It's probably the industry's most closely watched benchmark of quality and customer satisfaction for new vehicles, and the results of the 2013 J.D. Power Initial Quality survey are in. As a brand, Porsche tops the list overall, with just 80 problems per 100 vehicles, with GMC coming in second with 90 problems per 100 vehicles (PP100). Lexus, last year's top brand, came in third with 94 PP100.
All of General Motors's brands came in with fewer problems than the industry average of 113 PP100, with Buick ranking lowest at 109 PP 100. The Chevrolet brand came in fifth overall with 97 PP100.
In terms of the vehicle segment winners, GM also performed strongly, taking first place in two car categories, and five truck and SUV categories. The Buick Encore
tied the Kia Sportage in the Sub-Compact SUV category, and GM vehicles dominated in the Large, Large Premium, Large Light Duty and Large HD Pickup segments, with the Chevrolet Tahoe, Cadillac Escalade, Chevrolet Avalanche, and Chevrolet Silverado HD taking first place in each of the respective categories. In the Large Light Duty category, GM vehicles took the top three spots, with the Avalanche tied with the Sierra 1500, and the Silverado 1500 taking third. In the large HD segment, Silverado HD shared the spotlight with the GMC Sierra HD taking second.
Ford and Chrysler did not fare as well as GM overall, with the Chrysler brand tied with Buick for 109 PP100 vehicles, and the Ram brand coming in substantially below the industry average with 132 PP100. Lincoln came in right at the industry average of 113 problems per 100 vehicles. The Ford brand came in just above Ram with 131 PP100.
The study's authors noted that the majority of "quality" problems in newer cars are actually design issues, and not reliability or malfunction issues, noting that the majority of complaints stem from consumer frustrations with electronics such as navigation systems, voice controls and Bluetooth hands-free calling and audio.
Source: J.D. Power and Associates