U.S. Car Dealers Improve Recall Service, J.D. Power Study Finds

U.S. auto dealers did a better job of satisfying people who brought in cars and trucks because of recalls, which soared to a record in 2014, according to a J.D. Power study.

The customer service index for recall-related work rose to 789 points out of 1,000 from 777 a year earlier, the Westlake Village, California-based research firm said in a statement Wednesday. That was higher than the 781 score for repair visits.

“Even though recalls can create a large influx of customers into the service department and really strain capacity, automakers are better prepared to handle recalls than they were a few years ago,” Chris Sutton, vice president of J.D. Power’s U.S. automotive retail practice, said in the statement.

Automakers recalled about 64 million vehicles in the U.S. last year, more than double the previous record set in 2004, according to federal regulators. The J.D. Power study found that recall-related visits to dealers climbed to 16 percent of the total, from 10 percent a year earlier.

For all types of dealer visits, Tata Motors Ltd.’s Jaguar brand ranked first, with a score of 877. General Motors Co.’s Buick was highest among mass-market brands, at 836.

The study was based on responses from more than 70,000 owners and lessees of 2010- to 2014-model vehicles collected during November and December.

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