while Toyota was 28th. Toyota has just begun a new CSI program that holds its regional representatives accountable for the successes and failures of dealerships.
Despite Audi's massive recall last year for faulty ignition coil switches, the brand still finished above average. Audi, along with Jaguar, shared the largest improvement of any brand.
Although Land Rover also improved strongly in the survey, it still finished far below average. It was the only luxury brand to score below average.
While BMW continued to have a strong showing in customer care, its new Mini brand finished eighth from the bottom. Mini has tended to have much more repair business, and a paucity of dealers means long drives and long waits to get the service done.
Mini buyers also are balking at paying BMW rates for service.