Press Release

Vehicle Owners in China Care Most for Exterior and Interior, J.D. Power Finds

Porsche and Jeep Rank Highest in Luxury and Mass Market Segments, Respectively; SAIC Volkswagen Receives four Segment Awards; Beijing Hyundai Receives Three

SHANGHAI: 20 Sept. 2017 – The most reported dependability problems by vehicle owners in China are related to vehicle exterior and interior, which accounts for 18% and 15%, respectively, of all reported problems, according the J.D. Power 2017 China Vehicle Dependability StudySM (VDS).

The top three problems reported in vehicle exterior are excessive road noise, wind noise and light bulb failure. As for vehicle interior, the three most reported problems include steering wheel worn or faded, materials scuff/soil easily, and writing on controls faded/removed.

The study also finds Chinese vehicle owners —especially those of luxury brands — are highly sensitive to interior smell. Air from vents smells unpleasant is the most common problem in the luxury segment, with a score of 4.4 PP100 (problems per 100 vehicles).

“It is important for automakers to understand that the concerns and needs of consumers in different markets can be hugely different, thus they should understand and precisely address the specific demands in each local marketplace,” said Jeff Cai, General Manager of Auto Product Practice at J.D. Power China. “Consumers in China obviously care more about their physical senses, such as noise, smell, air conditioning, styling/exterior design, compared with U.S. consumers—more experienced in buying and driving vehicles—who are more concerned about technology-related problems.”

Following are additional findings of the study:

  • Reported problems in China are vastly different than those reported in the United States: Eight of the top 10 problems reported by the two markets are different. The most complained area in China is vehicle exterior (18%), while problems with audio, communication, entertainment and navigation (or ACEN) are most reported by U.S. consumers—22% in the United States, compared with 8% in China.
  • Gap between domestic and international brands remains: In 2017, the dependability gap between domestic and international brands is 30 PP100, which is quite close to that of last year (28 PP100). The gap between the two segments has been dramatically shrunk to 30 PP100 in 2017 from 201 PP100 in 2010.
  • Engine and transmission differences keep gap between domestic and international brands, which is similar to previous years: This year, manual transmission is difficult to get in gear/ gears grind is the most often reported engine and transmission problem among owners of domestic brands, with 1.8 PP100 more than owners of international brands.

Highest-Ranked Brands and Models

Porsche ranks highest in vehicle dependability among luxury brands, with a score of 101 PP100.  

  • BMW and Land Rover follow in the rankings in second with 111 PP100 each.
  • Jeep ranks highest among mass market brands, with a score of 116 PP100, followed by smart with 119 PP100 and Renault with 121 PP100.
  • SAIC Volkswagen has four models (Skoda Fabia; Skoda Rapid; Volkswagen Lavida; and Volkswagen Touran) that receive segment awards.
  • Beijing Hyundai modelsreceive three segment awards (Hyundai Mistra; Hyundai Tucson; and Hyundai Santa Fe).

The China Vehicle Dependability Study measures problems experienced during the past 12 months by original owners of 30- to 48-month-old vehicles and includes 177 problem symptoms across eight categories: engine/ transmission; vehicle exterior; driving experience; features/ controls/ displays; audio/ communication/ entertainment/ navigation; seats; heating, ventilation and cooling (HVAC); and vehicle interior. Overall dependability is determined by the number of problems experienced per 100 vehicles (PP100), with a lower score reflecting higher quality.

Now in its eighth year, the study is based on responses from 29,747 owners of vehicles purchased between December 2012 and December 2014. The study is fielded from December 2016 through July 2017 in 62 cities across China. This year, the study analyzes 176 models of 63 makes across 22 vehicle segments.

J.D. Power is a global leader in consumer insights, advisory services and data and analytics. Those capabilities enable J.D. Power to help its clients drive customer satisfaction, growth and profitability. Established in 1968, J.D. Power is headquartered in Costa Mesa, California, and has offices in Shanghai, Beijing, Tokyo, Singapore, Malaysia and Bangkok serving the Asia Pacific region. J.D. Power is a portfolio company of XIO Group, a global alternative investments firm headquartered in London, and is led by its four founders: Athene Li, Joseph Pacini, Murphy Qiao and Carsten Geyer. For more information, please visit or stay connected with us on J.D. Power WeChat and Weibo.

Media Relations Contacts
Shana Zhuang; J.D. Power; China; +86 21 2208 0831;
Geno Effler; J.D. Power; Costa Mesa, California, USA; 001-714-621-6224;

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J.D. Power 2017 China Vehicle Dependability Study
J.D. Power 2017 China Vehicle Dependability Study
J.D. Power 2017 China Vehicle Dependability Study
J.D. Power 2017 China Vehicle Dependability Study