iPhone iOS 8 Bluetooth problems & Siri-us mistakes are bad for car sales

JDPowerAs are readers are all too well aware, especially iPhone owners, Bluetooth and voice commands are important connected car features. When the features don’t work, car owners are very unhappy. J.D. Power’s latest Vehicle Dependability Study found that when voice commands and Bluetooth don’t work, the owners don’t like it and may not buy that make/model car in the future. The study is based on owners of 2012 vehicles.

Technology helps determine the owners’ perceptions of overall vehicle reliability, which, in turn, is impacting their likelihood to repurchase the same brand next time around.

Bluetooth pairing/connectivity and built-in voice recognition systems misinterpreting commands were the top two technology related problems reported by owners. There were problems reported at 90 days and also at three years.

AUTO Connected Car News now has over 700 comments from readers with Bluetooth problems with iOS 8-8.1.3. Unfortunately, for automakers the car owners won’t buy the same car for connections which may not be the automaker’s fault. The Bluetooth connectivity issue with iPhone iOS 8 and cars is so great our readers gave Apple the Edsel Yugo Award for the Biggest Snafu of 2014. Drivers are especially frustrated when an earlier model iPhone worked and then it stops working after an update to iOS 8.1.3.

Because issues with technology impact overall dependability, they also impact repurchase intent. 15 percent of new-vehicle buyers indicate they avoided a model because it lacked the latest technological feature, last year it was only 4%

  • For Bluetooth pairing/connectivity problem, 55% said that their vehicle would not recognize their phone, and 31% percent said the phone would not automatically connect when entering their vehicle.

J.D. Power noted that, often, the issues owners experience can be resolved with a software update or, in the case of Bluetooth pairing problems, dealers can step in to help. In cases such as these, proactively reaching out to owners presents an opportunity for automakers and their dealers to engage with customers in a positive way.

  • By vehicle category, the most frequently reported problems are related to exterior, followed by engine/transmission. The third ranked overall problem was problems with built-in infotainment and navigation.

The study shows that vehicle owner expectations of advanced technology capabilities are growing. Owners clearly want the latest technology in their vehicles, and they don’t hesitate to express their disapproval when it doesn’t work. Their definition of dependability is increasingly influenced by usability.

Because issues with technology impact overall dependability, they also impact repurchase intent. The study found that 56 percent of owners who report no problems with their vehicle say they “definitely will” purchase the same brand next time, compared with 43 percent of those who report three or more problems.

Lexus ranks highest in vehicle dependability among all nameplates for a fourth consecutive year, with a score of 89 PP100.

The study covers 177 specific problem symptoms grouped into eight major vehicle categories for 2012 models surveys of owners of car models.