Jaguar Tops In Car Quality

Of all 1999 model year cars, Jaguars have the fewest defects while Kias have the most, according to a report by J.D. Power and Associates.

The company's annual Initial Quality Study is a widely followed measure of vehicle grade. J.D. Power publicly released limited data from the report Wednesday, but not the full report.

The Agoura, California company said it based the results on information gathered from over 41,000 owners of 1999-model vehicles. They were asked about problems found in the first 90 days of ownership.
A summary of the study that showed Jaguar had the fewest defects. Michael H. Dale, president of Jaguar North America, called the report "very satisfying news." He said it was the payoff for the company's efforts to improve quality.

The average for all cars was 167 defects per 100 vehicles; Jaguar came in at 110 and Kia at 333.

According to a story in USA Today, the J.D. Power survey also found that several newly redesigned vehicles had considerably more defects than the models they replaced.

Owners reported that the new Honda Odyssey minivan had 64 percent more defects than the previous year's model. The Jeep Grand Cherokee had 29 percent more problems, the GMC Sierra pickup had 23 percent and Chevrolet's Silverado pickup was up by 22 percent, the story said.

Honda spokesman Art Garner acknowledged that the new Odyssey had a rocky start. He said Honda has corrected the main problems of noisy brakes and confusion over how to operate the sliding side door.

Despite the auto industry's computer-design technology, the summary concluded that avoiding defects in the first production models of a new design "continues to be a challenge."

J.D. Power also found high levels of defects in other models that did not replace had not changed in the past year. The Volvo S80 sedan had 40 percent more defects than the average for similar vehicles, and the Mercury Cougar sports coupe had 34 percent more.


Cars Ranked By Number of Defects Per 100
Jaguar110
Buick114
Infiniti118
Acura124
BMW125
Lexus131
Toyota135
Honda137
Cadillac139
Chrysler148
Ford169
Saturn171
Oldsmobile174
Dodge175
Mercury185
Pontiac185
Chevrolet192
Hyundai194
GMC199
Mitsubishi199
Land Rover200
Daewoo216
Volkswagen223
Jeep234
Isuzu242
Suzuki299
Kia333