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J.D. Power‘s Initial Quality Study is out and the data provides a few interesting points. The biggest problem plaguing vehicles this last year was infotainment system issues due to chip shortages, a carryover from the previous study

Despite all the issues, some brands are seeing improvements, while others dropped in quality. Which companies did J.D. Power rank as the three best brands?

How the pandemic factors into the quality issues of vehicles

This year saw J.D. Power’s 36th study into quality issues per brand of vehicles. The last few years have been out of the norm as the pandemic from 2020 caused many problems in not just one but two of those studies. Sales dropped initially because people lost their jobs, took on lower-paying ones, and struggled with their bills. However, stimulus checks and dealer incentives drove up purchases far more than expected.

Unfortunately, it caused even more issues in the automotive industry. Chip shortages took hold as some plants had to shut down for a while as health experts tried to get the virus under control. This slowed new vehicle production as companies tried to get their hands on inventory to complete customer orders. In some cases, brands resorted to alternative solutions to get the vehicles out, according to J.D. Power

This year’s study showed some brands were still affected by the issues plaguing vehicles over the last few years. However, some saw some improvements overall. Three brands took the highest spots in the study with the lowest number of issues, including Chevy, Dodge, and Buick.


Chevrolet landed in third place this year, scoring 147 PP100. The brand received awards for several of its vehicles in the individual categories. In the premium sporty car segment, the Chevy Corvette took first place with 101 PP100, while the Chevy Malibu won in the midsize car category. 

As for its SUVs, two stood out as winners. The Chevy Tahoe came in first for the large SUV segment, and its Equinox won in the compact SUV category. Chevrolet even has a couple of pickups that won awards as well. The Chevy Silverado made it big in the large light-duty truck category, and the Silverado HD won the heavy-duty segment.


The Dodge logo covered in snow seen in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
The Dodge logo | Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Dodge managed to find itself in second place this year, just behind Chevrolet. In 2021, the brand also landed second on the Initial Quality Study from J.D. Power. Last year, though, Dodge ended up with a 139 PP100 score, whereas this year, it received 143 PP100. 

However, Dodge doesn’t have any of its vehicles winning in the individual categories. According to J.D. Power, it did place first in 2020 with 136 PP100 but has dropped by 7 PP100 since then. Its Challenger muscle car did manage to win awards for performance that year, though.


The brand that scored the highest in quality overall was Buick, with a score of 139 PP100. As for individual car categories, there was one where the brand took first and second place in J.D. Power’s study. The Buick Encore GX took first in the small SUV segment, while the standard Buick Encore came second. Ford’s Bronco rounded it up in the third spot for the category. 

Buick’s quality issues improved over the previous year, moving it to first place from the 12th spot the previous year, going from 156 PP100 to its current 139 PP100. It’s not surprising, since General Motors had other brands that also managed improvements since the previous study. 

All in all, some brands have made quality improvements over the last few years since the pandemic began and all the shortages hit the automotive market. Buick saw the most significant advancement this year in J.D. Power’s study. What will next year bring? Hopefully, quality issues improve even more for all brands, and the pandemic is no longer a factor in the study.


Best Pickup Trucks in the J.D. Power 2022 U.S. Initial Quality Study