JD Power Dependability Study

The JD Power Vehicle Dependability Study, or VDS, looks at the issues that original owners of 3-year-old vehicles reported. By analyzing the problems that these owners experienced over 12, JD Power is able to look at the reliability of cars, including areas such as features, engine, transmission, navigation, heating and AC, and driving experience.

In the 2016 Vehicle Dependability Study, problems with technology are still causing owner satisfaction to decrease over the life of their vehicles. Issues that arise with audio, entertainment, navigation and communications systems account for 20% of a reported problems, and the cause of a 3% decline in satisfaction with dependability year-over-year. One of the most frequently reported issues are with Bluetooth connectivity and pairings and voice-recognition controls misunderstanding commands.

With 27 years conducting the study, JD Powers examines 177 specific problems in eight categories: exterior, engine and transmission, ACEN, interior, driving experience, features/controls/displays, HVAC and seats.  Not surprisingly, 7 of the top 10 issues reported were design-related, which is an increase of 2% over the 2015 results. Especially when looking at technology problems, these issues don’t decrease over time. Usability issues reported by owners in the first 90 days with their cars are typically still bothering drivers 3 years later.

Read the full report here: jdpower.com