Bluetooth Connectivity, Voice Recognition among Top 10 Problems in 3-Year-Old Vehicles
Advanced technology in vehicles continues to frustrate new car, truck, SUV, and van owners, according to the J.D. Power 2016 U.S. Vehicle Dependability StudySM (VDS). For owners of 3-year-old vehicles (2013 model year), the No. 1 problem concerns Bluetooth connectivity and voice recognition, which, coincidentally, is the top problem experienced during the first 90 days of ownership, as found in the most recent J.D. Power Initial Quality StudySM (IQS).
The increased penetration of communication technology in vehicles each year along with continued difficulties with usability exacerbate owners’ problems with their 3-year-old vehicles, according to J.D. Power analysis. Perhaps not surprising, then, is the fact that seven of the top 10 problem areas in this year’s VDS are design-related rather than mechanical defects.
Four of the top 10 problems fall under the Audio/Communication/Entertainment/Navigation (ACEN) category, one of eight problem categories tracked in the annual VDS. The four ACEN problems also have a higher incidence this year than in last year’s VDS, which evaluated experiences of owners of 2012 model-year vehicles. Bluetooth connectivity and problems with voice recognition, including misinterpreting commands, were often mentioned and also were problems that increased the most in this year’s VDS.
On a positive note, this year’s study finds a reduced incidence of excessive wind and road noise in addition to a slight reduction in hesitation/wrong shifting with automatic transmissions and incidence of “check engine” light indicating a problem.
Below are the 10 problems that are most commonly experienced by owners of 2013 model-year vehicles, according to the 2016 VDS. The problems are listed in order of frequency using problems per 100 vehicles (PP100), along with incidence in last year’s study.
Top 10 Problems in 2016 VDS / Problems per 100 Vehicles (PP100) / Better/Worse than 2015
- Bluetooth connectivity/pairing issues (ACEN) / 8.7 / 1.5 Worse
- Voice recognition problems/ misinterpretation of commands (ACEN) / 8.7 / 2.4 Worse
- Excessive wind noise / 4.8 / 0.6 Better
- Automatic transmission hesitates, shifts at wrong time / 4.2 / 0.2 Better
- Excessive road noise / 3.6 / 0.5 Better
- Navigation system difficult to operate (ACEN) / 3.5 / 1.1 Worse
- Interior materials scuff/soil easily / 3.3 / 0.1 Worse
- “Check engine” light indicated a problem / 2.9 / 0.1 Better
- Exterior molding/trim loose/falling off/faded / 2.8 / 0.7 Worse
- Navigation system is inaccurate (ACEN) / 2.8 / 0.6 Worse