J.D. Power Finds Infotainment Technology is Improving, Still a Large Problem for Some Automakers

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【Summary】According to a study by J.D. Power, in-car multimedia technology has improved for a third consecutive year, but infotainment systems continue to be the leading cause of complaints for new vehicles.

Original Vineeth Joel Patel    Oct 30, 2018 12:15 PM PT
J.D. Power Finds Infotainment Technology is Improving, Still a Large Problem for Some Automakers

New self-driving systems are coming out every year and high-tech safety systems are being improved on every month. While modern safety systems aren't as good as automakers let on, they're still drastic improvements over what we had just a few years ago. That, as J.D. Power found in a new study, isn't the same case for multimedia technology. 

Infotainment Systems Are Improving, But Continue To Be Troublesome

According to the research company, which recently conducted its 2018 Multimedia Quality and Satisfaction Study, multimedia technology continues to improve, as the number of reported problems with in-car audio, communication, entertainment, and navigation (ACEN) decreased for the third year in a row, but it's still one of the leading spots for complaints. 

"In-car multimedia has been a problematic category for automakers for several years, as ever-more elaborate navigation, voice recognition and entertainment systems have proliferated in vehicles of every type," stated Brent Gruber, Senior Director, Automotive Quality Practice, J.D. Power, in a statement. "While this area is still the leading cause of new-vehicle complaints — with voice recognition technology continuing to lead the way as the number one complaint for a sixth consecutive year — we are seeing some serious improvement across the board, with some manufacturers really raising the bar on delivering quality multimedia technology experiences for their customers." 

Vehicles that were found to be top performers in their respective segments include: 

Small Mass Market: Kia Rio

Compact Mass Market: Kia Forte

Midsize Mass Market: Ford Mustang

Large Mass Market: Ford Taurus

Small Premium: BMW 2 Series

Compact Premium: Porsche 718

Midsize Premium: Lincoln Continental

Large Premium: BMW 7 Series

What Kind Of Tech Do Consumers Want?

As the Detroit Free Press claims, consumers aren't really looking for vehicles with an excellent list of features, but are instead, interested in cars that don't have issue-prone tech features. Being able to make a phone call without it turning into a fiasco is something consumers are looking for. "They love tech that works," Michelle Krebs, executive analyst at Autotrader told the Detroit Free Press. "Our studies show they want technology, but they want it to work seamlessly." 

In order to get their results, J.D. Power surveyed owners about the quality, design, and features of their ACEN system after 90 days of ownership. Vehicles from Kia, Ford, BMW, and Porsche scored extremely well. Other vehicles that were found to have ACEN systems that had the fewest problems include: Acura ILX, Kia Sorento, Kia Sportage, BMW X1, Porsche 911, Nissan Frontier, Genesis G90, Ford Expedition, Porsche Macan, Hyundai Ioniq, and Lincoln MKC. 

Automakers may all be focused on coming out with new safety features and high-tech driving systems, but ACEN systems are something that they should look into if they want to stop consumers from moving to another brand.  

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