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Old 06-25-2020, 05:59 AM   #1
AVANTI R5
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Default J.D. Power Results Dodge First Tesla Last

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Dodge 1st domestic brand to top J.D. Power quality scorecard; Tesla ranks last, unofficially


DETROIT — Dodge became the first domestic brand to claim the top spot in J.D. Power's annual report card on new-vehicle quality, while Tesla unofficially finished last in its debut appearance in the study, now in its 34th year. Genesis was the top-ranked luxury brand for the fourth year in a row.

Following back-to-back podium sweeps by Korean brands, Detroit automakers claimed three of the top four slots in the closely watched Initial Quality Study, released Wednesday. The study measures the number of problems reported over the first 90 days of ownership.

The industry average — 166 problems per 100 vehicles — was much higher than last year's average of 93 problems per 100 vehicles because the study was redesigned this year for the first time since 2013, adding questions about a number of technologies that didn't exist in prior surveys.

"The higher problem levels we see in this year's study don't mean vehicle quality has worsened; rather, the redesigned study asks additional questions that allow owners to cite more of the problems that they are experiencing," Dave Sargent, vice president of automotive quality at J.D. Power, said in a statement.

Dodge, which tied with Kia for first place with 136 problems per 100 vehicles, was a surprise winner, with five models surveyed: Challenger, Charger, Journey, Grand Caravan and Durango. The brand, which landed in the top 10 last year for the first time, has not introduced a redesigned or new vehicle since the 2011 model year. Older models give brands several advantages: Vehicles aren't saddled with as many connected features that typically drag down scores, and engineers have had more time to fix whatever problems do exist.

Still, Sargent said Dodge's performance can be attributed to more than just an aging lineup.

"They've done a really good job improving their quality," Sargent told Automotive News. "It's not a fluke that they did well."

He cited widely praised technology such as Fiat Chrysler Automobiles' UConnect infotainment system.

Another FCA brand, Ram, tied Chevrolet for third place, with 141 problems per 100 vehicles.

Chevy boasted the highest-rated model, with owners reporting just 103 problems per 100 vehicles with the Sonic.

Kia, which achieved second-place finishes in 2019 and 2018, tied for first this year, marking its sixth-consecutive year as the top-ranked mass-market brand. Genesis and Mitsubishi rounded out the top five. Buick, GMC, Volkswagen, Hyundai, Jeep, Lexus, Nissan and Cadillac also finished above the industry average.

While every brand fared worse under the revised survey, some kept their increased number of problems at 60 or less: Mitsubishi, Volkswagen, Ram, Dodge, Chevrolet, Jeep, GMC, Buick and Jaguar.

Brands that posted 90 or more additional problems over 2019: Mazda, Porsche, Ford, Lincoln, Mercedes-Benz, Volvo, Audi and Land Rover.

Overall, the 2020 study found a majority of domestic brands performed better than average, while most premium brands fell short.

Luxury brands dominate the bottom of the survey: Land Rover, Audi, Volvo, Mercedes-Benz, Jaguar, Chrysler, Subaru, Porsche and Acura.

"The technologies the premium brands bring out are often more complex than on a mass-market vehicle, sometimes, arguably unnecessarily complex," Sargent said. "There's more features, so there's more to go wrong."

Alfa Romeo, with 118 problems per 100 vehicles surveyed in 2019, placing it near the bottom, was dropped from the 2020 study because of a low sample size.

Tesla's last-place finish is unofficial. The brand has consistently refused to grant J.D. Power permission to survey owners in 15 states, a requirement to participate.

Still, Sargent said his team interviewed 1,200 Tesla owners and feels confident in its ranking. Tesla owners experience 250 problems per 100 vehicles, 22 problems more than the second-worst-rated brand, Land Rover.

"The challenge Tesla faces is with the sort of basic manufacturing of the vehicle," Sargent said. "They're fairly new to volume manufacturing, and it's not easy."

He said most of Tesla's problems don't have anything to do with the battery or electric motor.

