By on June 22, 2013

 

IOS

 

J.D. Power published its 2013 Initial Quality Study IQS, and a miracle happened: Chevrolet jumped 10 spots  to number 5. The GMC brand even sits in #2.  In the real world, that puts GMC and Chevrolet in Place 2, along with Lexus and Infiniti.

When I interpreted these results in the olden days to a client, I told them not to read too much into the actual ranking. Place 6 and 16 are less than 7 percent apart, which is probably close to the precision of these studies.

I see six places, and they are on the chart. Others may see more.

The rankings have to be taken with even more than the usual grain of salt, because quality improved drastically. J.D. Power had to make new rules to stay in business. Only a third of the problems measured are actual malfunctions. Most of them are gripes, “because it may be difficult to understand or operate” a part of the car, as J,D. Power says.

An entertainment system that needs a little getting used to can send a car to the bottom rungs of the study.  Brands that have a high rate of conquests are especially susceptible, as customers need to re-learn  clicks and buttons.

All of GM’s brands, including Cadillac and Buick, performed better than the industry average. GM cars and trucks won eight top prizes as the best vehicles in their segments.

Probably very shockingly for Toyota, its Scion brand  is in the dead last spot. This will cause serious discussions in Toyota-shi. I remember when Volkswagen was close to that spot, and there weren’t enough fingers in Wolfsburg to supply the massive finger-pointing. Surprisingly, it was no career killer: Volkswagen’s Martin Winterkorn was head of quality assurance in those dark days. He was promoted to head of R&D and later to CEO.

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79 Comments on “A Miracle Happens: GM Makes Top Quality Cars...”


  • avatar
    hreardon

    Doesn’t IQS measure satisfaction over the first 3 – 6 months or something like that? To me that makes the IQS virtually worthless in trying to determine the overall quality/reliability of a car.

    My old boss used to tell me time and again: buyers are liars. They will *always* over-inflate how good of a deal they got and puff up how happy they are with a new car, even if they hate it. Nobody ever likes to admit they made a bad decision and everyone likes to tell a yarn of how they beat up the salesperson.

    My guess is that outside of people who are sorely disappointed in the choice they made or who truly got a lemon, they’re going to give mostly positive marks on this questionnaire.

    • 0 avatar
      mikey

      Sombody please tell “Highdesercat”

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        Why?

        I stipulate that GM has come a long way since the days of darkness. When you’re on the bottom, there’s but one way to go, and that is up. ALL American car makers have made radical improvements in quality since 2008; first and foremost Ford.

        I’m all for GM making better products. I think it is great! Has it won back sales lost? I don’t think so.

        The trick now is to convince the actual buyers in the real world to take a chance again if they previously owned one of GM’s rolling junk vehicles. Sales of GM vehicles since the bailout and nationalization haven’t exactly been whoopie. Why is that if GM makes Top Quality Cars?

        Secondly, the future of Ford and GM, the only American car makers left, hinges on the purchases of today’s first-time buyers. From that perspective, Ford blows GM away with the type of stuff that draws young people to look at Ford vehicles like flies to sh1t.

        My generation is dying off and those of us who abandoned Ford and GM because of our own past ownership experiences with them are unlikely to come back and buy our “last” vehicle from GM or Ford. Well, unless we were UAW members…

        More than likely that last vehicle will be a foreign brand, maybe even a Chrysler 300. I sure see a lot of old dudes driving 300s in the gas&sip where I live, and everywhere I’ve been lately away from home.

        • 0 avatar
          DeadWeight

          “ALL American car makers have made radical improvements in quality since 2008; first and foremost Ford.”

          Actually, if one assigns far greater weight to the manner by which quality issues are tracked, tabulated, weighted, then reported to Consumer Reports, rather than the joke that has become J.D. Powers, Ford has not only fallen dramatically on relative scale to General Motors & Chrysler in terms of quality, but Ford has fallen more dramatically in absolute & nominal terms when it comes to quality and reliability compared to ANY other manufacturer, since 2008.

          Ford has a quality control CRISIS on its hands. That statement is objectively true.

