• Jun 22, 2009
Click above for a gallery of the graphtastic images from J.D. Power and Associates

J.D. Power and Associates has released its 2009 Initial Quality Study (IQS) and Lexus has taken the top spot away from Porsche, the initial quality leader for the past three years. The annual J.D. Power study measures IQS based on problems reported per 100 vehicles (PP100) -- a lower score means a lower rate of problem incidences and higher quality.

This year, the industry average is 108 PP100, demonstrating a steady improvement from 118 PP100 in 2008, and 125 PP100 in 2007. In addition to the marked improvement by the industry overall, many brands continued to perform well in 2009. Following Lexus and Porsche is Cadillac (which moves from 10th rank position in 2008 to third in 2009), Hyundai (jumping from 13th rank position in 2008 to 4th in 2009) and Honda (up from 7th in 2008 to 5th in 2009). Infiniti, second in last year's study, drops to 11th overall, while Suzuki posts the largest improvement in ranking, moving from 32nd place in 2008 to 9th in 2009. The complete J.D. Power press release and charts can be found after the jump and in the gallery below.




[Source: J.D. Power and Associates]

PRESS RELEASE


J.D. Power and Associates Reports: Embattled U.S. Automakers Make Substantial Gains in Initial Quality, Outpacing Industry-Wide Improvement while Quality Gap Continues to Narrow, Import Nameplates Capture 15 of 22 Segment Awards

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif.: June 22, 2009- New vehicles sold by Chrysler, Ford and GM's domestic brands have improved in initial quality by an average of 10 percent, compared with 2008, surpassing the 8-percent rate of improvement by the industry overall, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2009 Initial Quality StudySM (IQS) released today.

Overall, the industry average for initial quality is 108 problems per 100 vehicles (PP100) in 2009, down from 118 PP100 in 2008. Initial quality for domestic brands has improved to an average of 112 PP100 in 2009 from 124 PP100 in 2008. Lower PP100 scores indicate a lower rate of problem incidences and higher quality.

Even in the face of unprecedented challenges, the Detroit automakers are keeping their focus on designing and building high-quality vehicles, which is a precondition for long-term success," said David Sargent, vice president of automotive research at J.D. Power and Associates. "High quality generally translates into reduced re-engineering costs and lower warranty expenses during a vehicle's life cycle. High quality also enhances an automaker's reputation for reliability, which is a critical purchase consideration for many consumers."

In addition to the marked improvement by domestic automakers, many import brands continued to perform well in 2009. Lexus leads the overall nameplate rankings, averaging 84 PP100. Following in the rankings are Porsche, Cadillac (which moves from 10th rank position in 2008 to third in 2009), Hyundai (improves from 13th rank position in 2008 to fourth in 2009) and Honda, rounding out the top five. Suzuki posts the largest improvement in ranking, moving from 32nd place in 2008 to ninth in 2009.

The study finds that initial quality for newly launched and redesigned models in 2009 has improved compared with previous years. Historically, all-new models have typically launched with below-average levels of initial quality. However, several all-new models in 2009, including the Hyundai Genesis, Kia Borrego, Toyota Venza and Volkswagen CC, perform considerably better than their respective segment averages. Many redesigned models in 2009 also show notable improvement from the previous generation-particularly the Acura TL, Ford F-150, Honda Pilot and Nissan Z.

"Achieving high levels of initial quality in all-new models is one of the greatest challenges for manufacturers," said Sargent. "Now that more manufacturers are getting their launch quality right straight out of the gate, consumers can expect the quality of new vehicles to continue to rise."

The Initial Quality Study serves as the industry benchmark for new-vehicle quality measured at 90 days of ownership. The study is used extensively by manufacturers worldwide to help them design and build better vehicles and by consumers to help them in their vehicle purchase decisions. Initial quality has been shown over the years to be an excellent predictor of long-term durability, which can significantly impact consumer purchase decisions. The study captures problems experienced by owners in two distinct categories-design-related problems and defects and malfunctions.

2009 IQS Ranking Highlights

Toyota Motor Corporation captures 10 segment awards-more than any other corporation in the 2009 study-including five for Lexus, four for Toyota and one for Scion. Lexus receives awards for the IS, GS, GX, LS and LX models. The Lexus LX has the fewest quality problems in the industry, with just 52 PP100. Toyota models receiving awards in their respective segments are the 4Runner (in a tie); Sienna; Tundra (in a tie); and Yaris.

Ford receives three awards for the Edge (in a tie); F-150 (in a tie); and Mustang. Garnering two awards each are Nissan (Altima and Z); and Honda (CR-V, in a tie, and Ridgeline).

Also receiving segment awards are: Chevrolet Trailblazer (in a tie), Chrysler PT Cruiser Wagon (in a tie), GMC Yukon, Hyundai Elantra Sedan, Mercury Sable and Scion tC.

