Quality and reliability are the most important aspect of overall customer satisfaction, truck buyers indicated in the J.D. Power and Associates’ 2011 Medium-Duty Truck Engine and Transmission Customer Satisfaction Study.
The study is based on responses from 1,037 primary maintainers of one-year-old conventional cab medium-duty trucks.
In its fourth year, the study captures customer perceptions of 2010 model-year Class 5, 6 and 7 gasoline and diesel engines, and with related dealer service.
Engine reliability and dependability bring the most customer satisfaction, and comprise one of eight categories measured.
Others measured are ease of access for service or maintenance; maintaining speed on grades; acceleration when fully loaded; control module (ECM); vibration at idle; engine warranty; and average fuel economy.
The incidence of engine-related problems for medium-duty trucks remains stable from 2010, averaging 39 problems per 100 vehicles (PP100) in 2011.
However, these problems increased over time. During the past five years, the average number of problems with medium-duty truck engines has increased by 13 PP100 among trucks that have been in service for 13 to 18 months.
“Given the quality issues that arose from new emissions requirements in 2004 and 2007, the 2010 emissions standards will likely create another round of challenges for engine manufacturers,” said Brent Gruber, senior manager of the commercial vehicle practice at J.D. Power and Associates. “The manufacturers that best handle the integration of these new standards will have a distinct competitive advantage.”