*Lexus is the leader
*GM tops among American brands in 9th place
*Ford slips to 23rd due to radio control systems issue
Ford has its profitability back on track, earning more than $9 billion in profits the past two years after being at the brink of bankruptcy, but now quality is slipping a bit. Problems with new technologies in the control system for its radios hurt the company in the latest survey released by J.D. Power and Associates.
All automakers face quality issues and recalls, and there is a difference between a stuck accelerator and a faulty radio system, but the quality rankings released by J.D. Power and Associates are one of the closely watched and impacting keys within the automotive industry. Last year Ford led among mass automakers in the quality rankings. In this year's rankings Ford slipped to 23rd.
Ford has acknowledged the problems, which cost the company recommended ratings from Consumer Reports this year on its Ford Edge and Lincoln MKX SUVs because of the faulty MyFord Touch and MyLincoln Touch systems.
As we see issues in our own internal reporting, said Mark Fields, Ford's President of the Americas, we jump all over them quickly and address them.
A spokersperson with J.D. Power and Associates suggests Ford was penalized for trying to bring new technologies to market for consumers.
Ford is on the leading edge, certainly in the mass market, said David Sargent, J.D. Power's vice president of global vehicle research. With that comes some risk that there will be unforseen problems and that's exactly whats happened. There's a great deal of parity between the different vehicles and different brands, so if you have a significant problem in a particular area, that can really set you back in terms of the rankings.
GM's Cadillac brand ranked as the highest U.S. company, at ninth, while Japanese-automaker Toyota jumped to 7th after a 21st ranking in the last survey when the company was besieged by recall and quality issues and the company's Lexus brand topped the quality list, moving up from fourth place.
Among specific brands, here is the top ten ilst of specific brands performance from the J.D. Power and Associates U.S. Initial Quality Survey Study that tracks difficulties faced by new car owners in the first 90 days.