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Poor Connection: J.D. Power names smartphone connectivity as concern for new vehicle shoppers

Toronto, Ontario — A new study from J.D. Power shows that while drivers have been generally satisfied with their new-vehicle purchases lately, smartphone connectivity continues to fall short of consumer expectations.

“Owners are caught in the middle when vehicle and phone technologies don’t properly connect,” said Dave Sargent, v-p of automotive quality at J.D. Power. 

“This year there are many examples of smartphone technology not working as intended in new vehicles. With more vehicles being fitted with the wireless technology owners want, the study reveals an increase in connectivity problems between smartphones and vehicles, leaving many owners unhappy.”

According to the report, 25 percent of all problems cited by new-vehicle owners are in the infotainment category, and six of the top 10 problems across the industry are infotainment-related.

Representatives from J.D. Power say that smartphone connectivity has quickly surpassed voice recognition technology as what causes drivers the most problems with their new vehicles.

“Owners want wireless connectivity, and the industry has responded,” Sargent said. 

“However, this has created a bigger technical challenge for both automakers and tech companies. Automakers generally are the ones facing the wrath of owners, but this is definitely a shared problem. Owners don’t care who’s at fault—they just want their phone and their vehicle to talk to each other.”

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