J.D. Power: Initial quality "best ever"

June 20, 2012 12:00 AM

Automakers continued to improve quality in the annual J.D. Power Initial Quality Survey, with 5 percent fewer problems reported among the major brands, according to MSNBC.

The annual study looks at problems reported during the first few years of ownership, and things look good for automakers. Of the 34 brands studied, 26 improved on their scores from 2011, with only five taking a step backwards.

"This is, without doubt, the best level of quality we've ever seen," Dave Sargent, vice president of global automotive at J.D. Power, told the news source.

Lexus was the top brand once again, though other automakers made big moves. General Motors had its best year ever in the study, with Chevrolet, Cadillac and GMC all rated as above-average with regards to quality. That being said, domestics still trail foreign automakers overall.

J.D. Power noted traditional defects related to mechanical flaws were down sharply. However, there was an increase in complaints about entertainment and audio systems. With many automakers introducing these at a rapid pace, it appears not all the kinks are worked out yet.

While initial quality may be up significantly, drivers still need to keep up with scheduled maintenance, as even the best-built cars are not immune to issues that develop over time.

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