Wednesday, June 26, 2013

GM Tops J.D. Power Study for Best in Quality

A new study rates General Motors as #1 in quality over all other automakers worldwide.  The results of the Initial Quality Study, released by J.D. Power and Associates on June 19, 2013, measures the number of problems on 2013 cars and light trucks that buyers report after 90 days of ownership.

General Motors, as a corporation, ranked #1 with an average of 98 problems per 100 vehicles between its four brands GMC (2nd), Lexus (3rd), Chevrolet (5th), and Cadillac (14th).  In fact, General Motors was the only automaker with fewer than one problem per car.  General Motors is at the top of this annual study for the first time, while GMC and Chevrolet have broken into the top 5 for the first time ever.  Porsche topped the study by brand, followed by GMC, Lexus, Infiniti, and Chevrolet.
The Lexus LS sedan was reported as the most trouble free vehicle, with just 59 problems per 100 vehicles surveyed.  The vehicle was redesigned for 2013, and obviously consumers approve.

Lowest rated brands were Toyota's Scion, Chrysler's Fiat, and Mitsubishi.

J.D. Power has been conducting their Initial Quality study for 27 years, and redesigned/modernized the study for 2013.  Outdated questions, such as questions about cassette players, were replaced with questions about modern technical features, such as voice recognition.  Additionally, instead of sending paper questionnaires, J.D. Power randomly selected owners to respond online.  The study was based on 83,000 customers who bought or leased a 2013 model car or light truck, and included 233 survey of questions.

According to the study, almost 2/3 of problems reported on 2013 models were related to design defects rather than manufacturing defects.  Top problem areas were: (1) built-in voice recognition frequently doesn't recognize or misinterprets commands, (2) built-in bluetooth mobile phone/device frequent pairing/connectivity issues, (3) excessive wind noise, (4) materials scuff and/or soil easily, and (5) navigation system is difficult to use or poorly located.  According to the study, customers that reported a manufacturing defect said that the defect was fixed in the first visit 43% of the time.

Ford, who included the MyFordTouch system in their entire line of vehicles for 2013, was ranked #27.  Many owners find the system hard to use, and this is likely the reason for Ford's low ranking.  For this reason, it would certainly not be unexpected for Ford to take issue with the inclusion of design related defects in the study.

But, even the best manufacturers make mistakes.  So, regardless of where your car is ranked in this study, you may still have a "lemon" vehicle.  If you think that your 2013 car or truck is a "lemon" , then you should contact a consumer law attorney that specializes in Lemon Law to see if they can help get you out of your "lemon" car or truck.  Click here for a free online 50 state list of consumer law attorneys.   And act quickly- because for every legal right you have there is only a limited amount of time to file a lawsuit in court before your rights expire.

Beth Wells
Helping Consumers Get Rid of Lemons, 9 Years Running

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