Latest J.D. Power new-vehicle quality study sees US brands well placed image

The milestone 30th annual U.S. Initial Quality Study, released by J.D. Power has seen Kia ranking the highest, but more importantly it shows the US brands have been recovering from the usual quality issues.

That’s because for the second consecutive year the domestic brands in the US have together racked less problems than all imported rivals. The new research talks about the issues and problems of new vehicle owners during the first 90 days after the purchase and will set the initial quality via the number of encountered issues per 100 units. So, a lower level means an increased quality score. The main winner was South Korea’s Kia, and for the first time in 27 years a non-luxury marquee has managed to secure the top rating. Porsche comes second, then Hyundai, Toyota and BMW follow suit.

General Motors has the highest number of high ranked model vehicles – seven, followed by Toyota with six and Hyundai and Volkswagen with four each. Meanwhile, J.D. Power says all three U.S. automakers had a year-over-year quality improvement, which was actually double of what import brands achieved. “Manufacturers are currently making some of the highest quality products we’ve ever seen,” says Renee Stephens, vice president of U.S. automotive quality at J.D. Power. “Tracking our data over the past several years, it has become clear that automakers are listening to the customer, identifying pain points and are focused on continuous improvement.”