Avalanche, Frontier, Sierra Top JD Power and Associates 2010 Quality Study

Avalanche, Frontier, Sierra Top JD Power and Associates 2010 Quality Study

General Motors’ Chevrolet Avalanche and GMC Sierra 1500 full-size pickups lead this year’s Initial Quality Study from J.D. Power and Associates. Both scored an average rating of 81 problems per 100 trucks in the new-owner survey, which measures design-related problems and defects in the first three months of ownership.

Overall, the industry average for initial quality is 109 problems per 100 vehicles in 2010, up one point from 2009.

The Initial Quality Study covers just the first three months of ownership, so it isn’t a comprehensive survey on how cars will hold up over time, but it’s still worth noting. The survey was compiled for owners who bought new cars between November 2009 and February 2010. More than 82,000 purchasers and lessees of new 2010 model-year vehicles were surveyed.

2010 vs 2009 IQS Data

Last year’s full-size class leaders — the Ford F-150 and Toyota Tundra, which each averaged 88 problems per 100 trucks in the 2009 study — went in separate directions in 2010. The F-150 lowered its number of problems to 85 while the Tundra increased to 100.

Toyota was in the middle of multiple recalls over sticky accelerator pedals, floormats and braking when the survey was taken, so that likely played a role in the Tundra’s reversal.

Also worth noting, the Ram 1500 made big strides, improving from 131 to 98.

The Nissan Frontier was the highest-ranked midsize pickup, with a score of 87, followed by Ford’s Ranger and Explorer Sport Trac.

Last year’s midsize class leader, the Honda Ridgeline, took a major step back in quality. Reported problems grew from 81 to 110. In February 2009, Ridgeline production was moved from Honda’s Alliston Auto Plant in Alliston, Ontario, Canada, to Honda's assembly line in Lincoln, Ala.

Ford became the top-rated non-luxury brand for the first time in the study’s history, moving from eighth to fifth place.

[Source: J.D. Power & Associates]


not surprised at all, The Avalanche is a great truck...

I hope the numbers for next gen Silverado 1500 are a little better though... Its still a high quality truck, but GM can do better.

props to GMC Sierra as well, IMO its the best looking half-ton on the road, and from the looks of this test, the highest quality.

Nice job GM. Interesting to note that Silverado 1500 had many more problems than Sierra 1500 (101-81), but it was the opposite with HDs (107-122).

ha yea Luke I noticed the same thing, I really don't know how that works considering these trucks are all built on the same line...

Why the the huge disparity between the GMC and Chevy even though they come off the same production line? Something seems amiss ...............

How does the Frontier top the study? Yeah, I know it is a midize, but it doesn't top the F-150.

The F-150 has 85 problems.
The Frontier has 87 problems.

It seems like F-150 has less problems.

Also worth noting, the F-250/F-350 is the top quality heavy duty truck.

This is my theory on why the Sierra has much less problems than the Silverado in the first 3 months.

Sierra is harder to find and is probably being bought more by businesses. The trucks when bought by a business probably does more sitting around in the first 3 months. If they sit, no problems occur.

The Silverado is more of a personal use truck so they get used right away as daily drivers, and thus have more problems.


Wake up men businesses do not buy trucks to keep in a yard I think it's the opposite they use the truck more often then a private. And those truck are probably run harder than private ones.

It's easy for Nissan to build top quality truck when they build only 5000 a month the guys working on the asembly line have plenty of time to screw up the truck very well and play poker.

"Wake up men businesses do not buy trucks to keep in a yard I think it's the opposite they use the truck more often then a private." - JoBlo

Yes, they do. If a corporation buys a bunch of trucks they do not get used daily. They sit around a lot specially when they first buy them as they are not assigned right away.

"And those truck are probably run harder than private ones."

Doubtful. Since they are sitting around a lot, or going short distances around town. Personal use trucks will be driven daily and much farther, thus more problems occur. If a problem occurs, I bet they would not take it in to be fixed right away as a personal owner would.

