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Manufacturer taps for gas-powered vehicles still struggle to meet owners’ expectations, JD Power finds

Manufacturer taps for gas-powered vehicles still struggle to meet owners’ expectations, JD Power finds

TROY, Mich.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–While remote control function speeds and accuracy are improving on original equipment manufacturer (OEM) internal combustion engine (ICE) mobile apps, many apps still do not perform the desired task in a reasonable amount of time. According to the JD Power 2022 US OEM ICE App Benchmark Study,Sm released today, many apps lack owners’ desire to complete a task in 10 seconds or less.

Overall satisfaction is 699 (on a 1000-point scale), highlighting the need for manufacturers to continue to focus on app content, transparency, accuracy and software stability. No single OEM app is the best performer in all of these key areas.

JD Power continues to work with manufacturers to improve the user experience with the brand’s app. The OEM smartphone app continues to be problematic, as evidenced by the JD Power 2022 US Initial Quality Study (IQS),Sm as owners find the mobile app to be the second most problematic feature on their vehicles. Connectivity issues and incorrect information plague apps and create user dissatisfaction that causes many owners to abandon the brand’s app.

“Some OEM apps are rapidly implementing new functionality such as vehicle settings, advanced climate control functionality and Phone as a Key (PaaK),” said Jason Norton, Senior Head of Global Automotive Consulting at JD Power. “But many OEM apps still lack basic functionality. For example, while an app may give users the ability to lock or unlock the vehicle remotely, the app fails to provide information about whether the vehicle is locked or unlocked. The lack of current vehicle status creates an unknown for users and hinders the overall usefulness of the app.”

The following are the key findings from the 2022 study:

  • Telephone as key (PaaK): Only 16% of OEM ICE apps offer Phone as a Key (PaaK) technology, well below the 40% provided by OEM EV apps.1 Since this is a highly desired feature among vehicle owners and greatly increases app usage, more manufacturers should look to include this technology.
  • Lack of dedicated climate control functionality: While 94% of manufacturers offer remote start in their OEM-branded app, only 34% offer more advanced features. For example, advanced climate functions give owners the ability to select a specific cabin temperature and activate heated/cooled seats, defrosting and a heated steering wheel. Allowing users to select the exact desired vehicle condition prior to departure is essential for higher customer satisfaction.
  • Reseller support continues to impact app usage: More than three-quarters (86%) of survey respondents who currently use an OEM-branded app say they received dealer support when they picked up their new vehicle.
  • Most consumers are still unwilling to pay for app services: Nearly 60% of respondents said they are still unwilling to pay for an OEM-branded app, unchanged from 2021. Among those willing to pay for an OEM-branded app, 27% said they would not would pay more than $5 per month.

Among the 32 brands in the study are the best mobile apps Mercedes me connect, my[GM] apps, MySubaru and MyINFINITI. Each of these top-performing apps performs well in each of the 12 categories analyzed in the study. However, none of these top-performing apps rank best in class for more than half of the categories assessed.

“The survey results underscore the need for every OEM — even the top performers — to focus on continuous improvement to ensure the content and speed of the app meet customer needs and expectations,” Norton said.

The OEM ICE App Benchmark Study measures owners’ experience with the brand’s mobile app. Insights are obtained from mapping new vehicle owners and an expert assessment of the most relevant mobile apps. The results are based on a standardized evaluation approach based on more than 270 best practices for vehicle apps. The expert’s benchmarking includes apps from 32 brands that sell gas-powered vehicles in the United States. The usage survey data represents more than 1,000 owners who said they have used the brand’s app. The study was conducted in October 2022.

For more information on the US OEM ICE App Benchmark Study, visit

See the press release online at

About JD Power

JD Power is a global leader in consumer insights, advisory services and data and analytics. A pioneer in the use of big data, artificial intelligence (AI) and algorithmic modeling capabilities to understand consumer behavior, JD Power has delivered sharp industry intelligence about customer interactions with brands and products for more than 50 years. The world’s leading businesses across major industries rely on JD Power to guide their customer-facing strategies.

JD Power has offices in North America, Europe and Asia Pacific. To learn more about the company’s business offerings, visit JDPower.com/business. The JD Power car buying tool can be found at JDPower.com.

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1 JD Power 2022 OEM EV Benchmark StudySm

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