Hands-Free Communication Issues Cited as Largest New Vehicle Complaint Says JD Power

Hands-Free Communication Issues Cited as Largest New Vehicle Complaint Says JD Power

The latest J.D. Power Initial Quality Study highlights problems with issues related to in car technology, though what’s troubling is just how predominant the problems have become and how much impact they are having on overall vehicle scores.

According to the data firm, one notable exception to the rise in initial quality is in-car technology with reported problems having risen eight percent in just the past year. And the past 12 months have been no exception either, with a 45% increase in complaints documented since 2006. Making the issues with in-car electronics that much more obvious is the 24 percent reduction in problems in other categories.

“We also observe that for the first time in the 26-year history of our IQS, new-vehicle owners report more problems related to audio, entertainment, and navigation systems than in any other vehicle area,” says David Sargent, VP of global automotive at J.D. Power and Associates. “This is due in part to the rapid increase in equipping mass market models with new technology, such as voice recognition.”

Specifically, voice-recognition is highlighted as the number one problem area with issues reported with factory-installed units up 137% in the past four years. In fact, according to JD Power the number one problem cited in the 2012 IQS is one that you’re likely familiar with, “Hands-free communication–doesn’t recognize command.”

In total, 80% of new car buyers are reporting their car had some sort of hands-free device built into it in 2012. ” It’s a cautionary tale,” says Sargent, “because the most innovative technology in the world also will quickly create dissatisfaction if owners can’t get it to work.”