Technology causing problems for vehicle owners, finds inaugural J.D Power survey
The study examines 177 problem symptoms across eight categories: engine and transmission; vehicle exterior; driving experience; features/controls/displays; audio/communication/entertainment/navigation (ACEN); seats; heating, ventilation and cooling (HVAC); and vehicle interior.
Overall dependability is determined by the number of problems experienced per 100 vehicles (PP100), with a lower score reflecting higher quality.
Skoda ranks highest with a score of 77 PP100. Kia ranks second with 83 PP100, followed by Suzuki with 86 PP100; Nissan with 87 PP100; and Toyota and Mercedes-Benz in a tie with 88 PP100 each. The overall industry average is 114 PP100. Mercedes-Benz and Volvo, which ranks sixth (93 PP100), are the only premium brands to rank above industry average.
Five of the top 11 problems in the industry are related to technology in the ACEN category. The most often reported ACEN problem is with built-in Bluetooth mobile phone/device frequent pairing/connectivity issues.
“As we’ve seen in studies in the United States and other markets, owners want in-vehicle technology, and their expectations of advanced technology capabilities are growing,” commented Dr. Axel Sprenger, senior director of European automotive operations at J.D. Power. “When they have a problem with the technology—and the definition of dependability is increasingly influenced by usability—vehicle owners are disappointed.”
Mercedes-Benz has two models (E-Class and C-Class) that receive segment awards. Kia (cee’d), Suzuki (Alto), Nissan (Juke) and Honda (Jazz) each receive one award. While the Skoda nameplate does not receive any model-level awards, every Skoda model included in the study performed better than its segment average.