RDA Group recently performed a study on initial quality, and it turns out that Ford’s score improved by 8% in 2007 when compared to results from last year. Contrast this with the 2% industry average and it would seem like Ford is pretty far ahead of the game. Taking it even further, Ford’s score for 2007 (1456 problems per 1000 vehicles) was not only better than that of Nissan (1457 problems), but it was nearly on par with the bulletproof reputation of Toyota (1453 problems). All this said, we’re still looking at nearly 1.5 problems per vehicle in initial quality!
Want to know what’s the kicker of this study? Ford paid RDA to do it, but they maintain that it is still “scientifically valid.” Even if we were to assume that there was no bias, initial quality doesn’t really mean all that much. After all, don’t we all expect a brand new car to be problem-free for at least the first year? It’s how the car performs several years down the line that really speaks to the build quality, doesn’t it?
For the record, the Mercury Milan, which falls under the Ford umbrella, was “one of the trouble-free vehicles” with 910 problems reported per 1000 vehicles.