The quality of Ford, Lincoln and Mercury vehicles is on a par with Toyota- and Nissan-brand models, Ford Motor Co. says, citing an internal study.

The study, conducted for Ford by RDA Group of Bloomfield Hills, MI, scores the Ford, Lincoln and Mercury vehicles at 1,456 things gone wrong per 1,000 vehicles, compared with 1,457 at Nissan and 1,453 at Toyota.

The Honda brand ranks the highest in RDA’s first-quarter 2007 model year Global Quality Research System report with a score of 1,313.

“We have more work to do, but there is no question that Ford Motor Co. builds world-class vehicles,” says Bennie Fowler, vice president-Ford Global Quality. “We can compete with anybody.”

Ford says the Mercury Milan and Ford Fusion sedans took the top two spots in the midsize car segment, which also includes the best-selling Toyota Camry and Honda Accord. The Milan’s 910 rating was the best of any Ford product. The Fusion was rated at 1,066.

The Lincoln Navigator led the large premium utility category in both things gone wrong and customer satisfaction, Ford says. The Navigator and Expedition EL SUVs posted customer satisfaction scores of 85%, the highest of any Ford vehicles.

The study surveyed buyers who registered vehicles from September through November 2006 and owned their cars and trucks for three months. The new Ford Edge and Lincoln MKX cross/utility vehicles and Ford F-Series Super Duty pickup were not included in the report.