Many of us in the know, i.e. auto enthusiasts, are well aware that our domestic automakers have made significant strides in improving the quality of the cars and trucks they sell. We also know that it's been extremely difficult to shake their reputation of shoddy quality that may have been deserved in the past, but is becoming less so by the day.

Ford revealed today that it has taken steps to provide some objective data to support improvements in quality that are beginning to pay off. In conjunction with RDA Group, a market research firm based in Bloomfield Hills, Ford has released details of the Global Quality Research System (GQRS) report, a survey of 31,000 new vehicle owners. The survey focused on 2007 model year cars and trucks and asked participants to list any problems experienced within the first 90 days of ownership.

Normally we would question a study about vehicle quality that was associated with a particular automaker, as there are some pretty clear conflicts of interest that could taint the results. However, the results of this study appear not to favor Ford in particular, as Honda was found to be the best brand when it comes to new car quality, earning a TGW score of 1313 "things gone wrong" per 1,000 vehicles. Ford's TGW score of 1,456, which includes both Lincoln and Mercury vehicles, placed it in a virtual three-way tie for second place with Toyota (1,453) and Nissan (1,456). The victory is a bit more significant for Ford than Toyota or Nissan since it represents an 8% improvement for the domestic manufacturer over last year, which is well ahead of the industry's average improvement of 2%.

After the jump you'll find out how some individual models scored on the survey.

Thanks for the tip, Scott!

[Source: Ford, Detroit News]

We don't have the TGW score for every model in the industry yet, just some Ford models, but the results are still surprising. For instance, the Mercury Milan and Ford Fusion had the two best TGW scores in the mid-size car segment, which includes the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord. The Fusion recorded a score of 1,066 "things gone wrong" per 1,000 vehicles, while the Milan achieved just 910, the lowest score of any Ford product.

The Ford Shelby GT500 and Expedition EL also acheived the lowest TGW score in their segments, though we don't have the exact numbers yet. When the report is released in full, we'll hopefully be able to publish the scores of all vehicles to get a better picture of the industry's quality leaders. It turns out, though, that Ford is fast becoming one of them.

Share This Photo X