JD Power Survey 2005:
How it's done
14 April 2005
Each owner who takes part completes an eight-page evaluation with over 70 questions. They include likes and dislikes about their car, what problems they’ve had, quality of dealer service and a section on running costs.
Owners rate their cars using a scale of one to 10 – one represents ‘unacceptable’ while 10 is ‘outstanding’. JD Power collates the results to generate the Customer Satisfaction Index. Any car that fails to yield at least 50 complete surveys is rejected, as such a small number is not sufficient to ensure a representative sample, and could give a misleading result.
To make the data as accessible as possible, experts at JD Power convert the thousands of questions and answers into scores in eight categories:
THE CATEGORIES EXPLAINED
Mechanical Problems - uncovers satisfaction levels with the reliability of the car’s engine, suspension, transmission and braking systems.
Interior Problems - explores satisfaction with the reliability of seats, heating, air-conditioning and ventilation, sound systems, dashboard and interior.
Exterior Problems - surveys body panels, paint problems, rust and corrosion and exterior lights.
Vehicle Performance - looks at appeal of the car’s ride, handling, braking, engine and transmission.
Vehicle Interior - deals with owners’ views of the cabin’s comfort and practicality, seats, dashboard, sound system and heating, ventilation and air-con.
Vehicle Exterior - determines what owners think of the car’s styling.
Dealer Service - evaluates the performance of the franchised dealer network, from the ease of booking a service to customer care. It also looks at how competent the service department is at diagnosing and rectifying faults.
Ownership Costs - discloses owners’ perceptions of value for money when at the filling station, insuring and servicing the car.
Finally the car is given an overall score. This takes every aspect of the car into account and is influenced most by reliability and vehicle quality, followed by vehicle appeal, then ownership costs, and finally dealer service. This pivotal figure is then expressed
as a percentage and an overall rating.