J.D. Power’s latest Vehicle Dependability Survey revealed what issues are causing drivers the most grief with their vehicles, according to a news release.
The 2024 U.S. Vehicle Dependability Study is based on responses from 30,595 original owners of 2021 model-year vehicles. The survey was conducted from August through November 2023.
An industry average of 190 problems per 100 vehicles marks a four-digit increase from 2023’s findings. Between 90 days and three years of ownership, the problems drivers are experiencing have increased from 12% in 2023 to 17% this year.
Following the results of the survey, some problems in particular stuck out. The most frequent complaints were related to infotainment systems, with drivers experiencing difficulty in connecting to things like Android Auto or Apple CarPlay.
The dissatisfaction with infotainment systems was nearly double that of the next-highest source of discontent: driver assistance alerts. This category includes lane departure warnings, lane-keeping assistance, forward collision warnings, and automatic emergency braking. Rather than becoming more used to the presence of these alerts, drivers grow increasingly bothered by them, and have reported an increase in problems between 90 days and three years of ownership.
With electric vehicles still going through growing pains, the majority of complaints made were from owners of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) as opposed to gas-powered and hybrid owners, with BEVs taking the cake for most trouble.
After three years of ownership, 39% of BEV drivers had their tires replaced within the past 12 months. Having scored 19% higher than gas-powered drivers, the difference marks a unique problem faced by EV owners.
“Historically, VDS model results mirror the results of the respective model year in the J.D. Power Initial Quality Study, so a deterioration of vehicle dependability is unusual,” remarked Frank Hanley, senior director of auto benchmarking at J.D. Power. “This can likely be attributed to the tumultuous time during which these vehicles were built, and owners are keeping their vehicles for much longer.”