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A Look at the Problems Related to Vehicle Technology

» Posted July 20, 2016Resources | Share This Post

Cars have always been relatively complex machines, but lately the complexity often comes in the form of advanced technological systems. Advances in computers and electronics have dramatically changed the ways in which motor vehicles work.

Many cars today have many different systems that are controlled by advanced computers offering features that are all designed to make operations easier.  In fact, today’s automobiles have around 100 million lines of code, which is 10 times more computer code than a Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft.

Unfortunately, these in-vehicle technologies do not always perform as expected. The New York Times warns that vehicle technologies have become a leading cause of consumer complaints. Tech problems in vehicles can be harder to diagnose, harder to fix, and frustrating for drivers.  If these problems are occurring repeatedly on a new car you own, you may wish to determine if you have options under California’s lemon law.

Car Tech Issues a Leading Source of Complaints

According to the New York Times: “Problems related to cars' rapidly advancing technology are now at the top of the list of consumer complaints, according to the 2016 J.D. Power Vehicle Dependability Study.” The study covers symptoms of problems, which are grouped into eight major categories including driving experience, exterior and transmission.

Some of the technologies that consumers are most likely to complain about include problems pairing their phones and electronic devices with their cars using Bluetooth and problems with in-vehicle voice recognition systems that don't work very well. 

While it may not seem like a big deal if a vehicle infotainment system does not work, this type of technology is a part of the vehicle that car owners interact with most regularly in the most hands-on way.  While they don't usually see or think about the computers making essential car parts operate, many consumers routinely think about whether their car's phone, audio and navigation systems are working properly.

Some of the problems with technology are related not just to equipment that is designed to make driving fun, but to equipment that is geared toward making the vehicle safer. For example, some cars with blind-spot monitoring systems have been giving false readings. Drivers may be incorrectly told it is safe to change lanes or may be told by the system that it is not safe to change lanes when it actually is.

Complaints about technology in cars have been increasing for a long time. In the 2014 study, tech complaints were the fifth most troublesome issue for consumers. Last year in 2015, tech complaints were the third most commonly lamented problem. Now, they are the first.  A part of why more complaints are being raised about this issue is because more and more cars are incorporating advanced technologies that can then break and anger consumers.

Whenever you have complaints about the performance of vehicle components in your car, you should explore what protections the law provides to you. California’s lemon law may offer some consumers recourse if their car has issues, so contact a Los Angeles lemon law attorney for help understanding what options are available to you.


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