Customer service satisfaction among owners of battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) is lower than those who own internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles, according to a study released on 9 March, Reuters reported.
The JD Power 2023 US Customer Service Index (CSI) Study, which is in its 43rd year, saw a year-over-year score decline for the first time in 28 years.
Automakers are committing billions to developing and building EVs and batteries as they shift their focus to cleaner mobility alternatives, but customer service satisfaction remains low.
Recall rates, which are more than double for BEVs than their gas/diesel counterparts, are a leading factor, the report said.
BEV owners’ customer service satisfaction was 42 points lower than owners of ICE engines.
“As the electric vehicle segment grows, service is going to be a ‘make or break’ part of the ownership experience,” said Chris Sutton, vice president of automotive retail at JD Power.
“The industry has been hyper-focused on launches, and now these customers are bringing their electric vehicles in for maintenance and repairs.”
The study shows a decline of 23 points in satisfaction when owners have to bring their vehicles in for a repair after a recall rather than traditional maintenance and repair.
Since its report in 2021, the consultants have found that owners now have to wait longer for their vehicles to be serviced owing to labour, loan-vehicle availability and parts shortages.
Lexus ranks highest in satisfaction with dealer service among all premium brands, and Mitsubishi takes top spot among mass market brands, according to the report.
The 2023 US CSI Study is based on responses from 64,248 verified registered owners and lessees of 2020 to 2022 model-year vehicles.