Tesla Unofficially Ranks Last In 2020 J.D. Power U.S. Initial Quality Study

All because Tesla did not grant J.D. Power permission to survey in 15 states.

We cannot say we did not see it coming: Tesla ranked last in the 2020 J.D. Power US Initial Quality Study. The Model 3 paint problems and now the many complaints about build quality coming from the Model Y would sadly and eventually lead to this.

The study is now in its 34th year, and it measures the number of problems buyers had in their first 90 days of ownership. J.D. Power classifies the vehicles by the number of issues displayed by each group of 100 cars, or PP100. While the winning brands had 136 PP100, Tesla presented 250 PP100. That’s almost twice as much. Audi, Volvo, Mercedes-Benz, and Jaguar, all with important EVs, are all above the 200 PP100. The industry average is 166 PP100.

This is the first time Tesla is profiled in this study. Even so, it could not be officially ranked. What is pointed as a flaw or as proof that the investigation is biased by Tesla advocates ends up being another disappointing sign of lack of transparency by the electric car producer. 

According to Doug Betts, president of the automotive division at J.D. Power, Tesla did not grant his company permission to survey its owners in 15 states. That is mandatory for the results to be official. Anyway, J.D. Power managed to gather enough data from the other 35 states to present a score. Audi, Volvo, Mercedes-Benz, and Jaguar have official rankings.

Tesla apologists may say that an unofficial result should not be presented, but that would reward the lack of transparency we already mentioned. Other automakers could follow that lead and start to deny permission for surveys in more problematic states.

We will contact J.D. Power to try to discover in which states it did not get permission to survey. That may give us a good idea of what Tesla was trying to avoid. We will also contact Tesla to find out why it did not grant J.D. Power permission in these states, but the company has not replied to our questions – or other media outlets’ – for a long time already.

The best companies in the survey were Dodge and Kia, which offers some electric vehicles such as the Soul and the Niro. The factory in charge of producing the Soul, in South Korea, is one of the best in business in terms of initial quality. Of the ten plants J.D. Power mentions, only two are in the US, and the best of all belongs to GM but is in China.

Source: J.D. Power

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