J.D. Power Blasts Tesla Quality

The quality problems at Tesla in recent weeks were not just anecdotes from individual buyers, they are now also reflected in a quality assessment by the American analyst group and consumer organization J.D. Powers. Their report compares the number of quality complaints from different brands, and Tesla only comes in last place with 250 complaints per 100 vehicles.

For months now, the relevant forums and blogs have been talking about quality defects, especially in the recently launched Model Y, ranging from damage to the paintwork to safety-related defects with poorly installed seat belts.

J.D. Powers included Tesla for the first time in his report, which counts the defects of new cars within the first 90 days. Since Tesla did not provide J.D. Powers with any data, the company collected its own data and therefore lists Tesla as not listed in the report.

The general results on quality show that

  • most domestic (US) brands are above average;
  • most premium brands are below average;
  • the Japanese manufacturers cannot match their past size;
  • infotainment is the most problematic category;

The industry average is 1.66 defects per new car reported within the first 90 days. Tesla, which is not officially rated, has 2.5 defects, the highest number of all cars examined.

Source: J.D. Power 2020 U.S. Initial Quality Study

J.D. Powers points out that one driver of defects is infotainment, i.e. the digital services in the vehicle, which many manufacturers are struggling with and which account for a quarter of all complaints. Brad Templeton, consultant on autonomous driving, attributes Tesla’s problems less to the physical quality of the vehicles than to digital complexity. Tesla vehicles are “more of a computer than a car” and software always has errors that are successively corrected with updates. Other quality brands such as Mercedes, Subaru, Acura or Audi have also slipped down in rankings, and the reason is probably also the infotainment system.

Nevertheless, based on the reports of the last few months, it becomes obvious that Tesla needs to work on its quality problem.

This article was also published in German.

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