According to a new study by J.D. Power and Associates, run-flat tires are more likely to be replaced due to a flat or a blowout compared to conventional tires.
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Unfortunately, new cars don’t stay new and it comes a time when parts need to be replaced. If you’ve just bought a new set of wheels and are curious what might go wrong first, the team at J.D. Power and Associates has compiled a top 10 list of the most commonly replaced vehicle components after three years of ownership.
Based on data gathered from its 2013 Vehicle Dependability Study, the following components were replaced by the highest percentage of owners in the 12 months leading up to when the survey was conducted.
Coming in 10th place were fuses, requiring replacement by 0.8 percent of those participating in the survey. Compared to last year, that’s a 0.4 percent improvement. Most fuses used in automobiles are blade fuses, also known as spade or plug-in fuses. They feature a plastic body with two prongs that fit into the sockets. At least the good news is, most fuses are cheap – it’s finding the one that needs to be replaced that could be troublesome.
J.D. Power and Associates has released its 2013 Vehicle Dependability Study, listing the top-rated SUVs from their segments.
10. Acura TSX - 34.3%
How do you get Generation Y interested in cars? To answer that question perhaps the best move is to take a look at what cars they do already like.
Thanks to new stats provided by J.D. Power and Associates we’ve compiled a list of the top 10 cars with the highest percentage of buyers aged of 16 to 35 in 2012. And if there is one common theme, it’s that Generation Y isn’t big on domestics, with just one vehicle from the Big 3 making the list.
Kicking off the top 10 list is the Acura TSX, where 34.3 percent of its buyers were between the ages of 16 to 35. The entry-level sedan offers luxury amenities at a budget price, while providing owners with the reliability and comfort that Acura is known for. The Acura TSX had an average MSRP (the average price across all trim levels) of $32,251 last year.
Fuel economy remains the most influential purchase reason for buyers when shopping for new vehicles, according to the latest J.D. Power and Associates 2013 Avoider Study.
For the last four years, new car prices have risen quickly as the U.S. comes out of its recent recession. But a new report shows that new car prices are beginning to level off now that automakers have been disciplined about their discounts and sales incentives.
In an era where almost anything can be done online, vehicle owners still prefer to call ahead and schedule their service appointments than to schedule it online or drop by the dealership unannounced.
There are a lot of car stereotypes out there, like that Toyota builds dull appliances. While true on many fronts, the Japanese automaker does also make exciting sporty cars like the Scion FR-S, and Lexus LFA, both praised for their exhilarating rides, edgy styling and pulse-raising performance. But there’s another stereotype that needs to be dealt with.
Likely you’ve heard the phrase “German engineering” more than a few times in your life and there’s a popular misconception that it equals good reliability. German cars are well engineered, sometimes to be amazing performance machines and sometimes to be incredibly high-tech (and often both) but, Porsche aside, German cars don’t have the best track record for reliability.
Utilizing auto insurance is a reality we all must face once and a while, and according to J.D. Power and Associates, the services provided to the public are slowly getting worse.
The findings from the U.S. auto claims satisfaction study show that the overall level of customer satisfaction, when it comes to the auto claims experience has declined to the lowest level it has been at in the last three calendar quarters.
One of the biggest losses in service is the overall time it takes for your vehicle to get repaired, starting on the day you make the claim. The average wait time is now 15.8 days, compared to the average wait time in the last quarter of 2011, which was 15 days, wait times have increased almost a full day.
Not all the blame lays with insurance companies however, as almost half of the people who reported an increase in wait times also say that they brought their cars in on a convenient day for them, rather than as soon possible. This is probably the leading contributing factor to the fact that repair times have increased as well, because people wait for holidays or the weekend to get their vehicles serviced, thus backing up the mechanics.
The overall satisfaction in service interaction and appraisal dropped as well. “This suggests insurers need to do a better job of managing customer expectations for claims processing and vehicle repair times,” said Jeremy Bowler, senior director of the insurance practice at J.D. Power and Associates.
Have you had an insurance claim recently? Were you pleased with your service? Tell us about it in the comments section below.
It might not make sense to trade your gas guzzler in for a more fuel-efficient car, but that doesn’t seem to be stopping people.
Sub-compact and compact car sales are spiking this year, according to J.D. Power and Associates. It seems that both segments are growing, but the smaller sibling is winning out among American consumers, probably because of rising fuel prices.
The average gallon of gas across the U.S. sells for $3.80 today and is expected to climb in the coming months, as is common in during the warmer seasons. That seems to be driving consumer preferences toward cars like the Scion iQ, Chevrolet Sonic and Fiat 500 which might have seemed unthinkable a couple of years ago.
In fact, both segments are outpacing growth in the rest of the industry, which saw an 11.5 percent sales gain over last year. Sub-compact deliveries grew by 37.7 percent, while compacts enjoyed a 13.3 percent increase.
