Kia has done it again and has proven that it has come a long way as an automaker. Not content with a string of top safety picks and five star feedback ratings, the Korean manufacturer has also aced the J.D. Power Initial Quality Study.
The J.D. Power Initial Quality Study is a U.S. feedback system that assesses the owner experience for the first 90 days of car ownership. It analyses problems reports, quality and design issues and anything else owners feed back during those first three months. Automakers use the study to improve their products and buyers use the study to assess what automaker to consider for their next purchase.
Kia came first in the study while Hyundai’s new Genesis brand came second. Porsche came third, Ford and FCA can joint fourth.
The J.D. Power Initial Quality Study received over 80,000 pieces of feedback from U.S. buyers including completion of a 233 question survey. While exhaustive and no doubt, exhausting, the survey seeks to build an accurate picture of the new car experience and deliver reliable data to all sides of the transaction.
"Automotive manufacturers are responding to consumer feedback and producing vehicles of the highest quality," said Dave Sargent, vice president of global automotive at J.D. Power. "The industry has improved significantly in each of the past three years. Today's vehicles have more things that could go wrong but fewer things that actually do go wrong."
If things can go wrong
From reading the survey, it seems the brands stocked by Car Nation Canada perform best. Kia, Ford and FCA all ranked highly in the report. North American brands outperform imports too with Ford, Chrysler and RAM doing well.
Of the complaints that were raised, audio and infotainment remains top of the list. Called ACEN for Audio, Communications, Entertainment and Navigation, these systems are undergoing something of a revolution right now and are becoming more technical and more complicated all the time. It seems that this area of development still has a long way to go.
The good news is that this years’ results for ACEN are better than last year’s so things are definitely looking up. Other key areas of complaint were exterior and interior defects, features and controls, seating, driving experience and heating, ventilation and air conditioning.
Overall, the J.D. Power Initial Quality Study shows complaints and issues falling this year. The study shows a 7.6% drop in issues across the board compared to the results from last year. If this is borne out in other studies and surveys, it shows that automakers really are listening to consumers and are acting on that feedback. That has to be good news for all of us!
Visit Georgetown Kia, 199 and 314 Guelph Street, Georgetown, Ontario to see what all the fuss is about.