Just my theory. You are entitled to your own.

As previously pointed out - the Silverado and Sierra trucks have large differences in quality.
This information adds to the argument that the GMC Sierra and the Chevrolet Silverado are in fact separate brands.

If they were just rebadged clones - quality should be identical.

Look at the Ram HD's - 150 per 100. That means 1/2 of the people buying one are having 2 repairs done in 3 months. Ouch!

Toyota has taken a big hit in quality. The much maligned Tundra has better quality then the Tacoma.

This is what makes buying a new truck challenging. You have to base much of your decision on the quality of previous models.

LOL, Dave why would a business buy trucks to let them sit.. They are purchased to work and make money not sit and collect dust.

My guess would be if GMC truly does get more commercial customers, they probably don’t care about little trivial problems that don’t affect drivability. Where a private owner will get little bugs fixed because they want the truck perfect.

It's not that they want them to sit. It's what happens every day. Let's say AT&T or a government agency bought 500 Sierras. They aren't going to be used right away. They will sit in a holding area. This survey is for the first 3 months. I could imagine a purchasing agent or Obama ordering 500 Sierra hybrids and then not using them for a couple months or more. Or let's say some town ordered 3 new Sierras for municipal work. They won't be driving them every day. Many times they will just sit around and used as lawn ornaments. Go to any government auction and you will see the vehicles have very few miles on them.

My other point was the personal use customer would be more proactive in getting things fixed. For example, If you or I owned 1 truck as a daily driver, and the stereo stopped working, we would be at the dealer immediately the next day getting it fixed. The employee or government worker on the other hand won't get the stereo fixed right away or maybe not at all due to various reasons.

If anyone do not agree with my theory, don't just attack mine, come up with your own. At least Lou comes up with his own theory. He says the two trucks are much different in quality. The funny thing is all of the GM fans wants to combine the Sierra and Silverado when it comes to sales figures because they are the same trucks, but when it comes to quality, they don't want to because they say they are two different trucks.

I have seen government fleets sit idle waiting for "peak" season to start.
Any large private companies I've encountered usually plan for little downtime with their fleets.
Fleet trucks are usually abused becuase of multiple operators and minimal accountablitiy.


I agree, Ouch is right for the Ram HD's... If those trucks didn't have a Cummins , they wouldn't have anything at all.

I would be very surprised If GMC trucks have a high fleet rate... GMC does really good on retail sales, which is part of the reason why GM didn't kill the brand, it makes them a shitload of cash.

Here is a perfect example of the ignorance of people that look at these statistics and then form a uneducated conclusion. This proves that there are a lot of ignorant posters here. The reason the GMC shows less problems as a whole vs the Chevrolet is simple and it has absolutely nothing to do with the build quality as some idiot's have tried to suggest. Chevrolet builds and sells a lot more trucks than gmc and so the statistics are going to be skewed.

The Chevrolet and the gmc are built in the same plant on the same assembly line and no advantage is given to the gmc.

To suggest otherwise is plain stupidity. Chevrolet is going to show more problems because there are a lot more owners filling out surveys. The light duty Silverado and Sierra are the best half ton's in the industry and cost less to own. Best fuel milage by far. Simply put, they are the segment leaders.

So let it be written, so let it be done!

A new truck when purchased by a company may spend a few weeks sitting around before hitting the streets. My work Silverado (08, 1/2 ton 4.8l 4x4) spent about 2 weeks in our fleet yard before I got the keys. It got safety inspected, lettered and upfitted with amber lights, a headache rack, safety gear and a radio. It took a little time to get it fit in.

Also when a minor issue goes wrong with the truck I am 100% more likely to bring it into the fleet garage than to go sit at a dealership. Its just a lot faster.

But my truck gets run hard. I constantly have a load in the bed, I am running up dirt roads at 50mph, wheeling through all kinds of muck. And on top of that I average about 55-60k per year. My truck was new in April of 08...I just crossed 118k today.

