Toronto, Ontario — According to the J.D. Power 2024 U.S. Vehicle Dependability Study, vehicle owners are experiencing more problems after three years of ownership, a 17 percent increase from previous years.
The study, which specifically asked owners about their model-year-2021 vehicles found that the industry average of issues is now 190 problems per 100 vehicles (PP100), an increase of four PP100 over the 2023 study that looked at 2020-model-year vehicles.
The report also found that the rate of problems appearing between the first 90 days and three years of ownership has increased from 12 percent in 2023 to 17 percent.
J.D. Power’s study—which has been performed annually for the past 35 years—covers 184 specific problems across ten major areas: climate, driving assistance, driving experience, exterior features, controls, displays, infotainment systems, interior, powertrain and seats.
Among key findings, infotainment systems were the most problematic at 49.1 PP100—almost twice that of exterior, the next highest category. Following this, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity were the next top problem alongside built-in voice recognition.
The study also found that electric vehicles—specifically battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) and plug-in hybrids (PHEVs)—experienced more problems than gasoline or hybrid vehicles.
BEVs were found to be especially hard on tires in terms of wear and tear and they also had the highest number of dependability issues of all electric vehicles at 256 PP100. This was closely followed by PHEVs at 216 PP100, then hybrids at 191 PP100 and gasoline vehicles at 187 PP100.
Frank Hanley, J.D. Power’s senior director of auto benchmarking, said that deterioration of vehicle dependability is “unusual,” adding that it can “likely be attributed to the tumultuous time during which these vehicles were built” – that would, of course, be during the closures and supply-chain issues wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic – “and owners are keeping their vehicles for much longer… The average age of vehicles on American roads today is approximately 12 years, which underscores the importance of building a vehicle designed to stand the test of time.”
Overall, of all vehicles reported, Lexus ranked the highest for vehicle dependability, marking its second consecutive year at the top of the charts. Toyota came second for dependability and also received a 21 PP100 improvement from the previous year.
Check out the chart below to see how other vehicles ranked for the year.