2011 Porsche Panamera 4

2011 Porsche Panamera 4

For the first time in the 24 years that the J.D. Power and Associates Initial Quality Study has been conducted, the domestic brands have managed to surpass the imports. Led by new entries from Ford and General Motors, domestic brands, as a whole, have done better but four out of the five top places still went to the imports.

Overall, the industry average for initial quality is 109 problems per 100 vehicles (PP100) in 2010, increasing slightly from 108 PP100 in 2009. However, initial quality for domestic brands as a whole has improved by 4 PP100 in 2010 to an average of 108 PP100--slightly better than the initial quality of import brands, which averages 109 PP100 in 2010.

Top honors went to Porsche, which had just 83 PP100 on average, followed closely by Acura on 86, Mercedes-Benz on 87, Lexus on 88 and Ford close behind on 93. The top spot in 2009 went to Lexus.

According to the findings, substantial improvements by many domestic models--including the Ford Focus, Ram 1500 LD and Buick Enclave--drove the overall improvement of domestic automakers in 2010.

Each year the Initial Quality Study compiles the statistics on the number of problems new owners face over the first 90 days of ownership. The study claims to be an excellent predictor of long-term durability, and therefore a good basis for consumer decisions on new car models that don't yet have a proven track record.

This is because high quality generally translates into reduced re-engineering costs and lower warranty expenses during a vehicle’s life cycle. High quality, or at least the perception of, can also enhance an automaker’s reputation for reliability, which is a critical purchase consideration for many consumers these days.

Incidentally, of the brands surveyed, last place went to Land Rover, which suffered from an average of 170 problems per hundred vehicles.

Below is a list of the top 100 brands and their associated PP100:
Porsche 83
Acura 86
Mercedes-Benz 87
Lexus 88
Ford 93
Honda 95
Hyundai 102
Lincoln 106
Infiniti 107
Volvo 109

[J.D. Power and Associates]