Tesla latest in JD Power quality survey

Tesla has finally been added to JD Power’s annual survey of new car buyer satisfaction, unofficially.

The electric car maker did not do well. Of the 33 car brands measured, Tesla bottomed out.

The results are “unofficial,” said JD Power, because Tesla did not cooperate with the market research company, whose polls are attracting great interest among auto industry executives and car buyers.

Tesla “has consistently refused to grant JD Power permission to survey homeowners in 15 states, a requirement to participate,” said the company, which has conducted the quality survey for 34 years.

However, JD Power surveyed 1,200 Tesla owners without the company’s cooperation, and Dave Sargent, vice president of automotive quality, said he is very confident in the accuracy of the results.

Most of the customer complaints, Sargent said, did not involve batteries and electric motors.

“The challenge Tesla faces is with the basic type of vehicle manufacturing,” Sargent said in a prepared statement. “They are fairly new to volume manufacturing, and it’s not easy.”

Many of the flaws reported in the survey were “things that other automakers would have had perhaps 10 years ago, but have resolved” such as faulty exterior parts, Sargent said.

JD 2020 Power Quality Survey

The survey, released Wednesday, follows widespread complaints about quality in the company’s new Model Y, a hatchback version of the Model 3 sedan. Those complaints include unaligned body parts, seats not attached to the base, bumpers that They fall in the rain, water leaks in the cab, and door seals allow dirt particles to enter and cover the interior.

Also on Wednesday, Business Insider, citing internal emails from Tesla, revealed that Tesla may have knowingly installed faulty leak-prone cooling tubes in the Model S sedans. The problem involves the 2012 model years through at least 2016. The story pointed out that glycol coolant that comes in contact with a hot battery can cause a fire. The Times has also reviewed internal Tesla emails showing Tesla employees discussing the tube leak problem.

Tesla did not respond to a request for comment.

Dodge tied Kia for first place on the quality list, the first national brand to reach first place. Dodge models surveyed include the Challenger, Charger, Journey, Grand Caravan, and Durango. The fact that these cars haven’t been redesigned for many years helped, Sargent said, but “they have done a very good job of improving their quality. It’s no coincidence that they did it well.”

The survey surveyed 87,282 buyers and tenants of new 2020 models. Quality issues were counted and classified. Dodge and Kia had 136 problems for every 100 vehicles. Tesla was 250.

More problems were reported for all models this year, JD Power said, mainly because more questions were asked about problems with infotainment systems and other technologies.