J.D. Power and Associates Announce the 2012 U.S. Initial Quality Study (IQS)

2013-GMC-Sierra-HD-2500-SLE 2 II
J.D. Power and Associates' 2012 Initial Quality Study was released Wednesday, and the big winners that sell pickup trucks, all finishing above the industry average of 102 problems reported per 100 vehicles, were Chevrolet (100), Ram (99), Nissan (99), GMC (99), Toyota (88) and Honda (83). The only other pickup truck makers, finishing well below the industry average, were Suzuki (115) and Ford (118).

J.D. Power noted that a good number of the issues this past year were related to new multimedia entertainment and navigation systems. Even though Ford invested a substantial amount of time and money in a MyFord Touch upgrade that makes the system much easier to use and understand, the automaker saw its score worsen by one point. Benny Fowler, Ford's group vice president for global quality, said he expects the scores to improve by the third quarter of this year as new buyers get more exposure and experience with the new MyFord Touch.

It's also worth noting that both the General Motor's pickup brands, Chevrolet and GMC, had their highest combined ratings in the study's 26-year history, both finishing above the industry average. 

The new J.D. Power study also names the top models from 21 different categories, including large and midsize pickup trucks. The winner of the Large Pickup category went to the GMC Sierra 1500, with the Chevy Silverado HD in second and the Chevy Avalanche and Nissan Titan tied for third (that essentially amounts to a sweep for GM trucks). In the Midsize category, the Nissan Frontier won, and the Honda Ridgeline was the only other pickup on the list. For a complete list of all the winners, click here

J.D. Power’s ratings are determined by the number of problems reported per 100 vehicles. The lower the score, the better the rating. The group polled 74,000 original owners of model-year 2012 vehicles and recorded problems they've experienced over 90 days of ownership.

2012 Nissan Frontier red II


Usability of the MyFord Touch system shouldn't fall under quality issues. If the system works, but is complicated, it's not a quality issue, it's a user/understanding issue. Quality should be limited to faulty parts that have to be replaced under warranty such as a wiper motor failing, window motor failing, shift knob falling off. It's bogus to rate ease of use as a quality issue.

On top of that, I took a JD Power survey for my 2011 Focus, no questions asked about ease of use.

But yet Ford is #1 in sales

I agree with Vanakatherock,


Not a quality issue? Tell that to people in AZ when their A/C shuts off in the middle of summer because they were trying to change radio staions and MFT freezes and shuts off.

Before all the brand bashing starts congrats to the winners.

I disagree with Vanaka; the quality of the software is just as important as the quality of the hardware. If the software is complicated and confusing, then the owner has to take his eyes off the road to use it, creating a serious safety hazard. The fact that Ford's upgrade actually made the numbers worse says a lot for the quality of that upgrade.

Worse for me is the simple fact that My Ford Touch is now standard on almost all vehicles, effectively making every single one of them more dangerous due to distracted drivers, no matter how good the vehicle itself may be.

To be honest, even the aftermarket radio I installed in my 1990 F-150 can be very frustrating at times, forcing me to pull over into a parking lot to modify its playlists. Not a fault of the truck, true, but still a potentially dangerous circumstance if the driver tries to do it while rolling.

So yes, I would strongly disagree with Vanaka on this point.

I suspect most of the infotainment issues Ford had reported were probably due to the owners not reading the manual before trying to use it. I used to see this all the time when I worked in dealerships.
People keep coming back for non-existent problems when the only issue was their own ignorance of the vehicle.

Hopefully GM can keep up the improvements they made when the switch over to the new model truck.

The problem with the current MFT is that the screens load a little too slow. Anything else is the owners getting mad because they talk in gibberish slurs that the system cant understand or they use their entire palm to select something on the screen. The only way to fix that is for Ford to install a 42" touch screen connected to a massive and powerful computer and have any voice commands go to a live operator lol.

"Even though Ford invested a substantial amount of time and money in a MyFord Touch upgrade that makes the system much easier to use and understand, the automaker saw its score worsen by one point."

@Mark Williams,

Not true. The MyFord Touch upgrade was too late to be reflected in this latest J.D. Powers rating. The update began in March. These J.D. Powers ratings were from February or earlier!


Keep in mind that MFT is an extension of Microsoft's 'Sync' software Ford started using about 3 years ago. For some reason, Ford and Microsoft seem to believe that every driver is a fighter pilot, able to do 6 things at a time. Even with extensive training, when it comes to actual combat, the pilot can't worry himself about what's on a given screen; he needs that info ten minutes ago.