          I predict that Ford will soon have a long term dependability/reliability crisis, as the new models it has unveiled, with their ecoboost motor, PowerShift transmission, and electrical and electronic woes, leading to a rising tide of owner dissatisfaction and mass defection to other manufacturers.

    • 0 avatar
      Davekaybsc

      IQS is indeed meaningless. Unless you happen to get a lemon, most of the “problems” are probably people griping about touch screens that aren’t responsive enough, or bluetooth pairing that’s too hard to figure out.

      The truest indicator used to be the “long term dependability” study that went out to 5 years, but they killed that off. Most warranties are over by that point, so I guess manufacturers figure it’s someone else’s problem. Now they only measure to 3 years, which is still a lot better than the IQS.

      Much more useful than IQS in terms of actual reliability as opposed to satisfaction with NAV systems are TSB lists. If there are loads of TSBs right away, it might be wise to consider something else.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      It’s not used to determine the long term reliability of a car. That’s why they call it an “initial” quality survey.

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    This is the most useless study/metric, EVER.

    The fact that it is widely cited and is given even a patina of respect among some in the auto industry speaks more to the marketing prowess of J.D. Powers than any element relating to actual quality.

    And no, I’m not saying General Motors hasn’t made progress in producing vehicles having better quality – some even deserving a reputation for being reliable – because they most definitely have.

    I am saying that this idiotic and highly unscientific IQS, that has a horrendously pathetic signal-to-noise-ratio, is devoid of any utility in its ability to convey any useful information regarding actual quality (initial, or otherwise) regarding vehicles.

    • 0 avatar
      Tosh

      You’re just sour about Jaguar, the authentic miracle on this list…

    • 0 avatar
      jpolicke

      DW, I don’t think it’s as flawed as you, or DaveK, or hreardon make it out to be, it’s just more complicated a measurement than, say, long-term reliability. As was said, buyers want to be delighted with their purchase, they want to brag about the deal they got, how well everything went. For this reason alone, if they are NOT saying those things, then that’s proof there’s a problem. Something is making them unhappy with their car. The problem is, there may be nothing at all wrong with the car. There is a long process between the decision to buy and driving away, and if that process isn’t handled right, well, there’s a low IQS rating on the way. When I bought my Jeep, I came close to walking out of the dealer after having a literal shouting match with the F&I guy when I turned down his extended warranty. I never drove home with a new car feeling thoroughly p-o’ed before (or after), and I was ready to pounce on anything less than perfection. New cars have a lot of complicated equipment that may be totally unfamiliar to their owners. When I picked up my Challenger (from a different CJD dealer!) the salesman stood out in the rain while he made sure I knew how to sync my phone and use most of the functions of the UConnect. Rush this part of the delivery and you will have someone that’s frustrated. Some manufacturers use shoddy brake pads. I had a Contour that I swear Ford made the pads for from coal. The wheels were filthy after 200 miles. How many complaints about “brakes” could have been avoided with a smarter choice of materials? I tend to believe that there is something real about all these scores, but it takes some extra digging to extract the causes.

  • avatar
    nickoo

    I highly doubt scion is actually at the bottom, any owners or those familiar with the brand care to chime in?

    It is good to see GM move up, they have always made at least one good car, but they have also always made many bad cars for many decades and those are the cars that people remember because often they were among the best sellers, GM finally figured it out and killed off all of their bad cars.

    I love the idea of a Porshe, are they still galvanized? Are they really as good as this chart suggests?

    Also, including infotainment issues makes this chart largely a measure of consumer inexperience with a car, not actual problems.

    • 0 avatar
      Xeranar

      My xB is 5 years old. It’s the much maligned 2nd generation model. How it was bottom surpasses me. The cars are bolted together as tight as any toyota and while their finish is fisher price in nature it is literally indestructible. My car has air vents that should be studied and replicated. They have fully rotatable ball bearing sleeves that allow them to flow in any direction.

      I broke the door card beacause of my strength/weight. It was replaced for free as a courtesy. Otherwise the car runs near perfect. I was at the dealer and saw the new touchscreen which probably is what is bringing them down.

    • 0 avatar
      toplessFC3Sman

      The FRS doesn’t actually cure cancer, bring people back from the dead, and make it rain puppies & kittens from a giant rainbow as buyers were lead to believe – upon discovering the absence of these features, scion’s IQS score plummeted.

