Forget the flats, the rattles and wind noise, even the balky transmissions. These days, the biggest headache for a new car buyer is likely to be the voice controlled infotainment system.
The good news is that the latest crop of new cars, trucks and crossovers are “better than ever,” according to the 2012 J.D. Power Initial Quality Study. But while manufacturers have largely overcome the defects and malfunctions that traditionally plagued buyers, motorists are experiencing more issues with the latest in-car technologies, such as voice-controlled navigation and Bluetooth hands-free phones.
The annual IQS asks owners to report on both defects and design-related issues during the first months after they’ve driven their new products home. On average, the 2012 study found an average 102 “problems” for every 100 new vehicles. That’s down from 107 “PP100” in 2011, to use Power-speak.
“This is, without doubt, the best level of quality we’ve ever seen,” noted Dave Sargent, vice president of global automotive at J.D. Power and Associates, or JDPA.