Top 10 Worst Automakers in Initial Quality: 2017


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The J.D. Power 2017 U.S. Initial Quality Study has been released.

Each year, the J.D. Power U.S. Initial Quality Study examines 233 problems, organized into eight categories, measuring new vehicle quality at 90 days of ownership. This year’s study was based on nearly 80,000 responses from owners and lessees of 2017 model year vehicles, with consumers being surveyed from February through May.

SEE ALSO: Kia Edges Out Porsche to Top 2017 J.D. Power Initial Quality Study

New vehicle quality overall for the industry reached a new record high, improving eight percent compared to last year’s record-setting year. The industry average for the 2017 study is 97 problems per 100 vehicles (PP100), down from 105 a year ago. According to J.D. Power, the only category to do worse this year was features, controls, and displays. The largest increases in problems were for cruise control, lane departure warning, collision avoidance/alert systems, and blind spot warning.

10. Infiniti and Jeep (tie)

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Infiniti owners reported 107 PP100, making Nissan’s luxury arm the 10th worst automaker for initial quality. Last year, the Japanese automaker actually did better than the industry average of 105 with a score of 103, but this year it failed to improve while other automakers did.

With a score of 107, Jeep is actually tied with Infiniti this year. The American automaker looked to be on an upward trend after scoring 113 last year, putting it out of the bottom 10 automakers. But this year, it stumbled back down the list.

8. Subaru

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Last year, Subaru barely missed being in the bottom 10 of the list with a score of 118. This year, however, the Japanese automaker is the eighth worst automaker after scoring 113.

7. Audi

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As the only German automaker in the bottom 10, Audi performs quite a bit worse than its rivals BMW and Mercedes-Benz. This year, Audi scored 115, which is slightly worse than last year’s score of 110. In 2016, however, Audi outperformed Mercedes (111), but that isn’t the case this year.

6. Mazda

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Mazda continues to be one of the worst-performing automakers on the J.D. Power U.S. Initial Quality Study. The Japanese automaker finished as the sixth worst automaker last year as well with a score of 127. This year, owners reported 125 problems per 100 vehicles.

4. Land Rover and Mitsubishi (tie)

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Land Rover improves slightly from its fourth worst finish last year after scoring 132. The British automaker doesn’t have a great reputation for reliability and this year it scored 131.

Mitsubishi ties Land Rover with a score of 131, and is one of few automakers that saw a significant drop in initial quality compared to last year. In 2016, the Japanese automaker scored 116, keeping it out of the bottom 10.

3. Volvo

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Volvo owners continue to have issues with their vehicles, and once again, the Swedish automaker is the third worst automaker in initial quality. This year, the brand scored 134, and while it’s an improvement compared to last year’s 152, it still puts Volvo towards the bottom of the list.

2. Jaguar

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Last year, Jaguar was the seventh worst automaker on the list after scoring 127. This year, it stumbled almost to the bottom, with owners reporting 148 problems per 100 vehicles. The only silver lining for the British automaker is that it isn’t the worst automaker in initial quality.

1. Fiat

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This year, that honor belongs to Fiat with a score of 163. Last year, the Italian automaker managed to finish second to last with a score of 174, bested only by Smart’s figure of 216. This year, however, Smart was not included in the study due to lack of representation in the survey.

  • Tom S

    Fix It Again Tony! Some things never change.

    Ford actually had fixed Jaguar quality and moved them up near the top of the JDP Initial Quality ratings under their ownership. Seems things have really slipped under Tata.

  • Mojahed Reaz

    FIAT : Failure In Automobile Technology
    Fcuking Italian Attempt @ Transportation

  • Lokki

    Just a small correction to the article: Volvo is NOT a Swedish car company. It is a Chinese car company with a manufacturing plant in Sweden, just as KIA remains a Korean car company even though it has a manufacturing plant in the U.S.

  • Ro Gazebo

    hmmm, guessing Maserati, Ferrari and Lamborghini are not on your list of want-to-drive someday either? lol

  • Murgatroyd

    Volvo is a Swedish company financed by the Chinese. The R&D, design, engineering and much of the production are done in Sweden. Volvo also manufacture outside Sweden as they have done since the 1960s. One of the reasons for the poor showing of Volvo is probably the significant number of new models which they have introduced recently, which will inevitably result in teething problems. It is widely recognised that the longer a model has been in production the fewer issues it is likely to have.

  • kaffekup

    Well, that’s odd, because it seems to me a year or two ago, Mazda was around fourth best; in fact, I had a screenshot of it but can’t find it now. Unless that was a different metric, like owner satisfaction long term…

  • Perry F. Bruns

    Of the three, only Maserati is a Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV subsidiary. While both Ferrari and Lamborghini have had reliability issues over the years (and in fact, Ferrari was a division of Fiat during the creation of FCA from the remains of Chrysler and Fiat SpA, up until a transition that lasted from 2015 through January 2016 when Ferrari was spun off into an independent company), both have seen gradual improvements.

    Lamborghini, for its part, has benefited from its current ownership by the Volkswagen Group (and subsequent use of parts and engineering partnerships with its stablemate Audi).

    I don’t think Mr. Reez was suggesting that all Italian vehicles suffer from the reliability problems that have perennially plagued the FIAT nameplate.

  • ZJR

    “Initial quality” is a useless metric, people joke about it all the time. It says nothing about the actual quality and reliability of a car.

  • Patriot

    Yeah, I’d rather hear something based on 100,000 miles. Or 10 years. It would be much more useful.

  • Patriot

    FORD, nuff said.