Domestic auto brands have demonstrated higher initial quality than import brands for the first time, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2010.
Overall, the industry average for initial quality is 109 problems per 100 vehicles (PP100) in 2010, increasing slightly from 108 PP100 in 2009. However, initial quality for domestic brands as a whole has improved by 4 PP100 in 2010 to an average of 108 PP100 slightly better than the initial quality of import brands, which averages 109 PP100 in 2010.
Substantial improvements by many domestic models: including the Ford Focus, Ram 1500 LD and Buick Enclave drive the overall improvement of domestic automakers in 2010. In particular, initial quality of Ford models has improved steadily for the past nine years. In addition, as a corporation, Ford Motor Company has 12 models that rank within the top three in their respective segments in 2010, more than any other corporation. General Motors has 10 models that rank within the top three in their segments.
According to J.D. Powers Web Intelligence Division, online consumer conversations about vehicle quality have recently shifted to a more concrete tone. In 2010, consumers are more often discussing quality as it applies to their own personal vehicle purchase decisions, rather than how domestic brands overall are affected by perceptions of low quality.
Initial quality of new models and major redesigns continues to improve in 2010, led by new launches from Ford, Honda, Lexus, Mercedes-Benz and Porsche.
The all-new Honda Accord Crosstour and the redesigned Ford Mustang, Ford Taurus and Lexus GX 460 each rank highest in initial quality in their respective segments. The Ford Fusion, Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe and Sedan and Porsche Panamera also launch with notably high initial quality levels.
2010 IQS Ranking Highlights
Porsche leads the overall nameplate rankings, averaging 83 PP100. Following in the rankings are, respectively, Acura (which moves from 14th rank position in 2009 to second in 2010), Mercedes-Benz (which improves from sixth rank position in 2009 to third in 2010), Lexus and Ford. MINI posts the largest improvement in 2010, reducing problems by 32 PP100 from 2009.
Toyota’s problem count increases by 16 PP100, moving it from sixth rank position in 2009 to 21st in 2010.
Ford and Lexus each garner three segment awards. Ford captures awards for the Focus, Mustang and Taurus, while Lexus receives awards for the GS, GX and LS models. The Lexus LS has the fewest quality problems in the industry, with just 55 PP100.
Chevrolet, Honda and Toyota receive two awards each. Chevrolet models earning awards are the Avalanche (in a tie) and the Tahoe. Honda receives awards for the Accord and the Accord Crosstour, while Toyota receives awards for the FJ Cruiser and Sienna.
Also receiving segment awards are: Acura RDX, Cadillac Escalade, GMC Sierra LD (in a tie), Hyundai Accent, Mazda MX-5 Miata, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Nissan Frontier, Scion xB and Volvo C70.
The 2010 Initial Quality Study is based on responses from more than 82,000 purchasers and lessees of new 2010 model-year vehicles surveyed after 90 days of ownership. The study is based on a 228-question battery designed to provide manufacturers with information to facilitate identification of problems and to drive product improvement. The study was fielded between February and May 2010.