J.D. Power released its 2015 U.S. Initial Quality StudySM (IQS) on June 17. The annual study examines consumer experience within the first 90 days of ownership determined by the number of problems experienced per 100 vehicles (PP100). This year’s study shows a 3 percent year-over-year improvement in initial quality for the automotive industry, with an average 112 PP100 in 2015 compared to an average of 116 PP100 in 2014.
Korean automakers further distinguished themselves from the pack as Hyundai Motors and Kia Motors received top marks, with Kia leading all non-premium brands in initial quality for the first time in IQS history. This was an especially painful blow to rival Japanese brands who fell below industry average for the first time in 29 years. Renee Stephens, VP of U.S. automotive quality at J.D. Power addressed this trend in a recent interview with Forbes, calling this “a clear shift in the quality landscape” as Japanese brands were, for the better part of three decades, regarded as the “gold standard in vehicle quality”.
It’s evident that a large part of this shift in quality stems from consumers’ growing dependency on smart technologies and these high consumer expectations of technology have many brands struggling to keep up. Entertainment and troublesome electronics remain the most problem prone area for the third straight year, with voice recognition and Bluetooth pairing topping the problem list, J.D. Power said.
It’s clear technology will be top of mind for many brands’ next generation models as they look to improve their ratings in 2016.
Find detailed information on vehicle quality, as well as model photos and specs, at jdpower.com/quality.