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- Overall, JD Power reports a record number of vehicle problems in the investigation’s 36-year history.
- Electric vehicle manufacturer Polestar scores lowest in JD Power’s 2022 quality study.
- Vehicle users find wireless connections to Apple CarPlay and Android Auto very problematic.
Quality isn’t what it once was when it comes to car production. And we’re not comparing things to the “good old days,” but to 2021.
A JD Power 2022 US Initial Quality Study reports that the number of problems per 100 vehicles increased by 11 percent in model year 2022 cars over 2021, reaching a record level of quality problems in the study’s 36-year history.
And don’t think electric vehicle manufacturers were immune to the concerns, with the Polestar EV brand being the last of the 36 brands. Tesla was tied for the 30th. This was the first year that Tesla Motors was included in the calculation.
“Overall, initial quality has steadily improved over the history of this study, so the drop this year is disappointing, but understandable,” said David Amodeo, director of global automotive at JD Power, says in a press release† “Automotives continue to launch vehicles that are becoming more and more technologically complex in an era when there are many shortages of essential components to support them.”
According to the survey, General Motors shone as the brightest of the companies and Buick was the highest quality brand. Buick’s rise was significant, rising from 12th in 2021.
To compile the list, more than 84,000 personal buyers and renters of new 2022 model year vehicles were surveyed at the start of the ownership period with 223 questions across nine categories. Questions include everything from infotainment system performance to exterior components and powertrains to vehicle features.
“Supply chain disruption, especially the shortage of microchips, has prompted automakers to seek alternative solutions to get new vehicles into the hands of buyers and renters,” Amodeo said. “In some cases, new vehicles are shipped without certain features installed. Communication with them about the changes in feature availability and when such features are restored is critical to their satisfaction.”
The research found that mass-market brands experienced fewer problems on average than premium brands, mainly because buyers of premium brands may expect more complex technology.
Infotainment systems presented the biggest problem – 45 problems per 100 vehicles – with six of the top 10 problem areas within that section, including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, touchscreen problems, Bluetooth systems, a lack of USB ports and audio volume problems.
The problems with advanced driving assistance decreased in 2021, but increased in 2022. The most problematic area was more than four problems per 100 vehicles in the Lane Departure Warning and Lane Keeping Assist system.
The good news for General Motors was an improvement across the brand, leading to nine awards from JD Power. Buick took the top brand award, while Dodge took second and Chevrolet third. Genesis was fourth overall, the top-ranked premium brand, outperforming Lexus and Cadillac. BMW succeeded GM as the company with the most model-level awards, while Hyundai Motor Group, Ford Motor Company and Toyota Motor Corporation received multiple model-level awards.
The top ranked cars include:
- Small car: Hyundai Accent
- Small premium car: BMW 2 Series
- Compact car: Kia Forte
- Compact premium car: Lexus IS
- Compact sports car: MINI Cooper
- Premium sports car: Chevrolet Corvette
- Medium car: Chevrolet Malibu
- Upper mid-range premium car: Genesis G80
- Large premium car: BMW 7 Series
The top-ranked SUVs, trucks, and vans include:
- Small SUV: Buick Encore GX
- Small premium SUV: BMW X1
- Compact SUV: Chevrolet Equinox
- Compact premium SUV: BMW X3
- Midsize SUV: Nissan Murano
- Mid-Size Premium SUV: Lincoln Nautilus
- Higher mid-sized SUV: Toyota 4Runner
- Upper Mid-Sized Premium SUV: Cadillac XT6
- Large SUV: Chevrolet Tahoe
- Large Premium SUV: Cadillac Escalade
- Minivan: Honda Odyssey
- Medium Pickup: Ford Ranger
- Large Light Pickup: Chevrolet Silverado
- Large Heavy Duty Pickup: Chevrolet Silverado HD
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