Without taking a look at the print, you might take a long time to guess the issue that J.D. Power and Associates is citing as a frequent problem with new car buying. Rather than analyzing problems with engine power, handling or suspension, or trouble with new technologies like braking enhancements or in-dash computer systems, the prominent consumer analyst firm, in a press release August 19, gave top billing to what some would think of as a somewhat obscure issue with auto sales: according to staffers, 6.2% of new vehicle owners report problems with their vehicle seats, and the biggest component of this issue is problems with head rests. J.D. Power has found that customers are frequently unable to adjust their headrests appropriately, noting a new standard from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that requires specifically sized headrests with a forward leaning build.
J.D. Power and Associates does go on to say that other areas of the vehicle are more important to buyers: according to the company’s data, over 13% of new car buyers report issues with the exterior of their purchase, while just about 12% have trouble with interior controls. But the number on seat problems is perhaps most surprising because one might imagine customers would check out these kinds of components before they leave the lot. However, it does make sense that in the often rushed process of signing papers and facilitating the entire buying process, headrests might not be the top item on the list of things that the buyer is double-checking before driving away.
In addition to headrests that are comfortable, J.D. Power adds that many drivers like to see modern seating technology in a vehicle. This includes power adjustable seating, as well as adjustable lumbar support. There’s also high demand for one of the newest features on the market, the heated seat, which takes some significant design effort.
Those who are ready to go out on dealer’s lots looking for a new or used car can pick up helpful tips from companies like J.D. Power and Associates on what they are likely to find when they test drive, and sometimes, these auto analyst firms also provide more detailed information on pricing and financing, which can be a real boon for customers. Buyers who research model pricing and low interest financing before going to the lot can save hundreds of dollars. Even though time may be tight, don’t neglect this critical “due diligence” before you rush out to buy a new set of wheels.