Assembly Plant Awards

The Toyota Motor Corporation assembly plant in Higashi-Fuji, Japan, receives the Platinum Plant Quality Award for producing vehicles yielding the fewest defects and malfunctions. Averaging just 29 PP100, the plant produces the Lexus SC 430 and Toyota Corolla. Plant awards are based solely on average levels of defects and malfunctions and exclude design-related problems.

Among North and South American plants, the Honda plant in East Liberty, Ohio, which produces the Civic Sedan, CR-V and Element, achieves the Gold Plant Quality Award.

In the Europe and Africa region, Daimler's East London, South Africa, plant, which produces the Mercedes-Benz C-Class, receives the Gold Plant Quality Award.

The 2009 Initial Quality Study is based on responses from more than 80,900 purchasers and lessees of new 2009 model-year cars, trucks and multi-activity vehicles surveyed after 90 days of ownership. The study is based on a 228-question battery designed to provide manufacturers with information to facilitate identifying problems and drive product improvement. The study was fielded between February and May 2009.

Find more detailed results on new-vehicle quality performance as well as model photos and specs by watching a video, reading an article and reviewing quality ratings at JDPower.com.

About J.D. Power and Associates

Headquartered in Westlake Village, Calif., J.D. Power and Associates is a global marketing information services company operating in key business sectors including market research, forecasting, performance improvement, Web intelligence and customer satisfaction. For more information on car reviews and ratings, car insurance, health insurance, cell phone ratings, and more, please visit JDPower.com. J.D. Power and Associates is a business unit of The McGraw-Hill Companies.

About The McGraw-Hill Companies

Founded in 1888, The McGraw-Hill Companies (NYSE: MHP) is a leading global information services provider meeting worldwide needs in the financial services, education and business information markets through leading brands such as Standard & Poor's, McGraw-Hill Education, BusinessWeek and J.D. Power and Associates. The Corporation has more than 280 offices in 40 countries. Sales in 2008 were $6.4 billion. Additional information is available at http://www.mcgraw-hill.com.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 52 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      I think these "Initial Quality" things are pointless. Sure, it's nice to see the initial quality being great but I believe a better indicator is one taken at least 2 years after getting the car new.

      Also, I know it's nearly impossible to have a "perfectly" put together car but it's crazy to see all but the top 5 on the list having multiple problems per car, according to this survey.

      Peace
      • 5 Years Ago
      Wow, look at Hyundai, good for them.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Hyundai seems to be progressing very fast.
      • 5 Years Ago
      JD Powers initial quality report serves what purpose? From top of the list to bottom I still have to go to dealer for service!!!!
      • 5 Years Ago
      Whiting out the bottom to force another click-through is a cheap, transparent move autoblog.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Except before, autoblog DID include the whole JD power list on the post. They never snipped it off. They're doing that only now because they want additional click-throughs.

        http://www.autoblog.com/2008/06/04/j-dd-power-releases-2008-initial-quality-study/
        • 5 Years Ago
        Either way the list would not be complete on the main-page so you would probably clicked anyways. And with the fade-out it is straightaway obvious that the list is not complete on the main page.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Yet, so effective.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Lol, I'm sorry, but who said autoblog was supposed to be transparent? Weblogs was a Calacanis venture that is now owned by AOL. Don't we all know just how much both parties have been proven to be transparent... lol.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Scoff at it if you'd like (I admit, I do a bit too), but we here at the automotive manufacturers actually use the various surveys (IQS3, eVQS, IQS, etc.) for quite a few purposes. The number of and type of problems, and even the quite hilarious comments, help us identify problem areas of the car. The data is very useful for finding trends between model years, and especially to see how we stack up to our competition. So, you may laugh at the basis of this study being on complaints like rattling cupholders and delivery dings, and I can't provide input about how other manufacturers address this, but it's our aim to fix those issues, no matter how small.

      With that said, take ratings that pit the manufacturers head to head like in the press release with a heavy grain of salt, because there's definitely differences in sampling between the makes simply based on the quantity of units moved.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I don't place much trust in J,D. Power surveys. Near identical cars coming off the same assembly line with alternate badging sometimes have significantly different ratings. To a lesser extent you see the same thing in Consumer Reports' ratings.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Big improvement for VW. That's good news.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Up 12% over last year

        2007: 160
        2008: 128
        2009: 112
        • 5 Years Ago
        Suzuki made a huge jump.
        • 5 Years Ago
        seriously! right behind Acura and Nissan. Go VW!
      • 5 Years Ago
      So much for the "Buick is right up there with Lexus" nonsense.
        • 5 Years Ago
        That is in the long term ratings survey.
      • 5 Years Ago
      porsche sux. I dont believe this study
      • 5 Years Ago
      So these are incidents per 100 vehicles....so these ratings are useless, since a lot more people buy Hondas, Toyotas, Chevrolets, etc..than say, Lexus and Porshe.
        • 5 Years Ago
        lol
        was it joke, right?
      • 5 Years Ago
      This is no surprise...esp with Hyundai. In the past 4-5 years their cars have had pretty good initial quality. Nice to see Lexus leading the bunch!
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