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Quality Takes a Back Seat to Innovation as Problems Reach a Record High, J.D. Power Finds

New vehicles are becoming more problematic, evidenced by the number of problems per 100 vehicles (PP100) rising a record 30 PP100 during the past two years. According to the J.D. Power 2023 U.S. Initial Quality StudySM (IQS), released today, the rise in problems is 12 PP100 greater than in 2022, which follows an increase of 18 PP100 in 2022 from 2021. In 2023, the industry average is 192 PP100. A lower score reflects higher vehicle quality.

The continuing decline in quality can be attributed to multiple factors such as greater usage and penetration of technology; continued integration of known problematic audio systems into other new models; poor sounding horns; cupholders that don't serve their purpose; and new models with 11 PP100 more than carryover models.

"The automotive industry is facing a wide range of quality problems, a phenomenon not seen in the 37-year history of the IQS," said Frank Hanley, senior director of auto benchmarking at J.D. Power. "The industry is at a major crossroad and the path each manufacturer chooses is paramount for its future. From persistent problems carrying over from years past to an increase in new types of problems, today's new vehicles are more complex?offering new and exciting technology?but not always satisfying owners."

The U.S. Initial Quality Study, now in its 37th year, is based this year on responses from 93,380 purchasers and lessees of new 2023 model-year vehicles who were surveyed early in the ownership period. The study is based on a 223-question battery organized into nine vehicle categories: infotainment; features, controls and displays; exterior; driving assistance; interior; powertrain; seats; driving experience; and climate. The study is designed to provide manufacturers with information to facilitate the identification of problems and to drive product improvement. The study was fielded from February through May 2023.

While problems with driving experience are flat year over year, quality declines in all other categories. The largest year-over-year increase in the number of problems is in the features, controls and displays category (+3.2 PP100), followed by infotainment (+2.3 PP100).

Following are key findings of the 2023 study:

Highest-Ranking Brands and Models

Dodge is the highest-ranking brand overall in initial quality with a score of 140 PP100. Among mass market brands, Ram (141 PP100) ranks second and Buick (162 PP100) ranks third.

Among premium brands, Alfa Romeo ranks highest with a score of 143 PP100. Porsche (167 PP100) ranks second and Cadillac (170 PP100) ranks third.

The parent corporation receiving the most model-level awards is General Motors Company (seven awards), followed by Hyundai Motor Group (five) and Toyota Motor Corporation (four). Among brands, Chevrolet and Kia receive the most segment awards (four).

Plant Quality Awards

Toyota Motor Corporation's Tahara Lexus, Japan, plant, which manufactures the Lexus IS, Lexus LS and Lexus NX, receives the Platinum Plant Quality Award. Plant quality awards are based solely on defects and malfunctions and exclude design-related problems.

General Motors Company's plant in San Luis, Potosi, Mexico, which produces the Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain, receives the Gold Plant Quality Award for North/South America. BMW AG's plant in Born, Netherlands, which produces the MINI Cooper and MINI Countryman, receives the Gold Plant Quality Award for Europe and Africa.

For more information about the U.S. Initial Quality Study, visit https://www.jdpower.com/business/automotive/us-initial-quality-study-iqs.

See the online press release at http://www.jdpower.com/pr-id/2023063.

About J.D. Power

J.D. Power is a global leader in consumer insights, advisory services and data and analytics. A pioneer in the use of big data, artificial intelligence (AI) and algorithmic modeling capabilities to understand consumer behavior, J.D. Power has been delivering incisive industry intelligence on customer interactions with brands and products for more than 50 years. The world's leading businesses across major industries rely on J.D. Power to guide their customer-facing strategies.

J.D. Power has offices in North America, Europe and Asia Pacific. To learn more about the company's business offerings, visit JDPower.com/business. The J.D. Power auto shopping tool can be found at JDPower.com.

About J.D. Power and Advertising/Promotional Rules: www.jdpower.com/business/about-us/press-release-info

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