High-tech capabilities, including fingerprint readers, front cross-traffic warnings and advanced infotainment may actually reduce customer satisfaction scores.
Those are among the findings in the J.D. Power 2022 U.S. Tech Experience Index (TXI) Study, based on responses from 84,165 owners of new ’22 model-year vehicles who were surveyed after 90 days of ownership.
“J.D. Power transactional data shows that getting the right mix of technology features owners want is important to perception, profits and sales,” says Kathleen Rizk, senior director of user experience benchmarking and technology at J.D. Power. “When owners get the technology features they really want — and which meet their user-experience expectations — the results are positive and those owners tell their friends about the experience.”
One solution includes demonstrations of all in-vehicle technology. J.D. Power reports such education results in fewer owners abandoning the systems. Training by dealers also boosts overall ownership scores. That same boost is not seen when owners learn to use technology from outside sources.
J.D. Power analysts stress the findings should not prompt automakers to abandon advanced technology innovations. It’s also important to note that low satisfaction scores for certain technologies, such as rear-seat reminders, don’t apply to all automakers’ systems. As with most technology, some manufacturers’ is less problematic than others.
The study ranks vehicle quality as expressed in problems per 100 vehicles (PP100). A low PP100 score indicates better quality.
“Innovation is non-negotiable,” says Rizk. “The fact that the average PP100 for a technology is high should not discourage automakers from innovating, as there is often a wide range of total problems experienced for a technology across the brands. Automakers should consider benchmarking brands that innovate well for a technology, which would allow them to identify and then integrate best practices.”
Genesis ranks highest overall and tops among premium brands with an Innovation score of 643 out of a possible 1,000. In the premium segment, Cadillac (584) ranks second and Mercedes-Benz (539) ranks third.
Hyundai ranks highest among mass-market brands with a score of 534. Kia (495) ranks second while Buick (482), GMC (482) and Subaru (482) tie for third.
Technology Award Winners Identified:
- Cadillac Escalade is the premium model receiving the convenience award for camera rear-view mirror technology. Subaru Ascent is the mass-market model receiving the convenience award, also for camera rear-view mirror technology.
- Lexus IS is the premium model receiving the emerging automation award for front cross-traffic warning. Mitsubishi Outlander is the mass-market model receiving the emerging automation award for reverse automatic emergency braking.
- Mini Cooper receives the award for energy and sustainability in the mass-market segment for one-pedal driving.
- BMW X3 receives the award for infotainment and connectivity in the premium segment for phone-based digital-key technology.