Tesla has first appeared in a JD Power Initial Quality Study, and it doesn’t look good for the electric car maker, though the story is more complex than it sounds. JD Power ranked Tesla as the last of 32 brands operating in the US. USA, with 250 problems for every 100 vehicles. The top brands, Dodge and Kia, had “only” 136 problems. Tesla was not officially involved in the study, as it does not grant permission to survey owners in 15 states where it is required, but JD Power collected enough surveys (about 1,250) from other states to produce a score.
That is not an excellent result, but the numbers do not say it all. JD Power Automotive President Doug Betts said CNBC that Tesla’s problems were primarily related to production-related problems, such as gaps in the body panel, paint defects, and squeaks. By contrast, nearly a quarter of all automakers’ problems were due to information and entertainment issues like touchscreens, phone connectivity, and built-in navigation. Tesla vehicles may have more problems, then, but they are less likely to affect the basic functionality of the car.