Facebook Twitter

ONCE AGAIN, JAPANESE AUTOS DOMINATE SURVEY ON QUALITY

SHARE ONCE AGAIN, JAPANESE AUTOS DOMINATE SURVEY ON QUALITY

Japanese cars again dominate the annual J.D. Power survey of new-car quality, and even the highest-ranking American-built car - the Geo Prizm, at No. 4 - is in part a Japanese product.

Toyota's Lexus luxury cars took the first three spots in the rankings released Thursday by J.D. Power and Associates, a marketing information company. The Japanese carmaker's LS400 was No. 1, followed by the GS300 and SC300-400 models.Next was the Geo Prizm, a compact sedan made in California in a joint venture between Toyota and General Motors Corp.

It was followed by the Acura Legend (made by Honda), Infiniti J30 (made by Nissan), Mercury Grand Marquis, Toyota Camry, Toyota Tercel, Lexus ES300 and Lincoln Town Car.

The J.D. Power Initial Quality Studies were based on questionnaires answered by about 32,000 car buyers and 12,000 truck buyers who registered new 1994 vehicles in November and December last year. Owners were asked about their vehicles during the first 90 days of ownership.

Lexus cars have finished high on the J.D. Power list since they were introduced in 1990, and the LS400 has been first since 1991.

The survey found that the average quality of 1994 cars, measured in terms of the number of defects reported by owners in the first three months, dropped nearly 3 percent from 1993.

The average number of defects reported per 100 cars in the survey was 110, up from 1993's 107. That meant the average 1994 car had 1.1 defects, compared with 1.07 in 1993.

Owners of light trucks reported an average of 1.26 problems per vehicle, down from 1.29 in 1993.

The slight overall changes reflected in the new survey suggest carmakers are getting to the point where further improvement will come slowly.

Of the 168 car and truck models studied, 53 averaged fewer than one defect per vehicle, said David R. Sargent, senior project director at J.D. Power.