NPR logo U.S. Car Brands Take 3 Of Top 10 Spots In Quality Study; Vs. 2 In 10 Previous Years


U.S. Car Brands Take 3 Of Top 10 Spots In Quality Study; Vs. 2 In 10 Previous Years

Coming in at No. 3: Cadillac. David Zalubowski/AP hide caption

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David Zalubowski/AP

Saying that all three of the traditional U.S. automakers continue to improve the quality of their vehicles, J.D. Power and Associates reports today that three of the top 10 brands were American in its latest annual "initial quality study."

While the top spot went to Toyota's Lexus brand, General Motors' Cadillac came in at No. 3. Ford was No. 8 and GM's Chevrolet was No. 9.

The automakers are ranked by the number of problems reported during the first three months after a vehicle is purchased. Lexus owners reported 84 problems per 100 vehicles.

Last year, Ford's Mercury brand and Ford cracked the top 10. The year before that, Ford's Lincoln brand and Ford were among that group. This year, Mercury came in at No. 12 but still had a better rating than the industry average.

In Detroit, the Free Press is leading its story about today's report with this:

New vehicles sold by Chrysler, Ford and GM's domestic brands have improved in initial quality by an average of 10% compared with 2008, but Toyota Motor Corp. was the star of this year's study on initial quality from J.D. Power and Associates.

The Detroit News takes a slightly different angle that's based on the relative closeness of the rankings:

Consumers buying a foreign or domestic car should expect the same quality of vehicle, according to J.D. Power and Associates Initial Quality Study released Monday afternoon at the Detroit Athletic Club.

"Domestic and import quality is exactly the same for cars," said Dave Sargent, a vice president of automotive research at J.D. Power.