Car dependability: JD Power says problems spike 24% in 2013

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Toyota's Innova and Fortuner topped in the MUV/MPV segment and SUV segment, respectively, the study said. AP Toyota's Innova and Fortuner topped in the MUV/MPV segment and SUV segment, respectively, the study said. AP
SummaryMaruti Suzuki, Toyota each models ranked highest in their respective segments.

Overall long-term dependability of vehicles in India declined for the second consecutive year, with owners reporting 24 per cent increase in problems in 2013, according a study by market research firm JD Power.

In 2013, overall vehicle dependability averages 280 problems per 100 vehicles (PP100), compared with 225 PP100 in 2012, said JD Power Asia Pacific 2013 India Vehicle Dependability Study (VDS).

The overall dependability is based on the number of problems reported per 100 vehicles, with a lower score reflecting higher long-term vehicle quality.

"The 24 per cent increase in problems in 2013 is across problem categories and models, and it cannot be attributed to a significant increase in one or more areas, or to all-new models included in the study," JD Power said.

Commenting on the findings, JD Power Asia Pacific Executive Director Mohit Arora said undergoing unexpected repairs has a very strong bearing on the perception of vehicle reliability, durability and overall vehicle quality.

"Given that the average ownership cycle in India is approximately five years, the owners surveyed in this study are close to replacing their current vehicles. Higher incidences of repairs are likely to dissuade them from purchasing the same make in the future," he added.

According to the study, an increased number of vehicles in India do not have extended warranties or service contracts, and the frequency whereby owners take their vehicle for scheduled or routine maintenance has decreased.

The study included 61 models in 11 vehicle segments, including compact, midsize, luxury, multi-purpose vehicle, sport-utility vehicle and van.

Maruti Suzuki and Toyota each have two models that ranked the highest in their respective segments. Maruti Suzuki's A-star topped in compact segment, while its Swift Dzire ranked the highest in the entry midsize segment.

Toyota's Innova and Fortuner topped in the MUV/MPV segment and SUV segment, respectively, the study said.

The 2013 India Vehicle Dependability Study was based on evaluations from 7,032 original owners who purchased a new vehicle between July, 2009 and September, 2010, JD Power said.

The study measured problems experienced by original owners in 169 different problem symptoms across nine areas, including vehicle exterior, driving experience, controls and displays, heating, ventilation and air conditioning, engine and transmission.

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