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2018-02-16 09:31

Image: Motorpress

California - On a day when people traditionally demonstrate their love for another person, consumers’ affection for their three-year-old vehicles is equally apparent in the 2018 JD Power 2018 US Vehicle Dependability StudySM (VDS), released 14 February.

Overall vehicle dependability improves 9% from 2017, the first time the industry score has improved since 2013.

Lower score reflects higher quality

The study, now in its 29th year, measures the number of problems experienced per 100 vehicles (PP100) during the past 12 months by original owners of 2015 model-year vehicles. A lower score reflects higher quality, and the study covers 177 specific problems grouped into eight major vehicle categories. The overall industry average improves by 14 PP100 to 142 PP100 from 156 PP100 in 2017.

Dave Sargent, Vice President, Global Automotive at J.D. Power. said: "For the most part, automotive manufacturers continue to meet consumers’ vehicle dependability expectations. A 9% improvement is extremely impressive, and vehicle dependability is, without question, at its best level ever. For people looking for a new or used model, now is a good time to find that special vehicle.”

Following are some of the study’s key findings:

In-vehicle technology continues to be most problematic: Audio/Communications/ Entertainment/Navigation (ACEN) remains a troublesome category for vehicle owners, receiving the highest frequency of complaints. The two most common problems relate to built-in voice recognition (9.3 PP100) and built-in Bluetooth connectivity (7.7 PP100).

Mass Market brands continue to close the gap with Luxury brands: The Mass Market average (143 PP100) is now just 7 PP100 behind the Luxury average (136 PP100). This is a result of many high-volume vehicles rewarding their owners with excellent long-term dependability.

J.D. Power finds that vehicle residual values can be significantly affected by better long-term quality.

Jonathan Banks, Vice President of Vehicle Analysis and Analytics at J.D. Power said: “Strong dependability scores not only improve demand for used vehicles, but also are a contributor to higher residual values. Improving dependability ultimately supports new vehicle sales and provides a better perception of the brand.”

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