Younger Drivers Report More Problems with New Vehicles, J.D. Power Finds

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Honda, Isuzu, Perodua and Toyota Receive Model-Level Awards for Initial Quality

SINGAPORE: 27 Nov. 2017 — New-vehicle owners younger than the age of 30 report a greater number of problems with their new vehicles than those age 30 and older, according to the J.D. Power 2017 Malaysia Initial Quality StudySM (IQS), released today. 

Although only 37% of younger owners indicate having experienced a problem with their new vehicle, compared with the study average of 43%, the actual number of problems reported is notably higher. Owners younger than 30 years old report an average of 83 problems per 100 vehicles (PP100), compared with 77 PP100 reported by older owners. 

“It is essential that manufacturers take note of the higher number of problems reported by younger owners,” said Muhammad Asyraf Bin Mustafar, Country Head of Malaysia at J.D. Power. “Ignoring the problems experienced in this age group not only can affect sales in the future, but can also cause them to defect from the brand at an early stage and influence their decision to recommend the brand to their peers.” 

The study finds that 24% of younger owners experiencing a problem with their new vehicle would not return to buy from the same brand in the future—10 percentage points higher than the study average. 

Seven in eight problem categories measured in the study show that the number of problems reported has increased, with the highest incidences reported in the driving experience, vehicle exterior and engine/ transmission categories.

Compared with last year, the overall number of reported problems increases to 79 PP100 from 69 PP100 in 2016. Problems related to manufacturing quality increase by 7 PP100 and design-related issues increase by 2 PP100. 

Following are additional findings of the 2017 study: 

  • Malaysian brands have more problems: Buyers of Malaysian national brands indicate a higher problem count, on average, than buyers of non-national brands (95 PP100 vs. 59 PP100, respectively).
  • Improving quality for SUV segment: The fast-growing SUV segment, which presently is represented by only non-national manufacturers, records the lowest reported problem count in the study, at 48 PP100.
  • Most common problem reported: Excessive wind noise is the most frequently cited problem, at 4.3 PP100.
  • Quality builds advocacy: Among new-vehicle owners who experienced fewer problems than expected, 46% say they “definitely would” recommend their model to friends or relatives, while only 13% of those who experienced more problems than expected say they “definitely would” do the same.

Study Rankings

The Toyota Vios ranks highest in the entry midsize segment (62 PP100) and the Perodua Myvi ranks highest in the compact segment (84 PP100). The Honda BR-V ranks highest in the SUV segment (27 PP100) and the Isuzu D-Max ranks highest in the pickup segment (52 PP100).

The 2017 Malaysia Initial Quality Study (IQS) is based on responses from 2,843 new-vehicle owners who purchased their vehicle between August 2016 and June 2017. The study includes 47 passenger car, pickup and utility vehicle models of 12 brands. The study was fielded between February and August 2017. 

Now in its 15th year, the study measures problems experienced by vehicle owners during the first 2-6 months of ownership. Initial quality is determined by the number of problems experienced per 100 vehicles (PP100), with a lower score reflecting higher quality.

Media Relations Contacts

Aisling Carty; J.D. Power; Singapore; 65-6733 8980;

Geno Effler; J.D. Power; Costa Mesa, Calif., USA; 001‐714-621-6224;

About J.D. Power in the Asia Pacific Region

J.D. Power has offices in Singapore, Bangkok, Beijing, Shanghai and Tokyo that conduct customer satisfaction research and provide consulting services in the automotive, information technology and finance industries in the Asia Pacific region. Together, the five offices bring the language of customer satisfaction to consumers and businesses in Australia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. J.D. Power is a portfolio company of XIO Group, a global alternative investments and private equity firm headquartered in London, and is led by its four founders: Athene Li, Joseph Pacini, Murphy Qiao and Carsten Geyer. Information regarding J.D. Power and its products can be accessed through the internet at

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(714) 621-6224

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