GM Breaks the Mold for This Top Honor

Although Ford (NYSE:F) has been grabbing the spotlight recently for the F-150′s performance in’s light-duty shootout, General Motors (NYSE:GM) hasn’t exactly been sitting around idle, either. After years of struggling behind imported cars that have — before now — consistently ranked well above the Detroit-based automaker in overall quality and reliability.

For the first time, GM chevrolet spark

The general decrease in quality over 2012 is attributed by J.D. Power to flaws at the design level, that cannot be remedied at a dealership level. The current generation of infotainment systems and high-tech gadgetry was the chief source of problems for new cars.

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However, technology aside, the general build quality of vehicles has indeed improved. “Manufacturers are doing a lot better when it comes to engines and chasses and other mechanical systems,” explained Dave Sargent, the head of automotive research for J.D. Power and Associates. “Most of the problems people are now reporting involve the latest technology.”

The survey of 83,000 participants concluded that two of every three problems encountered were tech-related. Though this includes components used in the car’s construction, such as electronic suspensions and cruise control systems, the vast bulk of the issues stem from the peripheries, such as the infotainment systems and their shortcomings with user interfaces.