Newcomer Genesis gets top JD Power quality honors

Which Car Ranks Highest for Quality? Surprisingly, It's a Kia

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

The annual survey asked 80,000 people about problems they had in the first 90 days after buying or leasing a new 2017 vehicle.

DETROIT (AP) — Kia has claimed the top spot in a survey of new vehicle quality for the second straight year. The survey ranks auto brands by the reported number of flaws per 100 owners in the first 90 days of buying a new vehicle. The Features, Controls and Displays category is the only one to have gotten worse from 2016 to 2017. Driver assistance features such as adaptive cruise control and lane-departure assist also are culprits in bringing certain brands down, Sargent notes. As competitors led by the Koreans catch up, Lexus models are now merely near the middle of the pack - the industry average for brands this year improved to a rate of 97 problems.

Porsche, Ford and Ram rounded out the top five. This was the very first time the Genesis brand was included in the study. The surveys were fielded from February to May of this year, counting 33 brands and 243 models. General Motors, meanwhile, managed to come out on top in four different segments: "Small Car" (Chevrolet Sonic), "Large Light Duty Pickup" (Chevrolet Silverado), "Large Heavy Duty Pickup" (Chevrolet Silverado HD), and "Compact SUV" (GMC Terrain).

"As Ford accelerates the pace of innovation, we believe this best-ever quality ranking demonstrates our new technologies are reliable and easy to use", said Bennie Fowler, group vice president, Quality.

Mini was the most improved brand in the survey, with owners reporting 94 problems per vehicle, down from 127 problems in 2016. Ford was also among the brands with strong improvement in quality, the study said. The industry has shown significant improvement in each iteration, with the best IQS scores occurring in the most recent year for each generation.

Fiat, ranked 32 last year and this year, scored 163 problems per 100 vehicles. Plant quality awards are based exclusively on defects and malfunctions and exclude design-related problems. These capabilities enable J.D. Power to help its clients drive customer satisfaction, growth and profitability.

Toyota's Kyushu 2 plant in Japan, home to the Lexus ES and RX, again takes the platinum award, repeating its score from past year of 15 problems per 100 vehicles.

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