New vehicles are rolling off the production lines with more new – and old – problems, a study finds.
The number of problems per 100 new vehicles has climbed to new heights, according to the J.D. Power U.S. Initial Quality Study.
In the past two years, the number – PP100 for short – rose by 30, a record in the 37 years of the study, J.D. Power said.
It says the more complex models being released is a major factor in the increase, along with persistent problems across years.
"The industry is at a major crossroad and the path each manufacturer chooses is paramount for its future,” said J.D. Power Senior Director of Auto Benchmarking Frank Hanley, who said new technology is “not always satisfying owners.”
This year’s study drew more than 93,000 respondents, both buyers and lessees of new 2023 models soon after they took possession of their vehicles. Questions covered everything from controls and displays to powertrain. J.D. Power says the study’s intended to help manufacturers identify and address problems.
Driving-experience problems were flat year-over-year, but quality decreased in all other categories, J.D. Power said. Findings included that:
- Door handles are presenting more problems, particularly on electric vehicles, as redesigns disrupt a feature that previously drew no attention because it worked.
- Driver-assistance features are presenting more problems than in the past.
- Wireless smartphone charger issues showed the most acceleration in the study, including phone overheating and poor location.
The highest-ranked brand was Dodge. Among mass-market brands, Ram and Buick ranked second and third. Top premium brands were Alfa Romeo, Porsche and Cadillac. Brands showing the most improvement are Maserati, Alfa Romeo and Ram.