US: study sees buyers dissatisfied with unreliable tech image

Automakers are increasingly seeking to add more and more technologies in our new cars – from incredible safety features to 4G Internet for WiFi hotspots or voice-operated navigation.

This drive is an ongoing trend that would – most probably – see the advent of the connected car world, where vehicles communicate to avoid accidents; as well as the introduction of the fully automated automobile.

Now, according to a J.D. Power and Associates report – the latest APEAL study – young, tech-savvy buyers rejoice with the industry’s drive, but many customers are growing frustrated with the new cars, trucks and crossovers on offer this year.

“Manufacturers often look to new features and technologies to keep their vehicles fresh and attractive, but designing systems that consumers find intuitive and easy to use has been a challenge,” said J.D. Power Vice President Renee Stephens.

The APEAL study – an acronym for Automotive Performance Execution and Layout – is actually mirroring another Power research, the 2014 J.D. Power Initial Quality Survey, which warned of declining quality among cars introduced this year. While the reliability of traditional mechanical parts, such as engines, actually went up, buyers were reporting many more problems with the newer systems, like the infotainment or navigation suites.