J.D. Power says Covid-19 caused vehicle quality to drop globally, but not Tesla’s

Gigafactory Shanghai
Credit: Tesla

If you bought your car during or after the pandemic, a report by J.D. Power shows you may have been shortchanged on product quality. However, Tesla’s quality has actually improved since last year, making it one of the few automakers to see an improved score this year.

According to J.D. Power’s 2022 U.S. Initial Quality Study, the pandemic caused disruption in the global auto industry, leading to problems with the supply chain, higher selling prices, and “personnel dislocation.” All this contributed to a record number of car problems in 36 years.

Car problems jumped 11 percent in problems per 100 vehicles (PP100) between 2021 and 2022. The value was 180 PP100 in 2022 (lower values are better as they indicate better vehicle quality).

Tesla was officially included in the calculations for the first time this year with a score of 226 PP100, and improvement of their unofficial score of 250 PP100 last year. The score puts Tesla near the bottom of the pack indicating there is still work to do, but places them tied with Mitsubishi and ahead of the likes of VW, Audi, Maserati, Volvo, and Chrysler.

Despite being included, Tesla is not eligible for any awards “because Tesla Motors does not allow J.D. Power access to owner information in the states where that permission is required by law,” the group explains.

Generally, vehicles have the most issues with the infotainment system, including Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity, voice recognition, touchscreens, Bluetooth features, etc.

J.D. Power also reports that battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) and plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEVs) are more problematic than their ICE counterparts. Also, drivers report more problems with advanced driving assistance systems (ADAS).

Buick owners reported the least problems, with 139 PP100. The brand is followed by Dodge and Chevrolet. In the premium segment, Genesis came first and fourth overall. It is followed by Lexus and Cadillac.

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