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New Car Reliability Will Drop For These Models Reports Think Tank

Here’s the latest on why you might be better off buying a 2019 model car over a 2020 model and the reason why some of today’s newest car models are predicted to wind up in garages for repair more often than ever before.


New Problems With New Cars

Earlier we had discussed a recent analysis by CARFAX that warned car shoppers about how that choosing the vehicle type can make a significant difference in how often that vehicle will wind up in a garage for repairs within its first year if purchase.

Today, we will discuss the latest news on new car predictions that warn us many of the latest models will turn out to be less reliable than earlier models all due to one change in vehicle design---Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) features.

Predictive Research

According a recent Auto Service World news piece, “As more technology is added to vehicles, the more likely owners of those vehicles will be visiting an automotive repair and service shop for help.”

This statement is in light of a new study by the analytic think tank We Predict who shared their results after applying their Deepview analytics using service record data across the U.S. in a continuous study of predictive automotive service repair frequency. The data was garnered from over 500 vehicle models and 660 components from car models ranging from years 2000 to the present.

The Deepview analytics is used to help stay updated on changing trends on the performance of new products used in the automotive industry.

Recent Trend Change

According to We Predict’s most recent finding:

We Predict’s most recent Deepview report shows 2020 model-year vehicles, despite being driven less, are projected to increase 5 percent in repair frequencies in the first three years of ownership compared with 2019 models...With more technology in vehicles, electrical repairs are climbing the most with 21 percent more service repairs with 2020 models compared to 2019 models.”

The Driver for the Trend Change

According to a piece abut the trend findings printed in an SME publication---a non-profit association of professionals, educators and students for the manufacturing industry---ADAS appears to be the reason for the predicted drop in vehicle reliability that will lead to increased visits to garages for repair:

An increasing number of models offer a growing array of advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS), pushing up repairs of those technologies by 181 percent for 2020 models. With multitudes of additional sensors and components pulling on the battery, energy/charging system, repairs increased 71 percent for 2020 models compared with 2019 models. Following a positive improvement trend from 2013-2017, infotainment repairs are trending up as those systems take on new functions. 

However, it should be noted that more traditional automotive components and systems such as windshield wipers, exterior lights, and seat belts have also seen some growth in repair issues needing servicing.

The positive bit of this news is that it begs the question of “...will EVs have fewer repairs than vehicles with traditional internal combustion engines (ICEs)?

According to Renee Stephens, Vice-President of We Predict who wrote the SME article,

There are fewer parts to fail. Sure, some components are still the same, but service facilities should expect to see these vehicles less often. For maintenance, and as over-the-air updates are used more often, EV owners should expect fewer visits to their local service center.”

Related article: The Most Common Maintenance Issues of Electric Vehicles

What This Means To Used Car Buyers

The importance of this information to used car buyers is that it highlights the importance of investigating the reliability ratings of recently used vehicle models as mentioned earlier with the differences in reliability in 2020 models compared to 2019 models before deciding on one model over another based solely on its age. In other words, that 2019 models although older, might be a better deal than its younger counterpart.

What This Means To New Car Buyers

New car shoppers may want to rethink the options they want in a new car when it comes to Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) safety features. While the latest in safety tech has its advantages, new car buyers looking more forward into future costs involving predicted services needed may want to look at the added costs and weigh for themselves the benefits/costs of whether that/those ADAS feature(s) is/are really needed in that new car.

Here is a recent article that includes a listing of new makes and models possessing Active Driver Assist System features for reference when shopping for a new car.

And finally…

For related articles on ADAS features, be sure to check out these useful articles that discusses Consumer Reports Best and Worst Car Models With Lane Keeping Assist Systems and Driver Assist Safety Can Be Fooled Not Just in Tesla, But in Ford Vehicles and Many Others Too.

COMING UP NEXT: Consumer Reports Best New 2021 SUV Deals for Thanksgiving

Timothy Boyer is Torque News automotive reporter based in Cincinnati. Experienced with early car restorations, he regularly restores older vehicles with engine modifications for improved performance. Follow Tim on Twitter at @TimBoyerWrites for daily vehicle news about new and used cars.

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