U.S. Initial Quality Study (IQS)


With competition becoming increasingly fierce, automakers must constantly design and produce models that achieve the extraordinary levels of initial quality that consumers have come to expect. Even as the industry achieves new quality benchmarks, consumers’ expectations continually rise. It is critical that automakers and suppliers fully understand customer requirements, how well they are meeting these requirements, who is performing best, and what they need to do to catch up.

The Solution

The J.D. Power U.S. Initial Quality StudySM (IQS) serves as the industry benchmark for new vehicle quality measured at 90 days of ownership. Initial Quality has proven to be an excellent predictor of long-term reliability, which has a significant impact on owner satisfaction, advocacy (NPS) and ultimate loyalty. Every year J.D. Power obtains consumer feedback on every significant vehicle on the market. This detailed and unfiltered customer feedback can be analyzed by Plant, Model, Brand, Corporation and Vehicle Segment. Automakers worldwide use this information to measure and compare their competitive performance – helping them to design and build higher quality vehicles.

The study examines 223 problems, which are organized into nine categories:

  • Climate
  • Driving Assistance
  • Driving Experience
  • Exterior
  • Features/Controls/Displays (FCD)
  • Infotainment
  • Interior
  • Powertrain
  • Seats

Entering its 34th year, IQS has undergone major enhancements, including:

  • Problems caused by brought in technology and services
  • Problems caused by the interaction of the vehicle and the environment
  • Problems caused by advanced driver assistance systems

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 automakers 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 based on origin
  • Quality differences of new designs vs. older designs
  • Quality variability across brand portfolios
  • Differences in the quality expectations of different customer groups
  • Establish product priorities for future model development using various competitive sets and comparison of relative performances