Market research firm J.D. Power just released their 2016 U.S. Vehicle Dependability Study, and according to them, the industry has taken a step backwards because of infotainment, connectivity and navigation systems. They now account for 20% of all consumer complaints.
The 27th annual edition of the VDS is based on data collected from 33,560 original owners of 2013 model-year vehicles after three years of ownership. They log problems encountered during the last 12 months and the PP100 score is determined by the number of complaints per 100 vehicles of a brand. The lower the score, the better.
For the fifth year in a row, Lexus ranks tops in vehicle dependability with a score of 95 PP100 – which means less than a problem per vehicle. The top five consist of Porsche (97 PP100), Buick (106 PP100), Toyota (113 PP100) and GMC (120 PP100). The industry average is 152 PP100, up 5 points compared to last year’s study.
As for the 19 vehicle segment awards, General Motors received eight of them, while Toyota/Lexus got six.
Those top ranking vehicles include the Buick Encore, the Buick LaCrosse, the Buick Verano, the Chevrolet Camaro, the Chevrolet Equinox, the Chevrolet Malibu, the Chevrolet Silverado HD, the GMC Yukon, the Fiat 500, the Honda Fit, the Lexus ES, the Lexus GS, the Lexus GX, the Mercedes-Benz GLK, the MINI Cooper Hatchback/Coupe/Roadster, the Nissan Murano, the Toyota Prius v, the Toyota Sienna and the Toyota Tundra. Keep in mind these are the top-rated vehicles in their respective categories, not necessarily the best overall.
The most common problems – even after three years of ownership – are technology-related, as owners complained about Bluetooth connectivity issues, voice recognition systems that couldn’t decipher or misinterpreted verbal commands as well as inaccurate navigation system guidance. On the bright side, the number of engine and transmission problems has decreased.