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Buick has bounded to the top.
General Motors’ mid-level marque was named best brand in the 2022 J.D. Power Initial Quality Study, moving up from 12th place last year.
The annual owner survey tracks the number of problems reported in the first 90 days of ownership. Issues can range from major component failures to user dissatisfaction with the design and functionality of features like infotainment systems, which were responsible for the most complaints at 25%.
Dodge, Chevrolet, Genesis and Kia rounded out the top five in a year in a down year for the industry overall, with the average score rising from 162 to 180, a new record that J.D. Power attributes to the issues posed by the coronavirus pandemic.
“Given the many challenges automakers and their dealers had to face in the past year, it’s somewhat surprising that initial quality didn’t fall even more dramatically,” David Amodeo, director of global automotive at J.D. Power, said.
“In general, initial quality has shown steady improvement throughout the history of this study, so the decline this year is disappointing—yet understandable. Automakers continue to launch vehicles that are more and more technologically complex in an era in which there have been many shortages of critical components to support them.”
General Motors, which also placed GMC and Cadillac in the top 10 brands, led all automakers with nine segment awards, including the Chevrolet Silverado topping both the light duty and heavy duty truck categories and the Chevrolet Corvette named the top premium sports car.
Tesla was officially included on the list for the first time this year and improved for the third year in a row, having been listed provisionally the past two years due to its refusal to allow J.D. Power to survey its owners in 15 states where permission is required. As such, it is not eligible to win any awards.
Tesla’s score of 226 was up from 231 last year and 250 in 2020.
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Volvo-owned all-electric brand Polestar was at the bottom of the list with a score of 328 and followed by Chrysler at 265 and Volvo at 256.