The my touch thing is garbage, my neibor has a focus and she turns the car off and takes the key out, locks the car and the radio plays for a good half hour after her car is shut off, it also freezes up on her way too work at least 2 times in her 40 minute commute, and each time takes about 10 minutes for the thing to reboot...absolute garbage

Ford never has a problem using their customers as guinnea pigs. They'll rush features to market before they're proven reliable and let customers deal with the headaches.

We must remember that "Initial Quality" is a different benchmark than "long term quality" or what most would call durability.
I'd have to agree that ease of use and complexity are Initial Quality issues.
Are thse new infotainment systems too complex?
I'd have to say YES.
The interesting thing is that statistics indicate that Ford's Sync system is prefered by younger adults and OnStar is prefered by older adults. Complexity is part of that equation. People who have grown up in a world of computers, smart phones, handheld music/video devices will feel more at home with the more complex myTouch.
My truck has the basic Sync system. I find that it works as well as the devices communicating with it.

These results are being based more and more on subjective findings as opposed to concrete mechanical failures. JD Power even went so far as pointing out that very fact.
On the topic of subjective findings:
#1. Sierra LD
#2 Silverado HD
#3 Tie - Avalanche and Titan
Shouldn't the Silverado LD get the same rating as the Sierra LD?
Shouldn't the Sierra HD be tied with the Silverado HD?
Aren't they built on the same assembly lines using the same components?
Does a Sierra badge in an LD carry more weight in the "quality" arena than a Chevy badge? GMC has publicly stated that the Sierra is the higher grade truck ie. professional grade versus work grade.
Does that affect the perception of quality?
On the flip side HD's are often used more for their work capacties. Chevrolet HD carries the working man's badge of honor more than sister Sierra. That ties into my previous question: does the Chevy workgrade ethic carry more weight and provides for a better rating?
The Avalanche is 3rd. Why? Back to the whole rebadge topic - shouldn't it rate no better or worse than its first place Sierra cousin?

Kudos and congratulations to GM Corp on their ratings.
Ford - better luck next time?

We typically see different ratings between virtually identical brands, and many times these differences fly in the face of perception. Like you said, younger customers have fewer problems and greater understanding of more complex infotainment systems, and this seems pretty sensible. But then in the JD Power rankings, Lincoln is ranked 8 spots higher than Ford, even though virtually every Lincoln comes with MyLincolnTouch standard, and Lincoln customers are, on average, older than Ford customers. On top of that Lincolns are not significantly different enough from their respective Ford stablemates to constitute a significant quality difference. I have to assume the differences in rankings come down to the dealers themselves.

@Luke in CO - you make some valid points. My home town used to have 2 Ford dealers. The one dealership had a fellow employed who's job was to thoroughly explain every feature and component on the vehilce you just bought. They wouldn't let you leave unless you met with him. it was a great idea. The current dealer left it up to the saleman and he was completely clueless. They did have you sit down with the service department to review maintenance and service which was good.

@Even K - how much more vague can you be?
Sync can be programmed to leave electronics "on" for a preset period of time after you shut off the "ignition key". Your "friend" must of screwed up something since "30 minutes" is not a default setting. The next point is that the system will stay "on" only as long as you do not open the front driver or passenger doors. The moment you open the door they shut off.
I suspect that your "friend" needs to read the manual or visit the a dealer who has a rep familiar with the system to explain it to her.
As far as "crashed" or "freezing" , that is a tough one to predict but like any new computer can be diagnosed. I'm not a fan of Microsoft as their Windows kernel should be completely redesigned and rebuilt from the ground up. As someone else has exclaimed in relation to other things "You put lipstick on a pig and it still is a pig". Microsoft is no longer applying lipstick but is using a gallon can and a roller to make their "pig" look better.

.....but the rest of the Ford Truck is mechanically sound.

@Frank, It's not the truck...Ford trucks don't have MFT and when they do it will be the upgrade...so no issues.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XONlpq_a21A&list=FLHeEbQTJ7WxBltlAXa9AGbA&feature=mh_lolz The rest of the truck aint sound. Watch this guys videos his 2011 ford is junk 10 or so videos with 10 or more different problems!


MyFord Touch is not standard, it's an option and always will be. It's considered a luxury item, on top of that. The system is simply complicated, not a problem with quality. A quality issue would be the software not working properly, say, taking you to the radio controls when you're pressing the button for air conditioning. Usability is something the customer has to be willing to learn.

The bigger issue on top of that is, most customers who buy a vehicle with MFT don't pay attention to that until they get the vehicle home and are stuck with it. I can bet that there aren't many people who race out to their local Ford/Lincoln dealership to get a vehicle simply because it has MFT. Most people buy them and deal with it becaue it had all the other options they wanted, and didn't want to, or have the time to, custom order the vehicle the way they wanted it and wait for it to arrive. I was in sales at a local Ford dealership when the 2005 Mustang hit the lot in late '04. One customer ordered their vehicle to their liking. Everyone else took what was on the lot.

