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Increasing Usage of Vehicle Brings More Vehicle Exterior and Driving Experience Problems, J.D. Power Finds

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Maruti Suzuki Receives 4 Model-Level Awards for Initial Quality; Honda receives 2 Model-Level Awards; Mahindra, Toyota and Volkswagen Each Receive One Award

SINGAPORE: 31 Jan. 2019 [updated 8 Apr. 2019] — With extended use of vehicles, new car owners are increasingly facing problems related to the exterior and driving experience of their vehicle, according to the J.D. Power 2018 India Initial Quality StudySM (IQS), released today.

The study finds that car owners who have driven their vehicle for 7,000 kilometers or more in their initial 2-6 months of ownership experience more problems with vehicle exterior and driving experience, compared to those who have driven fewer than 2,000 kilometers (18 PP100 and 19 PP100 vs. 12 PP100 and 10 PP100, respectively). All problems are summarized as the number of problems per 100 vehicles (PP100), with lower PP100 scores indicating a lower incidence of problems, therefore, higher initial quality. 

Overall initial quality averages 81 PP100 in 2018, of which 24% of the reported problems are attributed to the engine/ transmission category and 17% each attributed to both the vehicle exterior and driving experience categories. 

“With customers spending more time in their vehicles, the overall driving experience and vehicle exterior elements have become even more crucial to the quality of their ride,” said Kaustav Roy, Director and Country Head, India at J.D. Power. “Customers’ expectations will continue to rise as they become more discerning car owners. Manufacturers may therefore need to fine-tune their focus to meet these increasing expectations.” 

Following are some of the key findings of the 2018 study: 

  • Diesel models surpass petrol models in overall initial quality: Owners of diesel-fueled models report fewer initial quality problems compared to owners of petrol-fueled models (77 PP100 vs. 82 PP100, respectively).
  • Smaller capacity engines and their transmission systems record higher PP100: Models with a smaller engine displacement (up to 1200 cc) have a higher problem incidence than those models with a greater engine displacement (86 PP100 vs. 75 PP100, respectively).
  • Problems experienced with audio, entertainment and navigation: While the overall incidence of problems in this category is low, customers are experiencing problems related to the ease of Bluetooth® mobile phone pairing, the usability of audio and navigation controls and the navigation systems’ performance. 

Study Rankings

Maruti Suzuki Alto 800 (76 PP100) ranks highest in the Entry Compact Segment. In the Compact segment, Maruti Suzuki Wagon R ranks highest (72 PP100). Volkswagen Polo (64 PP100) ranks highest in the Premium Compact segment. 

Maruti Suzuki Dzire (68 PP100) ranks highest in the Entry Midsize segment. Honda City (70 PP100) ranks highest in the Midsize segment. 

Honda WR-V (72 PP100) ranks highest in the Compact SUV segment while Maruti Suzuki S-Cross (55 PP100) ranks highest in the SUV segment.  

Toyota Innova Crysta ties with Mahindra Bolero for the highest rank in the MUV/ MPV segment with 64 PP100.

The 2018 India Initial Quality Study (IQS) is based on responses from 7,710 new-vehicle owners who purchased their vehicle from December 2017 through October 2018. The study includes 75 models from 13 makes. 

The study measures problems experienced by new-vehicle owners during the first two to six months of ownership and examines more than 200 problem symptoms in eight problem categories (listed in order of frequency of reported problems): engine/ transmission; heating, ventilation and cooling (HVAC); driving experience; vehicle exterior; features, controls and displays; vehicle interior; audio, entertainment and navigation (AEN); and seats. Due to a study construct change, the reported data is not comparable with 2017 results. 

About J.D. Power

J.D. Power is a global leader in consumer insights, advisory services and data and analytics. These capabilities enable J.D. Power to help its clients drive customer satisfaction, growth and profitability. Established in 1968, J.D. Power has offices serving North America, South America, Asia Pacific and Europe.

Media Relations Contacts

Aisling Carty; J.D. Power; Singapore; 65-3165-0119;

Geno Effler; J.D. Power; Costa Mesa, Calif., USA; 001-714-621-6224; 

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