      Definitely the only explanation…

  • avatar
    Conslaw

    The C-max Hybrid was at the bottom of this survey. By coincidence, I just hit the 3 month mark with mine, and it has been perfect, and it is a lot more engaging to drive than any of the GM economy cars.

    • 0 avatar
      Summicron

      You’re comparing a C-Max at north of 26K with economy cars?

    • 0 avatar
      cgjeep

      The CMAX I rented had a MSRP of 32k, not in the same league as a GM economy car. I like the car a very much and it was an awesome trip car; very quite, nice ride, and very comfortable seats. But engaging to drive it is not. It has stable handling but is one of the most boring cars I can recall driving. I seriously thought about buying one but the lack of engagement and small truck kept me from pulling the trigger. But was very impressed with the refinement of it. Can’t imagine a better commuter but wouldn’t want to go take it on a drive on Saturdays.

  • avatar

    Chrysler beat BMW and LINCOLN. LULZ

  • avatar
    Summicron

    I wonder what the IQS would’ve been on the Citation.

  • avatar
    cgjeep

    I think the Scion numbers are so low because all those TC owners thought they got a performance car and watching all those camcords blow by has to hurt.

  • avatar

    It was nice to see a small comment from Mikey, I was thinking of him today when I was listening to Radio Show on Cars and one listener called in to say he had just ordered a 2014 Impala, but the cost blew me away, over $47,000 dollars Canadian, I know this is a redesign of the Impala but come on, the cost is way out of line imho!

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      I agree, $47k for the new Impala seems a tad optimistic as soon as a prospective buyer walks onto competitor lot to see what 47k can buy. Another pinnacle of optimism is the Lincoln MKS for which they seem to ask around 60k.

  • avatar
    Geekcarlover

    Infiniti near the top, Nissan almost last. Are they really that different?

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      Most US market Infinitis are assembled in Japan while most US market Nissans are assembled in Mexico or the US. Assembly point could be a factor in some cases, or possibly the quality of materials between the two.

    • 0 avatar
      onyxtape

      Having driven both a Japan-source G37 and a Tennessee-sourced Maxima – even though they’re separated by a small amount of MSRP, the touch-feel qualities between the two are vast. And looking at the reliability ratings for the 2 on TrueDelta shows that they’re not anywhere near the same.

  • avatar
    Tstag

    Er good result for Land Rover?

  • avatar
    ckgs

    I’m confused, aren’t we supposed to use this thread to explain why JD Power is a flawed metric and methodology and therefore cannot be taken seriously?

    • 0 avatar
      Kinosh

      Jdp changed both the wording of some questions and the format it is distributed in. It is now completed electronically. I work in the Quality department of a major OEM, you CANNOT compare the new survey to the last.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        The only metric that really counts is the personal experience an owner has with that new vehicle; IQS, at one year, at three years, at five years, until they get a new one.

        For instance, I’ve had an excellent ownership experience with each of my three new vehicles purchased since 2008. But those same vehicles are ranked pretty low in other ownership surveys because other people had problems with them that required warranty fixes.

        IQS may be a baseline but what drives repeat sales is how well the vehicle holds up over time.

        IMO both Ford and GM have made major strides in the improvement of their vehicles since 2008.

  • avatar

    The fact that Toyota is in 7th place and Scion (a Toyota with a different badge) is dead last shows how meaningless J.D. Power’s IQS is.

    ” J.D. Power had to make new rules to stay in business”

    Really? With these new rules I’m afraid they loose any kind of credibility.
    Sounds like these new rules are dictated by big money and/or politics.

    • 0 avatar
      gottacook

      Consumer Reports’ detailed surveys are a lot more specific, but their results have reflected this same phenomenon. For example, both the final-generation Chevy Prizm and its twin the Corolla were products of the same NUMMI plant, yet received non-identical ratings from CR subscribers for similarly aged drivetrains, brakes, and other systems that had to be identical.

      • 0 avatar
        onyxtape

        Just because it’s the same factory doesn’t mean they have to be made to the same specs.