Important to note that Ram (all trucks) tied the first place finish of the GM products.

@johnny troll,

The truck will still run with the check engine light on, it could be as simple as bad gas or a faulty sensor. If it were a Silverado with a check engine light on, it probably wouldn't run, then On-Star will call and say "need a tow."


@johnny troll,

I found your Facebook page.


Don't forget that your Ford Eco has that wonderful 5/60,000 powertrain warranty that you'll never need. The guys who said you only need it on Chevy and Ram just put the kiss of death on your truck. Stupid comments come back to haunt you sometimes. Who wouldn't want more warranty even if they didn't use it.

Congrats to Chevy and the Silverado.

With that said, it should also be noted that Ford was way ahead of other mfrs with voice control and non-nav touch screens. Even with no bugs there will be more complaints from consumers who have trouble using the technology and as more mfrs deploy similar tech we will see their ratings drop as well. Ford is just ahead of the curve (again, real bugs notwithstanding).

@fFred, A 5 year/ 60,000 mile powertrain warranty is the same as a 5 year 100,00 miles. You would only get more miles with a 100k warranty if you drive more than 12,000 miles a year.

im not trolling its just sad that this guy had 34,000 miles on his 2011 f150 and its been broke or messed up 10 times BUILT FORD JUNK!

@johnny troll,

I can find 1000 more post on youtube in regards to GM Trucks.


I never have understood why ANYONE pays attention to this garbage! Initial quality study????? really????? what kind of metric is that really? its too subjective as to what kind of job a salesperson has done. what a waist of time for EVERYONE INVOLVED

my point is ford sucks always has always will

frank the TROLL!!!

"my point is ford sucks always has always will"

Way to go Johnny Troll!

Just proves what I have always said, FORD trucks are junk. Facts do not lie.

.wow my brother new pickup fx4 need a new paint job,,,2012....and trany problem wow...new pickup

Way to go Greg the TROLL!

stup lieing stooped broder

It seems obvious to me, Vanaka, that you don't know the difference between quality software and good software. Quality software is intuitive and obvious--easy to use. Junk makes you go through multiple steps to reach the desired function.

I do agree that MFT is considered an option, but I know from experience that it is the exception, not the rule that a given car on the lot will NOT have it. Sync itself, however, IS IN EVERY SINGLE CAR AND TRUCK FORD MAKES as of 2012. I have yet to see a single American Ford without that Sync system on board. When I discovered that, I declared Ford off limits as a new car. Then again, I have yet to own a Ford that didn't cost me double its purchase price in maintenance.

Anyone ever think the more trucks sold means more likely to have some issues? Guess not.

hemi lol -
Initial quality can give an indication of long term durability. Sure, some of this stuff can be an expression of the quality of work performed by the sales staff but most manufacturer's should be bright enough to know that the majority of people will never look at an owners manual. K.I.S.S. applies in spades to the auto industry.

@Vulpine - then why did you buy a used Ford? ;)

@Johnnie Dose - you must of been traumatized real bad by that crash into that deer. Sounds like you must of hit your head on something real hard. Can you afford an MRI?

I test drove a new 2012 raptor with Nav and rear view camera, even after the truck was in drive it would still show the back up camera and it took a litte while for me to access the ac controls, and i could not figure out the radio for the test drive. COncidering i Drive a non nav raptor this supprised me a great deal i told the sales man to let me know if they got one without nav b/c i 1, dont need it and 2. want the same controls, 3 dont want all that glare while driving at night. I drove a rental exporer with My Ford touch and it was just a distraction to go through different menues to change things instead of hiting the sirus, am/fm, or aux (sync) buttons than hit the preset or say a play list for sync. I see no need to display alblum art to myself or passengers while driving my truck. That is why im looking at a 2012 raptor before they make MFT avalible , probably standard with Raptor Luxuary pkg (which i only want for the compfy seats. )

MFT doesn't have anything to do with mechanical or long term reliability. It does outline how gadgets in vehicles can be complicated and distracting. It's illegal to use your phone/text in a lot of areas. Figuring out how your controls work in your vehicle my touch or other is just as dangerous.

It's true it should've been designed to be seemless and easy to use but if you purchase it it's up to you to learn how it works. I don't have any experience with it but if it's this difficult i'd pass on it.

Im 23. I grew up in this computer age with all the electronics and even I think having heating and air controls having to be worked through some electronic interface goofy. They really do this? What was wrong with turn knobs? Or better yet, sliding knobs like they used to have? Id also like to have my dimmer switch back on the floor please...

