Issues remain for BEVs, in both mass market and premium

Issues continue to plague battery electric vehicles even as traditional automotive manufacturers are levelling the playing field with more electrified options. 

J.D. Power’s 2024 U.S. Initial Quality StudySM (IQS) found that the industry average of problems per 100 vehicles is 195. The company incorporated franchise dealership repair visits with the Voice of the Customer (VOC) data to create a more expansive metric for its PP100. The lower the score, the better the quality. 

“It is not surprising that the introduction of new technology has challenged manufacturers to maintain vehicle quality,” said Frank Hanley, Senior Director of Auto Benchmarking at J.D. Power, in a statement.

J.D. Power found that mass market brands had a combined average of 181 PP100 and outperformed the industry average. Premium brands, which they said tend to feature more complicated systems and therefore have a greater reliance on connectivity, had an average 232 PP100.

“However,” Hanley continued, “the industry can take solace in the fact that some problem areas such as voice recognition and parking cameras are seen as less problematic now than they were a year ago.”

Some of the key takeaways of the study include false warnings or warnings consumers do not understand. Example: a rear seat reminder meant to help owners avoid inadvertently leaving a child or pet in the back seat when leaving the vehicle, contributes 1.7 PP100 across the industry. Some drivers think it signals an unbuckled seat belt or say the warning goes off when no one is in the rear seat. 

Issues with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay continue to frustrate vehicle owners. J.D. Power cited these features as one of the top 10 problems. “Customers most frequently experience difficulties connecting to their vehicle or losing connection, they said.

Other issues include in-vehicle controls being out of control and an unpleasant interior smell — the latter of which typically stems from the vehicle’s heating, ventilating, and/or air conditioning systems.

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