According to survey results just released by JD Powers, Americans feel that their cars have more issues than prior models. The results of the survey mark the first time in 15 years that Americans have said that the quality of their vehicle has gotten worse. Chicago attorney Howard Ankin says that some of these manufacturing and quality issues could cause vehicles to operate poorly and may lead to an increase in car accidents.
JD Power surveyed 41,000 owners of 2011 model year vehicles. Respondents reported issues at a rate 6 percent higher than last year’s survey of 2010 model year owners. The five least dependable brands were BMW Mini, Dodge, Land Rover, Jeep, and Hyundai. The five most dependable were Lexus, Mercedes-Benz, Cadillac, Acura, and Buick.
Since the beginning of 2014, several car makers have announced recalls for issues that could pose safety concerns. General Motors is recalling more than one million vehicles for an issue that could cause the ignition to stop running while the car is in operation. GM says the issue has led to 31 accidents and 13 fatalities.
Toyota has also recalled nearly two million of its Prius vehicles for a software issue that could cause the car’s hybrid system to shut down. That issue has not been linked to any accidents or fatalities. However, if the car was on the highway or in high-speed traffic, an unexpected shutdown could be extremely dangerous.
Howard Ankin, of Chicago law firm The Ankin Law Office, says that the increased use of computers and software in cars could lead to unexpected issues. While advanced technology may improve the overall quality of the vehicles, glitches and software crashes could limit the car’s functionality and lead to more car accidents.
Mr. Ankin encourages consumers to do their due diligence when choosing a new car. He also strongly encourages car owners to be aware of any recall information related to their vehicle and to get any issues repaired as quickly as possible.