What’s more, 23.6 percent of sub-compact owners traded in their fuel efficient car or crossover for another sub-compact. More models are also being traded in for smaller cars at dealerships this year compared to last.
So it seems that the small cars some people looked at with disdain a few years ago are actually gaining popularity. Maybe Fiat boss Sergio Marchionne will be able to announce good news for his brand’s U.S. sales for a change.
[Source: J. D. Power and Associates]
And we know, technically Lexus is Toyota, but owners of Lexus vehicles topped the rankings with 86 problems per 100 vehicles. Toyota as a brand in comparison reported 104 problems per 100 vehicles and was tied in third place with American automaker, Cadillac. Porsche was second place right behind Lexus, while Scion, Mercedes-Benz and Lincoln followed Toyota.
It’s also worth mentioning that the industry-wide rate of problems fell 13-percent from the previous year to 132 problems per 100 vehicles, the lowest since J. D. Power and Associates began the study back in 1990.
The study measures problems experienced during the past 12 months by owners of three year old vehicles, with overall dependability determined by the level of problems per 100 vehicles – the lower the score, the higher its dependability.
J.D. Power and Associates released their annual vehicle dependability study today, something consumers and manufacturers pay close attention to.
“Despite facing immense challenges in 2009, automakers placed a keen focus on delivering outstanding levels of quality, which they understood would be essential to their long-term success,” said David Sargent, vice president of global automotive at J.D. Power and Associates.
Browsing through the results wouldn’t mean much to the average person unless that person were mulling over a car purchase, except for the fact that this year’s study findings break new ground. Results gathered by the famous firm suggest that vehicle dependability is at an all-time high – and not by a small margin.
In fact, that margin is larger than ever before thanks to a 13 percent improvement in reliability over the 2011 results. Last year’s study cited 151 problems reported per 100 vehicles. This year that number is down to 132 per 100. The study is based on responses by more than 31,000 original owners of 2009 model-year vehicles after three years of ownership. The survey takes problems over the previous 12 months into account and bases the results per 100 vehicles.
Basically, J. D. Power is telling the rest of the world what a swath of already-satisfied customers from 2009 probably know.
“Three years later, owners of these models are enjoying unprecedented levels of vehicle dependability and manufacturers are experiencing market recovery. This is good news both for owners—who are holding onto their vehicles for longer than ever—and manufacturers, since perception of quality and dependability is a critical factor in vehicle purchase decisions,” Sargent said.
Dependability certainly is a critical factor, which is why we’re chuckling a little that the 2009 Toyota Tundra got the nod this year over the world’s “most dependable, longest lasting line of pickups.” If Ford won, this could have been sweet revenge for Chevy’s low-blow Superbowl ad, but it’s still funny. Better luck next time, Chevy.
It’s also a little funny to think that the 2009 Toyota Prius made it into this year’s list when you remember that was the same year the venerable hybrid poster child started accelerating independent of the driver. To be fair, that happened in a minority of the cars and was a dead issue during the point at which J.D. Power conducted their study. Still, it’s interesting to see how forgiving families apparently are towards the killer car.
Counting Toyota and its subsidiary companies as one, the Japanese giant actually won eight out of 16 categories. Ford was the next best, winning three categories including its subsidiaries.
See the complete list of winners below:
Sub-Compact Car- Toyota Yaris
Compact Car- Toyota Prius
Compact Crossover- Chevrolet Equinox
Compact Multi-Purpose Vehicle- Scion xB
Compact Sporty Car- Scion tC
Ranked Entry Premium Car (tie)- Lexus ES 350; Lincoln MKZ
Midsize Car- Ford Fusion
Midsize Crossover SUV (tie)- Ford Explorer; Nissan Murano
Midsize Pickup- Nissan Frontier
Midsize Premium Car- Hyundai Genesis
Midsize Premium Crossover SUV- Lexus RX 350
Midzise Van- Toyota Sienna
Large Car- Buick Lucerne
Large Pickup- Toyota Tundra
[Source: J. D. Power and Associates]
Car and Driver has published an article expressing its gripes with J.D. Power’s Initial Quality Study, stating that its results tell us less about a vehicle’s defects then we might think. J.D. Power’s IQS measures new-vehicle quality after 90-days of ownership and has done so since 1987, but the advent of more technologically advanced features are now impacting quality results.
Take Ford for example. From 2010 to 2011, Ford dropped 18 places (from fifth to 23rd) in J.D.’s IQS, but one would argue that Ford’s quality has only increased over the past year – surely not decreased that significantly. The reasoning behind it is the fact that J.D. Power is voicing the opinion of the consumer and consumers are complaining about design issue rather than a functionality problem. That is, a customer finds it frustrating to use Ford’s MyFord Touch system and notches it as a problem, rather than observing a loose electrical connection, something that really impacts the quality of a vehicle.
