DETROIT -- Consumers continue to report problems with factory-installed vehicle navigation systems, but manufacturers may not be getting the message, J.D. Power and Associates said in a report this week.
On average, owners of factory-installed navigation systems this year reported 351 problems per 100 navigation systems, or about 3.5 problems per unit, said spokesman John Tews.
Comparable figures from previous years are unavailable because J.D. Power changed the way it conducts the survey, but Andy Bernhard, director at the company, predicts problems with the systems will continue to grow because of the systems’ increasing complexity.
“Owners continue to demand a high level of technology,” Bernhard said in a statement. “And the industry continually appears to be missing the mark.”
J.D. Power’s U.S. Navigation Usage and Satisfaction Study, now in its 13th year, measured quality by examining problems per 100 navigation systems and is based on responses from 18,303 owners who recently bought or leased new 2011 vehicles with factory-installed navigation systems.
The study identified six factors that contribute to overall satisfaction with factory-installed navigation systems: ease of use, routing, navigation display screen, speed of system, voice directions and voice recognition.
The study found that nearly one-third of reported problems related to the ease of use. The system’s inability to find a certain address/street/city, difficulty inputting a destination, the lack of a direct route and difficulty using the system’s voice recognition controls were among the top complaints associated with ease of use.
“For nearly 10 years, the importance of ease of use has been emphasized by owners and the continued high level of problems in this area begs the question: Is the industry listening to how owners want to interact with their system?” Bernhard said in the statement.
The trend toward integrating the controls of systems such as audio, climate control and phone adds to the ease-of-use problems owners have been reporting with their navigation systems, the study said.
Among owners who say their multimedia system’s menu structure is “not at all complex,” the number of navigation system problems experienced is 243 per 100 units, the study said. But among those who say their system is “very complex,” the average number of problems is three times as high at 735 problems per 100 units.
The Garmin navigation system in the Dodge Charger ranked the highest in owner satisfaction and performed particularly well in the navigation display screen, ease of use and speed of system factors, the study said.
The Hyundai-Mobis navigation system supplied to the Hyundai Genesis Coupe took runner-up and the Garmin in the Chrysler 300 ranked third.