Tesla crushed in Consumer Reports reliability rankings despite improvement

Tesla has proven to be one of America’s least trustworthy brands, according to consumer reports annual reliability report.

consumer reportsAnnual reliability rankings were released, and with data from 24 brands and more than 300,000 vehicles, Tesla fell near the bottom (19/24) along with Mercedes-Benz, Jeep, Volkswagen, GMC and Chevrolet. Overall, electric vehicles also rank poorly, being the second least reliable vehicle category. Hybrids/plug-in hybrids, especially those from Toyota, have proven to be the most reliable.

Before diving deeper into the rankings, it is crucial to understand how consumer reports creates its annual reliability ranking in the first place. This year, the company has surveyed over 300,000 vehicles (sold between 2000 and 2022) and over the past year owners have been asked to report issues with their vehicles. The problems were categorized into 17 categories; engine problems, transmission problems, interior electronics problems, etc. From this accumulation of data, consumer reports then assigns each brand a score out of 100 for their overall reliability.

consumer reports also states that they will only rank brands that have “sufficient survey data for two or more models”. Hence the absence of brands such as Rivian, Alfa Romeo and Lucid.

Tesla scored 40/100 for reliability, while EVs overall scored 36/100. It’s not all bad news for Tesla; its score matches the average for domestic automakers, the company was able to improve its ranking by four places over last year, and none of its vehicles made the list of the 10 least reliable vehicles in America. A list that notably included the popular Hyundai Kona EV rated 5/100.

Conversely, hybrid and PHEV vehicles crushed the competition with an average score of 78/100. And unsurprisingly, the most represented brand in this segment, Toyota, reached first place with an overall reliability score of 72/100. Toyota was joined by Lexus, BMW, Mazda and Honda in the top 5 (descending order).

consumer reports the results lead to a central question, what influenced Tesla (and electric vehicles in general) to score so low against the competition? This question becomes especially confusing when the prevailing narrative is that “electric vehicles are generally more reliable than their gas-powered counterparts.”

consumer reports The analysis only addresses this question once, noting that “As more electric vehicles come to market and automakers build each model in greater numbers, we find that some of they have problems with the batteries, charging systems and motors in their drive systems Owners of the Chevrolet Bolt, Ford Mustang Mach-E, Hyundai Kona Electric and Volkswagen ID.4 have all reported some of these issues.

Another couple of issues that can plague Tesla include build quality and software issues. Tesla notoriously had quality control issues, which certainly won’t help its reliability score. At the same time, as Tesla attempts to deliver the cutting edge of software innovation, they are undoubtedly encountering more software issues than typically seen in the automotive space. And while these issues are usually resolved quickly with updates and technical support, they could easily contribute to Tesla’s poor performance.

Looking to the future, it’s clear that Tesla needs to continue to focus on improving quality control and overall reliability. It’s easy to say, “Tesla needs to increase production,” but consumers will pay the price if that production expansion comes at the expense of reliability.

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Tesla crushed in Consumer Reports reliability rankings despite improvement







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