Liberty Initial Quality Up 7%

Date 2003/6/4 0:00:00 | Topic: Liberty

While the overall score of Liberty's initial quality is up, it still lags behind others in its class.

The good news: Jeep Liberty's initial quality improved by 7% compared to last year. The bad news: Jeep Liberty's initial quality still lags behind other similarly-sized SUVs such as the Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4, and Mitsubishi Outlander (the top 3 in the "entry SUV" class. Here's a snippet from The Toledo Blade:

The Toledo-made Jeep Liberty improved in initial quality by 7 percent this year over last, but the sport-utility vehicle continues to trail the Honda CR-V and others on the customer-driven measure, dropping below the industry average, according to a closely watched annual survey released yesterday.

Industry-wide, however, for the first time in five years, the quality of new cars and trucks failed to improve, even as domestic automakers continued to gain ground on foreign brands, according to the study of 2003 models.

With 145 problems per 100 vehicles, the Liberty ranked sixth among 13 entry-level SUVs and continued to make strides over its predecessor, the long-lived Jeep Cherokee.

Last yearís mark, when the Liberty ranked fifth in its class, was 15 percent ahead of the Cherokee in the widely watched and respected J.D. Power and Associates survey of more than 52,000 car buyers who have had their vehicles three months.

"Itís a fantastic vehicle for us," said Donald Dees, Chryslerís vice president of corporate quality.

"Weíre very proud of Liberty. Obviously, we want to continue to improve, to make it better and better every year."

In entry SUVs, a class that averaged 143 problems per 100 vehicles, the CR-V led with 109 problems per 100 vehicles, according to a J.D. Power spokesman.

The Toledo-made Jeep Wrangler also is in that class, and it ranked No. 12, with 169 problems per 100 vehicles, a 2 percent improvement, according to the Westlake Village, Calif., research firm and Chrysler.

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