Complicated Technology Making Cars Less Reliable
New findings from a UK warranty provider, gleaned from 50,000 insurance policies, has found that electrical faults in cars have risen by a shocking 50% over the last five years, from 5,300 in 2008 to 11,500 in 2013.
It won’t come as a surprise to many that the huge amount of technology in today’s cars makes them more vulnerable, but these figures highlight the true scale of the problem.
The research, by Warranty Direct, found that 1 in 4 drivers will experience an electrical problem every year, and that the vehicles most likely to be affected tended to be the more upscale motors such as Bentleys and Porsches, where there will be more gadgetry included. For these two makes, the average cost of a repair bill for an electrical fault was £670 and £757 respectively. In fact average electrical repair bills have risen by a third over the same time period as well, with technicians regularly needing to develop new skills and operate complex equipment.
But in a warning that price is not necessarily a guide to quality, it was Renault that came out top on the list of least reliable makes. As one might expect, the Japanese came top for reliability, with Subaru taking the lead (one in 7 cars developing electrical faults), followed in short order by Mitsubishi, Daihatsu and Suzuki.
It raises the question once again of whether, in the constant drive to make vehicles more intelligent, responsive and efficient, we are actually making them too complex. Ten, or twenty years down the line, perhaps the number of new technologies being introduced will slow and we’ll begin to see more focus on making them more functional instead of rushing to introduce the latest piece of kit onto the market.
In the short term though, anyone buying a car today would do well to budget for annual electrical repairs. For any more information on the diagnostics services available from our depots click here.