J.D. Power is a name costumers have learned to trust. Thanks to their numerous surveys of the automotive industry, the market research company has been become a reference to help determine the owners' level of satisfaction with their vehicle at a time where it seems like no car has flaws anymore. According to their most recent study on vehicle dependability for 2013 models, the increasing amount of technology on the market seems to be more of a problem than a solution.
The study shows that issues with features such as infotainment systems, Bluetooth connectivity, voice recognition, navigation and communication technologies have increased and now account for 20% of the problems owners have reported. According to the vice president of U.S. automotive at J.D. Power, Renee Stephens, this increase in technology-related issues stems from two realities: the increasing number of in-vehicle technologies and the fact that features customers have found to be problematic 90 days into the ownership of a vehicle remain a problem three years later. According to the study, the phenomenon can have important repercussions on the market considering the impending integration of autonomous vehicles that rely entirely on some of those technologies.
For a fifth year in a row, Lexus receives the highest rank in dependability with a score of 95 problems per 100 vehicles (pp100). Up from last year's fifth position, Porsche has taken the second rank, scoring 97 pp100. Third position goes to Buick, followed by Toyota and GMC, completing the top five. Among the 2016 models to receive an award, we find the Lexus ES, GS and GX, the Toyota Prius v and Tundra, the Buick Encore, Lacrosse and Verano as well as the GMC Yukon. This year, the average number of problems per 100 vehicles has increased to 152 compared to last year's average of 147.
Other models including the Fiat 500, the Honda Fit, the Mercedes-Benz GLK and the Nissan Murano have also received awards in their respective categories. On the bright side, the number of engine and transmission related problems seem to have decreased to 24 pp100. The results of this study are based on the answers of 33,560 owners of 2013 model-year vehicles.