Škoda tops dependability survey

Škoda has ranked highest in vehicle dependability among all nameplates for a second consecutive year in the JD Power 2016 UK Vehicle Dependability StudySM (VDS).

The study, now in its second year, measures problems experienced during the past 12 months by original owners of vehicles in the UK after 12-36 months of ownership. JD Power examined 177 problem symptoms across eight categories: engine and transmission; vehicle exterior; driving experience; features/controls/displays (FCD); audio/communication/entertainment/navigation (ACEN); seats; heating, ventilation and cooling (HVAC); and vehicle interior. Overall dependability is determined by the number of problems experienced per 100 vehicles (PP100), with a lower score reflecting higher quality.

Suzuki ranked second with 79 PP100, followed by Kia with 80 PP100; Vauxhall with 90 PP100; and Peugeot and Volkswagen in a tie with 92 PP100 each. The overall industry average is 113 PP100, a slight improvement from 114 PP100 in 2015.

Škoda also had two models (Fabia and Yeti) receive segment awards. Ford B-MAX, Kia Picanto, Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Toyota Auris and Vauxhall Insignia also received a segment award.

Commenting on the survey, Dr Axel Sprenger, senior director of European automotive operations at JD Power, said, ‘Customers in the UK expect their vehicle to be problem-free, not only in the first 90 days, but also during the first three years of ownership. When owners experience even a single problem with their vehicle, this can be the initiation of losing confidence in the vehicle and the brand.’

Dr Sprenger continued, ‘There is a direct correlation between the number of problems customers experience with their vehicle and the decisions they make when the time comes to purchase or lease their next car. While a small drop in actual loyalty may not sound like much, with the average price of a new vehicle in the UK at approximately £22,000, a percentage point drop in share can mean millions of pounds in lost revenue to an automaker.’