J.D. Power Initial Quality Study puts Tesla near the bottom, while Dodge takes top spot

J.D. Power has released the 2023 edition of their Initial Quality Study (IQS), and according to the results Tesla’s quality has dropped since last year. The Texas-based automaker came in third last among the 37 automotive brands included in the study, while a Dodge took the top spot with the best quality.

The study collected responses from 93,380 purchasers and lessees of new 2023 model-year vehicles across nine categories, including infotainment, features, controls and displays, exterior, driving assistance, interior, powertrain, seats, driving experience, and climate. The aim of the study is to provide manufacturers with insights to identify and address problems, ultimately driving product improvement.

Measured by the number of problems per 100 vehicles (PP100), Tesla placed 34th out of the 37 automakers with a score of 257 PP100, an increase of 31 problems per 100 vehicles it recorded last year. The only automakers to score worse than Tesla were also EV only brands, Polestar, which recorded 313 PP100, and Lucid with the worst score of 340 PP100. Due to there being too few examples on the road, Lucid’s results were not included in the study. Rivian’s sample size was also too small, but scored 282 PP100.

Probably to the surprise of many, the study found Dodge had the best quality with a score of 140 PP100, followed closely by Ram (141 PP100) and Alfa Romeo (143 PP100). The study average came in at 192 PP100, an increase of 30 problems per 100 vehicles over the last two years of the study.

According to J.D. Power, the decline in quality can be attributed to various factors, such as the increasing usage and integration of technology in vehicles. Known issues with audio systems continue to plague new models, and owners report problems with poor sounding horns and dysfunctional cupholders. Additionally, new models are found to have 11 PP100 more problems than their predecessors.

The study also revealed that owners are increasingly satisfied with smartphone apps provided by manufacturers. Usage rates for these apps, particularly among electric vehicle (EV) owners, are high, with customers primarily using them to monitor the charging process and check their vehicle’s available range.

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