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Chrysler LLC's three brands each scored below average in a benchmark annual survey of new-vehicle quality, signaling that owner Cerberus Capital Management LP has its work cut out to improve the auto maker's image.

Chrysler's iconic Jeep brand ranked last in the latest survey, with 167 problems per 100 vehicles, six more than last year. Chrysler's Dodge brand was 28th, with 141 problems, followed by Chrysler, with 142. The industry average was 118 problems per 100 vehicles.

Chrysler, which was purchased by Cerberus in August, is attempting to make changes. It created a consumer advisory board and revamped interiors on some of its products.


More with ALL Auto Qualities here:
Chrysler Falls In Vehicle Quality Study; Chevy, Ford Gain
 

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Chrysler's behind, but improving

Chrysler's score improved by 9 to 142 while Dodge's score improved 15 points to 141. The industry average is 118 problems per 100 vehicles after customers own the vehicle for 90 days.

Also, J.D. Power ranked the Dodge Durango SUV and Dodge Dakota pickup first in their class.

Saenz said many of the problems plaguing Jeep are related to the four-door Jeep Wrangler Unlimited, which is noisier than many new customers anticipated, and also has a roof that can leak. Chrysler is making progress on the leak, Saenz said.

Sargent said quality improvement efforts take time.

"They really need to go back beyond the plants ... because most of the problems we see these days are actually designed into the vehicle in the first place."


Article:Chrysler's behind, but improving | Freep.com | Detroit Free Press
 
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