2015 Initial Quality Study: Top 10 Reported Problems
By Philly Murtha, July 01, 2015
Each year, the J.D. Power Initial Quality StudySM (IQS) examines problems experienced by new-vehicle buyers and lessees during the first 90 days of ownership. In 2013, J.D. Power redesigned the IQS to provide more comprehensive coverage of new-vehicle technologies, as well as more detailed information to help explain the problems. Problems are tracked and measured using a problems-per-100-vehicles (PP100) metric, where a lower score reflects lower problem incidence, and thus higher vehicle quality.
Listed below, in ascending order, are the top 10 reported new-vehicle problems from the 2015 IQS, four of which show improvement from last year's study:
No. 10: Cupholders
Cupholders are difficult to use. However, there is improvement from IQS results in 2014 (2.0 PP100 vs. 2.1 PP100 in 2014).
No. 9 Center Console Storage
Center console storage is difficult to use. This problem area also improves this year (2.2 PP100 vs. 2.4 PP100 in 2014).
No. 8 and No. 7 (tie): Media Device Ports and Automatic Transmission
In a tie: automatic transmission hesitates and/or shifts at the wrong times (2.4 PP100 in both years), while there is improvement in Media Device ports being difficult to use and/or poorly located (2.4 PP100 vs. 2.5 PP100 in 2014).
No. 6: Exterior Paint
Exterior paint contains imperfections, although this measure improves from 2014 (2.5 PP100 vs. 2.6 PP100 in 2014).
No. 5: Navigation Systems
Showing a decline this year, navigation systems are difficult to use and/or poorly located (2.7 PP100 vs. 2.6 PP100).
No. 4: Excessive Wind Noise
Owner complaints about excessive wind noise have been at the top of the list for many years in the IQS, but automakers are making progress in resolving this issue (2.8 PP100 vs. 2.9 PP100 in 2014).
No. 3: Interior Materials
Interior materials that scuff and/or soil easily is on the rise (3.2 PP100 vs. 3.0 PP100 in 2014).
No. 2: Bluetooth Pairing and Connectivity
New-vehicle buyers and lessees are frustrated with built-in Bluetooth systems, especially related to pairing and connecting smartphones or other devices to their vehicle's Bluetooth system. Although the complaint rate is nearly double that of complaints about interior materials that scuff and/or soil easily, this is one of two problem areas that most improves in the 2015 IQS (5.5 PP100 vs. 5.7 PP100 in 2014).
No. 1: Voice-Recognition Systems
Built-in voice-recognition systems that frequently don't recognize and/or misinterpret commands continues to be the most troublesome area in the new-vehicle ownership experience. The complaint rate is the highest in the study--nearly triple that for problems related to interior materials that scuff and/or soil easily and excessive wind noise (8.7 PP100 vs. 8.3 PP100 in 2014).
- Top-Ranked Cars, Trucks, and SUVs in the J.D. Power 2015 Initial Quality Study
- 2015 U.S. Initial Quality Study Results
- 2015 U.S. Initial Quality Study Ratings
- All Automotive Study Ratings
- All Automotive Study Articles