Tesla Cars Rank Lowest Among Major Automakers In Influential Customer Survey

Tesla

TOPLINE

Tesla cars have scored the worst among 32 major automakers in an influential survey of customers released by research group J.D. Power, highlighting previously raised concerns that Tesla may be cutting corners in manufacturing to meet aggressive production targets

Tesla’s vehicles, which appeared in the closely watched survey for the first time, were found to have 250 problems per 100 vehicles compared with an industry average this year of 166 problems.

The electric car maker had previously avoided being featured in the survey because some state laws require an auto maker’s permission to use new-vehicle registration data to contact customers, something Tesla had refused to provide in the past.

Increased sales of Tesla’s lower-cost Model 3 compact car have finally allowed J.D. Power to collect enough data from 35 states that do allow access to the data.

The research firm, however, did not formally rank Telsa at the bottom of its list since it was unable to gather data from all 50 states, including California — Tesla’s largest market in the country.

The survey’s results follow news of a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) investigation into touchscreen failures on the Model S luxury sedan

The company also allegedly shipped early versions of the Model S despite its knowledge of a dangerous battery flaw that could cause fires, Business Insider reported on Wednesday.

KEY BACKGROUND

Last year, CNBC reported that Tesla’s employees were being pressured to take shortcuts to hit aggressive Model 3 production goals, including making fast fixes to plastic housings with electrical tape, working through harsh conditions and skipping previously required vehicle tests. The company had set up a temporary open-air tent factor to meet CEO Elon Musk’s aggressive target of producing 6,000 units of the Model 3 per week. Despite complaints, the carmaker has previously dismissed complaints about quality by citing its internal data and saying that it takes customer feedback seriously and is quick to address issues. Despite this, multiple Tesla customers have taken their complaints to Twitter, in an attempt to grab the attention of Musk, who is an active user on the platform.

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