2016 U.S. Initial Quality Study:U.S. New-Vehicle Quality Makes Largest Improvement in 7 Years
It appears that automakers are finding ways to integrate new vehicle technologies without it having a severe impact on car quality. In fact, new-vehicle quality is up 6% in 2016, compared with 2015—double the 3% rate of improvement in 2015 from 2014—according to the J.D. Power 2016 U.S. Initial Quality StudySM (IQS). This represents the largest year-over-year increase in vehicle quality since 2009.
The Initial Quality Study, now in its 30th year, examines problems experienced by original vehicle owners during the first 90 days of ownership. Initial quality is determined by the number of problems experienced per 100 vehicles (PP100), with a lower score reflecting higher quality. This year’s study shows improvement in quality across all eight problem categories measured in the study, with 21 of the 33 brands included in the study improving their quality in 2016 and one remaining the same.
“Manufacturers are currently making some of the highest-quality products we’ve ever seen,” said 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. Even as they add more content, including advanced technologies that have had a reputation for causing problems, overall quality continues to improve.”