J.D. Power released findings from its 2013 U.S. Initial Quality Study (IQS), which details the problems new-vehicle owners experience within the first 90 days of ownership. General Motors took the largest number of segment awards in this year’s study, with an average number of problems per 100 vehicles (PP100) at 90 for its GMC brand, 97 for its Chevrolet brand, and 108 and 109 for its Cadillac and Buick brands, respectively. The 2013 IQS found the industry averages 113 PP100.
For the 2013 IQS rankings, General Motors received a total of eight segment awards, with its Chevrolet brand receiving five segment awards for the Impala, Silverado HD, Tahoe, Avalanche, and Camaro. Its GMC brand received an award for the Sierra LD. For its Buick brand, the automaker received an award for the Encore, and for the Cadillac brand, the company received an award for the Escalade.
Other companies and brands receiving vehicles include the following: Chrysler received an award for the Town & Country. Ford received an award for the Mustang. Honda received two awards for the Civic and CR-V. Mazda received two awards for the Mazda2 and MX-5 Miata, and Porsche received two for the Boxster and 911. Others receiving awards include Acura for its TL, Hyundai for its Genesis, Infiniti for its FX, Mercedes-Benz for its GLK-Class, Nissan for its Murano, smart for its fortwo, and Toyota for its Camry. Toyota’s Lexus brand received the best score, with 59 PP100 and the lowest average number of problems among all models in J.D. Power’s 2013 IQS.
For the problems owners experienced, the 2013 IQS found that two-thirds of them are caused by design-related issues rather than manufacturing defects. J.D. Power said it revamped its study, now in its 27th year, to better measure problems in new vehicles by taking into account the new technologies and features automakers are offering. Many of these problems related to the driver interfaces in new vehicles, including hands-free technology controls, Bluetooth pairing for mobile phones, and using the navigation system.
One major issue with design-related problems is that only 9% of vehicle owners took their vehicles to dealerships within the first 90 days of ownership to address the issues they experienced. When they did take the vehicles in, dealerships were only able to resolve the issue 13% of the time. When vehicle owners experienced a defect or malfunction, 28% of them went to a dealership, and 42% of the time the dealership was able to resolve the issue.
The 2013 IQS is based on responses from more than 83,000 purchasers and lessees of new 2013 model-year vehicles surveyed after 90 days of ownership. J.D. Power fielded the study between Feb. and May 2013.