Aside from dog crap tires and brakes from the factory, it has been a flawless 118k.

That said, this JD Power survey is worthless and the difference between the Silverado and Sierra just highlights it.

@ Bob - you sir have no idea how statistcs work.
GM LD = 81 per 100. That means 81% or roughly 4/5 trucks will need a dealer visit.
Chev LD = 101 per 100. That means 101%. All of these trucks will find there way in for repairs.

Chevy selling more trucks will give a more accurate picture as the sample size is larger.
I'd be more inclined to doubt the GM numbers - smaller sample means greater chance of error.

The percentage stays the same whether you sample 100,000 or 1,000,000.

Besides - I thought you went up in flames in a Chevy..... no Chevrolet ..... well... okay....Chevy truck fire.

Give me back my jacket!

Funny thing,my Dodge's never went to the shop when new and low mileage,nor has friends and close family members Dodge Ram's ...The only one I know of is my brothers old 2002 Dodge 3500 V-10 gas engine truck , went into the shop at 10,000 miles for a warped brake rotor,they replaced them for free..back in 2002 !! Truck lasted 155,000 problem free miles before getting stolen last fall..

It is the recalls they had to update/change the computer program,again if a Dodge goes into the shop when new its 99% of the time for nothing major..mostly computer upgrade recalls..

Been back to the dealer 2 times in 6 weeks with my 2011 F350 Diesel for emission related issues. New vehicles seem to have issues early on, lots of electronics on new trucks now. Hope i don't have to go back to dealer too often, but todat my check engine light popped on, probably some emission glitch again. Glad its just a lease in case it becomes too troublesome. On the good side if i have several issues in the first few months then someone else is not haveing any (according to the stats) LOL. Rip all the emission crap of the truck and never see the dealer again(mostly because of lack of warranty).... too funny.

@ Dodge - you did not mention a large number of vehicles.
I know from previous posts that you own a SRT10 and a Ram 1500. Your purchase dates would be significant in relation to this story. You could find the initial quality data from JD Power covering your 2 trucks.
This data covers 3 months Quote"The survey was compiled for owners who bought new cars between November 2009 and February 2010."
If you bought your trucks during this time the "ODDS" for your trucks would be: 98/100 requiring service.
You could be the the 2/100 that did not need a dealer visit.

Ram 1500 showed a huge jump in quality:131 to 98.
Ram HD showed a huge drop in quality : 113 to 151.

The most important thing to look at are trends.
The Ram trucks were new for 2009 (correct me if I'm wrong).
Do these statistics show an improvement in quality for the 1500 with the new model?
Do these stats show a decrease in quality with the new HD?

Lets not forgot, as Riley alluded to 90 problems per 100 vehicles doesn't mean 90 vehicles. Some may have more than one problem and others have none.

The discrepancy between GMC and Chevrolet is interesting. How accurate is this survey? Lets see some p-values and confidence intervals (if we were really serious about this).

Lastly, I think that the reason the pickups are bought may influence the results. Work truck trims have fewer bells and whistles = less things to go wrong.

Let's not forget*

"Toyota was in the middle of multiple recalls over sticky accelerator pedals, floormats and braking when the survey was taken, so that likely played a role"

With that said these findings are not accurate at all and J.D. Powers has compromised itself falling for negative media attention for their results insteade of real world data...

Recalls have nothing to do with this study, their admission that they themselves lowered Toyota's numbers to reflect the recalls shows their bias and manipulation by the media...

Consumer Reports and now J.D. Powers have been added to my list of organizations that sell themselves to the highest bidder!

Both should be ashamed to call themselves impartial and unbiased!!!

Hey, I know how frontier made on top, they only sold 81 trucks. HEEHEE

This title is inaccurate.

The Frontier made the top four. The top 3 were Avalanche, Sierra, F-150.

The title should read...

