J.D. Power Initial Quality Study: Domestics Improve, Toyota Drops

J.D. Power’s Initial Quality Study covers just the first three months of ownership, so it isn’t a comprehensive survey on how cars will hold up over time, but it is still worth noting. This year, Ford and GM saw dramatic improvements while Toyota saw its position drop.

The survey was compiled for owners who bought new cars between November 2009 and February 2010, right in the middle of Toyota’s massive recalls over sticky accelerator pedals, floormats and braking.
 
The study looked at the number of problems per 100 vehicles, with the industry average at 109 problems, compared with 108 problems in 2009. Only 10 nameplates ranked at the average or higher.
 
Ford became the top-rated non-luxury brand for the first time in the study’s history, moving from eighth place to fifth, with the Lincoln brand moving all the way from 26th to eighth. Acura moved up to the second spot overall, up from 14th in 2009. But Mini was the most improved brand, reducing its number of problems per 100 by 32 to 133.
 
J.D. Power also noted that many newly launched vehicles scored very well, which is usually not the case. Often, a new model has more issues pop up simply because of its new design and the inexperience of both the workers on the assembly line with the model and the amount of real-world feedback to designers.
 
The Honda Accord Crosstour, Ford Taurus, Lexus GX 460 and Porsche Panamera all ranked highest in their segments.

The full list of brands and their rank is below.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2010 Initial Quality Study is based on responses from more than 82,000 new 2010 model-year vehicle owners.

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