Overall, J.D. Power reports a record-high number of vehicle problems in the 36-year history of the study.
Electric vehicle maker Polestar ranks the lowest in J.D. Power's 2022 Quality Study.
Vehicle users find wireless connections with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto highly problematic.
Quality isn't what it once was when it comes to car manufacturing. And we're not comparing things to the "good old days," but to 2021.
A J.D. Power 2022 U.S. Initial Quality Study reports problems per 100 vehicles increased 11 precent in 2022 model-year cars versus 2021, reaching a record-high level of quality issues in the study's 36-year history.
And don't think electric vehicle manufacturers were immune to the concerns, with EV brand Polestar ranking last among the 36 brands. Tesla was tied for 30th. This was the first year Tesla Motors was included in the calculation.
"In general, initial quality has shown steady improvement throughout the history of this study, so the decline this year is disappointing, yet understandable," David Amodeo, director of global automotive at J.D. Power, says in a news release. "Automakers continue to launch vehicles that are more and more technologically complex in an era in which there have been many shortages of critical components to support them."
According to the study, General Motors shined the brightest among corporations, and featured Buick as the highest-quality brand. Buick's rise was substantial, moving up from 12th in 2021.
To create the list, more than 84,000 personal purchasers and lessees of new 2022 model-year vehicles were surveyed early in the ownership period with 223 questions covering nine categories. Questions included everything from performance of infotainment systems to exterior components and powertrains to vehicle features.
"Supply chain disruption, especially the shortage of microchips, has caused automakers to seek alternative solutions to get new vehicles into purchasers' and lessees' hands," Amodeo says. "In some cases, new vehicles are being shipped without some features installed. Communication with them about the changes in feature availability, as well as when such features will be reinstated, is critical to their satisfaction."
The study notes that mass market brands averaged fewer issue than premium brands, especially since premium brand buyers may expect more complex technology.
Infotainment systems offered the biggest point of issue-45 problems per 100 vehicles-with six of the top-10 problem areas coming within that section, including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, touchscreen issues, Bluetooth systems, a lack of USB ports and audio volume issues.
Problems with advanced driving assistance declined in 2021 but increased in 2022. The most problematic area came with more than four problems per 100 vehicles in the lane departure warning and lane-keeping assistance system.
The good news for General Motors was an improvement across the brand, which led to nine awards from J.D. Power. Buick won the award for highest-ranking brand, while Dodge was second and Chevrolet third. Genesis was fourth overall, the top-ranked premium brand, outpacing Lexus and Cadillac. BMW followed GM as the corporation with the most model-level awards, while Hyundai Motor Group, Ford Motor Company and Toyota Motor Corporation received multiple model-level awards.
The top-ranked cars include:
Small car: Hyundai Accent
Small premium car: BMW 2 Series
Compact car: Kia Forte
Compact premium car: Lexus IS
Compact sporty car: MINI Cooper
Premium sporty car: Chevrolet Corvette
Midsize car: Chevrolet Malibu
Upper midsize premium car: Genesis G80
Large premium car: BMW 7 Series
The top-ranked SUVs, trucks and vans include:
Small SUV: Buick Encore GX
Small premium SUV: BMW X1
Compact SUV: Chevrolet Equinox
Compact premium SUV: BMW X3
Midsize SUV: Nissan Murano
Midsize premium SUV: Lincoln Nautilus
Upper midsize SUV: Toyota 4Runner
Upper midsize premium SUV: Cadillac XT6
Large SUV: Chevrolet Tahoe
Large premium SUV: Cadillac Escalade
Minivan: Honda Odyssey
Midsize pickup: Ford Ranger
Large light-duty pickup: Chevrolet Silverado
Large heavy-duty pickup: Chevrolet Silverado HD
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