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J.D. Power Reports: Electric Vehicle Brands Struggle as New Technologies Impact Car Quality

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New technologies cause problems in new car models, says JD Power's 2023 Initial Quality Study

The 2023 edition of JD Power's Initial Quality Study indicates that new vehicles are becoming increasingly more problematic. This problem is due in part to new technologies, including advanced driver-assistance features like lane-departure warnings and automatic emergency braking, and wireless charging pads. Yet, automakers are also having trouble with things seen as basics, such as door handles. Pioneering automakers like Tesla have added high-tech door handles to new models, making door handles a percolating problem area. Electric vehicles (EVs) make up seven of the ten worst offenders.

Quality Rankings

Dodge, Ram, and Alfa Romeo are among the top-ranked brands in JD Power's 2023 Initial Quality Study, while Tesla, Polestar, and Lucid rank among the least satisfying. Among US automakers, General Motors had a strong showing with its four brands: Chevrolet, GMC, Buick, and Cadillac in the top ten quality brands. Hyundai and Kia upheld their standards and were both solidly above average, while Toyota underperformed slightly worse than average.

Survey Results

The survey results indicated that industry-wide problems per 100 vehicles increased by an average of 12 to 192 this year. Advanced driver-assistance features and wireless charging pads were significant contributors to this number. While EVs, driven by new technologies that make them attractive, dominate the least satisfying cars, they are not included in JD Power's study. JD Power was able to calculate its scores for Tesla and Polestar based on consumer data from other states. Sample sizes for Lucid and Rivian were considered too small to be eligible for rankings and awards, but J.D. Power included them in the overall industry averages.

The yearly Initial Quality Study is widely viewed within the automotive industry. It is based on survey data from new car buyers or lessees who respond during the initial 90 days of ownership of current model-year vehicles. JD Power also conducts separate surveys to rank brands by long-term dependability and the appeal of their new vehicles' features. Automakers must address these quality issues with new technologies while also fulfilling their traditional role of ensuring dependable, safe, and easy-to-use vehicles as a top priority.

The new technologies causing issues in the automotive industry serve as a cautionary tale for new businesses. As companies strive to innovate, they must ensure that their new offerings do not impact basic functionality negatively. Adding new features and technologies is great, but ensuring product quality should always be a top priority. Additionally, the report highlights the importance of consumer feedback and how crucial it is to gather data on customer satisfaction. New companies should keep this in mind while conducting market research and development to ensure the quality of their products.

Furthermore, this report reflects a possible need for more strict product-testing standards within the automotive industry. New businesses can learn from this and ensure that their products are thoroughly tested and meet industry standards before releasing them to the market. As new technologies continue to emerge, businesses must be careful not to overlook traditional features to make sure they remain dependable, safe, and easy-to-use.

Businesses that focus on innovation and new technologies must be mindful of their impact on the core functionalities of products. Additionally, companies should prioritize customer satisfaction by conducting thorough market research and development while keeping product testing and industry standards at the forefront.

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