(DETROIT) -- General Motors for the first time, ranked atop a closely watched survey measuring new-vehicle quality. GM placed two brands-GMC and Chevrolet-in top five of J.D. Power and Associates' Initial Quality Study released June 19th. The annual survey, redesigned for its 27th year, measures the number of problems on 2013 cars and light trucks that buyers report after 90 days of ownership. Volkswagen AG's Porsche unit topped all brands, followed by GMC, Lexus, Infiniti, and Chevrolet.
"GM has the best quality of any corporation in the study, the first times it's been on top," said David Sargent, Vice President of the global automotive practice at J.D. Power and the study's author. "And GMC and Chevrolet have never finished in the top five before."
Almost two-thirds of problems reported on 2013 models were related to design rather than manufacturing defects-things drivers considered not broken but still difficult to understand or operate, Power said.
"The manufacturers have gotten really, really good at building high-quality products," Sargent said. "Quality now is not just 'Does it work?' It's a matter of how it works and is it simple and enjoyable to operate."
Results of the study were released at an Automotive Press Association luncheon in Detroit. GM's four brands averaged 98 problems per 100 vehicles, and it was the only automaker with fewer than one problem per new car, passing Toyota Motor Corporation and Honda Motor Company, which tied for second among automakers with 103 problems per 100 models surveyed.
Top Problem Areas on 2013 New Models
1. Built-in voice recognition frequently doesn't recognize or misinterprets commands
2. Built-in Bluetooth mobile phone/device frequent pairing/connectivity issues
3. Excessive wind noise
4. Materials scuff and/or soil easily
5. Navigation system is difficult to use or poorly located
(Source: J.D. Power and Associates)