For a second consecutive year, the Porsche 911 is the highest-ranked model in the JD Power US Vehicle Dependability Study for 2022. This is the third time in the past four years that the Porsche model has earned this honour.
Kia ranks highest overall in vehicle dependability, with a score of 145 PP100. This is the first year Kia leads the overall ranking after ranking third overall in 2021, JD Power said. Other mass-market brands ranking high for vehicle dependability include Buick (147 PP100), Hyundai (148 PP100), and Toyota (158 PP100).
Genesis (155 PP100) ranks highest in the premium segment, followed by Lexus (159 PP100), and Porsche (162 PP100).
“Many owners are holding on to their vehicles longer, so long-term dependability is even more critical,” said David Amodeo, director of global automotive at JD Power, a provider of consumer insights, advisory services and data and analytics.
“Some automakers are performing much better than others at preventing problems from occurring. These problems include the vehicle’s mechanicals, exterior and interior—but also infotainment systems, driver assistance systems and all the other electronic systems in today’s vehicles.”
The 2022 US Vehicle Dependability Study is based on responses from 29,487 original owners of 2019 model-year vehicles after three years of ownership. The study was fielded from July 2021 through November 2021. It measures the number of problems per 100 vehicles (PP100) experienced during the past 12 months by original owners of the vehicles.
The study, now in its 33rd year, has been redesigned to include all of the features and technology that are available in current vehicles. The study covers 184 specific problem areas across nine major vehicle categories: climate; driving assistance (new in 2022); driving experience; exterior; features/controls/ displays; infotainment; interior; powertrain; and seats.
The study also now measures satisfaction with the vehicle’s condition after three years of usage; whether owners find their vehicle as appealing now as when they first bought it; and what software updates have been made to the vehicle.
“Automakers are increasingly looking at owners’ relationships with their vehicles as having similarities to other consumer technology,” Amodeo said. “For instance, cellphones update all the time with over-the-air software releases and, increasingly, automakers must take advantage of this approach to fix problems, improve features and add capabilities to keep owners satisfied. Automakers that are able to do this best will have a huge advantage.”
The study found that the owners of mass-market vehicles experienced fewer problems. Premium brands typically incorporate more technology in their vehicles, which increases the likelihood of problems occurring. At the same time, the build quality of mass-market vehicles has improved considerably and now matches that of the premium brands, J.D Power said.
The infotainment category continues to be the most problematic, with an average of 51.9 PP100, which is more than twice as many problems as the next-highest category.
Seven of the top 10 problem areas in the study are infotainment-related, including built-in voice recognition; Android Auto/Apple CarPlay connectivity; built-in Bluetooth system; not enough power plugs/USB ports; navigation systems difficult to understand/use; touchscreen/display screen; and navigation system inaccurate/outdated map.