Kia tops new car quality survey for second straight year

Kia Tops JD Power's Initial Quality Nameplate Rankings For Second

Initial quality of each make was determined by the number of problems experienced per 100 vehicles.

"Automotive manufacturers are responding to consumer feedback and producing vehicles of the highest quality", said Dave Sargent, vice president, global automotive at J.D. Power. "Today's vehicles have more things that could go wrong but fewer things that actually do go wrong". Sargent puts Jag's poor score down to it launching most of its high-volume models past year. This marks the first time in the survey's 30-year history that two Korean brands have topped the list, a spokesman for J.D. Power said. Driver assistance features such as adaptive cruise control and lane-departure assist also are culprits in bringing certain brands down, Sargent notes.

The 31st annual study serves as the industry benchmark for new-vehicle quality measured at 90 days of ownership. "Consumers will need to be convinced that these systems are foolproof before they will give up driving control to autonomous vehicles", the study said. He reminds the crowd that for its first four years in the US market, Kia had been dead last on the IQS. Mass-market brands performed better than premium counterparts for only the third time since 1987, according to J.D. Power. "Any automaker that stands still will quickly start to fall behind". Brands with a lot of new vehicles or new technology tend to slip in the rankings.

"Japanese brands that once dominated the Top 10 among J.D. Powers" IQS rankings have suffered problems with audio/communications/entertainment/navigation (ACEN) systems, Sargent said. Hyundai's Genesis placed second with 77 problems, one fewer than third-ranked Porsche. Ford and Ram (86 PP100) tie for fourth.

Mini was the most improved brand in the survey, with owners reporting 94 problems per vehicle, down from 127 problems in 2016. Among the company's brands, only Ram trucks finished above average.

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Brands of Hyundai, General Motors Co GM.N and BMW were among the highest ranked in the survey.

Toyota Motor Corp.'s Kyushu 2 plant (Japan), which produces the Lexus ES and Lexus RX, receives the Platinum Plant Quality Award for producing models with the fewest defects or malfunctions.

J.D. Power also bestows plant-quality awards as part of IQS, based exclusively on defects and malfunctions, not design-related issues.

Genesis Motor America on Twitter ?

Domestic brands have scored better than imports in only three years (2010, 2016 and 2017). There were 13 brands in the premium segment.

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