Design, horsepower, and technology get a lot of attention when we review cars on MotorWeek. But, its reliability that is one of the biggest keys for buyers. J.D. Power has released their 2020 U.S. Vehicle Dependability Study. Covering 36,000 owners, the study looks at problems with cars that are 3-years old. This year, Hyundai’s Genesis luxury brand is not only included for the first time, it’s at the top the list. They unseated Lexus that has held the top spot for the last 8 years. The highest ranking mass market brand, Buick, is in third with Porsche and Toyota rounding out the top five.  

In-vehicle technology is the source of more problems than any other category in this study of 2017 models. There have been improvements, but owners still complain about voice recognition, Bluetooth connectivity, and navigation systems. As a whole, the dependability of vehicles improves 1.5% over 2019. Making it the overall best performance in the study’s 31-year history.

There will be a few more totally autonomous vehicles on the road… at least for a trial basis. Federal regulators have given the Nuro R2 the green light to start deliveries in Houston, Texas. The R2 will be carrying packages, not people. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration granted Nuro’s request for a temporary exemption from certain low-speed vehicle requirements.  

This is Nuro’s second self-driving vehicle. The R1 started operating in Scottsdale, Arizona in December 2018. The Nuro R2 has  updates; like improved sensors, a temperature-controlled compartment to keep food fresh, and more hardware to handle inclement weather. The electric battery is nearly twice as large, so the company says the R2 can operate all day. NHTSA is keeping a keen eye on the R2 and has limited Nuro to no more than 5,000 R2 vehicles during the two-year exemption period. Nuro is working with Roush to develop the self-driving delivery vehicles.

And that wraps up this week’s Motor News.