General Motors’ Buick brand took the top spot in the 2022 J.D. Power Initial Quality Study, which for the first time included Tesla.
The study, now in its 36th year, examines problems experienced by purchasers and lessees of new 2022 model year vehicles during the first 90 days of ownership.
There are 15 states in which auto manufacturers must grant J.D. Power permission to survey their owners, and all manufacturers except for Tesla and Polestar have granted such permission.
However, Tesla has been included in the main IQS data set for the first time and its brand averages are included in the overall industry rank chart. J.D. Power has calculated a national IQS score for Tesla based on a sample of surveys from owners.
Behind Buick is Dodge, which maintained its second-place ranking from 2021. Rounding out the top 10 are Chevrolet, Genesis, Kia, Lexus, GMC, Cadillac, BMW and Ford.
Chrysler had the lowest ranking among non-electric vehicle brands. Ram, last year’s top performer, dropped 17 places, putting it worse than the industry average for problems per 100 vehicles, the measurement used to determine placement in the results.
Compared with 2021 results, the industry experienced an 11% increase in problems per 100 vehicles (PP100), which is 18 PP100 worse than last year, resulting in an industry average of 180 PP100. A lower score reflects higher vehicle quality.
General Motors overall bucks the trend with an improvement in initial quality that lands it in the highest rank position among automotive corporations.
Among brands, Buick's quality improves 17 PP100 year over year, vaulting it to ranking highest overall in 2022 from 12th place in 2021, while Genesis ranks highest among premium brands. Just nine of 33 ranked brands improved in vehicle quality year over year.
Owners of electric vehicles cite more problems with their vehicles than do owners of vehicles with internal combustion engines (ICE). ICE vehicles average 175 PP100, Plug-in-hybrid-electric vehicles (PHEVs) average 239 PP100 and battery electric vehicles (BEVs) —excluding Tesla models—average 240 PP100.
Tesla models average 226 PP100 and are shown separate from the BEV average because the predominance of Tesla vehicles could obscure the performance of the legacy automakers that have recently introduced BEVs.
The study serves as the industry benchmark for new-vehicle quality and reveals how the automotive industry performed in the face of adversity due to supply chain issues, the microchip shortages and remote work due to the COVID-19 pandemic.