Avalanche, Sierra, F-150 Top JD Power and Associates 2010 Quality Study

oxi - 1 recall per vehicle requiring repairs would give you a 100 per 100 ratio. The Tundra numbers would seem to indicate that fact. It would depend as to when the recalls were issued, and when customers followed up on them.
I'm surprised the Toyota problems per 100 are not higher.

This data covers 3 months Quote"The survey was compiled for owners who bought new cars between November 2009 and February 2010."

Recall notices that have been dealt with during this time frame would show up in these stats.

It would be interesting to see the study in it's entirety to see what questions were asked, and what was the margin of error. Gil made some valid points in that regard.

@oxicotton: Sierra and Avalanche topped full-size pickups and the Frontier was best amongst midsize trucks. Title explained.

Help me figure this out. I went on GM's website, JD Power, wikipedia, and cars.com and none of them refer to the Avalanche as a full-size pickup truck but sport utility truck and GM refers to its twin as actually an SUV.

"Chevy bills the Avalanche as “the industry’s most flexible utility vehicle” due to its unique midgate, combining 6-passenger comfort and attributes of an SUV with a truck’s cargo capabilities."

When it debuted for 2002, the Avalanche upset the trend of making more-SUV-like pickups...It's neither an SUV nor a pickup it's both. (ie SUT)

Sport utility truck
Sport utility truck (SUT) is marketing term for a vehicle deriving from an SUV or crossover having four doors and an open bed similar to that of a pickup truck albeit at a shorter bed length. Examples include the Chevrolet Avalanche, Cadillac Escalade EXT, Honda Ridgeline, and the Toyota A-BAT concept. Others are simple variations of preexisting models, like the Hummer H2 SUT and Ford Explorer Sport Trac.

The Chevrolet Avalanche is a four-door, five or six passenger sport utility truck sharing GM's long-wheelbase chassis used on the Chevrolet Suburban and Cadillac Escalade

From GM: "The EXT is a 5 passenger SUV":

Escalade EXT
The Escalade EXT sport utility truck (released alongside its twin, the Chevrolet Avalanche

As of 2009, these pick-ups are sold as full-size in North America:

* Chevrolet Silverado/GMC Sierra
* Dodge Ram
* Ford F-Series
* Nissan Titan
* Toyota Tundra


Sport utility trucks (SUT)

Main article: Sport utility truck
Sport utility truck (SUT) is a marketing term for a vehicle deriving from an SUV or Crossover with the distinction of four doors and an open bed similar to that of a pickup truck — suitable for light to heavy-duty capability, depending on the vehicle. Examples include the Honda Ridgeline, Hummer H2 SUT, Chevrolet Avalanche, Ford Explorer Sport Trac, and the Cadillac Escalade EXT, SsangYong Musso Sports and SsangYong Actyon Sports.[citation needed]


Mid-size pickups

For 2009, mid-size and large pickups dominate the US market. Mid-size models include:

* Chevrolet Colorado/GMC Canyon
* Dodge Dakota/Mitsubishi Raider
* Ford Sport Trac
* Hummer H3T
* Nissan Frontier
* Suzuki Equator
* Toyota Tacoma


From Chevy: "Explore the fuel efficient 2010 Chevy Avalanche, a new Chevy crossover truck..."



You still did not answer as to why J.D. Powers is manipulated by media events in their findings!

Their results have been compromised!

"Toyota was in the middle of multiple recalls over sticky accelerator pedals, floormats and braking when the survey was taken, so that likely played a role in the Tundra’s reversal."

That statement alone proves their findings are not accurate and subject to emotional media hype...

I used to respect J.D. Powers and Consumer Reports, I do not anymore, they are typical money hungry groups (money is tight these days folks, must pay the bills somehow) that accept bribes to sway opinion like our government does...

So I will say "likely" they have manipulated their results to fall in line with government regulators that happen to own the majority of General Motors, our new socialist government experiment...

