Toyota Motor Corp.’s Cambridge North plant in Ontario, Canada, which produces the Toyota Corolla, and Georgetown 3 plant in Kentucky, which produces the Lexus ES, are the joint recipients of the 2018 J.D. Power Gold Plant Quality Award.

The highly coveted award is based solely on defects and malfunctions; they exclude design-related problems. It is determined by a survey of purchasers and lessees of 2018 model-year vehicles who were contacted after 90 days of ownership.

“The 233-question survey is organized into eight vehicle categories designed to provide manufacturers with information to facilitate the identification of problems and drive product improvement,” says Dave Sargent, vice president of global automotive at J.D. Power.

Toyota’s Yoshiwara plant in Japan, which produces the Lexus LX and Toyota Land Cruiser, received the J.D. Power Platinum Plant Quality Award for producing models with the fewest defects or malfunctions.

BMW’s Dingolfing 2 plant in Germany, which produces the BMW 6 Series and BMW 7 Series, received the Gold Plant Quality Award for the Europe-Africa region.

“There’s no question that most automakers are doing a great job of listening to consumers and are producing vehicle quality of the highest caliber,” says Sargent. “That said, some vehicle owners are still finding problems. As vehicles become more complex and automated, it is critical that consumers have complete confidence in automakers’ ability to deliver fault-free vehicles.

“As automakers add more advanced driver-assistance systems to their vehicles, more consumers are experiencing problems,” claims Sargent. “The level is still low, but has been increasing by about 20 percent a year for the past three years.”

Vehicles in the 2018 J.D. Power study are manufactured in 25 countries, 11 of which weren’t present in the study five years ago. Those 11 countries include Brazil, China, Finland, Holland, India, Italy, Poland, Serbia, Spain, Thailand and Turkey. The other 14 countries include Austria, Belgium, Canada, England, France, Germany, Hungary, Japan, Mexico, Slovakia, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden and the United States.