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Recalls, cost, taking toll on customer satisfaction with cars

Aug 25, 2015

The Ford Escape has been plagued with 16 recalls since 2013.
Credit user Explorationofspace / Wikimedia Commons

Customer satisfaction with vehicle purchases slipped in the second quarter of the year, according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index.

Managing Director David VanAmberg says people are having to take their new cars to the dealer for repairs more often, and that will take a toll on satisfaction.

"The ballooning of recalls over the past couple of years -- that's a very obvious sign that there are some issues with quality industry wide," says VanAmberg.

Then, there's price. VanAmberg says customers who are buying a car probably last bought one during the recession - when discounting was common.

"Pricing was quite good in the midst of and shortly after the recession," says VanAmberg, "as the industry was trying to recover and move inventory.  Now we're seeing a kind of correction."

VanAmberg thinks that dissatisfaction with price will fade away over time, when people become accustomed to paying full price for vehicles.