Tesla’s Terrible JD Power Results Are Off The Chart

2020 Dodge Charger GT AWD

2020 Dodge Charger GT AWD

Just when you thought 2020 couldn't get any crazier, Dodge has tied Kia to win J.D. Power's Initial Quality Study.

Separately, Dave Sargent, vice president of automotive quality at J.D. Power clarified, "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".

He went on to say that most automakers have this handled "while Tesla is still working to solve those problems". Of course, that's over simplifying things and FCA was clearly happy with the result as they noted Dodge has become the "first domestic brand ever to achieve a No. 1 ranking in the prestigious study's 34-year run".

2020 Subaru Outback Apple CarPlay
2020 Subaru Outback Apple CarPlay

The annual J.D. Power IQS study serves as the industry benchmark for new-vehicle quality measured at 90 days of ownership. Kia, which nabbed a tie with a score of 136 problems per 100, has been the highest-ranked mainstream brand for six consecutive years.

Unlike other automakers, Tesla received the most complaints for exterior build quality of doors, paint, and panels. For example, numerous reported problems are design-related, as in vehicle functions that could be confusing or hard to use, as opposed to actually defective.

The driver-assistance category was new for 2020 and represents a shift in modernizing the survey of almost 90,000 owners and lessees of 2020 vehicles.

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In total, J.D. Power ranked 32 auto brands for its study, which included Buick, Volkswagen, Lexus, Cadillac, BMW, Toyota, Acura, Subaru, and Jaguar. Tesla is the only automaker this year to not give J.D. Power access to vehicle info from consumers from all 50 states. This means Kia's been ranked highest in initial quality for a mass-market brand for the sixth consecutive year. Dodge's sibling brand Ram placed third. Premium brands have suffered in the annual survey due to confusing tech, according to their owners. BMW, Ford and Nissan each had three category winners, Toyota taking two.

Most premium brands are below average: For most of the past decade, mass market brands have improved relative to premium brands, and this trend continues in 2020. "In the next few weeks we will complete the picture by providing results from the J.D. Power APEAL Study, which measures the positive experiences customers have from owning and driving their new vehicle, and the J.D. Power TXI Study, which measures how well automakers are introducing all-new technology into their vehicles".

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Infotainment systems account for a quarter of all problems reported in new cars.

If anything, Porsche plunged to the lower quartile in the latest quality study, while Lexus and Genesis also slid sharply down the list.

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