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JD Power ID's technology flaws

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This year's influential Initial Quality Study (IQS) from J. D. Power was surprising for the poor showing from three of the leading German carmakers. Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and Audi--widely respected as titans of engineering and pioneers in car tech--all suffered a considerable drop in the nameplate rankings, with BMW slipping from 3rd to 28th and Mercedes falling by a similar margin, from 6th to 26th. Audi skidded from 8th place last year to 19th in 2006.


Lexus drivers, for example, identified their car's navigation systems, hands-free calling, and HVAC controls in their top five design defects. However, the number of design complaints per hundred vehicles for Lexus was so low that the luxury Japanese manufacturer suffered only the smallest of drops--from first overall in 2005 to second this year.


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