Dodge HD trucks are way better quality this year and this survey is previous model years when emission lights and issues were plentiful as the regen cycles had to be fine tuned. If this test is even accurate at all you will see dodge HD stats get better, according to the feedback from dealerships saying the 2010 Ram HD is giving them very few issues with emisions being ironed out now. Way to goe GMC trucks but at looking at this survey it seems very inaccurate due to The Chevrolet is the same truck, possible assembly line problems, very hard to say what caused the difference. I can verify that my 2007 Sierra Duramax has had very few dealer visits( Trans. cooler lines, heated w/w fliud, and 1 reflash for transmission cooling during high idle warm-up. Had my 2010 3500 Cummins for 6.5 months now and not one visit to the dealership. Interesting survey none the less.

This survey is idiotic b/c it just goes by numbers a serious engine problem counts as 1 as does something little and stupid like a radio or something thats still under warranty and that whole chevy gmc thing just goes to show it fighting over which truck is the best over this is dumb I dont care what anyone says I like Dodges theyve treated me right I dont mind Fords and I think chevys are pos' but to each his own

The "problems" each vehicle is assessed does not necessarily mean a mechanical problem that requires a fix. Many of these problems are merely the buyer not liking the operation or layout of certain features. Per JD Power's website: "Consumers are asked to rate both mechanical quality (i.e., defects and malfunctions) and design quality (how well a particular feature works or operates)."

If what you say is true (that the problem disparity between Chevys and GMCs is due to Chevy selling more trucks), then wouldn't Chevy HDs have more problems then GMC HDs? The numbers say otherwise.

Also, the PP100 figures take into account higher sales volumes.

@luke - I agree that problems per 100 vehicles are not clearly defined. A sticking door lock is insignificant compared to a sticking gas pedal.
I always find it interesting that when a study or survey says something against a person's favorite brand , they attack the survey or the surveyors. The same thing will happen when the HD and LD truck shootouts are conducted and the winners are announced.

I try to look at as many sources as possible for information. JD Power is one source.

Does this information "jive" with other (impartial) sources?

Can you link an improvement or deterioraton to an obvious event?
ie. new model, new drivetrain, management change, recall etc.

What were the questions asked? What counts as a problem?

How do they weed-out lemons or disgruntled owners? (Things that will skew the results)

Is it beyond the scope of this site to dissect the research process that JD Power uses?

@oxi - I do not think that JD Power is directly affected by the media or media events. They are not puppets of the government or mass media.

Owners may be more likely to report or complain if there has been negative media hype. This may skew the results. A recall definately will skew the results - whether or not there is a real problem to fix.

For all of you disgruntled posters - feel free to investigate how JD Power does it's research, and how it compiles it's data. They have an email address for inquiries. Let us know your findings.
Do your own homework!

I was just pointing out to you and everyone else that a high PP100 score does not necessarily mean parts were falling off the truck or that it was constantly breaking down. Luxury brands usually have high PP100 scores, but that is partially due to the "higher standards" demanded by their clientele. I initially thought the same reason may have caused the Sierra HDs higher score than the Silverado HDs, but the scores of the respective half tons don't jive with that thought. You raise a lot of good questions worth mulling over. Results like these JD Power scores are definitely important, but interpreting what they mean is a daunting task, one that employs teams of people at each of the manufacturers.

@Luke - thanks for your comments/feedback.
I do not include you in the "For all of you disgruntled posters " comment.

makes no sence, chevy and GMC is the same damn trucks, chev is bs, so is consumer reports, my 94 f-150 ownbs all that jink, chevys typicial dont haul nothen at all.

This survey is for INITIAL quality. INITIAL! It is not a reliability study. Initial meaning returns to the dealership in the first 3 months. Yes that would include many minor items and that is totally the point. It will also include stuff like recalls and major component failures as dealership visits too. Initial quality is by no means any indicator of long term quality. However it does give a good indication of what manufacturer seems to be paying attention to details or has the best out the door QC program.