        I’ve worked at plenty of companies where they assign an “A” team to certain, more important, products while less important/lower margin product lines get the “B” or “C” teams.

        Many manufacturers have special “Walmart” assembly lines. Fridges that have a few pieces of seal or insulation taken out for cost. TVs that use different lower-cost spec components, etc.

    • 0 avatar
      jpolicke

      Something horrible had to have taken place with Scion; they used to score higher than the Toyota brand itself. Could it possibly have something to do with the FRS, being the only model without a Toyota powertrain (and Subaru not exactly in a position on this list to brag about)?

  • avatar
    geozinger

    ” Surprisingly, it was no career killer: Volkswagen’s Martin Winterkorn was head of quality assurance in those dark days. He was promoted to head of R&D and later to CEO.”

    Maybe Susan Docherty should have worked for VW, not GM…

  • avatar
    myheadhertz

    Land Rover FAAAR better than Scion? Guess the Land Rover’s electrical connectors perform flawlessly during the first 6 months of ownership.

  • avatar
    ajla

    What I find interesting is that in 2012 the average was 102, this year it was 113. Very few brands actually made gains in the 2013 survey.

    Is this because JD Power changed their survey?

    Or, are people now looking at their vehicles with a more critical eye and they aren’t meeting higher expectations?

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      Read another story and said overall quality slipped from the record high of 2012 – mostly around confusing/wonky infotainment systems.

      I have mixed feelings. During the Vietnam War, the Pentagon would review audio from pilots shot down. The radar and missile warning alarms were clearly going off, along with typical six or seven other alarms (like BINGO fuel, or excessive G’s, or weapons status, and all at the same time). The pilot became so overwhelmed with the input all at the same time, their brains actively started ignoring the warnings – and with the systems literally screaming to take evasive action, they just kept flying. The alarms were stripped out, the HUD got a lot more information, and information was provided in context. If you’re ass is about to get shot down, the fact that you’re getting into your BINGO fuel, not as important in the moment.

      I see infotainment having this same problem. Drivers are overwhelmed with a sea of data that is there to errrr, help them. Interesting, Chrysler appears to have the best answer. I think Ford is close, their issues being more on reliability and improving context. The idea of the four section display makes sense (at least to me) and giving you a context screen in the dash cluster.

      The secret is making it truly intuitive (al a Apple iPhone / iPad) and no one is there yet. I think in a few years, we’ll see a return of buttons with touch interfaces that are much cleaner/lighter.

  • avatar
    Summicron

    Jeez.. “Super” as the top ranking…. stop making me think of Big Gay Al.

  • avatar
    Volt 230

    What the hell is happening at Scion? they’re usually near the top, the only new car is the FR-S but I don’t believe they sell enough to put the brand so far down from previous surveys.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      The FR-S is actually Scion’s top seller. The FR-S and iQ hurt Scion a lot.

      Both vehicles received a 2/5 in many of their IQS categories and got no 5/5s. That’s really bad for scoring purposes.

      The tC and xB both are about midpack and the xD rates slightly above average, but it doesn’t look like it was enough to offset the other two.

      The BRZ hurt Subaru as well.

  • avatar

    Do you know how ridiculous are all these comments from self-designated “armchair experts” and “trolls”? Even before you open your mouth I know what you will say. Did you make a thorough analysis of the study to declare it incorrect? Why do you expect IQS to predict long term reliability? It is called IQS for reason, it is not a reliability study at all. It says INITIAL QUALITY not even initial reliability! If you have a data to prove JD Powers IQS (or CR ratings for that matter) is a bogus then sue them. Why Scion does not sue them – they have all money and lawyers in the world. Take action instead of polluting Internet with useless BS. Do you know how much additional workload you create for NSA – they waste energy on their servers (and we taxpayers have to pay for it) and have to go through all this BS everyday to sort out things to protect the country.

    • 0 avatar
      wsn

      If so many people got confused with the term, that means “quality” is vague enough that JDP should have used a different term.

    • 0 avatar
      hreardon

      I don’t think anyone is saying it is necessarily incorrect, I think that what everyone is questioning is just how important the initial quality survey is. If you were to ask someone how important a factor the initial quality or the long term quality of a vehicle is I think the vast majority would say: long term.

