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Report: Problems in New Vehicles Increase

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June 23, 2014—The number of problems experienced by new vehicle owners has increased from a year ago, according to the J.D. Power 2014 U.S. Initial Quality StudySM released last week.

The study examines the first 90 days of vehicle ownership and any problems that consumers have.

The study found that overall initial quality averages 116 problems per 100 vehicles, a 3 percent increase from last year. The increase mirrors problems J.D. Power found in its vehicle dependability study earlier this year.

One main cause for the increase is new technology in newly-launched or redesigned vehicles, according to the study.

“Automakers are trying to give consumers the new features and technology they want without introducing additional quality problems into their vehicles,” said David Sargent, vice president of global automotive at J.D. Power. “However, almost all automakers are struggling to do this flawlessly with some consumers indicating that the technology is hard to understand, difficult to use, or simply does not always work as designed.”

In some regions, increases in problems are correlated with weather. Consumers in the South and West regions of the country report the same level of problems as in 2013, while consumers in the Northeast and Midwest regions reported an increase in issues. Most of the issues surrounded the heating/ventilation/air conditioning, exterior and engine/transmission categories.

Unsurprisingly, the study also found that the fewer problems consumers experience with a specific brand of vehicle, the greater their loyalty to that brand is. For a second year in a row, Porsche ranked highest in initial quality among all nameplates, with Jaguar, Lexus, and Hyundai following.

The 2014 U.S. Initial Quality Study is based on responses from more than 86,000 new vehicle owners and lessees. Information was gathered between February and May 2014.

For more information on the study, visit J.D. Power online

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