The JD Power 2020 Initial Quality Study (IQS), released today, puts Tesla at the bottom of its quality ranking. It is the first time that Tesla has appeared in JD Power’s influential quality study.
It is widely regarded as the industry benchmark for new vehicle quality. The key metric is the problems experienced for 100 vehicles (PP100). A lower score reflects fewer problems, and therefore higher quality. Tesla received an initial quality score of 250 PP100, or 250 problems for every 100 vehicles.
Tesla’s quality issues are primarily with cosmetic items, such as paint blemishes, body panels that don’t fit well, and squeaks and rattles, rather than central powertrain or infotainment functions.
Doug Betts, president of JD Power’s automotive division, told CNBC:
These are mainly the result of factory quality. In addition, in the area of electric vehicle problems, they have complaints related to a lower range than expected; the range meter is inaccurate.
Tesla was not officially classified against other brands. Betts explained:
Unlike other manufacturers, Tesla does not grant us permission to survey its owners in 15 states where required. 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.
California, the largest electric vehicle market in the US USA, not included in the study. JD Power said it decided to profile the electric car maker based on the approximately 1,250 owners it was able to survey. The vast majority of respondents have a Model 3.
The annual survey, now in its 34th year, measures missing components and features that are difficult to use, difficult to understand, or not working as owners want. The 2020 US Initial Quality Study. USA It is based on responses from 87,282 new year 2020 vehicle buyers and lessees who were surveyed after 90 days of ownership.
Separately, the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. USA (NHTSA) announced today that it is initiating an investigation into Tesla’s problem with older MCUs (the media unit with a large touchscreen) on older Model S vehicles. In early June, Tesla owners opened a class action lawsuit over paint problems on Model 3 vehicles.
Fiat Chrysler’s Dodge is the number one national brand in the study’s history at # 1. Hyundai’s Genesis was the highest-ranked premium brand for the fourth consecutive year in the study.
The taking of Electrek
There is no good excuse for this type of quality problem. The upside of the JD Power 2020 study is the clear message it sends to Tesla about the need for improvement.
Moving at breakneck speed and a laser focus on innovation has served Tesla and most of its owners well. Past quality issues have not slowed its momentum.
But here’s the critical question: Can the company continue to show the way forward for electric vehicles to the rest of the auto industry while embracing the highest quality and reliability that its competitors can offer?
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