Worst Car Brands for Initial Quality in 2022 According to J.D. Power

As we reported yesterday, the quality of new vehicles has significantly declined this year according to J.D. Power’s 2022 Initial Quality Study (IQS). In fact, the number of problems reported by owners is the highest in 36 years.

Just nine of 33 ranked brands improved in vehicle quality year over year. Automakers continue to launch vehicles that are more and more technologically complex in an era in which there are many shortages of critical components to support them. The microchip shortage, in particular, has resulted in many new vehicles being shipped without some features installed.

What Are the Most Common Problems?

This year’s IQS is based on responses from 84,165 purchasers and lessees of new 2022 model-year vehicles who were surveyed early in the ownership period. Nine vehicle categories are analyzed: infotainment; features, controls and displays; exterior; driving assistance; interior; powertrain; seats; driving experience; and climate.

Photo: Frédéric Mercier

The infotainment category continues to be the most problematic for yet another year. Six of the top 10 problem areas in the study are infotainment-related, including Android Auto/Apple CarPlay connectivity; built-in voice recognition; difficulties with touchscreens/display screens; built-in Bluetooth systems; not enough power plugs/USB ports; and inconsistent audio volume. Advanced driving assistance systems continue to frustrate a lot of owners, too, primarily lane departure warning/lane-keeping assistance.

Interestingly, owners of battery-electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid vehicles cite more problems with their vehicles (240 and 239 problems per 100 vehicles, respectively) than do owners of vehicles with internal combustion engines (175).

Which Brands Have the Lowest Initial Quality?

Just like every year since 2016, mainstream brands outperform premium brands in the 2022 study, averaging 175 problems per 100 vehicles versus 196.

Photo: Volvo

Have you seen the top 10 best brands for quality? Now, here are the 10 brands with the lowest quality along with their number of problems per 100 vehicles. Some of them will surprise you.

  1. Chrysler (265)
  2. Volvo (256)
  3. Maserati (255)
  4. Audi (239)
  5. Volkswagen (230)
  6. Mitsubishi (226)
  7. Alfa Romeo (211)
  8. Jaguar (210)
  9. Infiniti (204)
  10. Porsche (200)

It’s worth noting that Tesla (226) is included in the industry average (180) for the first time, but because the brand does not allow J.D. Power access to owner information in the states where that permission is required by law, it still can’t be officially ranked.

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