2014 Initial Quality Study (IQS)

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With the automotive industry in the midst of recovery and competition increasingly fierce, automakers are challenged to design and produce models that sustain the high levels of initial quality that consumers have come to expect. Even as the industry achieves new quality and customer satisfaction benchmarks, consumers’ expectations continue to rise, so it is critical that automakers understand what has the greatest impact on consumers’ perceptions of vehicle quality and identify the greatest needs for improvement, not only to satisfy their expectations, but also to remain competitive.

The Solution

The J.D. Power 2014 Initial Quality StudySM (IQS) serves as the industry benchmark for new-vehicle quality measured at 90 days of ownership and has proven to be an excellent predictor of longterm reliability, which may significantly impact new-vehicle purchase decisions. The focus of the study is model-level performance and comparison of individual models to similar models in respective segments, which helps manufacturers worldwide to design and produce higher-quality vehicles that exceed owners’ expectations.

The study examines 233 problems, which are organized into eight categories:

  • Exterior
  • Seats
  • Driving Experience 
  • Engine/Transmission
  • Features/Controls/Displays (FCD)
  • Interior
  • Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC)
  • Audio/Communication/Entertainment/Navigation (ACEN)

The Benefits

Study subscribers will gain insight into the issues of build quality and design quality by make, model, body style, vehicle segment, and vehicle plant assembly line, which help manufacturers to understand:

  • Which new models provide the most problem-free experience
  • Which plant assembly lines produce the most problem-free models
  • How vehicle problems influence customer satisfaction and advocacy
  • Quality differences among import and domestic brand models
  • Quality differences of new designs vs. older designs
  • Quality variability across brand portfolios
  • Differences in the quality expectations of various segment groups
  • Demographic and psychographic profiles of new-vehicle owners

Power Circle Ratings and more information from the 2014 study is available at jdpower.com/quality.