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Connected car features, infotainment & Bluetooth cause 20% of reliability problems

2016-j-d-power-dependabilityJ.D. Power’s  latest vesicle dependability study found that problems with technology continue to affect vehicle reliability rating.

Audio, communication, entertainment and navigation (ACEN)- problems with audio, Bluetooth, infotainment and voice commands—has increased to 20% of all customer-reported problems in the study. ACEN is now the most problematic area on most vehicles and is the cause of the industry’s 3% year-over-year decline in vehicle dependability.

More than 50% of owners cite expected reliability as one of the most influential reasons for choosing a specific make and model. At the same time, concerns about reliability have risen this year as a reason to avoid particular models.

There are two main sources of problems usability in first 90 days of ownership still bothersome, three years later and penetration of features has increased year over year.

The problems most often reported by owners are Bluetooth pairing/connectivity and built-in voice recognition systems misinterpreting commands. The navigation system being difficult to use and navigation system being inaccurate are also among the 10 most frequently reported problems.

  • Among owners who experienced a Bluetooth pairing/connectivity problem, 53% said the vehicle didn’t find/recognize their mobile phone/device.
  • Among owners who indicate having experienced a voice recognition problem, 67% say the problem was related to the system not recognizing/misinterpreting verbal commands.

J.D. notes that while there is enthusiasm for autonomous vehicles on the roads, consumers need to have confidence in the technologies currently in vehicles before they will be willing to take their hands off the wheel of self-driving cars. When consumer can’t connect their smartphones or trust navigation they’re certainly not yet ready to trust that autonomous technology.

Lexus ranks highest in vehicle dependability among all nameplates for a fifth consecutive year, with a score of 95 problems per 100 vehicles (PP100).

General Motors Company receives eight segment awards and Toyota Motor Corporation six.

GM models receiving an award include the Buick Encore; Buick LaCrosse; Buick Verano; Chevrolet Camaro; Chevrolet Equinox; Chevrolet Malibu; Chevrolet Silverado HD; and GMC Yukon.
Toyota awardees include the Lexus ES; Lexus GS; Lexus GX; Toyota Prius v; Toyota Sienna; and Toyota Tundra.

Others models to receive segment awards are the Fiat 500; Honda Fit; Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class; MINI Cooper; MINI Coupe/Roadster; and Nissan Murano.

Among owners who experienced no problems with their vehicle, 55% purchased the same brand again. In contrast, only 41% of owners who experienced three or more problems with their vehicle stayed with the same brand for their next purchase. Additionally, only a third of owners who had to replace a component outside of normal wear items said they would definitely repurchase or lease the same brand again.

The 2016 U.S. Vehicle Dependability Study is based on responses from 33,560 original owners of 2013 model-year vehicles after three years of ownership.