Overall, model 2011 cars had an average 107 complaints per 100 sold compared to 109 a year ago. But 2011 model cars that were newly launched or redesigned garnered 122 reported problems per 100 cars sold, compared to 111 problems per 100 among 2010 model year launches, the firm said in its annual U.S. Initial Quality Study.
Among all 2011 model cars, J.D. Power ranked the Lexus as the top brand with 73 reported problems per 100 cars sold. Honda, jumping from sixth in 2010 to second this year, had 86 reported problems per 100, followed by Acura, Mercedes-Benz and Mazda, which jumped from 18th last year to fifth this year.
Honda earned seven segment awards for the Accord, Accord Crosstour, Civic (in a tie), Element, Fit, Insight (in a tie) and Ridgeline.
Lexus earned four segment awards for the ES, GS, GX and LS models.
The Lexus LS beat all models with 54 problems per 100, the second consecutive year it topped the entire field.
J.D. Powers also gave three assembly plants Platinum Plant Quality Awards for producing models that yielded the fewest "defects and malfunctions," the firm said in a statement.
The Toyota Motor Corp., Cambridge South, Ontario, plant, where the Lexus RX is produced, the Toyota Motor Corp. Kyushu 2, plant in Japan, which produces the Lexus ES, IS and RX, and the Honda Motor Co. plant in Greensburg, Ind., where the Civic is made, were given top honors.