Are newer cars lower quality?

Over the years, technology has increased fuel efficiency in today’s newer vehicles. In one respect, this helps make new cars more economical; however, buyers are facing increases in pricing as well. And as the auto industry continues to roll out new technology in their cars, customers have been reporting more problems.

According to J.D. Power’s Initial Quality Study (IQS) for 2023, the quality of new vehicles is declining. Frank Hanley, senior director for auto benchmarking at the company, stated that this phenomenon was unprecedented in the 37-year history of the IQS. He added that the automotive industry is facing a variety of car quality problems.

More than 93,000 vehicle owners and leasers were surveyed as part of the IQS for 2023, which found that the main cause for the decline in quality was because of defective technology such as faulty features, displays, and infotainment systems. Furthermore, the number of problems tracked per 100 vehicles rose 6.5% from 2022 to 2023.

Some of the most common issues reported included:

  • Doors not opening properly for EVs
  • Faulty Android Automotive operation systems
  • Malfunctioning safety features
  • Smartphones not charging fully or overheating

Let’s talk more about those safety features…

Drivers are reporting more problems with the newest vehicles in almost every category that’s tracked by the IQS with the exception of the driving experience itself.  What’s most concerning is the lower quality of the safety features in these newer vehicles.

Drivers have expressed concerns with the quality of the following features:

  • Forward collision warnings
  • Lane assistance
  • Lane departure warnings
  • Blind spot warnings

If you are experiencing issues with your new vehicle, and, if after a reasonable amount of repair attempts, the dealership can’t fix it, you may be able to file a lemon law claim to get a buyback or cash settlement.

Does this make your car a lemon?

Under the California Lemon Law, if your car’s manufacturer fails to repair a warrantied defect after a reasonable number of repair attempts, the law entitles you to a refund or replacement of the vehicle. 

The Lemon Law in California grants dealers four attempts at repairs for any defect. However, if your new car safety features aren’t working and the safety defect has the potential to cause serious injury or death, the law only provides the dealers with two attempts. 

If you have problems with your car, the question then is do you have a lemon law case?

You do, if you meet the criteria established under California’s Lemon Law and have had no satisfaction dealing with the manufacturer. Car manufacturers usually fight hard against lemon law claims, so hiring a skilled, reputable attorney is important.

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