Tesla might have one of the most loyal fans of any car maker.
The electric car maker has topped customer satisfaction surveys despite also bottoming-out in reliability reports.
American organisation Consumer Reports – which is similar to Australia’s Choice – shows just how big a paradox Tesla owners are.
In the company’s recent customer satisfaction survey Tesla was head and shoulders above all other car brands.
Owners heaped praise on Tesla’s driving ability, interior comfort and in-car technology – but they did mark the EV maker down on value.
On the flip side Tesla has often ranked near the bottom in the reliability stakes.
In Consumer Reports’ most recent reliability survey the EV maker came in at 25 out of 26. The only model they recommended buying was the Model 3, and the Model S was named one of the least reliable models on sale.
And although this is a US survey, Australian delivered Teslas are built in the same US factory as the vehicles surveyed.
Elon Musk admitted in the past week that reliability issues have dogged the brand for some time.
He even went as far as to recommend not to buy one of his vehicles during a new model’s production ramp up stage.
In the recent interview with engineering consultant Sandy Munro, Musk said: “Friends ask, ‘When should I buy a Tesla?’. Well, either buy it right at the beginning or when production reaches steady state. During that production ramp, it’s super hard to be in vertical climb mode and get everything right on the details.”
The company’s recent rapid expansion could explain the poor results in the Consumer Reports reliability survey and respected JD Power report.
In JD Power’s recent initial quality survey Tesla ranked well behind most established players with the survey funding 250 issues per 100 vehicles. A long way behind the first placed Kia with 136 issues.
But these reliability and quality issues seem to have little effect on current or future owners.
The Consumer Reports satisfaction survey said most owners would buy again.
A lot of this has to do with the brand’s image. Tesla has a cool edge, it makes cutting-edge and exciting vehicles, which has helped drive record sales in 2020.
Tesla recently updated its Model S sedan with a new Plaid+ version, which is one of the fastest vehicles on the planet – surpassing 100 years of petrol-powered vehicle development in about a decade.
Plaid+ pushes the Model S’s outputs to extremes with 1100 horsepower, or 820kW, of grunt produced from a combination of three electric motors.
This would make it Australia’s most powerful car, smashing machines from Ferrari and Lamborghini.
Tesla claims this will help push the electric sedan from 0-100km/h in less than 2.1 seconds.
Musk also draws in hordes of young and tech savvy buyers with his new-age thinking.
Today the company purchased nearly $2b worth of Bitcoin, along with announcing his company would accept the cryptocurrency as payment for vehicles in the future.
Tesla is unlike any car company on the planet, and it appears its fans can’t get enough.