Indian customers have a strange fetish for diesel vehicles, even after realizing that diesel engines face lots of maintenance issues. But if a report by the famous J.D Power Index is to be believed, that's not the situation anymore, as the diesel vehicle quality has improved significantly over the years. The J.D. Power 2014 India Initial Quality Study (IQS) StudySM released today calculated the number of problems diesel vehicle owner reported.
According to the study, which is now in its 18th year, new diesel vehicle owners in 2014 faced much less problems during the first two to six months of ownership, as compared to 2010. The report indicates that the number of problems with diesel vehicles have decreased to 96 PP100 (problem per 100 vehicles) in 2014 from 148 PP100 in 2010, meaning that the quality of the diesel vehicles has increased.
Maruti Suzuki Alto 800 sits highest in the entry compact segment with 97 PP100, Maruti Suzuki Swift ranks highest in the premium compact segment with 78 PP100, Hyundai i10 ranks highest in compact segment with 84 PP100, Hyundai Xcent ranks highest in the entry midsize segment with 86 PP100, Honda Brio ranks highest in the upper compact segment (40 PP100), Ford Ecosport ranks highest in SUV segment (92 PP100), the Škoda Rapid ranks highest in the midsize segment (51 PP100), and the Toyota Innova ranks highest in the MUV/ MPV segment (64 PP100).
- The entry compact segment improves by 48 PP100 in 2014, compared with 2013, while the MUV/ MPV segment improves by 25 PP100 and the SUV segment improves 20 PP100.
- The number of reported problems among new-vehicle owners who receive an explanation of their vehicle’s operation features at the time of purchase is 94 PP100, compared with 183 PP100 among those who do not receive an explanation.
- Among owners who say they have experienced fewer problems than expected, 79 percent indicate they intend to retain their current vehicles for five years or longer. In contrast, only 58 percent of owners who say they have experienced more problems than expected intend to retain their vehicles for the same period.
- Vehicle owners who experience fewer problems than expected are nearly twice as likely to recommend their model to family and friends as owners who experience more problems than expected.
- New-vehicle owners tolerate a 2 to 3 kilometers per liter (KMPL) variance from what their dealer communicated they should expect from their vehicle. Vehicle owners might allow 2 to 3 KMPL less than what their dealer communicated, but when the variation exceeds that range they tend to indicate a fuel consumption problem.
The study was based on evaluations from 8,429 vehicle owners who purchased a new vehicle between November 2013 and July 2014. The study includes 73 vehicle models from 17 makers. Almost 200 problem symptoms covering eight vehicle categories (listed in order of frequency of reported problems): engine and transmission; vehicle exterior; driving experience; HVAC; features, controls and displays; vehicle interior; seats; and audio, entertainment and navigation.