U.S. vehicle quality hits 36-year low as supply, labor woes continue

FILE PHOTO: Traffic moves along a freeway as vehicles travel towards Los Angeles Reuters/MIKE BLAKE FILE PHOTO: Traffic moves along a freeway as vehicles travel towards Los Angeles

(Reuters) – The quality of vehicles sold in the United States fell to a 36-year low in 2022, according to automotive consultant J.D. Power, as labor shortages and supply snags continued to impact automakers.

Major automakers have been struggling to deal with supply chain disruptions and a shortage of workers in their plants since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.

The study, which collected data from 84,165 purchasers and lessees of 2022 model-year vehicles, reported that problems per 100 vehicles (PP100) rose 11%, 18 PP100 worse than last year. A lower score reflects higher vehicle quality.

“Given the many challenges automakers and their dealers had to face in the past year, it is somewhat surprising that initial quality did not fall even more dramatically,” said J.D. Power’s director of global automotive, David Amodeo.

General Motors Co’s Buick ranked the highest in terms of improvement in initial quality among automakers, while Stellantis NV’s Chrysler ranked the lowest.

The report also added that owners of battery-electric vehicles (BEV) and plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEVs) cited more problems in their vehicles when compared to owners of internal combustion engine (ICE) models.

Tesla Inc, which was included in the study for the first time, scored 226 PP100 compared to Polestar, which scored 328 PP100. GM’s Buick scored 139 PP100.

J.D. Power’s quality survey is based on 2022 model-year vehicles studied early in their ownership period with data collected from February through May.

(Reporting by Nathan Gomes in Bengaluru; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri)


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