It’s more expensive to drive these days and now a new study shows new vehicle quality declined this year, more than any other recent year.
J.D. Power’s annual Initial Quality Study, released this week, finds an 11% increase in problems per 100 vehicles. J.D. Power says that’s a record high for this annual benchmark study.
“This is the most problematic year that the industry has ever experienced for initial vehicle quality,” Kristin Kolodge, Auto Benchmarking and Mobility Development Vice President, said.
The agency’s leaders said the reasons for the increase in problems varies from microchip shortages to remote workforces.
“Supply chain disruption, that was caused by a multitude of different factors,” Kolodge explained. “Certainly the microchip shortage has been really a pain point for the automotive industry.”
Ajay Malshe, Purdue University’s R. Eugene and Susie E. Goodson Distinguished Professor of Mechanical Engineering, underscores the advancements manufacturers are making when it comes to technology.
“We’ve never had a connectivity of this magnitude,” Malshe said. “The convenience that when you’re driving, you’re watching the lane, you’re making sure that you’re connected to the phone.”
Malshe is not surprised by the study’s results.
“Considering the global supply chains, considering the variations in disruptions, remember, this is something the industry has not experienced of this magnitude or disruption,” Malshe said.
J.D. Power’s report also finds more trouble with battery-electric vehicles or plug-in hybrids. But, experts said the issues do not usually lie in their powertrain systems.
“It’s really coming from the controls, right,” Kolodge explained. “So your switches, and different ways that you’re controlling your climate control as well as your infotainment system.”
Not every ranked brand saw an increase in problems; Kolodge said General Motors had improvements.
“They came away with 9 vehicle awards,” Kolodge said. “They were one of only three corporations to improve in initial quality this year.”
If you would like to read the full study, visit www.jdpower.com.