Another great example from Ford is the new PowerShift dual-clutch automatic found in their new Fiesta. Customers are complaining about its shift quality compared to a conventional automatic transmission with a torque converter, but there has hardly been any actual mechanical issues problems with the transmission, if at all.
Unfortunately a lot of the manufacturers are actually changing the functionality of the vehicle because of these complaints, such as Porsche consumers complaining about brake pad dust. Obviously the better-performing a brake pad is, the more dust it produces; but the general laymen finds it an inconvenience and even a quality issue if a brake pad produces so much dust. As a result, Porsche vehicles are probably equipped with less-capable pads than they originally were, all because of these “quality” issues being reported by J.D. Power.
At the end of the day though, it’s still the voice of the consumer that manufacturers care about.
[Source: Car and Driver]
Buying a new car takes time. And you’d think with all the resources at our disposal, thanks to the Internet, the process would be a lot speedier. But new research out says the opposite is true.
According to market research presented at the J.D. Power and Associates 2011 Automotive Internet Roundtable, the World Wide Web does make us better informed, but it slows us down when it comes time to buying a car. Basically, it’s not making us decisive shoppers.
The research gathered shows that more than 80 percent of U.S. new-car buyers use the Internet to shop and research before going to the dealership. While on the web, online car shoppers take longer to make a decision regarding what car to buy because they’ve gathered so much information.
And dealerships aren’t helping to speed up shopping by responding slowly to Internet requests. This research shows that 95 percent of dealers respond to lead inquiries within 24 hours, and only 33 percent respond within one hour.
Breaking it down into demographics, younger car shoppers use the Internet more often to shop and research, but older shoppers are more likely to submit online leads.
Also interesting is the fact that third-party car sites are used extensively throughout the buying process, as they come in handy for vehicle-inventory searches. Other tools that car shoppers are using include build-a-vehicle configurators (31 percent), dealer locators (25 percent) and deal offers (25 percent). And with the popularity of online videos, 63 percent of shoppers say they were more interested in a vehicle after seeing a video of it.
[Source: Wards Auto]
This might be an obvious piece of information, but it’s always nice to have proof – a recent study shows that when buying a new vehicle, dealer treatment is a major reason why consumers choose to buy from a specific dealer over another.
The J.D. Power and Associates 2010 U.S. Sales Satisfaction Index (SSI) Study analyzed the new-vehicle purchase experience and found that 52 percent of new-car buyers reported the main reason behind picking one car dealer over another was how they were treated. The study also found that only 38 percent of buyers said vehicle price was the reason for selecting a particular dealer. This information shows that incentives and specials don’t move cars off the lot – it’s customer satisfaction.
Here are a few other interesting findings found in the report
- In the new-vehicle buying process, negotiating the deal takes the longest time (53 minutes on average) after selecting the vehicle.
- About 60 percent of new-vehicle buyers visit more than one dealership during the shopping process.
- Although many dealers are rejected for not having the type of vehicle that buyers wanted to purchase, a significant percentage of buyers (18 percent) end their showroom visit mainly due to poor customer treatment by the dealership salespeople.
- A majority (79 percent) of new-vehicle buyers use the Internet during their shopping process. Nearly one-fourth (24 percent) of buyers in 2010 submitted an online request for quote to a dealer, and were, on average, more satisfied with the negotiation process and price paid.
[Source: J.D. Power]
Are you in the market for a new entertainment or infotainment system for your car? A recent study by J.D. Power and Associates shows that Japanese suppliers of information and entertainment systems score highest in quality.
It seems as though everyone has a satellite radio or navigation devices installed in their vehicle. And there are numbers to prove it: about 66 percent of cars have satellite radio (up from 59 percent in 2009). Factory-installed navigation systems are found in 30 percent of vehicles (up from 25 percent).
J.D. Power’s 2010 U.S. Multimedia Quality and Satisfaction Study sheds some light on the growing popularity of infotainment technology into the U.S. market.
The survey broke down the infotainment technologies into multiple categories. In the AM/FM/Multi-CD Changer/Satellite Radio sector, the top three positions for quality were held by Japanese brands. Securing the top spot was Fujitsu Ten, coming in the best score with only 2.1 problems per 100 vehicles. They were followed by Pioneer with 2.6 problems and Clarion with 3.4.
In the field of car navigation, Japanese supplier Denso took three of the top four slots. When combined with Panasonic’s audio system, Denso’s navigation software had the fewest problems per 100 vehicles at 6.4, and when partnered with Delphi, Denso also came in second with 8.7 problems. Taking the number four stop, Denso teamed Fujitsu Ten with 10.5 complaints, behind a Delphi system that had 9.4 problems.
“It is not surprising to see Japanese brands doing well in the United States,” says Ashvin Chotai, managing director of Intelligence Automotive Asia in London. “Japanese companies are much stronger in all areas of consumer electronics and have been responsible for many of the groundbreaking developments which have then been feeding into cars.”