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A difficult 12 months for Japanese manufacturing giant Toyota Motor Co and some near faultless launches by the Detroit Three has seen US manufacturers outperform imports for the first time in the J.D. Power 2010 Model Year quality rankings.

Led by vehicles like the Buick Enclave, Ram 1500 and Ford Focus, Ford Motor Co, General Motors and Chrysler Group averaged 108 problems per 100 vehicles, compared with 109 problems/100 vehicles for European and Asian manufacturers combined.

Ford came in at fifth position overall with 93 problems/100 vehicles, while Toyota slipped from sixth in 2009 to 21st this year with a score of 117.

German luxury brands Porsche and Mercedes-Benz ranked first and third respectively on 83 and 87, while Acura (86, second) and Lexus (88, fourth) filled the gaps in the top five.

Land Rover took out bottom spot with 170 problems/100 vehicles, while MINI (133) was rated the greatest improver on 2009’s results.

Despite Toyota’s troubles with recalls it still managed to record the most segment wins, with six vehicles – Lexus GS, LS460, GX460, Toyota FJ Cruiser, Sienna, and ScionxB – outperforming their competitors.

Ford’s four segment winners were all in the car categories – Ford Focus, Mustang, Taurus, and Volvo C70 – while GM’s three winner were trucks – Cadillac Escalade, Chevrolet Tahoe, Avalanche and GMC Sierra LD (tied together).

The survey’s report noted that the quality of all-new vehicles – especially from Porsche, Mercedes-Benz, Lexus, Ford and Honda – was better than in previous years. Historically, carry-over models and vehicles with smaller updates experience fewer problems.

Now in its 24th year, the report noted that very few problems have to do with “the oily parts” of new vehicles, with technology like cameras and Bluetooth now causing the most headaches for owners and manufactures.

J.D. Power results are based on a survey of 82,000 new vehicles after 90 days of ownership.

(with Automotive News)

  • http://www.facebook.com/sammo.8191 Sam Moss

    It’s excellent to see that the Germans are still going extremely well at the top of the charts; but no surprises there really.

    I wonder how the Koreans went?

    Deutsch Autos sind besser als diejenigen Koreanisch!

    • http://www.caradvice.com.au Tim Beissmann

      Hi Sam

      Hyundai was 7th on 102 and Kia was equal 25th (eight from the bottom) on 126.

      • Fenno

        Strange considering they are built in the same factory.

    • Dave

      The Germans haven’t truly excelled in the past. I recall seeing M-B, BMW and Audi around the middle of the pack in previous years, with VW almost dead last.

    • Jabba the Hut

      Aren’t BMW and VW German Sam? Not so good there and I’m certainly not surprised by those results.

      BMW ‘s reliability has slipped over the past decade.

      • http://www.facebook.com/sammo.8191 Sam Moss

        Well VW’s result wasn’t great, most probably due to its extensive outsourcing.

        But all the other Germanic manufacturers still out-performed a whole suite of manufacturers that are considered in Australia to be the ‘most reliable’ – most notably Toyota and Subaru in 21st and 22nd place.

        All of the German manufacturers bar VW fall within the top half of the list – a very good result in my books.

        • Jabba the Hut

          So explain your comments regarding the Koreans when Hyundai are once again right up the list.

          It’s a feat that’s even more remarkable when you consider they are less than half the money of an equivalent BMW (or a third).

          Further to that I doubt that survey is actually accurate. Subaru 22nd? Highly unlikely. Their cars might be ugly but nothing goes wrong with them and they are superbly built. Oh and Acura rated above Mercedes. Once upon a time Mercedes where the pinnacle of fine engineering so clearly they are slipping too. That is of course if you believe those stats.

          The reality is however that the German vehicles are grossly overpriced and no longer lead the world by the huge margin they once did. The rest of the world has caught up while Mercedes and BMW got carried away trying to outdo eachother with electronic wizardry. The result was numerous electrical faults in both brands at a time when lexus was becoming a serious threat.

