Initial Quality of Autos Improves Considerably

June 6, 2008

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Initial quality in the automotive industry has improved significantly in 2008, with substantial gains demonstrated by nearly three-fourths of the 36 ranked nameplates, according to the JD Power and Associates 2008 Initial Quality Study (IQS).

Overall quality has improved to 118 problems per 100 vehicles (PP100) in 2008, down from 125 PP100 in 2007 – a 6% improvement.

“This gain is driven not only by strong advances from many of the high-volume brands such as Chevrolet, Ford and Toyota, but also by very significant improvements by many other automakers,” said David Sargent, vice-president of automotive research at JD Power and Associates.

The Initial Quality Study serves as the industry benchmark for new-vehicle quality measured at 90 days of ownership. Initial quality has been shown to be an excellent predictor of long-term durability. The study captures problems experienced by owners in two distinct categories: quality of design, and defects and malfunctions.

The study finds that 86% of the overall improvement is due to advances in eliminating defects and malfunctions.

2008 IQS Ranking Highlights


For a third consecutive year, Porsche tops the overall nameplate rankings, averaging 87 PP100.

Following in the rankings are Infiniti (which improves from ninth position in 2007), Lexus, Mercedes-Benz and Toyota, respectively. Audi posts the largest improvement in ranking, moving from 26th place in 2007 to 10th in 2008.

“Porsche continues its steady improvement and has succeeded in distancing itself from the second-ranked nameplate to a greater degree in 2008 – by a gap of 11 PP100 -compared with 3 PP100 in 2007,” said Sargent.

Car Segment Awards


  • Honda models capture three segment awards – more than any other nameplate in the 2008 study – for the Civic, CR-V and Fit.
  • Garnering two segment awards each are Chevrolet (Malibu and Silverado LD); Dodge (Dakota and Durango); Infiniti (EX-Series and M-Series); Lexus (LS and RX); and Mercedes-Benz (CLK-Class and E-Class).
  • The Porsche 911 has the fewest quality problems in the industry, with just 67 problems per 100 vehicles.
  • Also receiving segment awards are the Ford E-Series, Lincoln Navigator, Mazda MX-5 Miata, Pontiac Grand Prix Sedan and Toyota Sequoia.

About the study: The 2008 Initial Quality Study is based on responses from more than 81,500 purchasers and lessees of new 2008 model-year cars and trucks surveyed after 90 days of ownership. The study is based on a 228-question battery designed to provide manufacturers with information to facilitate problem determination and drive product improvement. The study was fielded between February and April 2008.

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