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WATCH: JD Power Announces Auto Industry Quality Awards

WATCH: JD Power Announces Auto Industry Quality Awards -- Part Two

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Local News / Automotive

Wednesday, 24 June, 2009 2:30 AM

Toyota, Ford take home most of JD Power Quality Awards

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

Dave Sargent, Vice President of Auto Research for JD Power, announced the results of the survey.

by Jason Rzucidlo
americajr@americajr.com

 

(Quicktime Required)

DETROIT -- JD Power and Associates released its latest survey of initial quality for 2009 model year vehicles. Toyota received 10 awards, Ford received five, GM, Honda and Nissan each received two awards. Chrysler and Hyundai took home one award each. The survey measures problems per 100 cars in the first 90 days of ownership. Results are based on questionnaires from more than 80,000 respondents. The Big Three automakers are making gains in their quality and are catching up quick with foreign competitors.

The survey looks at the absence of defects and the avoidance of design problems. It includes vehicles that were purchased or leased between November 2008 and February 2009. Respondents were surveyed by regular mail. The target was to receive 450 responses per model. The results are sales weighted, meaning that vehicles that sold more affect the score more than lower-selling models.

"The industry as a whole has improved significantly this year," said Dave Sargent, vice president of auto research for JD Power. "Domestics have an edge for trucks. Imports have an edge for crossovers. Imports have 15 of 22 awards. Domestics are catching up. New vehicles remain problematic."

On average, 71% of vehicle models have made improvements over the past year. There was an average of 118 problems per model in 2008 and only 108 problems per vehicle in 2009. Each year, vehicles improve between five to six percent in quality.

"Vehicles sitting around a long time tend to have a lot of problems," Sargent said. "I think it's really hats off to the entire industry. Porsche is top ranked the last two years. Lexus was top 12 of 20 years. The gap between Toyota and Chevy is very small. Leading domestics almost caught up with Toyota."

In terms of brands, Lexus is the highest-ranked with the lowest amount of problems per model at 84. Cadillac comes next with 91 problems. Toyota comes in with 101 problems per model, Ford 102, Chevrolet 103 and Chrysler 136.

"The launch of the G8 didn't go particularly well," the vice president of auto research said about Pontiac. "Dodge launch of Ram and Journey was not without challenges. A number of vehicles improve for Chrysler. Virtually all of Jeep's products made significant gains."

The top three best new vehicles in terms of quality are the Hyundai Genesis, Volkwagen CC and the Toyota Venza. The top three best redesigned vehicles are the Acura TL, Ford F-150 and the Nissan Z.

The Ford Mustang won the best midsize sporty car award. The F-150 ties the Toyota Tundra for large pickup truck. The Lexus LX was named the best vehicle in the industry with the least problems and defects. The best factory in North America with the least defects per vehicle is the East Liberty, Ohio plant which produces the Honda Civic, CR-V and the Element. The best factory in the world with the least defects is the Higashi-Fuji, Japan plant which produces the Lexus SC and the Toyota Corolla.

Toyota also received awards for the 4Runner, Sienna and the Yaris. Lexus also won for the IS, GS, GX, LS and LX. The Scion tC also picked up an award for the Toyota Motor Corporation.

"There is no correlation between what's happened financially to the industry study," Sargent added. "The consumer more than ever is key. Anything aftermarket we strip out of the study. They won't be counted. Full-size pickups help Ford and Chevy's score."

 

PHOTO BY MIKE ISMAIR / ©AMERICAJR.com

Attendees mingle before the announcement was made.

 

PHOTO BY MIKE ISMAIR / ©AMERICAJR.com

The study results were announced at a luncheon inside the Detroit Athletic Club.

 

PHOTO BY MIKE ISMAIR / ©AMERICAJR.com

Joann Muller of Forbes Magazine welcomed Dave Sargent of JD Power & Associates.

 

PHOTO BY MIKE ISMAIR / ©AMERICAJR.com

Sargent made his way to the podium.

 

PHOTO BY MIKE ISMAIR / ©AMERICAJR.com

The IQS study looks at owner satisfaction of vehicles after 90 days.

 

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