Drivers are experiencing lower levels of vehicle dependability after only three years of ownership, a new study from J.D. Power reveals.
Released on Feb. 8, the J.D. Power 2024 U.S. Vehicle Dependability Study (VDS) indicates that the significant number of issues that owners are experiencing points to a decline in long-term vehicle dependability. An increase in the level of problems was reported for nearly two-thirds of the brands included in the study — with the industry average up four problems per 100 vehicles (PP100) year-over-year to 190 PP100 from 2023.
“Historically, VDS model results mirror the results of the respective model year in the J.D. Power Initial Quality Study, so a deterioration of vehicle dependability is unusual,” said Frank Hanley, Senior Director of Auto Benchmarking at J.D. Power, in a statement. “This can likely be attributed to the tumultuous time during which these vehicles were built, and owners are keeping their vehicles for much longer.”
According to J.D. Power’s news release, the rate at which issues have increased between 90 days and three years of ownership is now at 17 per cent — up 5 percentage points from 2023’s 12 per cent. The study, which is now in its 35th year, considered 184 specific problem areas across nine major vehicle categories. These include climate, driving assistance, driving experience, exterior, features/controls/displays, infotainment, interior, powertrain, and seats.
Hanley said the average age of vehicles on American roads today is approximately 12 years, “which underscores the importance of building a vehicle designed to stand the test of time. Automakers must ensure new vehicle technology introduced today will still meet the customer’s needs years down the road.”
Lexus ranked highest among all brands for the second year in a row, and Toyota ranked highest among mass market brands.