JD Power Initial Quality Study Sees Problems Hit a 36-Year High

·2 min read
Photo credit: Buick
Photo credit: Buick
  • Buick takes top honors in the latest JD Power Initial Quality Study.

  • The study sampled 84,165 new buyers and lessees and covered over 200 survey questions.

  • The latest study—which includes Tesla for the first time—shows 2022 as being the worst year in the study’s history.

While probably not a surprise to everyone, it appears supply chain issues have affected car quality. According to the latest JD Power Initial Quality Study, consumers are reporting 11 percent more initial quality problems than the prior year’s new models. Expected or not, according to JD Power, these initial problems reach a surprising 36-year high—the entire run of JD Power’s Initial Quality Study.

As far as the sample size, this is from a survey of 84,165 new buyers and lessees involving 223 questions. These surveys cover early ownership experience and important aspects of a vehicle like features, control and displays, as well as active safety features like driver aides. Of course, JD Power also asks questions about infotainment; with a focus on technology, it makes sense that a massive microchip supply shortage would have a big impact on these results.

It’s not all bad news—at least for everyone. According to the JD Power study, Buick takes top honors for fewest initial quality problems, with Dodge following closely. Genesis takes the top premium spot and narrowly bests Lexus by one problem per 100 cars. Unfortunately, chasing the pack for the second year in a row is Chrysler.

Joining the list for the first time, JD Power finally put some data behind Tesla’s initial quality anecdotes. Despite not meeting criteria for any awards, the study did throw Tesla into the mix. The score? Well, it lines up with Mitsubishi with the same 226 problems per 100 cars. That’s not great, to say the least.

It will be interesting to see if car companies can overcome the continued supply chain issues when the next new models start rolling into their respective dealerships. Hopefully the next JD Power initial quality doesn’t hit a 37-year high.

Have you purchased a new car and experienced some initial quality problems? Have you ever completed a JD Power survey? Let us know your experiences below.