Among North and South American plants, the General Motors Oshawa #2 plant in Ontario, Canada, which produces the Buick LaCrosse and Pontiac Grand Prix, receives the gold plant quality award for a second consecutive year. Toyota's Georgetown, KY, plant, which produces the Avalon, Camry and Solara Coupe/Convertible, and DaimlerChrysler's Windsor, Ontario, Canada plant, which produces the Pacifica, Town & Country, Caravan and Grand Caravan, tie for the silver plant quality award.
In the Asia Pacific region, Toyota's Higashi-Fuji, Japan, plant, which produces the Lexus SC 430, receives the silver plant quality award. Toyota's Kyushu, Japan, plant, which produces the Lexus IS 250/IS 350, Lexus RX 330/400h and Toyota Highlander/Highlander Hybrid, and American Honda's Saitama, Japan, plant, which produces the Acura RL, Acura TSX and Honda CR-V, tie for the bronze plant quality award.
Magna Steyr, the Graz, Austria, plant that assembles under contract for traditional manufacturers, receives the gold plant quality award for Europe. Magna Steyr produces the BMW X3, Mercedes-Benz E-Class/Wagon and the Saab 9-3 Convertible. BMW's Dingolfing, Germany, plant which produces the BMW 5, 6 and 7 Series, receives the silver plant quality award, and Porsche's Valmet, Finland, plant, which produces the Cayman and Boxster, receives the bronze plant quality award.
The 2006 Initial Quality Study is based on responses from 63,607 purchasers and lessees of new 2006 model-year cars and trucks surveyed after 90 days of ownership. The redesigned IQS is based on a new 217-question battery-up from 135 in previous years-to provide manufacturers with more information to improve problem determination and drive product improvement. The study also groups models in a revised J.D. Power and Associates vehicle segmentation list.
The 2006 study has been redesigned for the first time since 1998. Improvements to the study include: an enhanced questionnaire for owners to aid in identification of both defect and design problems; expanded coverage of new technologies; and additional details about the problems reported to help OEMs better identify how to address them.
For more detailed findings on new-vehicle quality performance, as well as model photos and specs, visit the J.D. Power Consumer Center at www.jdpower.com.