Unreliable technologies in premium vehicles

Emerging and new technologies in premium vehicles are resulting in more owner-reported problems than in volume brand vehicles, according to the J.D. Power 2018 UK Vehicle Dependability study.

Some key findings of the 2018 study include: in-vehicle technology is slightly more problematic despite advancements in automotive technology, engine and transmission problems remain, and not all problem areas are created equal.

‘Automotive systems are more complex than they’ve ever been and premium brands especially are incorporating autonomous driving building blocks—adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, automatic braking—into their models,’ said Josh Halliburton, head of European operations at J.D. Power. ‘It’s imperative for manufacturers to address this issue in order to improve the level of consumer trust in the technology.’

Overall dependability is determined by the number of problems experienced per 100 vehicles. The top 13 brands in the UK for vehicle dependability are volume brands. Hyundai ranks highest in overall vehicle dependability. Suzuki ranks second, followed by Kia. Mercedes-Benz is the highest-ranking premium brand, and 14 overall.

The study, 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.