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2022 JD Power Initial Quality Study Found the Most New Car Issues Ever

Buick and Genesis topped the list this year, while Chrysler landed at the bottom yet again.

Front 3/4 view of a black 2022 Buick Enclave Avenir
Andrew Krok/CNET

JD Power's yearly Initial Quality Study looks at, as you might expect, the initial quality of new cars by looking into how many problems per 100 vehicles (PP100) exist across different brands. Citing supply chain issues, high new car prices and other pandemic-related problems, JD Power on Tuesday said 2022 saw the highest number of vehicle issues in the 36-year history of the study -- an 11% increase in PP100 to an average of 180 PP100.

The study is based on research taken from 84,165 purchases and lessees of 2022 model year cars during the early ownership period, with the survey taken between February and May of this year. JD Power asks 223 questions for the survey across nine categories: climate, controls and displays, driving assistance, driving experience, exterior, features, infotainment, interior, powertrain and seats. Tesla was officially included for the first time this year, but because the company doesn't allow JD Power access to owner information, Teslas are ineligible for JD Power's awards.

This year Buick topped the study with a score of 139 PP100, a major improvement that puts it up from 12th place last year. Buick is closely followed by Dodge and Chevrolet, with Genesis the top-ranked premium brand in 4th place with 156 PP100. Maserati, Volvo and Chrysler are at the bottom of the pile with PP100 ratings of 255, 256 and 265, respectively. Ram was last year's champ with 128 PP100, but this year it slid down to 18th place with 186 PP100. Tesla came in at 226 PP100, slightly better than its unofficial result last year. Out of the 33 ranked brands, only 9 of them saw quality improvements compared to last year.

While both brand new and continuing models had more problems this year, new cars had the largest increase in issues. The gap between all-new and continuing cars is now 25 PP100, an increase of 5, and JD Power says that four times as many new cars do worse than the segment averages versus cars that do better than the average. Mainstream cars also have fewer issues than those from premium brands, with mass-market brands averaging 175 PP100 against 196 PP100 for premium companies.

The category with the largest number of problems continues to be infotainment, with six of the top 10 issues in the study being related to infotainment systems: Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, Bluetooth systems, difficulties with screens, inconsistent audio volume, not enough plugs or USB ports and voice recognition systems. Problems with driver-assistance systems also grew compared to last year, with lane-departure warning and lane-keeping assist proving to be the most problematic. Owners of fully electric and plug-in hybrid cars also had more problems than those of gas-powered cars, with EVs averaging 240 PP100 and PHEvs averaging 239 PP100 while ICE cars averaged 175 PP100.