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Top Five Ways Vehicles Are Improving in Terms of Problems

By Jeff Youngs, March 01, 2013
J.D. Power and Associates annually measures the number of problems original owners have experienced with their 3-year-old vehicle during the previous 12 months. According to the 2013 Vehicle Dependability Study, vehicles from the 2010 model year exhibit the greatest improvements in the following problem categories:

1) Tire-Pressure-Monitoring Systems--Beginning in 2008, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) required that all cars, light trucks, and vans be fitted with a tire-pressure-monitoring system, which is designed to alert drivers when pressure in one or more tires is low. Vehicle owners report fewer problems with these systems in their 2010 model-year vehicles.

2) Excessive Brake Dust on Wheels--Brake dust is the gray film that gathers on the surface of a vehicle's wheels over time, making them look dirty. It has long been a complaint among vehicle owners, and is the second-most-improved problem category in the 2013 Vehicle Dependability Study.

3) Door Locks--In the 2013 Vehicle Dependability Study, vehicle owners report fewer problems with vehicle door locks.

4) Remote Keyless Entry System--In the 2013 Vehicle Dependability Study, vehicle owners report fewer problems with their remote keyless entry systems, devices operated using a key-fob to lock and unlock the doors, electrically open the trunk or tailgate, and sound the horn as a panic alarm.

5a) Noise (Brakes, Wind, Rattles, Squeaks, Vibrations)--Several noise-related problem areas improve by the same amount in the 2013 Vehicle Dependability Study, including noisy brakes, wind noise, squeaks and rattles from the dashboard and instrument panel, and stereo speakers that vibrate or rattle.

5b) Foggy Windows--Noise-related problem areas tie with foggy windows as the fifth-most-improved category in the 2013 study. Notably, vehicle owners have experienced the fourth-warmest winter on record (2011-2012) during the 12 months prior to the time the study was fielded.

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