Korean Brands Dominate J.D. Power 2018 Initial Quality Study

By

Automotive Editor

Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia, but now calls Detroit home. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new food, wrenching on his car, and watching movies.


, Automotive Editor - June 21, 2018

J.D. Power named the winners and losers in its 2018 US Initial Quality Study and South Korean automakers led the way. Genesis, Kia, and Hyundai nabbed first, second, and third place in the study, respectively. While the South Korean brands impressed the most with their quality, new-vehicle quality rose four percent from last year and is now at its highest level ever.

Genesis ranked at the top of the list with a score of 68 problems experienced per 100 vehicles (PP100). Kia came in second with a score of 72 PP100, and Hyundai followed with a rating of 74 PP100. Porsche and Ford round out the top five spots with scores of 79 PP100 and 81 PP100, respectively. The average for the industry is 93 PP100. In a similar fashion to golf, lower scores are better.

At the other end of the spectrum, Land Rover came in last place in J.D. Power's Initial Quality Study with a score of 160 PP100. Jaguar scored a little better with 148 problems per 100 vehicles, while Volvo had a rating of 122 PP100. Then came Subaru with a score of 115 PP110, which sat below both Chrysler and Mitsubishi with a rating of 111 PP100.

The car that had the lowest score with the least problems was the Porsche 911 with just 48 problems per 100 vehicles surveyed. J.D. Power didn't reveal what the most problematic car was.

The most troublesome area for new-car buyers continues to be with a vehicle's audio/communication/entertainment/navigation system. While the specific area improved for the third consecutive year, thanks to a decrease in complaints over Bluetooth pairing and voice recognition, it continues to be the area where new owners have the most problems.

High-tech safety features, despite being relatively new technology, didn't get that many complaints from new-car owners. Less than five PP100 were attributed to active safety technology, like lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control, and automatic emergency braking. While complaints remained low for 2018, J.D. Power believes that as the features become more mainstream, complaints for the technology will increase.

To get its findings, J.D. power studied 75,712 responses from purchasers and lessees of 2018 models surveyed after 90 days of ownership. Respondents had to answer a 233-question survey the company conducted between February and May. Because of a limited amount of customers or a small sample size, brands like Alfa Romeo, Tesla, Maserati, Fiat, Bentley, Smart, Ferrari, and Rolls Royce aren't in the results.

A full list of automakers based on their ratings is immediately below:

1. Genesis

2. Kia

3. Hyundai

4. Porsche

5. Ford

6. Chevrolet

7. Lincoln

8. Lexus

8. Ram

10. Nissan

11. BMW

12. Cadillac

12. MINI

14. Infiniti

14. Mercedes-Benz

16. Buick

17. Jeep

17. Toyota

19. Dodge

20. Acura

20. GMC

22. Mazda

23. Honda

24. Volkswagen

25. Audi

26. Chrysler

26. Mitsubishi

28. Subaru

29. Volvo

30. Jaguar

31. Land Rover

, Automotive Editor

Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia, but now calls Detroit home. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new food, wrenching on his car, and watching movies.