      The fact is that if you build cars today, they sure as heck better be virtually flawless out of the gate otherwise you shouldn’t even bother trying to compete. The fact that so many manufacturers come within a few points of each other is a good thing.

      Again, it’s not a question of how correct the study is, it’s a question as to the usefulness of the metric. JDP is trying to keep themselves relevant.

  • avatar
    Zackman

    Aha! My inkling was true all along! My 2012 Impala truly IS one of the best cars on the planet!

    But I knew that all along… ;}

  • avatar
    suspekt

    GM makes great cars. I don’t understand Bertel’s naked hatred for them but I suspekt he has deep knowledge of the DEEP politics behind the maccinations of global automakers. There is much he alludes to but never comes outright and says. Bertel, I really wish you would share with us your views on what GM really is? What Toyota really is? What the recent BMW-Toyota alliance really means?

    Best wishes

  • avatar
    Crosley

    Sure.

    Chevrolet makes a more reliable car than Acura, Honda and Toyota.
    And Jaguar builds a more reliable car than Subaru.

    JD Power is worthless.

    I know all of these types of studies have flaws, but I think Consumer Reports is a much better guide to reliability. They seem to have lined up pretty well with my individual experiences and anecdotes of friends and relatives.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      As far as I know the IQS doesn’t claim to a reliability survey.

      JD Power admits that over 2/3 of complaints recorded this year were design/usability issues related to properly functioning components.

      IQS is more of an owner satisfaction, ergonomics, and sales-force quality grade than a reliability score.

  • avatar
    krayzie

    “Volkswagen’s Martin Winterkorn was head of quality assurance in those dark days. He was promoted to head of R&D and later to CEO.”

    Ensuring eternal job security for VW techs all around the world until the end of civilization.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    …Probably very shockingly for Toyota, its Scion brand is in the dead last spot…

    Not surprised. The FR-S launch had all sorts of problems. Early, very highly discussed failures, water in the taillights, strange noises, ECM failures. It was a less than stellar showing – and the buyers were pumped up enthusiasts that dealt with five years of hype waiting for the Celica, errr, FT-86, errrr, FR-S to finally show up. When it did, it was a very shaky roll out. So I’m not surprised that anyone who got a survey from JD Power and had a FR-S couldn’t wait to fill out their forms. Buyers are far more likely to complain than praise.

    GM has made significant strides – and Ford has issues with infotainment, wonky dual-clutch automatic trannies, and a growing noisy minority not enamored with the questionable promises of EcoBoost.

    GM taking a page from the Toyota playbook and slapping the 3.6L V6 with the 6-speed auto in just about anything with wheels is definitely paying dividends. As much as haters dismiss pushrods, just as Ford does amazing stuff with live axles, GM does AMAZINGBALLS stuff with pushrods. If someone wanted to give most of the B&B an LSA or LS7 crate engine I think very few would say stick it up your butt, pushrods, suck.

    [INSERT BLIND HATE HERE - AND STICK AN LSA ENGINE UP YOUR BUTT]

    • 0 avatar
      wmba

      “GM taking a page from the Toyota playbook and slapping the 3.6L V6 with the 6-speed auto in just about anything with wheels is definitely paying dividends. As much as haters dismiss pushrods ….”

      Yes, indeed, the 3.6 liter GM High Feature V6, a DOHC engine, wherein a pushrod has not been allowed to sit, even for old tomed sake.

      • 0 avatar
        danio3834

        I think what he’s getting at is the fact that the majority of GMC branded products have pushrod motors, and gave the 3.6L an honorable mention.

        • 0 avatar
          APaGttH

          You are correct. A lot of pushrods at GM, the 3.6L V6 not being one of them.

          Hardcore haters dismiss pushrods, just as they dismiss live axle and 4-speed automatics.

          • 0 avatar
            danio3834

            I agree with the fact that most pushrod hate is based in ignorance. 4 speed autos vs. say 6 or 8 speeds? Well, they have they ups and downs.

