Americans are not happy with their vehicles, according to a survey. While the automotive industry remains to be one of the highest rated industries in the U.S., survey results prove that room for improvement still exists.
The American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) report that was released Tuesday, and based on the survey it employed, average score for light trucks and cars is down by 1.2 percent, settling at 82 out of 100 points.
Out of 21 car brands included in the report, 16 got lower scores compared to last year's ratings. Domestic car manufacturers are dealing with a five-year decline and this has contributed to the overall drop in score. Only two brands managed to improve their scores: Buick (up by a point) and Chevrolet (up by four points).
But local brands aren't the only ones feeling the backlash from U.S. owners. While six out of the seven cars at the top of ACSI's list, the gap between satisfaction ratings for domestic vehicles and foreign imports is not wide because the latter also experienced a drop in scores.
Even luxury brands like BMW, Cadillac and Lexus were not spared, suggesting consumers are expecting to get more for their money given the amount they had to shell out for a premium purchase.
The most recent string of recalls didn't help the automotive industry either. According to the ACSI report, owners who received a recall notice within the last year ended up rating their vehicles up to six points lower than those who didn't.
"It speaks to the issue of reliability. It makes us wonder what else might go wrong down the road. If there was this defect, is there going to be another one and another one?" said ACSI director David VanAmburg.
ACSI surveyed a total of 4,360 vehicle owners by phone and email, asking them to evaluate their experience after buying a vehicle recently. The survey was done between April 22 and May 29 of this year and was meant to track customer satisfaction with top car brands in the country for purchases done within the last three years.
Car brands included in the ACSI report are: Mercedes-Benz; Subaru; Lexus; Volkswagen; Toyota; Honda; Buick; GMC; Kia; Chevrolet; Ford; Nissan; Chrysler; Cadillac; BMW; Mazda; Audi; Jeep; Dodge; and Acura. All other car brands received an average rating of 81 points, the same as last year's.
The biggest drop in score was seven points for Honda's Acura, pushing it at the bottom of the list with 77 points out of 100.