"The key message is the score isn't the way it is because they're an EV company," he said. "A lot of their challenges are in the exterior, things that other automakers would have had maybe 10 years ago but have solved."

The electric vehicle maker famously struggled with Model 3 sedan production in recent years and has reportedly had quality issues with the new Model Y crossover.

The 2020 Initial Quality Study is based on surveys of 87,282 buyers and lessees of new 2020 models. The survey, conducted from February through May, covers 223 questions across nine vehicle categories.

Infotainment remained the most troublesome category. The study found almost one-fourth of all new-vehicle problems stemmed from voice recognition; Android Auto/Apple CarPlay connectivity; touch screens; navigation systems; and Bluetooth connectivity.

The study also found that Japanese automakers, once synonymous with quality, have struggled to adapt with new features. Mitsubishi, Lexus and Nissan were the only Japanese brands to rank above average.

"W. Edwards Deming said, 'Quality is to fulfill the requirements of customers and satisfy them,' and Japanese automakers excelled at this for quite some time," Sargent said in the statement. "But some other automakers have surpassed them in recent years by understanding better what quality means for today's owners."
Autonews.com


J.D. Power Report Scores Tesla A Dismal Last, Yet Tesla Owners Love Their Cars
Brad Templeton
Car survey

JD Power report on new car quality has Tesla in a very bad position

The latest JD Power Survey of consumer problems with cars shows Tesla TSLA in a dismal last place, with an average of 2.5 problems reported per car. The average car has 1.66 problems. More basic brands like Dodge and Kia had almost half the problem reports. At the same time, Tesla owners (of which I am one) clearly love their vehicles. How do these two facts mesh?

First of all, Tesla is a brand-new car company and even fans and owners admit it has a quality control problem. It’s the thing they like least about their car.

The real reason for this number, though is that unlike any car that came before it, a Tesla is as much a computer as a car. And can you think of any computer you ever bought that had only 3 problems? The new JD Power scores are all worse because 1/4 of the problems come from the infotainment systems, which are also computers. They are buggy. The more complex you try to make a product, the more problems customers are likely to have with it. Apple AAPL has turned itself into the world’s most valuable company because they make computers which have fewer problems than others (at the sacrifice of many other values that people like.) Yet if you have an Apple computer, I bet you can still name a wide variety of problems you’ve had with it here or there. The Genius bars at Apple stores do not sit idle.

Other cars with reputations for quality, like Mercedes, Audi, Subaru and Acura are high up the list, and the reason is quite probably the same.

Those who study car quality are going to have to come up with new metrics to understand the different types of problems people have. If the radio needs rebooting that’s annoying, but that wasn’t even something on the list of possible problems not that long ago.

The Tesla bar is gray because Tesla declined to participate in 15 states where they have the power to refuse. They knew what this survey would show and probably did not want it, but JD Power found enough data in the other 35 states. And may have to learn new ways to study how many problems cars have.
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Old 06-25-2020, 09:15 AM   #2
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"Alfa Romeo, with 118 problems per 100 vehicles surveyed in 2019 was near the bottom"

Dodge, best this year, is at 138 per 100 vehicles as the best.

Pardon me if I'm missing something, but if Alfa stayed the same... at 118, it would have EMBARRASSED the the whole list, right?

Yeah. I'm thinking there's another reason why it was dropped more than "small sample size".

--kC
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Old 06-25-2020, 09:31 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by KC View Post
"Alfa Romeo, with 118 problems per 100 vehicles surveyed in 2019 was near the bottom"

Dodge, best this year, is at 138 per 100 vehicles as the best.

Pardon me if I'm missing something, but if Alfa stayed the same... at 118, it would have EMBARRASSED the the whole list, right?

Yeah. I'm thinking there's another reason why it was dropped more than "small sample size".

--kC
The study measures the number of problems reported over the first 90 days of ownership.
The industry average — 166 problems per 100 vehicles — was much higher than last year's average of 93 problems per 100 vehicles because the study was redesigned this year for the first time since 2013, adding questions about a number of technologies that didn't exist in prior surveys.