    • 0 avatar
      krayzie

      And maybe Toyota took a page out of GM also. When I went to check out the FRS cockpit at the local dealership showroom floor, I decided to move the sun visor out to the side and it literally hit my face. How did the design make it thru QA to begin with. This reminds me of how the Sunfire sun visor would hit the center rear view mirror when flipping it down.

  • avatar
    Kinosh

    IQS measures the first thirty days of ownership. Every automaker is getting KILLED by their multimedia systems. They account for about a quarter to a third of the PPH scores.

    The measurement method has also changed. The true story is much closer to last year’s results….

  • avatar
    ihatetrees

    IQS is horrific. The best metric I’ve heard of is the fraction of cars from a given model’s year that are still on the road 5, 8, 12 years down the line.
    This info should be widely available from state registration databases. Since it is not, I suspect there’s pressure from OEM’s to keep it hidden. /foilHat .
    Then again, the extended warranty firms have solid data regarding a model year’s reliability and TCO. Anyone know the source of their data?

  • avatar
    CelticPete

    Almost all modern cars are pretty reliable. The only ones I be actually scared to buy are Jaguar and Land Rover. People on this site hold onto the myth that anything that’s not Japanese is going to break into pieces while you are driving down the road..

    Anytime there is some data which says otherwise – cognitive dissonance reigns. Oh hey look Volkswagen beats Mazda. Don’t get me wrong – this survey has plenty of ‘noise’ in it. But that’s because of the overall high quality of cars that are available..

    I get it though. Personally I wouldn’t think twice about buying a Mazda. And would be pretty wary of VW. It’s really hard to change perception. Objectively speaking companies have really closed the quality and reliability gap.

  • avatar
    wmba

    Yup, Scion and Subaru have been stung by the 86. Now the direct injector seals are failing, allowing leakage to the outside air and making sounds like firecrackers. Add that to at least a dozen common problems.

    The car is an utter disaster. Go to the main fanboi site, ft86club.com, and there are 25 pages with 25 topics per page of warranty and general problems. It’s only a secret to Subaru, whose head is so far in the sand that only an earthquake or a Komatsu heavy duty front end loader can extricate it. Toyota is at least trying to appear semi-concerned.

    Knew that engine was an unhappy thing when I drove it a year ago.

    • 0 avatar
      nickoo

      Subaru can’t build a boxer engine worth a pile of beans and hasn’t been able to since they quit building the closed deck non-interference block 2.2L, which was something like 15 years ago. Recently the quality and design of the rest of their cars has fallen as well. Anyone buying a Subaru today is either an enthusiast, which I get because ‘WRX is still a heck of a performance hatch, someone who absolutely needs “real” AWD, and lives in the north, or a poorly informed shopper. If Toyota or Honda were to come out with AWD systems that were as good as the type that subaru uses, I doubt subaru would even be around in 5 years.

  • avatar
    shaker

    My three weeks with my 2013 Malibu would get very high marks on such a survey – but time will tell, I’m sure.

    In a few weeks, I’ll be writing a customer review in CR.

  • avatar
    doctor olds

    It only seems like a miracle if your perception of reality is flawed (as it clearly is imho!). I wondered how and when TTAC would acknowledge this result. GM has been doing well in such quality surveys for a years now because they are producing very high quality products that provide real customer satisfaction. Just a few years ago, a 2006 Cobalt Powertrain was rated much more satisfying in long term dependability than the Civic, as one small example where the GM product demonstrated better quality than the illustrious Japanese model.

    As a matter of fact, GM Powertrain was the quality leader in the industry, ahead of even Toyota in engine and transmission satisfaction before I retired in 2008. The rest of the vehicle was not quite up to snuff, then. Bright spots of GM’s quality have existed for years and have blossomed into the current state of GM leading the quality parade in overall satisfaction as well.

    It is not limited to initial build quality, either. The recent JD Power long term dependability rankings placed GM second only to Toyota, and well ahead of Honda & Ford who tied for a distant third place in top quality models.

    It is fair to point out the spread between top and bottom is relatively narrow and that there can be great movement. Audi fell something like 14 places not long ago, if memory serves. At the same time, this is the fairest, most objective representation of customer’s subjective impression of the products. It proves that GM is in the hunt with the best of the best.

