2014 J.D. Power Initial Quality Study Slams Fiat


People buying new vehicles are having more problems than ever before, but none more so than Fiat customers The 2014 J.D Power Initial Quality study polled 86,000 new car buyers, looking for any issues they experienced in the first 90 days of ownership. Sitting on top of the list once again is Porsche, with a score of 74 problems per 100 vehicles. At the bottom, Fiat comes in with a dismal score of 206 problems per 100 vehicles, exactly 90 problems below the industry average of 116.

However, when you combine brands and look at companies overall, Hyundai-Kia actually top the list this year, beating out second-place Toyota mainly due to the Scion brand dragging the company down. Overall, General Motors fell to third mainly due to a poor performance from GMC.

Following Porsche, the top five is finished off by Jaguar, Lexus, Hyundai and Toyota. As for the bottom five, Mazda, Scion, Mitsubishi and Jeep sit just above Fiat, although the Italian brand sits 60 points below Jeep.

Some of the greatest fluctuations this year came from Infiniti, GMC and Jaguar. Compared to 2013, GMC dropped 15 spots moving from second to 17th place, while Infiniti fell from fourth place all the way down to 23rd spot. Jaguar rose from ninth last year to the number two spot.

SEE ALSO: 2013 JD Power Initial Quality Study

2014-JD-Power-IQSNameplates from each company are also tracked by the report, with General Motors taking home the most individual wins. The Chevy Malibu, Silverado HD, Suburban and GMC Terrain and Yukon all had the best initial quality in their class. Hyundai-Kia managed to put five nameplates on the podium, the Accent, Elantra, Genesis, Cadenza and Sportage all won in their respective categories..

Overall, the study finds that the average amount of issues experienced in the first 90 days of ownership has increased by three percent this year over 2013. The cause of this increase is blamed on the fact that brand-new or significantly refreshed vehicles experience more problems than carryover vehicles, usually because they bring all-new technology that consumers are not familiar with. When it comes down to specifics, the report says that voice recognition, Bluetooth pairing and audio systems are all major causes of complaints.

Harsh weather conditions can also sway the numbers, and this year’s long, cold winter caused areas in the Northeast and Midwest to report about five more problems per 100 vehicles than last year while numbers in the south and west didn’t change.

When it comes to where your car is built, the initial quality study looks at which plants produce the least issue plagued cars, and Canadian plants sit atop the list. Toyota’s plant in Cambridge, Ontario that produces the Lexus RX holds the number one spot when it comes to quality, while the General Motors factory in Ingersoll, Ontario slots in the second spot. Both the Chevy Equinox and GMC Terrain are produced there.

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