Karesh focuses on Powers' Initial Quality System (IQS) this time. The IQS score, which combines defects and design "annoyances" such as poor cupholders or a Hummer H2's lackluster fuel economy, has been further expanded with new scores based on design and production qualities. Karesh argues these new scores muddle the IQS even more, as they're largely subjective and fool average consumers who assume the score represents the overall defect rate. Karesh examines how automakers' end rankings are affected by the change, particularly BMW and Mercedes-Benz.
More details can be found at the link. Karesh does readily point out that defect rates among all automakers have steadily shrunk when the new scores are not added, and wonders if J.D. Power is adding the new dimension to keep IQS relevant to the public.