The J.D. Power 2023 U.S. Initial Quality Study is officially out, and it highlights how newer vehicles are becoming more and more problematic. Why? Because automakers – especially luxury brands – keep cramming more technology to lure in more buyers looking for the largest touchscreens, the best voice control system, smartphone-aided remote parking, and whatnot. Gimmicks aside, the study points out even safety systems are causing more issues than in previous years, particularly lane departure warning/lane keeping assistance and forward collision warning/automatic emergency braking.
According to new research, cars have 192 issues on average per 100 vehicles. That’s an extra 12 problems over 2022 and 30 more compared to the year before. BMW perfectly matched the industry average with 192 issues per 100 cars. Compared to last year, the figure has worryingly increased by 27. Although your favorite brand didn’t necessarily excel, it still came ahead of its main German rivals Mercedes (201 problems) and Audi (221 problems). It also bested Land Rover, Mazda, Acura, Lincoln, Infiniti, and Volvo.
Although BMW was perfectly average, the 8 Series was the highest-ranked Large Premium Car. In addition, the 2 Series Coupe finished third in the Small Premium Car class while the 4 Series was fourth in the Compact Premium Car category. Other notable mentions include the 5 Series tied with the Audi A6 for third place in the Upper Midsize Premium Car as well as the X4 in second place among Compact Premium SUVs. In the Upper Midsize Premium SUV class, the X6 and X5 were second and third, respectively.
As for MINI, it fared considerably better than BMW since owners reported “only” 179 issues per 100 vehicles, and triumphed in the Sporty Compact Car segment with the Cooper. The brand with the fewest problems was Dodge with 140, followed closely by Ram with 141, and Alfa Romeo with 143. At the bottom of the rankings were Tesla with 257 and Volvo’s spin-off Polestar with a whopping 313 issues. It should be mentioned these two EV brands did not meet the criteria since J.D. Power didn’t have access to customer data in the 15 states where manufacturer consent is mandatory. Their respective numbers were calculated using data only from other states, so the results don’t tell the full story.
Compared to last year, J.D. Power points out Maserati had the biggest jump in quality as owners reported 73 fewer issues. Alfa Romeo, another fabled Italian brand, also had a remarkable year-over-year improvement with 68 fewer problems.
Source: J.D. Power