J.D. Power: Advanced engine tech leading to more downtime

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Updated Oct 19, 2012

According to a report by J.D. Power and Associates, advances in medium-duty truck engine technology has led to more complicated repair process and, thus, more unscheduled downtime. The report — 2012 U.S. Medium-Duty Truck Engine and Transmission Study — was released Oct. 18 and measures customer perceptions of 2011 model-year Class 5, 6 and 7 gasoline- and diesel- powered engines. 

It then in turn provides manufacturers with a comprehensive measure of customer satisfaction. 

The report says that the overall number of engine and fuel issues with medium-duty trucks decreased to 40 problems per 100 trucks, down from 51 in 2011. However, though the number of problems has gone down, the average length of unscheduled downtime has increased to 13.4 days, up from 10.7 last year. 

As medium-duty engine technology continues to progress, says Brent Gruber, director of the commercial vehicle practice at J.D., there “will likely be fewer problems.” But, he says, when problems do happen, they will be “more complicated and require more downtime to fix.” 

Also of note in the study — use of selective catalytic reduction technology used to meet emissions standards brought an overall satisfaction score of 778 on a 1,000-point scale, compared to a score of 760 when SCR tech is not used.