Though the long term stability of a vehicle may be on a critical note in India due to bad roads and climatic conditions, but a report indicated that Indians now are reporting less number of niggles and glitches faced with their car.
As per the report, 38 percent of owners are not experiencing any problems with their vehicle. This is the highest proportion of owners not experiencing any problems since 2012, when 34 percent of owners did not report any problems.
The study, now in its seventh year, measures problems experienced by original owners of 30- to 42-month-old vehicles in 169 different problem symptoms across nine vehicle categories: vehicle exterior; driving experience; features, controls and displays; audio and entertainment; seats; heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC); vehicle interior; engine; and transmission.
Overall vehicle dependability averages 218 problems per 100 vehicles (PP100) in 2014, compared with 280 PP100 in 2013. Overall dependability is based on the number of problems reported per 100 vehicles, with a lower score reflecting higher long-term vehicle quality.
The study finds that although owners of diesel-fueled vehicles in India continue to report more problems overall, compared with owners of petrol-fueled vehicles, the gap between the two has narrowed over the past three years. Across categories, problems with diesel vehicles have improved notably, especially in driving experience, where fewer instances of such problem symptoms as uneven tire wear, excessive misalignment of wheels and unusual suspension noises have been reported. Furthermore noise-related problem symptoms reported by diesel car owners have also dropped.
“With improvements in engine technologies and overall vehicle build quality, diesel car owners are reporting fewer noise related problems than three years ago,” said Mohit Arora, executive director at J.D. Power Asia Pacific, Singapore. “While savings in terms of running costs have always been an advantage for diesel car owners, going forward, the ongoing refinements are likely to lead to an enhanced ride-comfort and a more positive ownership experience over the longer-term.”
Among owners who indicate they did not experience problems with their vehicle, 70 percent say they “definitely will” recommend their current model to others. Advocacy declines to 47 percent among those who experience at least one problem with their vehicle. Additionally, among owners of problem-free vehicles, 49 percent say they “definitely will” repurchase their current make. Loyalty drops to 33 percent among those who report one or more problems with their vehicle.
The study includes 70 models in 12 vehicle segments: entry compact car; compact car ; upper compact car; premium compact car; entry midsize car; midsize car; premium midsize car; entry luxury car; luxury car; multi-utility/ multi-purpose vehicle (MUV/ MPV); sport-utility vehicle (SUV); and van.
Maruti Suzuki and Toyota each have two models that rank highest in their respective segments. Maruti Suzuki’s Swift DZire ranks highest in the entry midsize segment for a fourth consecutive year, and Maruti Suzuki SX4 ranks highest in the midsize segment. Toyota receives model awards for the Innova in the MUV/ MPV segment and Fortuner in the SUV segment.
The Hyundai Santro ranks highest in the compact segment for the second time in three years. Nissan Micra ranks highest in the upper compact segment, while Škoda Fabia and Honda Civic rank highest in the premium compact and the premium midsize segments, respectively.