Tesla cars aren’t great quality, it turns out

For more than 30 years the JD Power Index has ranked major auto brands in its quality study, giving potential car buyers an idea of which brands have made cars with the least amount of problems in the last year. There is a minimum threshold for number of cars sold to be included in the list, which Tesla crossed for the first time. As it turns out, Tesla may have wished to be excluded from the ranking one last time.

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Tesla cars scored the worst among 32 major auto brands in the JD Power Initial Quality Study. This study looks at car quality in the first 90 days after purchasing it, where Tesla cars recorded a miserable 250 problems per 100 vehicles. The industry average is about 166 problems per 100 vehicles.

For context, the next worst brand was Land Rover which recorded 228 problems per 100 vehicles, while the best performing (tied) brands were Dodge and Kia with 136 problems per 100 vehicles.

There have been a couple of very public mishaps with Tesla’s cars over the last 12 months. New Model S cars saw several issues including, but not limited to, touchscreen failures and vehicle motherboard crashes. Seeing as the car is essentially a giant computer, this renders the vehicle all but useless. The Model 3 production has provided a lot more issues, as the company ramps up the number of vehicles it can deliver.

Interestingly, JD Power had to disclose that their survey had to treat Tesla slightly differently. They weren’t allowed to survey Tesla customers in 15 states, but still had enough volume due to the recent surge in Tesla Model 3 sales.

“Unlike other manufacturers, Tesla doesn’t grant us permission to survey its owners in 15 states where it is required,” said JD Power’s Doug Betts. “However, we were able to collect a large enough sample of surveys from owners in the other 35 states and, from that base, we calculated Tesla’s score. What we call the blocking and tackling of building the car, that’s what Tesla is not good at according to this data,” he added.

Here is the full list of manufacturers from the JD Power Index with the number of problems per 100 vehicles.

  1. Dodge (136)
  2. Kia (136)
  3. Chevrolet (141)
  4. Ram (141)
  5. Genesis (142)
  6. Mitsubishi (148)
  7. Buick (150)
  8. GMC (151)
  9. Volkswagen (152)
  10. Hyundai (153)
  11. Jeep (155)
  12. Lexus (159)
  13. Nissan (161)
  14. Cadillac (162)
  15. Infiniti (173)
  16. Ford (174)
  17. Mini (174)
  18. BMW (176)
  19. Honda (177)
  20. Toyota (177)
  21. Lincoln (182)
  22. Mazda (184)
  23. Acura (185)
  24. Porsche (186)
  25. Subaru (187)
  26. Chrysler (189)
  27. Jaguar (190)
  28. Mercedes-Benz (202)
  29. Volvo (210)
  30. Audi (225)
  31. Land Rover (228)
  32. Tesla (250)