Tesla, Rivian, and Polestar perform terribly in J.D. Power Initial Quality Study

Credit: Tesla

Tesla, Rivian, and Polestar performed terribly in J.D. Power’s Initial Quality Study for 2024. Tesla and Rivian outpaced all automakers surveyed except for one, while Polestar’s score was the worst of all brands considered for this year’s report.

J.D. Power said in its report that problems “plagued” the battery electric vehicles as traditional OEMs leveled the playing field.

Frank Hanley, Senior Director of Auto Benchmarking at J.D. Power, said:

“It is not surprising that the introduction of new technology has challenged manufacturers to maintain vehicle quality. “However, the industry can take solace in the fact that some problem areas such as voice recognition and parking cameras are seen as less problematic now than they were a year ago.”

The study from J.D. Power highlighted the claims commonly made by owners and manufacturers of EVs, which indicate that the fewer proponents for these vehicles make them less problematic and less likely to have problems that require repairs.

However, this year’s study included newly incorporated repair data, which showed both BEVs and PHEVs having more repairs than gas-powered vehicles in all categories.

Hanley added:

“Owners of cutting edge, tech-filled BEVs and PHEVs are experiencing problems that are of a severity level high enough for them to take their new vehicle into the dealership at a rate three times higher than that of gas-powered vehicle owners.”

Study Results

Ram was the best-performing brand in this year’s study, having 149 problems per 100 vehicles, which is how J.D. Power gauges initial quality. Chevrolet (160), Hyundai (162), and Kia (163) finished second, third, and fourth, respectively.

The average across the study was 195 problems per 100 vehicles.

That brings us to the performances of Rivian, Tesla, and Polestar. Rivian and Tesla both had 266 problems per 100 vehicles, which was tied for the third-worst behind Dodge (301) and Polestar (316).

All three brands were listed below the actual study results because J.D. Power says they are “not rank eligible because it does not meet study award criteria.”

J.D. Power had this to say about BEVs, specifically Tesla:

“Gas- and diesel-powered vehicles average 180 PP100 this year, while BEVs are 86 points higher at 266 PP100. While there are no notable improvements in BEV quality this year, the gap between Tesla’s BEV quality and that of traditional OEMs’ BEV quality has closed, with both at 266 PP100. In the past, Tesla has performed better, but that is not the case this year, and the removal of traditional feature controls, such as turn signals and wiper stalks, has not been well received by Tesla customers.”

In the past, Tesla has performed well in J.D. Power studies, especially ones pertaining to EV Ownership Experience and in-vehicle tech.

Tesla trifecta dominates JD Power’s 2022 EV Experience Ownership Study

The Lexus LC was listed as the highest initial quality model.

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Tesla, Rivian, and Polestar perform terribly in J.D. Power Initial Quality Study
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