The industry average for brands improved to 97 problems, from 105 a year ago.
Domestic brands continued to show improvement: The "Detroit Three" outperformed import brands for the second year in a row but for only the third time since the study was first published in 1987. Genesis was top-rated among premium brands, taking over first place from Porsche that was in the lead for four years since 2013.
J.D. Power says Hyundai is the automaker with the most segment awards in this year's survey, although all are for Kia-brand models. Analogous to the Dependability Study, the key difference is that the Dependability study looks at cars over a period of years, while the IQS rates vehicles on the problems owners experience during the first three months of ownership. This year's study yielded almost 80,000 responses from February to May by purchasers or lessees of '17 model-year vehicles. "The domestics have improved by ten-fold and have a high level of initial quality-fewer problems than the imports".
Other models ranking highest in their segments: Chrysler Pacifica, Ford Expedition, Ford Mustang, Infiniti QX80, Lexus GS, Mercedes-Benz GLA, Nissan Frontier, Porsche 911, Porsche Macan, and Toyota Camry.
Falling below the industry average, for the first time ever, is long-time IQS leader Lexus.
Coming up at number eight (since there are two sharing number ten) is Subaru with 113 PP100, which is an improvement over last year's 118, but still not enough to take the Japanese manufacturer out of the hall of shame. And that's how perfectly good brands get an terrible reputation just because somebody's friend of a friend had a bit of bad luck with their particular vehicle. There is absolutely no compromise when it comes to the quality and safety of our vehicles.
The score is determined by the number of problems detected per 100 vehicles in 233 categories.
South Korean brands, meanwhile, have been steadily improving.
According to the results, Kia had the highest level of initial quality in the United States with just 72 problems experienced out of 100 vehicles.
The more new technology crammed into a vehicle, the more things can go wrong. Acura - 19 fewer problems - Volvo - 18 fewer, and Ford, which finished with 16 fewer problems.
Seeing more problems as noted by survey respondents is adaptive cruise control, a technology that can automatically adjust vehicle speed based on how fast or slow the vehicle ahead is traveling. Consumers will need to be convinced that these systems are foolproof before they will give up driving control to autonomous vehicles. J.D. Power surveyed 2017 personal-use models whose owners had the auto or truck "in service" more than three months, registered between November 2016 and February 2017. Chevy slipped one spot to seventh, but owners reported a rate of seven fewer problems than a year ago.