Mopars bracket best/worst of J.D. Power quality survey, Ram #1, Dodge well second-worst

Ram topped the J.D. Power “initial quality” survey, which looks at just the first 90 days of ownership, beating every other marque by a hefty margin with 1.5 problems per car. Dodge somehow came out not just worst, but worst by a huge margin, with an average of 3 problems per car, possibly due to software issues with the Dodge Hornet—a car adapted from the Alfa Romeo Tonale, which was created from the Jeep Compass.

Final Call Ram TRX with supercharged “Hellcat” Hemi V8

The second best marque was Chevrolet with 1.6 problems per car, followed by Hyundai. The best “premium” car was Porsche (1.7 problems per car), likely in a statistically even match with Lexus, and then Genesis. Chrysler was not included, presumably due to low sales, an embarrassing place to be; yet, Alfa Romeo was in the list. The sales requirements may have been different for ordinary and “premium” brands.

Ram was the only Stellantis brand to do well, in addition to taking the pole position by a good margin. Alfa Romeo sat in the bottom ranks between Lincoln and Mazda. GM did well overall, with Chevrolet taking #2 and Buick at #5, but Cadillac and GMC were a bit below average.  German marques were particularly hard-hit; only Mini came in above average. BMW and Mercedes came in even, edging out Cadillac, while  Volkswagen and Audi were close to the very bottom. Among the Japanese, Mazda stood out as particularly bad; Mazda is known among its owners for its poor telematics, and they have had some wear issues on interior trim.

This year’s data does not only rely on surveys, but includes actual repair data, a long overdue improvement which dramatically reduces bias.  Rivian, Tesla, and Polestar do not participate in the J.D. Power system, and their results are estimated.

Some of the main issues are annoying and unfamiliar (or false) warnings from systems such as rear seat child detectors, blind spot sensors, reverse automatic emergency braking, and forward collision warning/braking. Manufacturers vary quite a bit in the quality of their sensors and programming.

Android Auto and Apple CarPlay were another issue; over half of iPhone owners use CarPlay on all drives, along with 42% of Samsung users, according to J.D. Power.  Controls are another issue; Tesla recently removed turn signals and wiper stalks, which J.D. Power noted “has not been well received.” Odors from the vent system have apparently been a problem for everyone but Kia and Nissan.

JD Power

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