J.D. Power Initial Quality Study Shows Multimedia Systems Most Unreliable Part of Vehicles

MyFord Touch multimedia system
For the first time, audio, entertainment and navigation systems are the most problem prone parts of a vehicle, according to J.D Power and Associates’ Initial Quality Study. Factory-installed multimedia systems have seen problems increase 8% from last year, and nearly 45% since 2006, according to the study.

Even with multimedia systems bringing down scores, the 2012 model year marked the strongest improvement in initial quality since 2009, according to J.D. Power. Of the 34 car makes included in the study, 26 have seen improvements in reliability scores; 65% of the 185 models ranked have seen improvements, too. Overall, vehicle quality has improved 5% over last year and 24% since 2006, despite the multimedia issues. For the model year, Lexus remains the most reliable brand in terms of initial quality, followed by Jaguar, Porsche, Cadillac and Honda.

J.D. Power’s rating is determined by the number of problems reported per 100 vehicles. The lower the score, the better the rating. The group polled 74,000 original owners of model-year 2012 vehicles and recorded problems they've experienced over 90 days of ownership.

With its MyFord Touch multimedia system’s quality issues, Ford was one of the automakers to see its initial quality score decrease, though just marginally at one additional problem per 100 vehicles. Jaguar posted the largest improvement in the study, reducing problems enough to move it from No. 20 to a second-place showing for 2012.

For the 2012 model year, the average vehicle had 102 problems per 100 vehicles. Notable problems include Bluetooth hands-free connectivity, says J.D. Power, which has seen issues related to the technology increase by 137% in the past four years. Of the 2012-model-year owners, 80% reported having hands-free technology in their new cars, which is also a likely culprit in the rise of dissatisfaction with the relatively new technology.

Check out the charts from J.D. Power below for the full list:



J.D. Power Releases 2012 Dependability Study 
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Jaguar 2nd to top? Never owned one but I always hear horror stories, and consumer reports always ranks them poorly for reliability. Whats the truth here?


Tata owns Jag and about 18 months ago they hired a Global VP of Ops out of Toyota's Lexus division. Now we're seeing the results.


Why aren't there any American cars at the top of the list. Seems like all the countries who make the parts are winning.


I have a 2007 Infiniti M45 with about 100k miles and no electrical problems even though there are a LOT of electrical accessories on it (which I was initially afraid of upon purchase). The whole car has been actually trouble free. Gotta say it's the best car I've owned so far! The rating is very accurate as I have never had to make a repair besides maintenance.

Derrick G

"Why aren't there any American cars at the top of the list. Seems like all the countries who make the parts are winning."

You mean brands. There are individual models at the top of the market classes. But most American brands have had some new launches with some issues.

I will bookmark your blog and take the feeds additionally…

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