Survey Says American Satisfaction With Vehicles Declines

Survey Says American Satisfaction With Vehicles Declines

Car prices keep going up, but so do the number of recall notices being sent to car owners.

It’s not a combination designed to make customers happy.

Customer satisfaction with vehicles is down for the third year in a row, according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index. The report released last week said the sector’s score fell 3.7 percent to 79 on a 100-point scale.

Americans are still buying cars. Auto website last month called the first half of 2015 “the best six months in a decade for new car sales,” and said July sales should keep pace.

More buyers may be heading to the dealerships soon, if only because the old buggy is worn out. The combined average age of cars and trucks on the road in the U.S. has risen to 11.5 years, according to IHS Automotive, a consulting firm in Southfield, Mich.

Several Fiat Chrysler nameplates sat at the bottom of the scoring list, with Fiat earning a 73, Chrysler falling 9 percent to score 74 and Jeep down 5 percent to a score of 75.

The highest scores went to luxury brands. Lexus held steady at 84, Acura rose 8 percent to tie Lincoln and Mercedes-Benz at 83. BMW rose 3 percent to 82.

Among mass-market automakers, Subaru and Toyota did best with a score of 82, although Subaru’s score fell 4 percent and Toyota’s was down 1 percent. The index tracked 27 nameplates, with 15 seeing their scores fall and two posting gains.

The customer satisfaction index, which focuses on different industries each quarter, was based this quarter on interviews with more than 4,000 people contacted between April and June.

Author: Teresa F. Lindeman Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

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