Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Buying Used, 2017 J. D. Power Dependability Study Dominated By Toyota, Chevy And Lexus

The J.D. Power Vehicle Dependability Study, now in its 28th year, examines problems experienced during the past 12 months by original owners of 3-year-old vehicles. The study determines overall dependability by examining the number of problems experienced per 100 vehicles, with a lower score reflecting higher quality. The 2017 study examines cars, trucks, minivans, and SUVs from the 2014 model year and covers 177 specific problems grouped into eight major vehicle categories:

  • Exterior
  • Engine/Transmission
  • Audio/Communication/Entertainment/Navigation (ACEN)
  • Interior
  • The Driving Experience
  • Features/Controls/Displays (FCD)
  • Heating/Ventilation/Air Conditioning (HVAC)
  • Seats

The study finds that the 10 top-selling models from the 2014 model year average 134 PP100—significantly lower than the industry average of 156 PP100. Two perennial best-selling models—the Ford F-150 pickup truck and the Toyota Camry sedan—also lead their vehicle segments in the 2017 VDS.

“We find buyers are increasingly avoiding models with poor reputations for dependability, so manufacturers can’t afford to let quality slip, particularly on their best sellers” said Dave Sargent, vice president, global automotive at J.D. Power. “While many expensive and niche vehicles do have excellent quality, the fact is that most consumers are shopping in the high-volume mainstream segments. The good news is that you don’t have to spend a lot of money to get a very dependable vehicle.”

Also of note, the study finds that long-term quality is a key factor in contributing to higher residual values for vehicles.

Overall Vehicle Problems Proliferate
The industry average of 156 PP100 is a 4 PP100 increase from 2016—the second consecutive increase in overall PP100. This is largely due to increases in problems in the Audio/Communication/Entertainment/Navigation (ACEN) category, which remains the most problematic area, accounting for 22% of all problems reported—up from 20% last year. For a third consecutive year, the problems most reported by owners are Bluetooth pairing and connectivity and Built-in voice recognition misinterpreting commands.

Battery failure is new to the list of the 10 most-reported problems in this year’s study, rising by 44% from the 2016 study. Batteries are the most frequently replaced component not related to normal wear and tear in 3-year-old vehicles, at 6.1%—up 1.3 percentage points from 2016.

To see how each vehicle ranks in their segment, click here.

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