2020 News

J.D. Power rates Tesla electric vehicles as lowest quality auto brand in 2020 study

Tesla earned the worst score among the 32 major vehicle brands in J.D. Power’s 2020 Initial Quality Study due to various problems reported by owners.

The 34th annual version of the J.D. Power study, which gauges the performance of new vehicles in their first 90 days, marks the first time the company has rated Tesla.

Tesla’s cars and SUVs had 250 problems per 100 vehicles, compared with an industry average of 166. The next five worst-scoring brands were Land Rover (228), Audi (225), Volvo (210), Mercedes-Benz (202) and Jaguar (190). In general, luxury brands struggled in the 2020 study in part due to problems with their infotainment systems.

In Tesla’s case, though, problems included paint defects, poor fit of body panels, trunks and hoods that were hard to open and close, too much wind noise in the interior, squeaks and rattles, according to J.D. Power’s automotive President Doug Betts.

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The issues were “primarily a result of factory quality,” Betts said in an emailed statement.

Tesla representatives did not immediately respond to a request seeking comment Wednesday afternoon.

Dave Sargent, vice president of automotive quality at J.D. Power, added that “it’s important to note that the primary reason for Tesla’s score is not the EV-related aspects of the vehicle – they perform well here.”

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