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2014 Initial Quality Study: Top 11 Reported Problems

2014 Initial Quality Study: Top 11 Reported Problems

By Jeff Youngs,

The annual J.D. Power Initial Quality StudySM (IQS) provides a measurement of the problems experienced by new-vehicle owners during the first 90 days of ownership. Last year, J.D. Power redesigned the IQS in order to provide more comprehensive coverage of new-vehicle technologies, as well as much greater detailed information to help explain the problems. This year, the number of problems new-vehicle buyers have experienced with their new cars, trucks, SUVs, and vans has increased from 2013.

Listed below, in ascending order, are the top 11 reported problem areas from the 2014 IQS:

No. 11 and No. 10 (tie): Cupholders and Seat Materials
In a tie: cupholders are difficult to use and the seat material soils and/or scuffs easily.

No. 9 and No. 8 (tie): Automatic Transmission and Center Console Storage
In a tie: automatic transmission hesitates and/or shifts at the wrong times and the center console storage area is difficult to use.

No. 7: Media Device Ports
Media device ports are difficult to use and/or poorly located.

No. 6 and No. 5 (tie): Navigation Systems and Exterior Paint
In a tie: navigation systems are difficult to use and/or poorly located and the exterior paint contains imperfections.

No. 4: Excessive Wind Noise
Historically, owner complaints about excessive wind noise have been at or near the top of this list, but automakers appear to be resolving this issue.

No. 3: Interior Materials
Interior materials scuff and/or soil easily.

No. 2: Bluetooth Pairing and Connectivity
New-vehicle buyers are having trouble with their built-in Bluetooth systems, specifically with regard to pairing and connecting mobile phones or other devices to the vehicle's built-in Bluetooth system. Notably, the complaint rate is nearly double that of reports about interior materials that scuff and/or soil easily.

Interestingly, while this remains a significant source of problems for vehicle owners, this attribute is also the most improved of all problem areas in the 2014 IQS.

No. 1: Voice-Recognition Systems
Built-in voice-recognition systems that don't recognize and/or misinterpret commands. To help put this into perspective, the complaint rate for this problem is nearly triple that for problems related to interior materials and excessive wind noise.

Additional Research:

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