Buyers’ satisfaction with Ford Motor Co.’s new cars and trucks has fallen while Toyota has recovered slightly after having had a dismal score last year, according to an annual survey by J.D. Power and Associates. Ford has relied on this factor for boosting its sales and market share in recent years.
This survey monitors problems that are reported in the first 90 days of the vehicles being owned. In the latest survey, Ford and Lincoln brands fell below the industry average of 107 problems reported for every 100 models studied. J.D. Power said that the results were influenced by two factors.
The first is the discomfort caused by complex infotainment features to new users. The second is due to the fuel-saving powertrain refinements making automatic transmissions appear to falter in an unusual way when they shift gears or accelerate.
Last year, Ford was No. 5 in this survey with 93 problems per 100 vehicles and it was also the highest mass-market brand in the Initial Quality Study. But this year, it ranked at No. 23 with 116 problems per 100 vehicles.
This marks the first time since the 2006 model year that the Ford brand dropped below the industry average in this study. Lincoln ranked eighth last year but it fell to 17th this year, with 111 problems reported for every 100 vehicles.
Lexus is at No. 1 with only 73 problems per 100 vehicles. Trailing Lexus were Honda, Acura, Mercedes-Benz, Mazda and Porsche, which topped last year. The model that had the fewest defects was the Lexus LS sedan, with 54 problems reported for every 100 cars.