DEARBORN, MI-Ford Motor Co. surpassed Honda in initial vehicle quality for the first time and reached new levels of customer satisfaction with vehicle quality, according to a 2009 U.S. Global Quality Research System (GQRS) survey conducted for Ford by RDA Group of Bloomfield Hills, MI.

Ford also is statistically tied with Toyota at the top of the industry when it comes to initial vehicle quality, according the survey.

“This is truly a significant accomplishment for us," says Bennie Fowler, Ford group vice president, Global Quality. "Honda and Toyota have claimed bragging rights for years, but now we are seeing our hard work pay off. It's evident in study after study.”

The latest GQRS survey measured 2009 model year vehicle initial quality in two categories: the number of "things gone wrong," and customer satisfaction with vehicle quality in the first three months of ownership.

In the first quarter of 2009, Ford, Lincoln and Mercury vehicles saw things gone wrong fall by 5% to 1,228 per 1,000 vehicles, significantly better than Honda's 1,422 things gone wrong per 1,000 vehicles and statistically equal to Toyota's 1,150.

In addition, the survey shows that Ford Lincoln Mercury improved two percentage points to 79% in customer satisfaction with vehicle quality, which puts Ford's domestic brands in a tie with Toyota and Honda for industry leadership.

"Ford's commitment to quality is really paying off as they continue to rival Honda and Toyota on both initial quality and customer satisfaction with the quality," says Donald Pietrowski, president, RDA Group.

The following models led their respective segments in the survey:

  • Ford Mustang - initial quality and customer satisfaction for sports cars
  • Ford Taurus - initial quality for large cars
  • Ford Taurus X - initial quality for crossover utilities
  • Mercury Milan - initial quality for midsize cars
  • Ford Ranger - initial quality for compact pickups

    The new 2009 Ford F-150 recorded quality levels that equate to less than one problem per vehicle, as did the Taurus, Taurus X, Fusion, Milan and Edge.

    The GQRS study is conducted on a quarterly basis with scores assessed from survey responses collected from owners of vehicles purchased within specific short-term time frames.

    New vehicle owners are asked to report any defects or issues as well as rate their satisfaction with vehicle quality on a scale of 1 to 10 across an array of vehicle systems and features.