J.D. Power quality study shows poor design, not malfunctions, is the problem

  • 19-Jun-2013 04:16 EDT
2013 IQS charts final 12pmET.jpg

J.D. Power 2013 U.S. Initial Quality Study brand rankings as measured in the totall number of prolems reported per 100 new vehicles.

Even though its score in the J.D. Power 2013 U.S. Initial Quality Study (IQS) was worse than in 2012, Porsche finished first among auto brands in this year’s ranking with 80 problems reported by new-vehicle owners per 100 vehicles. The consulting firm released 2013 IQS results today (June 19, 2013), noting that, industry-wide, nearly two-thirds of the problems reported by owners were design-related, not components that malfunction. For example, the component may work as designed, but owners might have deemed it a problem if it was difficult to understand or operate. "Automakers are investing billions of dollars into designing and building vehicles and adding technologies that consumers desire and demand, but the risk is that the vehicle design, or the technology within the vehicle, in some cases may not meet customer needs," said David Sargent, Vice President of Global Automotive at J.D. Power. In addition to topping all competitors in overall brand quality, Porsche, had the highest-ranking model in 2 of the 23 vehicle-segment categories with the 911 and Boxster. General Motors saw two of its brands (GMC and Chevrolet) crack the top 10 while one (Cadillac) that made the top 10 last year fell out in 2013. Hyundai was the other of three newcomers to the top 10. Dropping out of the top 10 along with Cadillac were luxury carmakers Mercedes-Benz and BMW. Noteworthy is the fact that GM, in what J.D. Power called “a very very strong performance,” scored the most (eight) vehicle-segment wins, with one each for Cadillac (Escalade), GMC (Sierra), and Buick (Encore), plus five for Chevrolet (Avalanche, Camaro, Impala, Silverado HD, Tahoe). No other automaker scored more than two category wins. The 2013 IQS was based on a survey of 83,000-plus new-vehicle owners.

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