Tesla has dominated the luxury electric car market with the Model S and Model X, and the Model 3 is also in strong competition in the midsize market, with the Model Y perhaps the company’s biggest-selling model to date. But Tesla still has one weakness: the quality of its cars is a problem. Recently, Tesla in the most influential J.D. Power ranked lowest in the New Car Quality Survey, with 250 problems per 100 vehicles, but the brand was not officially ranked because it did not meet the survey criteria.
It was hoped that the Model Y had overcome a series of problems in the early models, but there were still serious quality problems.
But that doesn’t seem to have stopped people from besaying Tesla. Even many troubled car owners say they don’t regret choosing Tesla.
Good customer service and iconic design aren’t the reason Tesla can win a lot of fans. Tesla is sometimes referred to as the automotive industry’s Apple iPhone. The truth is, Tesla has completely changed the way modern vehicles look. Traditional fuel vehicles remain largely unchanged after they leave the factory. Some people will change the wheels, may add body kits, or even adjust the engine. But most people don’t.
Tesla is different. For example, when the company introduced a 250-kilowatt V3 supercharger, the only model that could take full advantage was the Model 3. The power of the Model S is still limited to 150 kW. The software update then upgraded it to 200 kW and recently to 225 kW. Late last year, Tesla released a software update called Acceleration Boost, which reduced the speed time of the long-haul Model 30 to 100 km from 4.4 to 3.9 seconds. In addition, Tesla has increased the range of electric cars with updates.
For Tesla owners, the cars they’re buying now may get better in a few months. Competitors are starting to realize this. Mercedes-Benz recently announced a partnership with NVID to produce a “software-defined car”. But Tesla Motors is already software-centric, with a central computer controlling everything. As Peter Mertens, Audi’s former head of research and development, complains, German manufacturers are still used to using different chips to control different systems.
Tesla does have quality problems and is now preventing it from achieving great success in the industry. But the impact is small. When a user buys a Tesla, it’s an upgrade route, not an existing design, and that’s hard to resist. This means that many people are willing to put up with defects in appearance or warranty in exchange for a ride on the future.