          People don’t move up to Lexus. They move out of German cars. That’s already been proven. A better car for much less money.

          • http://www.facebook.com/sammo.8191 Sam Moss

            Firstly Jabba, I suggest you read my original post. Did I ever mention anything about the German marques being better than the Koreans? All I asked was where did the Koreans come in the rankings, for comparison’s sake. I wasn’t intending to imply anything sly or sarcastic in that remark. You seem to have extrapolated your comments out of thin air, as always.

            Secondly, being the owner of a 2001 Subaru Forester, I think I have the right to comment on Subaru’s reliability. Before the car became mine, it was my parent’s. They had to deal with an array of different problems – interior plastics braking off, numerous issues with the clutch, gearbox issues, interior electrics issues – this list goes on. It’s a pretty good car to drive, but the amount of money that has been spent on fixing it time and time again is ridiculous given what it’s now worth and the fact that it’s just an old Subaru. I have spoken to other Subaru Forester and Impreza owners, and they too have had similar issues. So I am not suprised at their placing on the table. As for Toyota, only time will tell as to whether their position can improve..

            If you think that ‘people’ are moving out of German cars to Lexus, I suggest you look at the Australian sales charts. Audi, for instance, has grown significantly over the past 5 years – this has been well documented. Its sales in Australia increased by over 17% in May 2010 compared with 2009, and the story is even more impressive when looked at on a global scale. No such increases were seen by Lexus over the same period. Volkswagen too has witnessed substantial growth – it is now a top ten manufacturer in Australia, overtaking Kia in 2007 which now sits in 12th place. Volkswagen Golf was the 12th highest seller in Australia in April, its sales increased year-on-year by 81%.

            I have some Australian vehicle sales statistics from April 2010, courtesy of Wheels Magazine (July 2010 issue, page 22):

            Manufacturer: Sales:

            Volkwagen 2846 (10th)
            Mercedes 1813 (13th)
            BMW 1317 (14th)
            Audi 1064 (15th)
            Lexus 449 (18th)

            Premium Medium-Sized Vehicles (Market Share in April 2010):

            C-Class (34.2%)
            3 Series (22.8%)
            A4 (19.1%)
            IS250 (11.3%)

            Obviously I can only look at sales from an Australian context, so maybe the story is a bit different on a global scale. But looking at these statistics, I would say that Lexus has a lot of work to do if it wants to be seen as a genuine alternative to the Germans, (it only had less than half the sales of Audi in April).

            Finally, when you say that it’s been ‘proven’ that people move out of German cars and into Lexus’ – I do wonder where you are getting that information from, as I certainly can’t find any such information in a Google search…

            Deutsch Autos werden immer die Besten sein! Heil Deutschland!

          • Jabba the Hut

            If you look at the Australian sales charts Audi has grown in the last 5 years? Not as much as Hyundai. Nor has any other company. Your question regarding the Koreans appeared as a dig and if there was no motive then why put it out there?

            I owned a 98 Outback and sold it in 2002 to a friend .He finally traded it on of all things an Audi last year and both of us never had a single issue with it. Superbly built and incredibly safe and surefooted.

            I am actually a fan of Audi, but your original post implied that the Germans are the automotive masters and that’s not the case (“no surprises there”). Infact given BMW’s long history of engineering motor vehicles there is zero excuse for their poor execution.

            I am also a fan of VW.I drove a Jetta in September and loved it. However I wouldn’t own one after reading too many comments regarding them breaking down.

            As for your sales figures they are only for Australia in a miniscule market. Put the global figures up. Australians are the most vain motorists in the world. Badge snobs to the enth degree. The fact they bought more BMW’s than Lexus shows more regarding ignorance than anything else. Now put the USA figures up. Or as already suggested the global figures.

            Also note that the survey is for faults per 100 vehicles. In other words Lexus and Acura are absolutley line ball with your beloved Germans.

