Longer-term vehicle dependability in India has declined marginally year-on-year, as 56% of new-vehicle owners indicate experiencing at least one problem with their vehicle, according to the JD Power 2017 India Vehicle Dependability Study released on Thursday. Last year, 53% of new-vehicle owners experienced at least one problem. Vehicle dependability in India averages 189 problems per 100 vehicles (PP100) in 2017 (185 PP100 in 2016). Fewer number of problems reflect higher long-term vehicle quality.
Owner-reported problems increase sharply after vehicles are driven more than 40,000km, with such owners indicating an average of 73 more problems per 100 vehicles than those whose vehicles have been driven under 40,000km. The study also noted that vehicle exterior and driving experience account for more problems than other categories and, within these two categories, problems relating to uneven tyre wear, noise from doors, bumper and exterior corrosion are more prevalent in vehicles that have been driven more than 40,000km.
Shantanu Nandi Majumdar, director at JD Power, said that, in addition to usage, varying road and weather conditions affect long-term dependability of vehicles in India. “After about three years of ownership, problems related to squeaks and rattles are typically reported, which is likely to impact build quality perceptions.”
Long-term vehicle dependability also builds loyalty, so among owners who indicate they have not experienced a problem, 74% say they “definitely would” recommend their current model to others and 53% say they “definitely would” repurchase their current make. Advocacy declines to 56% among owners who experience at least one problem with their vehicle, and loyalty drops to 39%.
Diesel versus petrol
Lastly, the study finds that diesel-fuelled vehicles deteriorate more after 40,000km versus petrol-fuelled vehicles. During the past four years, the gap in reported problems between vehicles driven over 40,000km and those driven less than 40,000km is greater for diesel vehicles than for petrol vehicles. A larger proportion of owners of such diesel vehicles indicate the need to replace parts or components in their vehicles (67%) versus petrol vehicle owners (58%).