JDP has released their latest Initial Quality Survey (measuring problems encountered during the first 90 days of ownership) and had one big surprise in store.
While the industry average went down slightly (from 108 problems per 100 vehicles in 2009 to 109 in 2010), this year's results are the first time that the Detroit 3 have come out ahead of imports. The Detroit brands actually improved their quality over last year's results by 4, bringing them to a score of 108. The import brands matched the overall industry average of 109.
Ford was the highest ranked US brand with a score of 93.
JD Power ranks lists the top 3 models in several segments and Ford had a model represented in the top 3 in a dozen segments. They had 3 models that topped their respective segments, tied with Lexus for most top-of-segment honors.
GM had 10 models in the top 3 of their segments.
Chrysler's results were mixed with Ram coming in just shy of industry average with the Dodge car brand (Ram split from Dodge recently, taking the truck lines away from Dodge) coming in as the worst Detroit brand in initial quality.
It is interesting to notice that Toyota's recent troubles have pulled its ranking down significantly falling from 6th place last year to 21st in the 2010 survey. It is significant to mention that IQS has its detractors since any complaint on the survey is listed as a problem (recent high profile examples were Mini dropping low in the list in part due to poor cupholder design). This means that IQS scores can be highly dependent on the level of picky-ness of the customers of a brand during a given year.
Highest in the rankings this year was Porsche with a 83 and lowest went to Land Rover with 170.