          • Devil’s Advocate

            Why do people have so much trouble with the word braking/brake/break/breaking? It is rampant on this site. I am not an English expert and don’t profess to be, but this is one of the more simple words that so many people keep getting wrong. Sam, how do interior plastic parts brake off?? What are the interior parts trying to slow down or stop? If it is finger problems by trying to type too fast I apologise. :-)

            To help people out with a simple definition in the context most used on this site.

            Brake/Braking: What a car does to SLOW DOWN or STOP.

            Break/Breaking: Damage something, things falling off, something no longer works as it is supposed to etc etc…


        • radetzky

          Can you please remove yourself from the gene pool? Preferably in the most painful and agonizing way possible? Retard

          Can you please remove yourself from the gene pool? Prefearbly by getting crushed to death in a
          garbage compactor, by getting your face cut to ribbons with a
          pocketknife, your head cracked open with a baseball bat, your stomach
          sliced open and your entrails spilled out, and your eyeballs ripped
          out of their sockets.

          I really hope that you get curb-stomped. It’d be hilarious to see you
          begging for help, and then someone stomps on the back of your head,
          leaving you to die in horrible, agonizing pain.

          STFU, before you get your face bashed in and cut
          to ribbons, and your throat slit.

  • noj

    With the first pic I don`t mind the next Falcon in that colour.

    • Tomas79

      Too Right!!
      Especially with the AWD, it will be a welcome step up!!
      By the sounds of things, the U.S built taurus will also be a step from the locals quality build wise!!

      • Andrew M

        Even the locals offerings of today are a step up

        The FG is a massive step up in quality, and the VE’s string of recalls seems to have ended so we can assume they are getting on top of things too

        Its not 2006 anymore…..

  • JD Power

    BRANDS OVERALL (defects per 100 vehicles):

    Industry average was 108 per 100

    1. Porsche (83)
    2. Acura (86)
    3. Mercedes-Benz (87)
    4. Lexus (88)
    5. Ford (93)
    6. Honda (95)
    7. Hyundai (102)
    8. Lincoln (106)
    9. Infiniti (107)
    10. Volvo (109)
    11. Ram (110)
    12. Audi (111)
    13. Cadillac (111)
    14. Chevrolet (111)
    15. Nissan (111)
    16. BMW (113)
    17. Mercury (113)
    18. Buick (114)
    19. Mazda(114)
    20. Scion (114)
    21. Toyota (117)
    22. Subaru (121)
    23. Chrysler (122)
    24. Suzuki (122)
    25. GMC (126)
    26. Kia (126)
    27. Jeep (129)
    28. Dodge (130)
    29. Jaguar (130)
    30. Mini (133)
    31. Volkswagen (135)
    32. Mitsubishi (146)
    33. Land Rover (170)


    Sub-Compact Car:

