Car buyer satisfaction is down for a third straight year as prices rise and recalls continue, according to new data from the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI). Customer satisfaction with automobiles falls 3.7 percent to 79 on ACSI’s 100-point scale.

“While it is true that all cars are now much better than they were 10 to 20 years ago, it is alarming that so many of them have quality problems,” says Claes Fornell, ACSI Chairman and founder. “The number of recalls is at an all-time high. This should not happen with modern manufacturing technology and has negative consequences for driver safety, costs and customer satisfaction.”

According to ACSI, car owners report a 40 percent increase in recalls compared to the second quarter of 2014, which is damaging driver satisfaction. While quality problems rise, higher prices are also contributing to the decline in buyer satisfaction.

Among 27 nameplates tracked by the ACSI, Lexus sits at the top with at 84 percent satisfaction. Lexus took the lead from Mercedes-Benz, which fell 3 percent to 83. After taking a sharp drop to the bottom of the industry a year ago, Acura rebounds 8 percent to 83, to tie with Mercedes and Lincoln for second place.

BMW rose 3 percent to 82 to tie with Subaru and Toyota. Volkswagen, Buick and Honda all slip into a tie at 80. Cadillac and Mazda also scored 80, which remained the same as last year. Meanwhile, Ford and Chevrolet are alongside Volvo, which returns to the ACSI near the bottom of the luxury category at 79.

The ACSI report is based on 4,294 customer surveys collected in the second quarter of 2015 and is available for free download at