In the USA, J.D.Power’s 2020 Initial Quality Study looked at Tesla for the first time this year. Tesla earned the worst score among the 32 major vehicle brands, but German premium brands did not look much better.
The 34th annual version of the J.D. Power study gauges the performance of new vehicles in their first 90 days. For Tesla, J.D. Power has determined a quality value of 250, i.e. 2.5 problems per vehicle or 250 issues per 100 cars. According to U.S. reports, these mainly include paint defects, poorly fitting body parts, trunk lids or bonnets that are difficult to open, or noises in the interior. The problems are “primarily due to the quality of the factory,” says Doug Betts, president of J.D. Power.
At Tesla, however, there are some limitations in the ranking. For example, Tesla has not allowed J.D. to survey customers in 15 states, including the large California E.V. market. So the data comes from only 35 states and is not directly comparable with the other manufacturers who were more open due to a lack of transparency. In order not to “reward” Tesla’s non-disclosure with an exclusion – and thus the concealment of the 250 deficiencies – J.D. Power chose the path of unofficial listing.
The average score is 166 registered faults per 100 vehicles. Among German manufacturers in the States, Volkswagen was the only company to score comparatively well, i.e. below the average number of complaints. With more complaints than average, came BMW with 176 points, followed by Porsche with 186 points. Mercedes-Benz did not come up well with 202 points, followed by a worse score for Audi, who got 225 points.
Generally, most negative points were registered in the areas of infotainment, accounting for almost a quarter of all problems. Here the most significant number of complaints regarded voice recognition, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity, touchscreens, onboard navigation, and Bluetooth issues.
Incidentally, Dodge and Kia share first place with 136 points, followed by Chevrolet and Ram (141 points each). The Hyundai daughter Genesis succeeds with 142 points as the best premium brand, according to J.D. Power.
Additional reporting by Nora Manthey.
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