The annual Initial Quality Study from consumer specialists, J.D. Power, shows that new-car quality continues to decrease.
Worryingly, this is the third year in a row that owners are reporting more issues with new cars than previously, reports Jalopnik. The J.D. Power study has been running for 37 years and bases findings on feedback from buyers of new cars each year. This year there were more than 93 000 people surveyed.
Results are compiled into a list of reported Problems per 100 vehicles or (PP100).
We know what you’re thinking. Volvo, Volkswagen, Audi and Mazda, aren’t those brands meant to have a good reputation for new-car quality? And Alfa Romeo is at the bottom, what gives?
J.D. Power says that the increase in new digital features in cars is responsible for the decline in quality. More equipment means more opportunity for that equipment to be defective or not meet the owner’s expectations.
“The automotive industry is facing a wide range of quality problems, a phenomenon not seen in the 37-year history of the IQS. 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 but not always satisfying owners.”Frank Hanley, senior director of auto benchmarking at J.D. Power.
Problems can include anything from infotainment features to driving assistance features, as well as powertrains. The average number of problems reported was 192. This is significantly up from 180 in 2022 and 162 in 2021. Car brands that are nearest to the average mark are Toyota with 194 problems per 100 vehicles, and Mitsubishi with 193 problems per 100 vehicles.
Credit where credit is due, the brand with the biggest grin on its face must be Alfa Romeo. 143 problems per 100 vehicles in 2023, is an improvement of 68 problems compared to last year. Brands that regularly place in the top spots for new-car quality, and have done so again in 2023, are Porsche, Lexus and Kia.