Don’t Buy a Vehicle Now: Quality Ratings Lowest In 4 Decades

JD Power is the respected consumer site that does its yearly vehicle quality ratings. The 2022 U.S. Initial Quality Study has just sunk to the worst score it has been in 36 years. It says that issues over quality increased by 11 percent, more than any year it has done the service.

What caused quality ratings to drop so much?

2022 Ram 1500 Limitedin red
2022 Ram 1500 Limited | Ram

JD Power places the blame on a number of issues, including supply chain problems, record-high prices, and remote work environments. These and more resulted in, on average, 180 issues per 100 vehicles. JD Power tracks all vehicles industrywide for its reports.

Weren’t quality ratings improving?

A gray Buick Enclave is driving on the road.
The Buick Enclave | Buick

The report took in 84,165 2022 vehicle buyers or lessees and was conducted from February through May. Despite the down numbers, a few brands saw an increase in quality over 2021. They include Buick, Chevrolet, GMC, Cadillac, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Acura, Land Rover, and Audi. 

“In general, initial quality has shown steady improvement throughout the history of this study, so the decline this year is disappointing — yet understandable,” said David Amodeo, director of global automotive for JD Power, to Automotive News. “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.”

Amodeo specifically called out the recent practice of companies delivering vehicles to dealerships without certain features because of component shortages. “Communication with customers about the changes in feature availability, as well as when such features will be reinstated, is critical to their satisfaction,” Amodeo said.

What were the brands with the worst ratings?

Side view of yellow 2022 Mitsubishi Mirage, the best non-hybrid gas-powered car to save money on gas
2022 Mitsubishi Mirage | Mitsubishi

The two brands that saw their quality numbers take a significant dive were Ram and Mitsubishi. Ram’s drop is especially troubling because it ranked the highest for quality among all truck brands. JD Power found it had 186 problems for every 100 vehicles. That is a big increase from the 128 issues found in 2021 Ram trucks.

Mitsubishi had the biggest drop with 226 issues per 100 vehicles. The number increased by 82 over last year’s numbers. Jeep, Volvo, Jaguar, Porsche, and Hyundai also had major increases in problems from last year. 

If there were any winners, it was GM as a whole. Buick scored the best for quality this year, but all four GM divisions saw improvement in quality issues. Per specific models, the winner was Corvette. JD Power says that buyers rated it the best with 101 problems per 100 cars. For premium brands, Genesis scored the highest in quality at number four. 

Was there one thing owners complained about most?

2022 Hyundai Sonata infotainment system
2022 Hyundai Sonata infotainment system | Hyundai

What issues were most complained about in the 2022 group? Most were related to infotainment systems, whether it be connectivity, touch screen problems, or too few power and USB ports. Hybrid and EVs had between 226 problems, as was found in Teslas, to 240 problems per 100 cars.

The top three best-scoring midsize trucks were the Ford Ranger, Jeep Gladiator, and Chevy Colorado. For full-size half-ton trucks, it was Chevy Silverado, GMC Sierra, and the Ford F-150. 

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