FWIW I too find it funny that GM fans want to combine Silverado and Sierra sales to beat Ford, but when quality issues arise they want to keep them separate.

BTW Oxi? Do you just like to argue about meaningless crap? Seriously. First you go off on the thread about the Jeep Kaiser concept not being up to spec for the DOD (which it was never intended to be) then more nonsense of the other light armored truck thread, now you are trying to make some meaningless statement about the Avalanche being a truck or not. BTW if you read one of you links in you posts it shows the Sport Trac was considered an SUT and a pickup? How is that? The Avalanche is nothing more than a crewcab with a tricky pass through. What makes my crew cab pick up not an SUT??

When i leased my 2007 Avalanche, i received one of these surveys from JD Powers. The survey does not get into specifics, it is simply, during the first 3 months has the vehicle been in for service other than routine maintenance (Oil changes etc). The numbers on these surveys are skewed based on the person filling it out. Some people will not count an issue if they feel it is simple in nature (loose trim, maybe not sure if the feature is operating correctly or not) Some people will write a defect if they get a flat tire, even if they caused the issue.

Also trying to look at fleet to not, Government fleets etc don't use vehicles as much as a small private fleet. Uncle works for a small boiler company in Maine, they have a 30-40 vehicle fleet, those things are driven till dead and are used a lot. His 5 month old truck has 65k on it. And the issues they return to the dealer for have to be major, squeeky trim or something of that nature does not get attention, the truck needs to be on the road. Also they have received the JD Power surveys before, and threw them out. They don't have time, don't know which vehicle it is in reference to because of multiple new vehicles a year.

They used to drive GMC's , now Fords. Has more to do with available dealers than trucks. They all perform the same in 95% of scenarios. That and they are aligning their fleet to one truck brand, they use alot of 450/550 trucks so they are moving to 150's from sierras.

i actually know someone who filled in their survey a certain way because of his brand loyalty and wanted them to show high quality. ignored the few times he was in with issues, (Those are common on new trucks, if it was something different or major i would mention it. Yeah sure)

Just my observations.

Oh and i loved my Avalanche, was a great truck. Kid with dogs meant a move to a Suburban.

Judging by this the Tacoma is the least reliable truck on the market. Whoa! I bet Oxi is having a cow at the moment.

The Avalanche is built off of the Tahoe/Suburban platform.
The Sport Trac is built off of the Explorer platform.
SUV based trucks. It is confusing as to classification.
They do meet the definition of a pickup.
I do not think GM or Ford count them as pickups but as SUV's.

@ G- street - Oxi has expanded his conspiracy theory:
I used to respect J.D. Powers and Consumer Reports, I do not anymore, they are typical money hungry groups (money is tight these days folks, must pay the bills somehow) that accept bribes to sway opinion like our government does...

Lou, IIRC The SPort Trac is body on frame, has a solid rear axle and the bed is separate from the cab like a CC pickup. Avalanche is a little blurrier but shared many body parts with the Silverado when it debuted. It however does have an open bed and is body on frame as well.

@ Keith - The Sport trac is body on frame but was based on the Explorer. It also has independant rear suspension.
The Avalanche shares the same platform as the Suburban/Tahoe and Sierra/Silverado (GMT800 - 900 platform).
Thanks for your comments.

I own a beautiful JD Power Awarded 2008, Sierra 1500, 4dr, 2wd & Love the quality & styling!
However, if my GMC were not available, I would not buy the Chevy!! Chew on that Ford-Fans...
Congrats to GM on another JD Power Award!! Ford... Dodge, let us know when you get your first "Quality Award"... I'm waiting...

@ Scott - IIRC F150 and Tundra were at the top of the heap last year.
I like the Sierra. A Silverado would not be my alternate choice.
This site posted a study on loyalty. It was interesting to see which truck a person would pick if their favorite brand died.
52% of GMC owners would pick a Silverado.
Chevy guys are less loyal to their sibling:Thirty-four percent would chose GMC.

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