Press Release

Initial Quality Improves with Owners Citing Fewer Manufacturing-Related Issues, J.D. Power Finds

Honda and Perodua Receive Model-Level Awards for Initial Quality

SINGAPORE: 26 Nov. 2019 — Vehicle owners in Malaysia are experiencing fewer problems with their new vehicles than in 2018, which is largely attributed to a decline in manufacturing-related issues, according to the J.D. Power 2019 Malaysia Initial Quality Study,SM released today.  

Initial quality measures the number of problems experienced per 100 vehicles (PP100) during the first two to six months of ownership, with a lower count reflecting higher quality. In this year’s study, the industry average decreases to 85 PP100, from 89 PP100 in 2018. Problems are nearly equally split between design (40 PP100) and manufacturing (44 PP100) categories.

The study finds that the share of manufacturing-related issues has been on the decline over the past three years to 51% in 2019 from 74% in 2016. The majority of the reduction from last year relates to noise aspects, such as wind noise (-1.7 PP100); abnormal suspension noise (-1.1 PP100); seat noise (-0.9 PP100); abnormal transmission noise (-0.7 PP100); and other interior storage compartments noises (-0.3 PP100). That said, noise-related issues account for 36% of all manufacturing issues identified by owners this year. On average, the overall rating on quality and reliability of new vehicle is lower among owners who reported such noise-related manufacturing issues than those who did not (7.3 and 8.2 respectively on a 10-point scale).

“Vehicle owners continue to be sensitive to noise-related problems, which strongly affect their overall perception of the vehicle’s quality,” said E-Ling Cheah, Country Manager for Malaysia at J.D. Power. “Given the heightened customer sensitivity around buzz, squeak, rattle and wind noises, manufacturers need to not only improve their manufacturing processes but also work upstream to review and redefine vehicle design guidelines to avoid such issues surfacing early in the ownership cycle.”

The following are key findings of the 2019 study:

  • Most cited problems remain top irritants: Among the top five problems, four are similar to the top five in 2018. Excessive wind noise (5.9 PP100) and excessive road noise (2.9 PP100) continue to be the top two most-cited problems. “Built-in Bluetooth® Mobile Phone/Device Has Frequent Pairing/Connectivity Issues” has become the third most reported problem (2.7 PP100), up from fifth last year (2.5 PP100). Radio problems are fourth this year (2.0 PP100).
  • Younger car owners cite more problems: Customers who are under 35 years old (57%) indicate more problems than those 35 years or older (91 PP100 vs. 73 PP100, respectively). Younger car owners cite more problems in the features/controls/displays (+4.6 PP100) as well as vehicle interior (+4.5 PP100) categories.
  • Quality builds advocacy and loyalty: Among new vehicle owners who did not indicate any problems, 49% said they “definitely will” recommend their brand and model to friends or relatives, compared with 37% for those who had encountered at least one problem with their vehicle. One-third of new vehicle owners who did not experience any problems with their vehicle say they “definitely will” purchase a vehicle from the same brand the next time, compared with 26% of those who experienced at least one problem. 

Study Rankings

  • Honda Jazz ranks highest in the city compact segment with 68 PP100.
  • Honda City ranks highest in the entry midsize segment with 59 PP100.
  • Perodua Aruz ranks highest in the compact SUV segment with 70 PP100.
  • Honda CR-V ranks highest in the large SUV segment with 64 PP100.

The J.D. Power 2019 Malaysia Initial Quality StudySM is based on responses from 1,904 new vehicle owners who purchased their vehicles between July 2018 and August 2019. The study includes 50 passenger car, pickup and utility vehicle models of 12 brands. The study was fielded between March and October 2019.

Now in its 17th year, the study serves as the industry benchmark for new vehicle quality by examining problems experienced by new vehicle owners within the first two to six months of ownership in two distinct categories: design-related problems and defects and malfunctions. The study includes specific diagnostic questions around eight problem categories: exteriors; driving experience; features/controls/displays; audio/communication/entertainment/navigation; seats; heating/ventilation/air conditioning; interiors; and engine/transmission.

The study now also includes Net Promoter Score® (NPS),[1] which measures customers’ likelihood to recommend their vehicle model and brand on a 0-10 scale.

Media Relations Contacts

Shahilia Bhagat; J.D. Power; Singapore; 65-3165-0120; [email protected]

Geno Effler; J.D. Power; Costa Mesa, Calif., USA; 001-714-621-6224; [email protected]

J.D. Power is a global leader in consumer insights, advisory services and data and analytics. These capabilities enable J.D. Power to help its clients drive customer satisfaction, growth and profitability. Established in 1968, J.D. Power has offices serving North America, South America, Asia Pacific and Europe.

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[1] Net Promoter,® Net Promoter System,® Net Promoter Score,® NPS,® and the NPS-related emoticons are registered trademarks of Bain & Company, Inc., Fred Reichheld and Satmetrix Systems, Inc.


Malaysia IQS (Eng)
Media Contacts