DETROIT — Dodge became the first domestic brand to claim the top spot in J.D. Power's annual report card on new-vehicle quality, while Tesla unofficially finished last in its debut appearance in the study, now in its 34th year. Genesis was the top-ranked luxury brand for the fourth year in a row.
Following back-to-back podium sweeps by Korean brands, Detroit automakers claimed three of the top four slots in the closely watched Initial Quality Study, released Wednesday. The study measures the number of problems reported over the first 90 days of ownership.
The industry average — 166 problems per 100 vehicles — was much higher than last year's average of 93 problems per 100 vehicles because the study was redesigned this year for the first time since 2013, adding questions about a number of technologies that didn't exist in prior surveys.
"The higher problem levels we see in this year's study don't mean vehicle quality has worsened; rather, the redesigned study asks additional questions that allow owners to cite more of the problems that they are experiencing," Dave Sargent, vice president of automotive quality at J.D. Power, said in a statement.