Consumer Reports’ annual Auto Reliability Survey is out, and results reveal that in-car electronics in 2014 car models receive the most complaints among drivers more than any other category in the survey.
Some of the most common gripes drivers have with in-car electronics include unresponsive touchscreens, phone compatibility issues and dysfunctional multi-use controllers.
In an Automotive Press Association meeting held in Detroit last Monday, Consumer Reports director of automotive testing, Jake Fisher noted that in-car electronic problems act like a plague that is infecting the automotive industry. He also added that looking closely at the results of the survey suggests vehicles with in-car electronic issues also have other troubles.
Among the worst offenders in the survey are the first-year models from Cadillac, Jeep, Fiat, Ram, Ford and Honda. The said brands show significant problems with glitches and bugs in their infotainment systems.
Chrysler/Fiat tops the worst list, with its Ram brand tumbling to 26th place from 7th last year. Its Dodge brand is a notch lower, while Jeep settles in at second to the last place. The Fiat 500L is the least reliable car among the 248 surveyed vehicles.
Meanwhile, General Motors Co. leads Detroit automakers on the survey for the second straight year, though it still falls below the industry average. Its Buick line is the only domestic brand to make it to the top 10. Japanese brands like Lexus, Toyota and Mazda still hold the top spots for the most reliable cars.
Ford Motor Co., on the other hand, has shown improvements with its infotainment systems, helping it step up from last year’s bottom list to ‘worse than average.’ Its namesake brand made it to the 23rd spot, while its luxury brand Lincoln has shown the most improvement in any brand, settling in at the 15th spot.
According to Michelle Krebs, a senior analyst from Autotrader.com, automakers should improve in-vehicle technologies because they are a serious consideration that affects a buyer’s decision on whether to purchase a vehicle or not. She added that at this point, the industry is not doing in-vehicle technologies very well and there is a lot of work that needs to be done.