General Motors for the first time ranked atop a closely watched survey measuring new-vehicle quality, while Ford Motor Co. continued to be dragged down by its electronic features.
One of the most monumental achievements, GM‘s four brands averaged 98 problems per 100 vehicles, and it was the only automaker with fewer than one problem per new car, passing Toyota Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Co., which tied for second among automakers with 103 problems per 100 models surveyed.
The annual survey, redesigned for its 27th year, measures the number of problems on 2013 cars and light trucks that buyers report after 90 days of ownership.
“GM has the best quality of any corporation in the study, the first time it’s been on top,” said David Sargent, Power vice president of global automotive and the study’s author. “And GMC and Chevrolet have never finished in the top five before.”
Toyota’s Scion brand, Chrysler’s Fiat unit and Mitsubishi were at the bottom of the rankings. Lexus, Toyota’s luxury brand, had topped the survey in 2012 and 2011.
Toyota would expect Lexus to be No. 1 and Toyota to be No. 2. That’s their mission. Honda would expect to be in the top five. And they’re not.
Top problem areas on 2013 new models [All brands, not GM specifically]
1. Built-in voice recognition frequently doesn’t recognize or misinterprets commands
2. Built-in Bluetooth mobile phone/device frequent pairing/connectivity issues
3. Excessive wind noise
4. Materials scuff and/or soil easily
5. Navigation system is difficult to use or poorly located
Source: J.D. Power and Associates
The two types of problems most commonly reported this year? Voice recognition systems that act up, followed by built-in Bluetooth systems that fail to connect to cell phones or other electronic devices.