Lexus Highest-Ranked Brand for Second Consecutive Year in J.D. Power Initial Quality Study
The J.D. Power Initial Quality Study, a touchstone for the industry’s current successes and failures in new-car design and production, has just released the results of its 2012 Initial Quality Study (IQS). Lexus was the highest-ranked brand for the second year in a row with the fewest problems per 100 vehicles. The brand was followed by two other luxury manufacturers, Jaguar and Porsche, which tied for second place. Cadillac and Honda rounded out the top five.
According to the study, as the North American automotive industry continues to recover, vehicle manufacturers post the strongest improvement in initial quality since 2009 and are producing higher-quality vehicles than ever before. Still, quality was hurt by widespread glitches in technology such as touch-screen controls and voice-recognition software, said David Sargent, vice president of global automotive at J.D. Power and Associates.
As manufacturers introduce increasingly sophisticated multimedia systems designed to enhance the ownership experience, owners more frequently cite these systems as a source of quality problems. For the first time in the 26-year history of the study, owners report more problems related to audio, entertainment, and navigation systems than in any other vehicle area. This is driven in part by a rapid increase in the fitment of new technology, such as voice recognition on mainstream models.
“Until recently, this type of sophisticated technology was found primarily on high-end models” said Sargent, “However, over the past few years it has rapidly found its way into the automotive mainstream. For example, in 2012, more than 80 percent of owners indicate that their new vehicle has some form of hands-free technology.”
Toyota and Lexus vehicles captured five segment awards (Yaris, Corolla, ES 350, LS and RX) and five Toyota manufacturing facilities in Japan and North America won plant awards, including one Gold, in the 2012 Initial Quality Study (IQS), more than any other automaker in both categories.
The study also found:
- Toyota has fewer problems than the premium brands industry average;
- 15 Toyota, Lexus, and Scion models ranked in the top three of the segments they compete in;
- Corolla is the highest performing non-premium model, it also ranks fifth overall;
- The all-new Prius v garnered second place in a closely contested segment; and
- The redesigned Camry scores even better than last year’s model
“We are very pleased with this year’s Initial Quality Study honors”, said Ray Tanguay, Senior Vice President and Chief Quality Officer Toyota Motor North America, Inc. “These accolades echo our enduring commitment to quality, value, and customer satisfaction”.