The quality of new vehicles depends mainly on trouble-free technology, says J.D. Power
The J.D. Power 2020, SM Initial Quality Study (IQS) released today takes an up-to-date look at the problems owners are facing with their new vehicles, including those related to new technologies. The iconic study, redesigned this year, measures components that fail and features that are difficult to use, difficult to understand, or that don’t work as owners want.
“The initial quality study is the industry benchmark for new vehicle quality and, year after year, automakers apply consumer insights to make positive changes,” said Dave Sargent, vice president automotive quality at JD Power. “The higher problem levels we see in this year’s study do not mean that the quality of the vehicles has deteriorated; rather, the redesigned study poses additional questions that allow owners to name more problems than ‘they meet. “
The study, now in its 34th year, examines the problems faced by owners of new 2020 model year vehicles in the first 90 days of ownership. Initial quality is determined by the number of problems encountered per 100 vehicles (PP100), a lower score reflecting higher quality.
Here are the main conclusions of the 2020 study:
- Most national brands are above average: seven national brands – Dodge (136 PP100); Chevrolet (141 PP100); Aries (141 PP100); Buick (150 PP100); GMC (151 PP100); Jeep (155 PP100); and Cadillac (162 PP100) —perform the industry average of 166 PP100. Collectively, it was the best performance ever by Detroit automakers – compared to imported brands – in the history of the study.
- Most premium brands are below average: for most of the past decade, consumer brands have improved compared to premium brands, and this trend continues in 2020. Premium brands generally equip their vehicles with ” more complex technology, which can cause problems for some owners. Genesis (142 PP100), Lexus (159 PP100) and Cadillac (162 PP100) are the only high-end brands that perform better than the industry average.
- Japanese brands fail to gain a foothold: once considered the benchmark for quality, most Japanese brands have not improved as fast as their competitors and continue to follow most Korean and national brands. Mitsubishi (148 PP100), Lexus (159 PP100) and Nissan (161 PP100) are the only Japanese brands to rank above the industry average. “W. Edwards Deming said,” Quality is about meeting and meeting customer requirements, “and Japanese automakers have excelled in this area for some time,” said Sargent. “But some other automakers have overtaken them in recent years by better understanding what quality means for owners today.”
- Tesla profiled for the first time: Tesla receives an initial quality score of 250 PP100. The automaker is not officially classified among the other brands in the study because it does not meet the classification criteria. “Unlike other manufacturers, Tesla does not grant us permission to survey its owners in 15 states where it is necessary,” said Doug Betts, president of the automotive division at J.D. Power. “However, we were able to collect a sufficiently large sample of surveys from homeowners in the other 35 states and from this we calculated the Tesla score.”
- Infotainment is the most problematic category: almost a quarter of the problems cited by owners of new vehicles are related to infotainment. The main complaints include integrated voice recognition; Android Auto / Apple CarPlay connectivity; touch screens; integrated navigation systems; and Bluetooth® connectivity.
- Chevrolet Sonic obtains the best score of all models: the Chevrolet Sonic, with only 103 PP100, has the best score of all models this year.
- Jaguar receives the very first price at the model level: the Jaguar E-Pace is the first Jaguar model to obtain an IQS price, with a score of 159 PP100.
“Initial quality is essential to the overall experience of owning a new vehicle,” said Sargent. “Over the next few weeks, we will complete the picture by providing the results of the JD Power APEAL study, which measures the positive experiences that customers have of owning and driving their new vehicle, and of the JD Power TXI study, which measures the quality of the automakers’ introduction. all new technology in their vehicles. The successful manufacturers will examine all of these areas as they strive to design and build even better vehicles. “
Top ranked brands and models
Dodge and Kia are tied for the highest overall initial quality, each with a score of 136 PP100. Dodge is the first national brand in the history of the study to rank first. This is the sixth consecutive year that Kia has been the highest ranked mass market brand. Chevrolet and Ram are tied for third (each with 141 PP100). Genesis is the highest ranked premium brand for the fourth consecutive year in the study.
The parent company that received the most model awards is Hyundai Motor Group (seven awards), followed by General Motors Company (six); BMW AG (three); Ford Motor Company (three); Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. (three); and Toyota Motor Corp. (of them). Among the brands, Cadillac and Kia each receive four awards.
The top-ranked Hyundai Motor Group models in their respective segments are the Genesis G70; Hyundai Tucson; Hyundai Veloster; Kia Forte; Kia Sedona; Kia Sorento; and Kia Soul.
The top-ranked General Motors Company models in their segments are the Cadillac CT5; Cadillac CT6; Cadillac Escalade; Cadillac XT4; Chevrolet Malibu; and Chevrolet Sonic.
The top-ranked BMW AG models in their segments are the BMW 8 Series; BMW X6; and MINI Cooper.
The top-ranked Ford Motor Company models in their segments are the Ford Mustangs; Ford Ranger; and Ford Super Duty.
Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. models the highest ranked in their segments are Nissan Armada, Nissan Maxima; and Nissan Murano.
Toyota Motor Corp. models that rank first in their segments are Lexus GX and Toyota Tundra.
The other top-ranked models in their respective segments are the Audi A3 and the Jaguar E-Pace.
Plant quality award
The General Motors Company plant in Yantai Dongyue 2 (China), which produces the Buick Envision, receives the Platinum Plant Quality Award for the production of vehicles with the least number of faults or malfunctions. Factory quality awards are based only on faults and malfunctions and exclude design issues.
The Fiat Chrysler Automobiles plant in Toluca (Mexico), which produces the Dodge Journey and Jeep Compass, and the TMMT plant (Turkey) of Toyota Motor Corp., which produces the Toyota C-HR, receive the Gold Plant Quality Award for the Americas and Europe / Africa Regions, respectively.
“The fact that the best factories in each region are outside the traditional areas of the United States, Canada, Germany, Japan and Korea is a sign of the globalization of the automotive industry,” said said Betts. “China and Turkey have been represented in the study for less than 10 years, so to say that this achievement is impressive is an understatement.”
The 2020 U.S. Initial Quality Study is based on responses from 87,282 buyers and tenants of new 2020 model year vehicles who were interviewed after 90 days of possession. The study, which provides manufacturers with information to help identify problems and encourage product improvement, was conducted from February to May 2020.
The 2020 overhaul marks the fifth generation of the study, which is now based on a battery of 223 questions organized into nine vehicle categories: infotainment; features, controls and displays; outside; driving assistance (new for 2020); interior; powertrain; seats; driving experience; and the climate.
Find detailed information about the quality of the vehicle, as well as photos and specifications of the models, at jdpower.com/quality.
For more information on the initial quality study in the United States, visit http://www.jdpower.com/resource/us-initial-quality-study-iqs.