Deterioration in vehicle quality during the first three years of ownership-determined by comparing long-term dependability rates to initial quality problem rates-strongly affects overall customer satisfaction as well as customer willingness to recommend their vehicle model, the study finds. The study, which measures problems experienced by original owners of three-year-old (2005 model year) vehicles, finds that, on average, customers report experiencing 75% more problems in the third year of ownership than during the first 90 days.
The study also finds that five of the top 10 problems reported industry-wide also were among the top 10 most frequently reported problems in the 2005 Initial Quality Study, suggesting that the problems are identified by owners during the initial ownership period, but have not been rectified by automakers during the three-year ownership period. The problems include:
- Excessive wind noise
- Noisy brakes
- Vehicle pulling to the left or right
- Issues with the instrument panel/dashboard
- Excessive window fogging