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Tesla electric vehicles have worst initial quality



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Tesla received the worst score among the 32 major vehicle brands in J.D. Power’s 2020 Initial Quality Study due to various problems reported by owners.

The 34th annual version of the J.D. Power study, which gauges the performance of new vehicles in their first 90 days, marks the first time the company has rated Tesla.

Tesla’s cars and SUVs had 250 problems per 100 vehicles, compared with an industry average of 166. The next five worst-scoring brands were Land Rover (228), Audi (225), Volvo (210), Mercedes-Benz (202) and Jaguar (190). In general, luxury brands struggled in the 2020 study in part due to problems with their infotainment systems.

In Tesla’s case, though, problems included paint defects, poor fit of body panels, trunks and hoods that were hard to open and close, too much wind noise in the interior, squeaks and rattles, according to Doug Betts, J.D. Power’s automotive president Doug Betts.

J.D. Power study: These are the 26 highest-quality cars, trucks, SUVs of 2020

The issues were “primarily a result of factory quality,” Betts said in an emailed statement.

Tesla representatives did not immediately respond to a request seeking comment Wednesday afternoon.

Dave Sargent, vice president of automotive quality at J.D. Power, added that “it’s important to note that the primary reason for Tesla’s score is not the EV-related aspects of the vehicle — they perform well here.”

J.D. Power did not technically include Tesla in its rankings since the automaker does not provide permission to survey its powers in the 15 states where it is legally required. But J.D. Power said it collected data from Tesla owners in the other 35 states, providing sufficient information to score the company’s performance.

To be sure, initial quality does not necessarily translate into popularity or durability. Many Americans buy cars for other reasons, including styling, size, fuel efficiency, utility, price and status.

For example, the highest-ranking luxury brand in the survey was Hyundai’s Genesis. But Genesis has struggled to gain traction among car buyers, while Tesla has surged.

Overall, the J.D. Power survey, conducted from February through May, assessed the performance of 2020 model-year vehicles within 90 days after they were sold. It included 223 questions and 87,272 vehicles.

Follow USA TODAY reporter Nathan Bomey on Twitter @NathanBomey.

Read or Share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/cars/2020/06/24/jd-power-iqs-tesla-electric-vehicles-2020/3249943001/





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