General Motors Co. brands made a big jump in the rankings of the 2013 J.D. Power Initial Quality Study, which examines the problems drivers encounter during the first 90 days of owning a new vehicle.
Porsche topped the list — it regularly ranks near the top — but the GMC truck division of GM was second, up from 12th last year. GMC was followed by Lexus, Infiniti and GM’s Chevrolet division.
Including Buick and Cadillac, all four GM brands scored above the industry average. It was the best showing for an American automaker. Ford and the Chrysler Group brands of Jeep and Dodge all scored below average in the study, which J.D. Power released Wednesday.
“GM quality has been improving over several years, but we weren’t anticipating that GMC would be No. 2 and Chevrolet No. 5,” said David Sargent, vice president of global automotive at J.D. Power.
Acura, Toyota, Honda, Jaguar — which previously has finished near the bottom — and Hyundai rounded out the top 10.
The study measures the problems per 100 vehicles owners of the car experience. Porsche had just 80. The industry average was 113.
Toyota’s Scion brand scored the worst of the 33 car brands with 161 problems per 100 vehicles. The other bottom-finishers were 29th-place finisher Mini, followed by Nissan, Mitsubishi and Fiat.
Although the ratings only look at the first 90 days of ownership of a new car, they are important because they tend to uncover design flaws and operational issues rather than the mechanical defects that show up in studies that look at longer time periods.