Car Owners Fed Up With Failing Auto Tech

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This is for the scores of vehicle owners who are tired of not being able to get their in-car communication systems to work: You are not alone in your frustration.

A new study found that in-car connectivity and communication systems are twice as likely to break down three years after a driver buys a new car than they are during the first three months they own that vehicle.

"Bluetooth and voice recognition systems not working are the top two problems vehicle owners are reporting after three years of having their cars," said Renee Stephens, vice president of U.S. Automotive for J.D. Power. "They are tired of this technology not working in their cars."

J.D. Power's annual Vehicle Dependability Study, released Wednesday, found that 55 percent of drivers surveyed about their 3-year-old vehicles said the Bluetooth system does not recognize their phone. Separately, 31 percent said their phone does not automatically connect to their car when they get inside.

J.D. Power said it is unclear exactly why vehicle technology breaks down more often as cars approach the three-year mark. The market research firm found the fewest problems with Lexus models, followed by Buick and Toyota. On the flipside, Ford dropped in the latest survey, due in part to problems from the company's launch of a new version of the Focus in 2012.

Stephens added that more auto dealers should start focusing on helping customers with their Bluetooth and in-car connectivity systems. Some are already setting up special classes or sessions where car buyers can better understand how to use the technology, and help them troubleshoot when the systems break down.

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-- Phil LeBeau