U.S. Vehicle Dependability Study (VDS)

The automotive industry is in the midst of recovery and competition is fierce, making it critical to focus efforts to retain and expand a loyal customer base. Understanding the perceptions of current vehicle owners enables automakers and suppliers to identify the reasons why customers will remain loyal to a specific vehicle model or brand. Although significant differences exist throughout the automotive market, quality and dependability continue to be the most important factors when shoppers consider a new vehicle.

Now more than ever, it is essential for automakers and suppliers to understand the specific factors that impact owners’ satisfaction with their vehicle’s long-term quality and dependability.

The Solution

The J.D. Power U.S. Vehicle Dependability StudySM (VDS) focuses on problems experienced by original owners of 3-year-old vehicles. Study findings are used extensively by manufacturers worldwide to help them design and build better vehicles—which typically retain higher resale value—and by consumers to help them make more informed choices for both new and used vehicles.

Problem symptoms are evaluated in nine vehicle system categories:

  • Exterior
  • Driving Experience
  • Features/Controls/Displays (FCD)
  • Driving Assistance
  • Infotainment
  • Seats
  • Climate
  • Interior
  • Powertrain

The Benefits

Study subscription will provide access to the tools needed to gain a comprehensive, in-depth understanding of the specific problems that owners have experienced with their vehicle and how this impacts their level of satisfaction.

Study information includes:

  • The makes and models that are most trouble-free
  • How vehicle problems experienced compare with owners’ expectations
  • The influence of problems on owners’ overall satisfaction with their vehicle
  • The types of problems owners consider most bothersome
  • Problems that have the greatest negative impact on loyalty
  • Major components that are replaced during the first 3 years of ownership
  • Diagnostic problem detail to help understand where and under which conditions problems may occur


NEW! The 2022 U.S. Vehicle Dependability Study (VDS) has been redesigned to include new problem areas and new insight on customer expectations regarding deterioration, vehicle appeal, and software updates.

  • NEW! Updated list of problems including how more technologies are performing after 3 years
  • NEW! Are customers more or less satisfied with how their vehicle withstood the test of time -- both in terms of deterioration and appeal
  • NEW! How and when were software updates delivered -- and how did customers react