The global chip shortage and supply chain woes have hit electric vehicle (EV) quality across the board, including Tesla that continues its trend of shoddy manufacturing, a new report has revealed.
According to consumer research and analytics firm JD Power, Polestar is ranked last while Elon Musk-run Tesla ranks seventh from the bottom on its list.
JD Power recorded 226 problems per 100 Tesla vehicles.
Owners of battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) and plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEVs) cite more problems with their vehicles than do owners of vehicles with internal combustion engines (ICE), the report noted.
Compared with 2021 results, the EV industry experienced an 11 per cent increase in problems per 100 vehicles (PP100), which is 18 PP100 worse than last year, resulting in an industry average of 180 PP100.
General Motors bucks the trend with an improvement in initial quality that lands it in the highest rank position among automotive corporations.
Among brands, Buick’s quality improves 17 PP100 year over year, vaulting it to ranking highest overall in 2022 from 12th place in 2021, while Genesis ranks highest among premium brands. Just nine of 33 ranked brands improved in vehicle quality year over year.
“Given the many challenges automakers and their dealers had to face in the past year, it’s somewhat surprising that initial quality didn’t fall even more dramatically,” said David Amodeo, director of global automotive at JD Power.
“Automakers continue to launch vehicles that are more and more technologically complex in an era in which there have been many shortages of critical components to support them,” he said in a statement.
The study, now in its 36th year, is based this year on responses from 84,165 purchasers and lessees of new 2022 model-year vehicles who were surveyed early in the ownership period.
“Supply chain disruption, especially the shortage of microchips, has caused automakers to seek alternative solutions to get new vehicles into purchasers’ and lessees’ hands,” Amodeo said.
In some cases, new vehicles are being shipped without some features installed.
“Communication with them about the changes in feature availability, as well as when such features will be reinstated, is critical to their satisfaction,” he added.
Both all-new and continuing models increase in problems this year, though all-new models worsen the most (23 PP100).
The study found four times as many new models performing worse than their segment averages compared with those that perform better than their segment averages.
“Problems with advanced driving assistance systems (ADAS) declined in 2021 but have increased in 2022. The most problematic ADAS system is lane departure warning/lane-keeping assistance with 4.1 PP100,” the findings showed.
Among premium brands, Genesis (156 PP100) ranks highest, and ranks fourth overall. Lexus (157 PP100) ranks second and Cadillac (163 PP100) ranks third.