Land Rover has significantly improved its initial vehicle quality according to the 2011 J.D. Power and Associates U.S. Initial Quality Study (IQS).
In fact, the Land Rover lineup was the most improved brand tested, reducing its problems-per-hundred vehicles (PP) by 47, to a total of 123 PP100. Land Rover's enhanced initial vehicle quality was lead by the 2011 Range Rover Sport, which reported 80 fewer PP100 than the previous model. Despite the improvements, Land Rover remains in the 25th percentile of vehicles tested (26 out of 32 tested) and well below the industry average of 107.
The Range Rover Sport's drop in reported problems reflected a broader trend of fewer problems experienced with carryover vehicles in 2011. In contrast, the number of problems reported from new model launches increased considerably, resulting in a lower initial quality rating for redesigned vehicles. J.D. Power and Associates attributed the decline in vehicle launch quality to engine and audio/entertainment malfunctions.
• “With high fuel prices and more stringent government regulations, automakers are designing engine and transmission software to make their models as economical as possible. However, this sometimes leads to engine or transmission “hesitating” when accelerating or changing gears, and consumers this year are reporting this as a problem more often than in past years”
• “Automakers are also accelerating the introduction of multimedia technology into their models, including hands-free and voice activation systems. Many consumers are attracted by this type of technology…but some vehicle owners report that their system is not intuitive and/or does not always function properly”
It makes sense that new models would be prone to problems as they are (at times) rushed into production, and require a longer testing period to flush out vehicle issues. Perhaps consumers are best served by waiting a year or two for the exciting new vehicle, and allow time for the manufacturer to work the bugs out.
The Initial Quality Study serves as the industry benchmark for new-vehicle quality measured at 90 days of ownership. The 2011 U.S. Initial Quality Study is based on responses from more than 73,000 purchasers and lessees of new 2011 model-year cars, trucks and multi-activity vehicles surveyed after 90 days of ownership.
Initial Quality has been shown throughout the years to be an excellent predictor of long-term durability.
(Source: J.D. Power and Associates 2011 U.S. Initial Quality Study)
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