In-vehicle technology issues: Technology problems continue to be common for owners after 1-3 years. Bluetooth connectivity, device pairing issues and voice recognition not recognising commands are both among the six most common problems in the UK.
Despite advancements in automotive technology, engine and transmission problems remain: Although not common, owners still worry about engine and transmission problems, as they are the most dangerous or costly. Despite advances in technology, the most severe problem in the industry remains an engine failing to start.
Not all problem areas are created equal: Experiencing any of the 10 most severe problems strongly affects the satisfaction of vehicle owners. The APEAL (Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout) Index drops well below the industry average of 767 (on a 1,000-point scale). The most severe problems result in a 5-13% drop in APEAL scores when they occur.
“Automotive systems are more complex than they’ve ever been and premium brands especially are incorporating adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, automatic braking...It’s imperative for manufacturers to address this issue in order to improve the level of consumer trust in the technology.”
- Josh Halliburton, Head of European Operations at J.D. Power.
Overall dependability is determined by the number of problems experienced per 100 vehicles (PP100).
With a lower score reflecting higher quality, Hyundai ranks highest in overall vehicle dependability with a score of 78 PP100. Suzuki ranks second with 87, followed by Kia with 94. The highest-ranking premium brand, Mercedes-Benz (124 PP100) ranks 14th overall.
Over in the Small SUV awards category, the Vauxhall Mokka and Mokka X hold a strong position as reliable cars.
The study, now in its fourth year, measures problems experienced during the past 12 months by original owners of vehicles in the UK after 12-36 months of ownership. The study examines 177 problem symptoms across eight categories: vehicle exterior; driving experience; features/controls/displays (FCD); audio/communication/entertainment/navigation (ACEN); seats; heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC); vehicle interior; and engine and transmission.
Among owners who experienced no problems with their vehicle, 54% say they “definitely will” purchase/lease the same brand again. Among those who experienced one of the top 10 highest-severity problems, only 37% say they “definitely will” purchase/lease the same brand again.
The 2018 UK Vehicle Dependability Study is based on responses from 13,536 owners of new vehicles registered from February 2015 through February 2017. The study was fielded from February through April 2018.