@Benchimus - I see an extremely large number of adults who have been brainwashed to believe that one's status is based upon having "the latest and greatest". Technological advancements used to be made to make ou lives better. Now we see technological change just for the sake of technological change.


Are you any more biased against Ford, that you already make yourself out to be? The Ranger, before it's end of production, NEVER had Sync. The Ford F-Series work trucks aren't standard with Sync. In my 2011 Focus, I had to step up to the SE to get Sync because the S model does NOT offer Sync as an option. Sync is an OPTION. MFT is an OPTION. Educate yourself and you may stop appearing foolish to others.

And guess what? The 2012 Focus S model doesn't even offer Sync as an option. Get a clue, kid.

@ Lou- Well said. Change just for the sake of change. Like a putting A/C controls in a computer or a new grill every 2 years. If it aint broke, dont fix it.

@Benchimus - touch screens make me nervous in a vehicle. My cell is touch screen and I have to pay attention to what I peck at or it will come out as gibberish. I like Sync because it is simple, the buttons are simple, and it only gets as fancy as the electronics I plug into it. I like that. I get a better cell and Sync works better. I don't need software or a new truck to get a better electronic system. In -40C weather I'd have to drive around for 1/2 an hour to get enough heat in the cab to take my gloves or mitts off. I can see myself pecking at a screen with mitts on. I'd be giving JD Power a negative report too if that were the case. Voice commands are a nice feature but it has its limitations, it sometimes gets confused if the windows are open and there is some background noise. My 2 boys think it is great fun to try to give the "talking truck" commands at the same time as me. I definately don't want to see trucks getting too complex. Driving in heavy traffic or poor weather takes 100% concentration and this stuff can take away from that effort.

As for setting and adjusting the temperature controls, they already have knobs and buttons. The screen is in addition to the buttons and knobs. If you had tried it, you would have known this. You can also control it by voice. MFT allows you persalonize the settings much more than a knob. For example if you want a max or min temp, you can set it exactly. A knob wouldn't do that. There is so much more to it than that.

In addition to the Climate corner of the touchscreen, you can control your cabin temperature using the center console controls beneath the touchscreen.


Too many people make comments about things they don't know anything about. The knobs are still there, but MFT does so much more and it makes it easier. Don't want it, you don't have to buy it. It's optional.

@Jon- Thank you Jon, you have completely changed my mind on the subject. / Max and min temp settings? I just spin the knob all the way in either direction. If its hot out, I want all the cool A/C I can get. If its cold, crank that heat! I dont want to try something new. Id rather just keep using what I have and bash the new stuff.

@Lou: Why did I buy a used Ford? It was the only thing available at the time at the price I could handle with the capacity I needed. Had I more time to shop around, I would have probably found something different. Yes, this used Ford I just bought did cost me as much to make road-worthy as what I paid for it.
That said, it's physical condition is remarkable for its age and even despite all the work I've had to put into it, it has proven itself pretty solid for its age. What it hasn't proven yet is what kind of reliability I can expect from it. After sitting unused for almost 10 years, I'm still expecting some more breakdowns.

@Vanaka: You're right, I am quite biased against Ford. I feel I have reason to be biased against Ford because I have never had any luck with Fords over time. My little ChevyII Nova L6 ran like a sewing machine--you couldn't stop it. My Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme was very comfortable and notably strong, never gave me a problem as long as I owned it. '79 Dodge Aspen SE: I put 70,000 miles on it in 4 years and never had a single repair. Not one Ford have I owned that has given me that kind of reliability. In fact, one of those Fords cost me more per month just to keep it running than a 1987 Buick LeSabre T-type that replaced it did in monthly payments at 3 years old. That's right, I paid less per month to buy a nearly-new Buick performance car than a one-owner (before me) 1973 Ford Gran Torino cost me just to keep on the road. This truck has already doubled what I paid for it and I've not even owned it three months yet.

On the other hand, I have to admit some of Ford's newest model cars (not trucks) are starting to get my attention. We'll just have to wait and see.

@Vanaka: A followup to my previous statement:

Last night I went to Ford's website and did a "build and price" three different vehicles: A Ford Ranger with 8' bed, an F-150 with 8-foot bed and a Ford Taurus sedan. To support your claim, I have to agree that SYNC was listed as an option on all three vehicles.

However, that's as far as I'll go with agreeing with you. In all three cases I could NOT remove SYNC without removing many if not most of the features I did want, like an up-scaled radio, electric windows, electric back glass, etc. In the case of the Taurus, de-selecting SYNC automatically de-selected the moonroof as well.

So no. A comfortably-equipped car or truck from FORD has little choice in accepting or denying Sync. If you want even a modest level of comfort, you gotta have Sync, and I simply will not accept that.

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