Features
14 Feb 22

Korean OEMs most dependable, U.S. study finds

Kia, Genesis and Hyundai – all South Korean brands – earn three of the top four rankings in J.D. Power’s 2022 U.S. Vehicle Dependability Study (VDS). The list, which measures reported problems after three years of ownership, also includes Buick and Toyota in its Top Five.

Due to the pandemic and the chip shortage, owners are hanging on longer to their vehicles, “so long-term dependability is even more critical than usual”, says David Amodeo, Director of Global Automotive at data specialist J.D. Power.

Initial Quality Study

The company’s VDS shows some OEMs perform much better than others when it comes to preventing problems, be it with the vehicle’s mechanics, its exterior or interior (including infotainment, ADAS and all other forms of electronics).

The 2022 VDS revisits the 2019 models first examined for the Initial Quality Study (IQS) of that year. As it turns out, initial quality is a good predictor of dependability at the three-year mark: seven of the 10 highest-ranked brands in the 2019 IQS are in the Top 10 of the 2022 VDS.  

The VDS covers 184 problem areas across nine categories (including powertrain, seats and driving assistance). It now also includes driver satisfaction – and software updates. 

Mass-market vs. premium

Some key findings:

  • Mass-market vehicles exhibit fewer issues (190 problems per 100 vehicles, or PP100) than premium-brand vehicles (204 PP100). This is due to premium vehicles including more technology, hence more risk of breakdown. But also: the quality of mass-market vehicles has improved markedly in recent years.
  • The most problematic area: infotainment systems, more than twice as problematic (52 PP100) as the next-highest category. Seven of the 10 top problems in the study are related to infotainment. These include issues with Android Auto or Apple CarPlay, Bluetooth and navigation systems. 
  • For the third time in four years, the Porsche 911 is the most dependable model. 

  • For the first time, Kia was the highest-ranking brand (145 PP100). It ranked third in 2021. Other high-ranking mass-market brands were Buick (147 PP100), Hyundai (148 PP100), Toyota (158 PP100) and Dodge (166 PP100). 
  • In the premium segment, Genesis ranked highest (155 PP100), followed by Lexus (159 PP100), Porsche (162 PP100), Cadillac (168 PP100) and Lincoln (180 PP100).  
  • GM and Toyota each received five segment awards for models with the fewest reported problems in respective segments. For GM, these were the Buicks Encore and Envision, and the Chevrolets Impala, Silverado HD, and Suburban. For Toyota, the five models were the Lexus NX, RX, UX, and the Toyotas Corolla and Tundra. Hyundai received three segment awards, for the Kia Sorento (pictured left) and the Hyundais Santa Fe (pictured right) and Sonata. 

Images: Shutterstock, J.D. Power
 

Authored by: Frank Jacobs