Specialists census quality cars, JD Power and Associates, published this week its report on the initial quality of new vehicles, sold in the United States. This is the 27th year, that JD Power publishes this annual report.
As every year, some manufacturers have done very well while for others, a return to the drawing board might be appropriate. The JD Power report measures the number of problems per 100 vehicles listed sold over a period of 90 days following the signing of the contract. The average automobile industry is 113 problems per 100 vehicles. Scary is not it?
This year, the study variables were somewhat modified to take account of new technologies more and more complex in these cars. In addition, the views and comments of the new owners now have more weight in the calculation of final results.
Vehicles are divided into 26 categories, ranging from compact sports cars (Porsche Boxster S) to compact all-purpose vehicles (Kia Soul). Each car is assigned a score between two and five.
Among manufacturers, Porsche is the only manufacturer to see, that achieved a perfect score of 5 out of 5 with an average of only 80 problems per 100 cars sold. One also notes the strong performance of products especially General Motors and Chevrolet and GMC brands, that have both scored 4 out of 5. Moreover, GMC finished second, all manufacturers with an average of 90 problems per 100 vehicles. Chevrolet vehicles have meanwhile finished fifth with 97 problems per 100 cars. American luxury goods manufacturer, Cadillac and Buick, have meanwhile received scores of 3 out of 5.
As always, the Japanese manufacturers Honda and Toyota, and their respective luxury brands, Acura and Lexus have looked good, all with a score of 4 out of 5. Lexus finished 3rd at the initial quality with an average of 94 problems per 100 vehicles. Korean manufacturers, Hyundai and Kia have been on them a score of 3 out of 5 as another major Japanese manufacturer, Mazda.
German luxury manufacturers are BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz, have each received a score of 3 out of 5. Infiniti his side finished 4th overall with an average of 95 problems per 100 vehicles. Other manufacturers with a score of 3 out of 5 or more, we find Chrysler, Jaguar, Jeep, Land Rover (yes), Lincoln, Smart, Subaru, Volkswagen and Volvo.
Many manufacturers would love to never have known the results of the JD Power survey. Among the surprises we find Nissan, Mitsubishi and Scion. Ford also appeared ill while Dodge, Ram and Fiat brands hurt Chrysler, Complete the mini charts manufacturers with a score of 2 out of 5.
According to JD Power, the majority found on new cars defects are the result of faulty design and not a mechanical problem. This fact somewhat complicates the task of manufacturing, since the development errors are inherent to the vehicle and can be easily correctable by dealers. Some problems are also caused by the lack of training of representatives, who are not able to explain the new technologies which are multiplying on new vehicles. In addition, some manufacturers decide to offer these technologies too quickly ensuring, that it has not been compatible with the model and is difficult to use in everyday life for the consumer.