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Emerging technologies hitting premium brand reliability, finds JD Power

Volume brands are faring better than premium when it comes to vehicle dependability, latest research from JD Power finds.

Hyundai Kona Electric

Hyundai ranks highest as the UK’s most dependable vehicle brand

Now in its fourth year, the UK Vehicle Dependability Study measures problems experienced during the past 12 months by original owners of vehicles in the UK after 12-36 months of ownership, based on responses from 13,536 owners of new vehicles from across the UK.

For 2018, the research finds that volume brands occupied the top 13 slots while South Korean brands still outrank premium brands for customer satisfaction in the UK. Hyundai ranks highest as the UK’s most dependable vehicle brand with a figure of 78 PP100 (problems per 100 vehicles), followed by Suzuki (87) and Kia (94).

Škoda has two models (Octavia and Yeti) that received segment awards. Hyundai i10, Volkswagen Tiguan, Mercedes-Benz E-Class (the highest-ranking premium vehicle in the UK), Vauxhall Insignia and Peugeot 208 also received a segment award.

It’s not until the 14th slot that the first premium brand appears, with Mercedes-Benz scoring a PPI figure of 124, followed by Jaguar (16th with 137) and Volvo (17th with 138). The industry average is 128 PPI.

JD Power said premium brands are being hit by emerging and new technologies, which are resulting in more owner-reported problems than in volume brand vehicles. Bluetooth phone/device frequent pairing/connectivity issues and voice recognition not recognising commands are both among the six most common problems in the study.

“Automotive systems are more complex than they’ve ever been and premium brands especially are incorporating autonomous driving building blocks – adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, automatic braking – into their models,” said Josh Halliburton, head of European Operations at JD Power. “It’s imperative for manufacturers to address this issue in order to improve the level of consumer trust in the technology.”

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.