    Top-Ranked: Hyundai Accent

    Toyota Yaris, Honda Fit

    Compact Car

    Top-ranked: Ford Focus

    Honda Civic, Hyundai Elantra

    Compact Sporty Car

    Top-ranked: Mazda MX-5

    Mazda Miata, Scion tC

    Compact Premium Sporty Car

    Top-ranked: Volvo C70

    Mercedes-Benz E-Class coupe

    Entry Premium Car

    Highest Ranked: Mercedes-Benz C-Class

    Acura TL, Cadillac CTS

    Midsize Premium Car

    Top-ranked: Lexus GS

    Mercedes-Benz E-Class sedan, Volvo S80

    Mid-size Sporty Car

    Top-ranked: Ford Mustang

    Dodge Challenger

    Large Premium Car

    Top-ranked: Lexus LS 460

    Mercedes-Benz S-Class, Porsche Panamera

    Mid-size Car

    Top-ranked: Honda Accord

    Ford Fusion, Chevrolet Malibu

    Large Car

    Top-ranked: Ford Taurus

    Buick Lucerne, Nissan Maxima

    Compact Crossover/SUV

    Top-ranked: Toyota FJ Cruiser

    Honda CR-V, Honda Element

    Compact MPV

    Top-ranked: Scion xB

    Chrysler PT Cruiser Wagon, Nissan Cube

    Entry Premium Crossover/SUV

    Top-ranked: Acura RDX

    BMW X3, Volvo XC60

    Mid-size Crossover/SUV

    Top-ranked: Honda Accord Crosstour

    Honda Pilot, Ford Edge

    Large Crossover/SUV

    Top-ranked: Chevrolet Tahoe

    Chevrolet Suburban, GMC Yukon

    Mid-size Premium Crossover/SUV

    Top-ranked: Lexus GX 460

    Infiniti FX-Series, Volvo XC70

    Large Premium Crossover/SUV

    Top-ranked: Cadillac Escalade

    Mercedes-Benz GL-Class, Infiniti QX56 (tie) Land Rover Range Rover (tie)

    Large Pickup

    Top-ranked: Chevrolet Avalanche (tie), GMC Sierra LD (tie)

    Ford F-150 LD

    Mid-size Pickup

    Top-ranked: Nissan Frontier

    Ford Ranger, Ford Explorer Sport Trac


    Top-ranked: Toyota Sienna

    Kia Sedona, Dodge Grand Caravan

  • smokin’R32

    Land Rovers consistently dead last in the quality surveys, and not by a small margin either. Unacceptable given the premium price, they need to get their act together

  • Rowman

    The article should be called Ford drags low quality Chevrolet and Chrysler ahead of their Japanese rivals.
    And they have done it with no government bail out which is all the more impressive. Maybe this is why they didnt fall over in the first place.

  • Shak

    Good on em. If they can keep focused and lead a product based revolution, i fail to see why they cant regain Automotive supremacy.

  • Robin Graves

    Well done to Ford! I’m not a Ford lover by any means, but they really have done a great job. Dont hear peep outta Crusty The Clown spruiking how Mitsubishi are far superior to Hyundai – guess his name says it all. Same goes for the VW lovers, much worse than Jeep, Chrysler who are hovering around with Subaru. Cue all the reasons why Subaru, VW, Mits etc dont do well, ie a ‘minor’ electrical fault as compared to gearbox failures making a irrelevant survey, etc etc blah blah blah.

    • noj

      Yeah you are!

    • Stoney!

      My Volkswagen has had 7 Faults in total, but I will buy another after this, and that could have 14 faults and I’d buy another after that. They get fixed under warranty and are an absolutely beautiful car to drive!


  • RickH

    Noj…….not a bad color but the next Falcon will look better than a Taurus, the Taurus gets better looking each model but amazing how it still looks American.

    In case you didnt know the next Mustang will be built on the Falcon platform so the Falcon wont be a Australian only.

    • noj

      Doubt that, but time will tell I guess. With manufacturing in this country dieing significantly every year, it won`t be long. We are an exporter of resources not of manufactured goods, I mean there has been the loss of 30,000 jobs in the last 3 months in manufacturing. Manufacturing in this Country is all but dead and don`t think it won`t happen to the car industry.

  • Qikturbo

    Good to see Ford near the top,however Honda/Acura never seem to be missing from the top ten.
    Again(and predictably)VW languishing near the bottom,having a nice interior with soft “touchy feely” plastics doesn’t automatically equate to bullet proof reliabilty.The sooner people realise this about VW the better off they’ll be for it.

  • Frenchie

    A rather useless survey. All it tells me is that every car that JD Power survey, almost every car has one or two things gone wrong.

    Define things gone wrong.
    Porche had 89 things go wrong per 100 vehicles. What were the top 5 things that went wrong. Were they all the same thing or were they silly things that customers were not happy about (such as the colour of the seats)?