I trust JD power ratings about as far as I can throw a Dodge Charger.
I imagine Alfa's total this year would have increased significantly due to new criteria, just like everyone else's.
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Old 06-25-2020, 09:53 AM   #4
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AHhh. Didn't see that. Thanks.

--KC
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Old 06-25-2020, 09:53 AM   #5
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I never fill these out and neither do a a lot of people, so it's based on a very small sample of people who decided to fill them out. Take it with a grain of salt. It's not a good representation.
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Old 06-25-2020, 02:47 PM   #6
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I never fill these out and neither do a a lot of people, so it's based on a very small sample of people who decided to fill them out. Take it with a grain of salt. It's not a good representation.
How is it not fair? The use mathematical statistics so that every manufacturer is playing on the same field.
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Old 06-25-2020, 03:02 PM   #7
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How is it not fair? The use mathematical statistics so that every manufacturer is playing on the same field.
Not fair? I didn't say anything wasn't fair. I'm saying it's not a good representation as it's only taking a small sample of people who buys new cars..some demographics don't care to respond, like me. I toss those survey's in the trash unrelated to whether I like the car or not. Many do the same.
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Old 06-25-2020, 03:04 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by oichan View Post
I never fill these out and neither do a a lot of people, so it's based on a very small sample of people who decided to fill them out. Take it with a grain of salt. It's not a good representation.
Just because you don't fill them out it doesn't discount the people that actually do. All statistics are taken from sample sizes. Thousands of people fill them out after all and I feel this is the only way we can get reliable representation. You certainly aren't going to find it on brand forums. Once you throw in electronics and infotainment systems it's not hard to imagine Dodge doing good as UConnect is very simple and intuitive compared to some of the other more complex infotainment systems that some people may find difficult to master and Dodges in general are simpler vehicles using a lot of older tech and really if manufacturers really focus on quality control it is possible to turn things around as Hyundai has managed to do as well as VAG. Keep in mind this is "Initial Quality" so the true colors of a lot of these vehicles will probably show up later which is why the three year old dependability results are more important.
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Old 06-25-2020, 03:58 PM   #9
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Just because you don't fill them out it doesn't discount the people that actually do. All statistics are taken from sample sizes. Thousands of people fill them out after all and I feel this is the only way we can get reliable representation. You certainly aren't going to find it on brand forums. Once you throw in electronics and infotainment systems it's not hard to imagine Dodge doing good as UConnect is very simple and intuitive compared to some of the other more complex infotainment systems that some people may find difficult to master and Dodges in general are simpler vehicles using a lot of older tech and really if manufacturers really focus on quality control it is possible to turn things around as Hyundai has managed to do as well as VAG. Keep in mind this is "Initial Quality" so the true colors of a lot of these vehicles will probably show up later which is why the three year old dependability results are more important.
I agree with your comment about Dodge and UConnect. It just works. No fiddling needed.
I've owned a Charger RT for 5 years (purchased new on July of 2015); and, there's really nothing major to report.
But, then again, it's only been 36K miles, early days .
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Old 06-25-2020, 04:09 PM   #10
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If you were to ask the average car buyer, I think they would form this list in almost inverse order - though Telsa would still be at the bottom.

All of the top performing brands are ones that surprise me (minus Lexus). On the other hand, Honda, Toyota, Subaru, and Porsche did pretty terribly.
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Old 06-25-2020, 04:38 PM   #11
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Yeah, Nissan was right behind Lexus, huh?
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Old 06-25-2020, 04:54 PM   #12
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Yeah, Nissan was right behind Lexus, huh?
The Lexus infotainment system was rated I believe the worst in the industry for consumer satisfaction so it's likely a culprit.
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Old 06-25-2020, 04:58 PM   #13
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The Lexus infotainment system was rated I believe the worst in the industry for consumer satisfaction so it's likely a culprit.
As someone with a Lexus infotainment system, can confirm.
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