South Korean brands again sweep JD Power's US initial quality survey

2020 Silverado 2500 HD-17

2020 Silverado 2500 HD-17

The gap between Korean and other automakers continues to widen, comparing this data with last year's, which J.D. Power partially attributes to improvements in infotainment and electronics, areas that can be frustrating for many new owners. The problems are more than just a pain for new-vehicle owners. Its maker J.D. Power, a global marketing information service company founded in 1968, fielded this year's study from February through May.

In particular, Hyundai owners reported three fewer problems per 100 vehicles than a year ago, the Seoul-based automaker said on June 19.

Genesis, Kia, Hyundai - marques under Korea's Hyundai Motor Group - swept the top 3 places on J.D. Power's annual quality study of new cars sold in the United States for the second year in a row. Japanese brands Nissan Motor, Lexus and Toyota Motor Corp. ranked seventh, ninth and 10th, respectively.

The study found that Genesis was the best performing brand in 2019 with 63 problems per 100 vehicles.

The Korean brands have been plagued by a series of recalls and service campaigns to fix engine failures and potential fire problems, but that didn't show in the survey.

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Encouraged by the automaker's strong showing in J.D. Power's IQS, a senior Hyundai executive vowed to remain committed to quality.

The official said that as a brand, Hyundai ranked first in two of the eight categories - the fewest reported audio-communication-entertainment-and-navigation as well as seat problems. "Instead, their vehicle has been recalled and the problem has been fixed before it ever manifests itself".

"However, some traditional problems crept up this year including paint imperfections, brake and suspension noises, engines not starting and the "check engine" light coming on early in the ownership experience".

Hyundai Motor Group announced on June 10 that subscribers to connected vehicle services of the Hyundai, Kia and Genesis brands have surpassed 1 million as of June 18.

Vehicle quality has been improving since 2014 when the survey turned up 116 problems per 100 vehicles. Quality was worst in 1998, when problems per 100 vehicles peaked at 176, according to the survey.

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