Kelley Blue Book: Car quality is slipping: These are the brands with the most and least complaints, study finds

by | Jul 5, 2022 | Stock Market

New car owners are experiencing more problems in the first 90 days of ownership than ever before. Buick took the top spot in the 2022 J.D. Power Initial Quality Study, but the headline isn’t the winner this year. It’s an overall jump in the number of complaints. Nearly every brand performed worse in 2022 than in 2021. This year’s cars showed the worst overall initial quality in the study’s history.

The study, in its 36th year, asks new car owners to report problems with their vehicles in the first 90 days of ownership. The numbers had been trending down in recent years. Last year, the industry average was 162 owner complaints per 100 vehicles. In 2020, that figure was 166. This year, it was 180. See: While car prices keep going up, these two electric cars just got a big price cutAn outlier thanks to a bad year, or a sign of things to come? On the one hand, the number may show that 2022 is an outlier. Over the past year, vehicle factories have faced COVID-19-related factory shutdowns, repeated supply chain problems, and a global microchip shortage, causing automakers to add and delete features on the fly to keep the lines moving. On the other, it may be a sign of an industry-wide problem. Every engineer knows that more complex machines have more possible failure points. Today’s cars keep growing more complex. Infotainment systems caused …

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