- JD Power has just released its 2020 Initial Quality Study, which it publishes annually.
- Tesla had the lowest score among the 32 car brands included in the study.
- The low score comes primarily from build quality issues like paint defects, squeaks, and rattles.
- Visit the Business Insider home page for more stories.
The results of the initial JD Power 2020 quality study are now available and not great news for Tesla.
In total, JD Power ranked 32 car brands for their study, which included Buick, Volkswagen, Lexus, Cadillac, BMW, Toyota, Acura, Subaru, and Jaguar. Of all of these, Tesla scored the lowest in the group in terms of new vehicle quality and owner-experienced issues.
The study is based on responses from 87,282 new model 2020 car buyers and tenants during their first 90 days of ownership. Initial quality is decided based on the number of problems experienced per 100 vehicles (abbreviated as PP100). The lower the score, the higher the quality.
Tesla scored 250 PP100, which is behind Land Rover’s 228 PP100, Audi’s 225 PP100, and Volvo’s 210 PP100. Dodge and Kia had the highest score, both tying first with scores of 136 PP100.
However, there is a bit of a caveat: JD Power notes that this is the first time the agency has profiled Tesla and that Tesla is not officially ranked among the other brands because it “does not meet the criteria for ranking.”
“Unlike other manufacturers, Tesla does not grant us permission to survey its owners in 15 states where it is required,” said Doug Betts, president of JD Power’s automotive division. “However, we were able to collect a large enough sample of homeowner surveys in the other 35 states, and based on that, we calculated the Tesla score.”
A JD Power spokesperson clarified to Business Insider in an email statement that in order for a brand to be included in the study and appear in the study’s official ranking, the agency must be able to obtain information from the brand owners in all 50 states. . Tesla is not included in the official study results because JD Power cannot survey Tesla owners in all 50 states.
But, “it should be noted that about two-thirds of Tesla sales occur in the 15 states where we cannot collect owner information,” the spokesperson said.
In any case, however, the Tesla owners surveyed apparently had the most issues with their vehicles’ more traditional quality issues, such as build quality.
Betts told USA Today that the problems were due to defects in the paint, body panels, poorly adjusted hoods and trunks that were difficult to open and close, excessive noise from wind entering the cabin, and squeaks and rattles. Bets said the problems were “primarily a result of the quality of the factory.”
Separately, Dave Sargent, vice president of automotive quality for JD Power, clarified: “It is important to note that the main reason for Tesla’s rating is not the vehicle aspects related to electric vehicles, they perform well here.”
Tesla did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for comment.
You can view the JD Power 2020 Initial Quality Study here.