​Surprise! Automakers Still Suck At Tech

This year's J.D. Power Initial Quality Study™ is out, and people love their Porsches. What they don't love are the clumsy, hacked together attempts at integrating tech into cars.

Once again, J.D.P. delves into the pain-points most consumers have in the first 90 days of ownership, and topping that list is Bluetooth problems, streaming woes, and shoddy voice recognition – the same stuff consumers have been complaining about for years.


"Automakers are trying to give consumers the new features and technology they want," says David Sargent, J.D.'s veep of global automotive. "However, almost all automakers are struggling to do this flawlessly with some consumers indicating that the technology is hard to understand, difficult to use, or simply does not always work as designed."

In 2012, J.D. found that for the first time in its 26-year history, owners reported more problems related to navigation and stereos than any other vehicle system, with voice-control issues being one of the biggest complaints.

But it's less about the technology and more about the implementation. Automakers are still struggling to develop smart user interfaces that are on par with smartphones and tablets. And we're not willing to wait.

We don't just want our devices to play nice with our car – we want them to be fully integrated. That's something automakers have been fighting against, but they're finally coming around. Once Apple and Google prove they can create an attractive, friendly, and safe interface, the tide will turn. Until then, we're stuck with janky, overpriced hardware and kludgy, outdated software.

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