Clear your mind, look deep into the results of the 2011 JD Power Initial Quality Survey, and what will you find? Based on my limited understanding of the human mind, I’d guess “something that helps prop up your established perspective on the world of cars.” But hey, feel free to prove me wrong. Meanwhile, lest we take any of this too seriously, let’s remember the wise words of Michael Karesh, who noted on last year’s results that
J.D. Power continues to assert that a low number of problems during the first 90 days of ownership should allay any concerns a car buyer might have about a car’s quality. But of course car buyers are most concerned about how a car will hold up in the long run.
Initial quality sometimes correlates with long-term durability, but there’s only a partial connection between the two. Initial quality can result from solid engineering, which will also benefit long-term durability. But strong initial quality can also follow from thorough inspections at the plant or dealer. Such inspections can catch and fix problems that happen to occur before delivery, but aren’t likely to reduce problems down the road.
Karesh’s seminal IQS critique can be found here.