    It is fascinating, perhaps a sign of mental illness (?), that folks cite there own opinions over data regardless of what the real world tells them.
    They feel compelled to refute independent surveys of thousands of real owners of real vehicles in the real world as wrong because the world is refuting their non-data based opinion. The facts tell a very different story than is popular here.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    JD Power Initial QUALITY survey is not about reliability. However it is a valuable metric that indicates owner satisfaction, regardless (to an extent) of quality.

    Owners that experience a low number of problems out of the gate, and don’t have to visit the dealer are going to be happier, long term, than owners that had to go back to the dealer in the first few months of ownership. What this points to, as a leading indicator in product and marketing speak, is the overall satisfaction, long term, the owner will have.

    As many have noted above, Scion took a beating because of the FT-86. Many of those buyers were also new to Scion. Now the FT-86 may long term prove out to be “reliable” but those early owners with all the problems are probably not likely to buy another Scion, even if the kinks are worked out and longer term reliability proves out.

    As a measure of RELIABILITY, it is a useless tool. As an indicator of owner satisfaction, and long term view on brand selection and loyalty, it is a very good indicator. The good thing for GM in these numbers is as some specific models are getting more than 50% brand conquest (e.g. not GM repeat buyers but cross over buyers from other brands) these people are happy with their early experience. It is a leading indicator that these same people will be more likely to buy a GM product (or a Porsche, or a Lexus, or a…other at the top of the list) because the initial experience was good.

    Don’t think first impressions count? This is what this score really is about.

    • 0 avatar
      jkross22

      Actually, it’s saying that Land Rover owners bitch less than Jeep owners do. That’s what IQS is really about.

      That’s much more interesting and surprising.

    • 0 avatar
      jkross22

      “However it is a valuable metric that indicates owner satisfaction”

      Well, they track complaints that new owners have. Someone complaining about water spots on the dash after the interior was cleaned counts as a ding on IQS. This is a real example, by the way.

      So no, it is not a valuable metric.

      • 0 avatar
        APaGttH

        Was that example in this years data? JDP changed methodology about 3 years ago to eliminate such complaints, TTaC wrote a story about that when Karesh was writing here.

  • avatar
    segfault

    As others have noted, IQS is a worthless metric. The VDS tracks repairs over 3 years and is more useful. I’d be more interested in a metric which tracks repairs (and cost of repairs) for the first 24-48 months *after* the warranty expires.

  • avatar
    mkirk

    Wow, so what this is saying to me is that if I want a 4×4, I am better off with a Land Rover than a Jeep. Awesome.

  • avatar
    gslippy

    This survey doesn’t match my experiences.

    My 05 Scion xB was nearly perfect, and made exactly 1 unscheduled trip to the dealer in 7 years. Of course, I don’t know what they’ve done since then.

    My 05 Odyssey was a lemon; it had 7 actual problems in its first week.

    My 12 Leaf has been perfect so far (8 months), quality-wise, but I hate the navigation system. I wouldn’t give it bad marks for that.

    This metric seems tailor-made for mfrs to use as advertising fodder.

  • avatar
    Phil Ressler

    2006 Cadillac XLR-V: no problems not related to the driver embracing a 443hp car. Still driving it in 2013. Along the way, it has needed a supercharger tensioner, brake pads and tires.

    2006 Cadillac CTS-V: no trouble at all. GM recalled the car for the rear pinion seal replacement. That was done, though the leak hadn’t materialized.

    2010 Cadillac CTS-V: no problems whatsoever.

    2010 Cadillac SRX AWD 2.8L V6 Turbo: no problems whatsoever.

    2013 Chevrolet Volt: A transmission control solenoid failed on day two of ownership. GM repaired this, and loaned me a Camaro during the shop time. No problems since. The car has been in every way stellar. 133 mpg lifetime average (since Dec 2013) as of today.

    I also had a 1996 Corvette LT4 for nearly a decade. At 90,000 miles it needed a new valve cover gasket, and a new battery at 107,000 miles.

    So none of this is surprising to me. It would be difficult to find cars more reliable in initial quality or sustained operation than the GM cars I’ve owned in the last 17 years.

    Phil


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