J.D. Power Initial Quality Study points to a role for dealers

J.D. Power Initial Quality Study points to a role for dealers

The 2013 J.D. Power Initial Quality Study found that the problems car owners reported generally were related to design not defects. And some of the design problems can be helped with better explanation from the sales representative.

The study, which measures problems owners experience in the first 90 days of new-vehicle ownership, found that the design problems made up nearly two-thirds of the problems reported, and are far less likely to be successfully resolved at the dealership than manufacturing defects.

It may be that a component is working as designed, but owners consider it a problem because it is hard to understand or operate. Because design problems are not the result of a breakdown or malfunction, J.D. Power says that just 9 percent are taken to a dealership in the first 90 days of ownership. But the sales representative may be able to help by explaining how to use the technology when the vehicle is sold, said David Sargent, vice president of global automotive at J.D. Power.

Porsche, GMC and Lexus owners reported the fewest problems in this study. General Motors did well, too, receiving awards for eight models, including five for Chevrolet. Honda Civic was the highest ranked compact car, and Toyota Camry the top midsize car. The Honda CR-V was the top compact crossover, the Nissan Murano, the top midsize CUV and Chevrolet Tahoe, the top large CUV.

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