Quality of Recent Vehicle Launches Considerably Lower

J.D. Power and Associates published its annual Initial Quality Study, which shows that new vehicle launches declined in quality, while carryovers improved.

The initial quality of 2011 newly launched car models declined for the first time in three years, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2011 U.S. Initial Quality Study released last week.

The initial quality of cars that are all-new or had major redesigns had an average of 122 problems per 100 vehicles (PP100), up 10% from 111 PP100 the previous year. However, carryover models

—those that have had no significant redesign in the past year—have better initial quality than ever before. Just 103 PP100 were reported, compared to 108 PP100 in 2010.

“Exciting models with the latest features are crucial for winning over today’s demanding consumers,” David Sargent, vice president of global vehicle research at J.D. Power and Associates, said in a statement. “However, automakers must not lose their focus on the importance of these models also achieving exceptional quality levels.”

Sargent added that expected reliability is of utmost importance to buyers looking for a new car.

The IQS reported that only seven all-new or redesigned models rank among the top three of their respective award segments, compared with 17 models in 2010. Lexus led overall with an average 73 PP100. And Land Rover posted the largest improvement, reducing problems by 47 PP100 from 2010.

Here are the sporty and premium model winners. The full list of 21 cars can be found here.

Compact Sporty Car

2011 Mazda MX-5 Miata

Compact Premium Sporty Car

Mercedes-Benz E-Class Convertible/Coupe

Entry Premium Car

Lexus ES 360

Midsize Premium Car

Lexus GS

Midsize Sporty

Dodge Challenger

Large Premium Car

Lexus LS

Entry Premium Crossover SUV

Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class

Midsize Premium Crossover SUV

Lexus GX 460

Large Premium Crossover SUV

Cadillac Escalade