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Study: Technology Overload Contributes to Quality Downtrend in New Cars

The quality of new vehicles in the United States is on a downward trend, with an increased use of technology and lower build quality of certain parts being key contributing factors, a recent study has revealed.

Reuters reports that according to a recent study performed by auto industry analyst J.D. Power, the construction quality of some auto comoponents and a growing reliance on technology are the main causes of declining quality impacting new vehicles in the United States.

The survey, which examined the opinions of 93,380 buyers and lessees of vehicles from the 2023 model year, discovered that a rise in quality problems has been attributed to the poor construction quality of certain components ranging from cupholders and audio systems. Problems per 100 vehicles (PP100) rose by 30 points during the past two years the study reported, indicating a significant decrease in vehicle quality.

The study also clarified the problems with modern vehicle door handles with electronic touch-point designs. Seven of the ten most problematic variants of the electronic touch-point door handles supplied on new cars are found in battery-powered automobiles.

Despite this, Breitbart News recently reported that the administration of President Joe Biden is providing Ford and its battery manufacturing partner with billions of dollars in loans to assist in the construction of three electric vehicle (EV) battery plants.

The wide range of quality problems in the automotive industry is “a phenomenon not seen in the 37-year history of the Initial Quality Study,” said Frank Hanley, senior director of auto benchmarking at J.D. Power. He added, “Today’s new vehicles are more complex — offering new and exciting technology — but not always satisfying owners.”

Ford CEO Jim Farley recently stated that he believes that the electric car market will soon enter a price war with upcoming models costing as little as $25,000. Farley seems thrilled with the prospects of manufacturing electric vehicles, which may impact manufacturing employment. However, once again the topic of quality and performance arose with Farley describing EVs as “Half the fixtures, half the work stations, half the welds, 20% less fasteners. We designed it, because it’s such a simple product, to radically change the manufacturability.”

Dodge received the best first quality rating overall, while Volvo and Chrysler were tied for last place. 223 questions, broken down into nine vehicle types, were the basis of the study, which was conducted from February through May.


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