The electric cars from Tesla can do both: Put a grin on the face of their owners with their extremely lively driving behavior with a relatively good environmental conscience – or drive them crazy with long visits to the workshop because of small or larger defects. CEO Elon Musk recently admitted that Tesla’s production quality was not going well, at least during the ramp-up. Two US studies have now shown in quick succession how this works: In an evaluation only of reliability, Tesla landed at the very bottom, in a more comprehensive ranking with more factors at least in the middle.
Tesla far behind at JD Power
In the annual Vehicle Dependability Study by JD Power, Tesla runs out of competition, so to speak, because unlike the other manufacturers, the company does not grant the permission required in some US states to contact its customers. Nevertheless, the market research firm takes the electric cars from Fremont into account based on the results from the rest of the USA. For this purpose, owners of three-year-old vehicles are asked how many problems have occurred with them in the past 12 months.
And at Tesla, with 176 problems per 100 cars, that was well above average, according to a press release from JD Power this week. Among the 32 brands, only Jaguar, Alfa Romeo and, at the very end, Land Rover performed worse. At the top of the quality list, on the other hand, is Lexus, followed by Porsche and Kia, each with less than 100 problems per 100 cars. Overall, the measured quality of three-year-old US vehicles improved compared to the previous year to 121, the best value in the 32-year history of the study.
On the same day as JD Power’s quality study, the consumer protection organization Consumer Reports (CR) published its new ranking of the best car brands in the USA. Customers are also asked about problems, but also about satisfaction. And so the picture for Tesla is mixed.
Model 3 continues under Top Picks
With Model 3, Tesla even made it onto the list of ten “Top Picks 2021” with one of its electric cars, ie the ten best models for this year according to CR. His driving experience “like from another world” is praised and that it has never been so much fun to be environmentally friendly. In the list of 32 auto brands in the USA, Tesla still only came in 16th place. None of the other three models except the Model 3 is recommended. Because even with the “predicted reliability” of CR, determined by surveys of owners, Tesla does not do well.
However, it also shows that the JD Power result was possibly influenced by the fact that the Model 3 ramped up in the 2018 production year examined there. With CR, on the other hand, there seems to be no restriction to individual years, and here Tesla reliability was at least not rated as worst. As with JD. Power received the lowest rating for Land Rover and Alfa Romeo, expressed as two downward arrows on a red background. Tesla managed orange and only one negative arrow – along with ten other brands including the experienced US manufacturers Ford and General Motors.
Another positive factor at Tesla is the excellent evaluation of behavior on the road, and not just for Model 3. Only Porsche and Audi got 88 points like the electric car manufacturer. In addition, as in previous surveys, Tesla owners were extremely satisfied with their vehicles despite their moderate reliability – only Lincoln also got the double up arrow in green. And as the only car brand in the USA, Consumer Reports awarded Tesla the additional “Green Choice” laurels for environmental friendliness for all models tested.