    • Fenno

      Exactly. Too many variables.
      We should also include per 10,000km Because the results would surely swing the other way.
      Expectations also are different for brands as well. If I brought a Hyundai and it rattled I would expect it but if I brought a benz and the leather squeaked to loudly when I sat down I would complain loudly.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1435885244 Yani Hendriawan

    i can’t believe bmw is so low

  • john

    I can’t believe toyota are only in 21st position with 117 faults.

    • nickdl

      Two things:
      1. It’s only the sticking accelerator and the brake issues which have been part of the major recalls for Toyota.

      2. Not all cars were affected, just a few which caused Toyota to rectify all potential faults in other cars.

      Remember this survey doesn’t measure the size of faults as well. Oh and great job Ford!!

  • BarryHamburger

    I agree strongly with the above few who said USELESS survey.

    • Robin Graves

      Let me guess, you drive a VW, Mitsubishi or Landrover?

      • BarryHamburger

        No, a Honda rather. And that is of no consequence. The issue is standardisation. What constitutes a ‘complaint’. Are all complaints given equal weighting? Kms travelled varies greatly in 90 days between different owners. Thats just the tip of the iceberg. And thats a fact, jack.

        • Robin Graves

          Its based on “defects or malfunctions”, ie something that needs fixing. Its a good indication of Quality Assurance and design at the factory, as after 90 days generally something assembled incorrectly is going to go bust. No matter if its an engine bearing fitted incorrectly or a plug not fitted properly in the engine bay or a fuel filler cap that doesnt open properly, its still a problem that requires the purchaser to return it to the dealer, and as all warranties are more than 90 days the problem itself or km’s travelled are irrelevant to this survey. The survey gives a score to how well the car is assembled and QA’d. If the survey is so irrelevant then why do so many people take it so seriously? Because it is relevant and its a good benchmark.

          • Devil’s Advocate

            Robin, I don’t think Barryhamburger is saying it is totally irrelevant. It is more the point that are they treating all complaints equally. ie is 1 engine failure fault treated the same as a piece of door trim that is not quite clipped in properly? I know if a car had to have something wrong with it I would prefer the car to have 3 minor trim fit issues than 1 engine fault/failure. It doesn’t make the car with the trim issue 3 times more unreliable than the car with the 1 engine failure as a bit of faulty door trim will not leave you stranded on the side of the road.

            The auto clubs have weighted scoring criteria for their “Best Car” awards giving areas of “higher importance” greater bearing on the results than “less important” criteria by use of a “multiplier”. Do JD Power do a similar thing with this survey? If they do, then you can place more credibility on the findings. :-)

          • Robin Graves

            The point I’m trying to make is that this survey is not about reliability, its about assembly and manufacturing defects or problems. I understand what you are saying but the way I see it, this survey is purely a QA indicator, hence the 90 day window.

  • noober

    I recently bought a new Subaru, and it is faultless in terms of what I expect. However it was delivered without a bolt on option. Probably a dealer mistake, and it will be fixed. Is this a fault?
    My car was built in Japan, the US Subarus are built in the US, so really for Subaru Oz models at least this poll is irrelevant.

  • Pizza the Hut

    Can someone tell me what methodology is used to compile this survey? All it says that it is done after 90 days. Who is actually surveyed and how? Are the owners submitting their own opinions voluntarily or does JD Power track them down to question them? Do they survey the dealers or manufacturers? Do they hang around the service department and bail up unsuspecting punters? These factors have an enormous impact on the statistical validity of the survey. Some more information would be appreciated, if anyone can provide them.

    Asking owners to submit a response is the least reliable as only the extremes of those who are either very happy or badly disappointed tend to respond. (I remember years ago Choice magazine published a consumer submitted survey and concluded among other things that 66% of Jaguar owners were not happy and would not recommend them, i.e. 2 of the 3 owners that responded. Also, Peugeots electrical systems were badly designed and manufactured and not reliable. This was due to rodents chewing through the cables!)