A survey conducted by the University of Michigan to determine customer satisfaction levels among the major automotive brands has revealed that the Detroit 3 have slipped slightly after last year’s record result, while Japanese manufacturers Toyota, Lexus and Honda all remained in the top five.

Dubbed the American Customer Satisfaction Index, the survey ranks cars on a 100-point scale depending on the satisfaction ratings made by respondents. The researchers compile the scores based on interviews with more than 65,000 consumers who have purchased a new car within the past three years, reports The Detroit News.

Despite significant improvements in customer satisfaction surveys over the past few years, Buick, Cadillac, Lincoln and Mercury all posted lower scores compared to last year. Nevertheless, all three still managed to outperform Mercedes-Benz, which experienced a 1.2% drop in customer satisfaction and has a current rating of 82 compared to Buick's 85.

Chevrolet experienced the largest drop over the past year, falling from 82 to 79. Chevrolet, Dodge and Jeep made up the bottom-three of the customer satisfaction survey, remaining over 10 points behind top contenders Lexus and BMW.

High fuel prices have been partly attributed to the slip of American brands, largely due to a lack of fuel efficient models, especially when compared to Japanese manufacturers.

The news wasn't all bad for American brands though, with Saturn posting the highest gain of any marque in customer satisfaction - its rating increased from 81 to 85.

Nissan, Mazda and Kia all experienced growth in their scores also, although of the three only Nissan was above the industry average score of 82.