Consumer Reports, a nonprofit organization that evaluates products and services, said Tesla, the world’s most valuable automaker, ranked 27th out of 28 brands, just ahead of Ford Motor Co’s Lincoln brand.
Consumer Reports recommends the Tesla Model 3 sedan and rates its reliability as “average.” But Fisher said the rest of Tesla’s vehicles are below average.
The popular Model Y SUV, Tesla’s best-selling vehicle, has problems with poorly fitting body panels, leaks and issues with its climate control, Fisher said.
Electric vehicles, with far fewer moving parts, should be more reliable than gas-powered vehicles, Fisher said. But electric SUVs tend to be higher-priced luxury vehicles at present, and those have all the latest technology that can cause trouble, he said.
“The powertrains aren’t the problem,” Fisher said. Instead, the electric SUVs often are equipped with electric door handles, electric-activated climate control vents and other features. “By having all of these new technologies saddled into these early adopter-mobiles, there are more problems associated with them.”
Fisher said electric vehicles are likely to be more reliable than gas-powered ones as manufacturers work the bugs out of their features.