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High-tech dashboards, driving assistants vex luxury vehicle owners: Study

Tesla Inc and established luxury automakers are frustrating consumers with advanced driving assistance technology and complex infotainment systems, according to a new study by the consultancy J.D. Power.The gap in reliability scores between luxury brands and those for mass market brands such as Kia were the widest in the 34 years that J.D. Power has conducted its Vehicle Dependability Study, the company said.Tesla would have ranked fifth from the bottom among 32 brands whose owners were surveyed about problems with their three-year-old, 2020 model vehicles in the latest survey released Thursday. J.D. Power sets Tesla aside from other brands in the rankings because the electric vehicle maker doesn’t provide it with full access to information about owners.

Tesla owners complained about problems with the Autopilot driver assistance system and the forward collision warning systems, as well as wind noise, Frank Hanley, a senior director at J.D. Power, told Reuters.

Other luxury brands fared poorly, too. Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, Audi and Acura were among those that scored below average for all brands.

Infotainment systems complaints, such as problems with wireless Bluetooth phone connections, dragged down scores from vehicle owners of several luxury brands, according to the report. Even as luxury brands compete to offer more advanced digital content and dashboard features, luxury vehicle owners are finding fault with the infotainment systems at about double the rate as owners of mass-market brands, Hanley said.

Toyota Motor Corp.’s Lexus brand was rated the most dependable brand in the survey. Hyundai Motor Co’s Genesis and Kia brands finished second and third, respectively.

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