Car owners are getting more upset with their repair experiences, study says

Car owners are getting more upset with their repair experiences, study says

The JD Power US Customer Service Index study (CSI) is a barometer of vehicle owner happiness with the service experience. Although it wasn’t all bad in the 2023 study, the overall owner satisfaction score dropped. This year’s tally of 846 out of 1,000 is down two points from 2022, the first decline in more than 28 years in the 43-year-old study, and down one point from 2021. However, the overall score remains well above pre-pandemic. Score of 821 in 2018 and 837 in 2020.

The study claims that the bottleneck is the rush of BEV launches. The flood into the new energy sector has created a recall rate among EVs that is more than double the rate for ICE vehicles. Furthermore, dealership service departments’ knowledge of EVs is not up to par with internal combustion engine expertise, causing EV owners to be less satisfied with service advisors than ICE owners.

Chris Sutton, VP of Automotive Retail at JD Power, said, “EV service quality and customer experience must address both vehicle and unique customer needs, as training programs for service consultants and technicians evolve. Has the ability to inspire.” Convenience improvements in how customers service their vehicles – but we’re not seeing the benefits yet.”

Matters are a bit worse for all owners, however, as labor and parts shortages contribute to long wait times for service appointments.

The CSI study surveys owners and lessees of vehicles one to three years old to gauge their happiness with service at franchised dealers or aftermarket service facilities for maintenance or repair work. The criteria, in order of importance, are quality of service (32%); service consultants (19%); vehicle pick-up (19%); service facility (15%); and service initiation (15%).

Lexus retains the top spot for luxury brands, giving it three wins in four years. The Japanese automaker also won in 2020, with its operations being disrupted by Porsche in 2021. Cadillac, Infiniti and Acura complete the luxury top 5.

For mass-market cars, Mitsubishi goes from victory again in 2021 to fourth place last year. It is followed by Mazda, Buick, Subaru and Mini.

Keeping in mind the different service needs and service experience of different body styles, the study has segmented the results for the first time. Lexus took its second victory to win the premium SUV segment, and Mitsubishi took its second victory by winning the mass-market SUV/minivan category. Nissan won for pickup trucks, ahead of Chevrolet and GMC. Subaru took the lead in the mass-market car segment ahead of Mazda and Honda.

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