Anybody who has watched more than 30 minutes of television the past couple weeks has likely seen Ford's new ads claiming that the automaker has caught up to Toyota and Honda with regards to initial quality. Toyota certainly has, and it apparently doesn't like the Blue Oval's boastful tone.
On Toyota's Open Road blog, Mike Michels seems taken aback at the claim, stating that the initial quality survey Ford cites was commissioned by the automaker and performed by a third-party company not affiliated with the well-known J.D. Power & Associates. He then spends a few paragraphs discrediting initial quality in the first place, citing J.D. Power figures that show the difference between the best and worst vehicles
during the first few months of ownership were a mere .8 problems per vehicle. Of those problems, most of them were customer preferences and not actual issues that needed repair
While we agree that initial quality is far from the complete quality story, it's incredible that Toyota would discredit a stat that has been a pillar of its own high quality image. The Toyota and Lexus brands have been among the leaders in initial quality for ages, which anyone would say is a result of great design, engineering and manufacturing. But now that other automakers are catching up, it seems Toyota wants to label initial quality as insignificant. Either way, we'll just have to wait another 3-5 years to find out if a Ford Fusion built today holds up as well as a Toyota Camry.