New-vehicle quality appears to be leveling off after steady improvement for the last four years.
In a J.D. Power survey of new-car owners, there was an uptick in complaints about paint imperfections, check-engine lights, brake and suspension noises, and driver-assistance features.
The data analysis company reports that the majority of car brands performed worse in this year’s survey results.
On the bright side for carmakers, however, new owners reported that displays and multimedia systems – long a trouble spot – had improved.
“Auto makers continue to make progress in areas like infotainment that attract a lot of consumer attention,” said Dave Sargent, vice president of global automotive at J.D. Power.
Korean brands like Genesis, Kia, and Hyundai, topped the initial quality rankings, and high marks were also given to the American brands.
European car makers, however, finished below average with more problems reported in Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz, and BMW.
Japanese car makers received mixed reviews with Nissan and Toyota finishing in the Top 10, Mazda and Honda slightly below industry average and Acura, Subaru, and Mitsubishi ranking closer to the bottom.
Problems with the driver-assistance features is a growing area of concern as the technology is becoming increasingly widespread and complex and are seen as an important step on the path to fully autonomous cars.