Tesla Reliability and Repair Costs

Tesla may have claimed its fame by being the first big hitter in electric automobiles, but hype doesn’t always align with reality. Teslas are consistently rated high in customer satisfaction, but after several years of low ratings from top authorities in the industry, their reliability is undoubtedly in question. J.D. Power and Consumer Reports both rank Tesla at the bottom of the pack when reliability is tested. It’s reported that Tesla vehicles have an average of 171 mechanical issues per 100 vehicles. For reference, the average number for most automakers hovers around 120 issues per 100 vehicles. If you’re considering the purchase of a Tesla, you may want to dig a little deeper into the real cost of ownership before you start passing out signatures.

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Black Tesla driving Tech Nick via Upsplash

Front end view of a black Tesla driving down city streets

Tesla currently offers four models: the Model S, Model 3, Model X, and the Model Y, each with an EPA-estimated range of over 300 miles, a plethora of high-tech features, and a comfortable ride. Although Tesla vehicles have contributed to the development of the current EV market, it is still important for anyone considering buying a Tesla model to understand more about them, including their level of dependability. Tesla was ranked 27th out of 28 automakers by Consumer Reports, which conducts assessments for the dependability of the majority of automobiles currently in production. The frequency of fires that have afflicted the business over the years is one problem that has contributed to its low dependability ranking. Due to this serious problem and others, Tesla has issued a number of recalls. Although it is useful to be aware of a manufacturer’s general level of dependability, knowing about specific models is far preferable. You can select which Tesla vehicle, if any, is the best option for you by knowing how dependable each model has proven itself to be.

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Commonly Reported Issues With Tesla cars

Tesla Roadster parked in front of a house Tesla

Back/side view of a white Tesla Roadster parked in front of a house

Tesla’s poor reputation regarding reliability was mostly caused by problems with the Model S, X, and Y cars it produced between 2019 and 2021. The reliability of the Tesla Model 3, which Consumer Reports continues to recommend, was average. Common complaints from Model Y owners included faulty sensors that required replacement, troubles with heat pumps, air conditioning, body panels that didn’t line up, and water leaks in the trunk because of missing seals. The more expensive and less well-liked Model S sedan and Model X falcon-wing SUV both received numerous complaints from owners over electrical and hardware faults. With the long list of troubles, you could possibly encounter while owning a Tesla, it’s wise to dig into the cost of repairing such a vehicle before signing any dotted lines.

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The Price Of Repairing Your Tesla

Tesla Roadster 2.5 under the hood Science Arizona via Flikr

Under the hood shot of a red Tesla Roadster presented for a science fair

Avoiding the costs of an ordinary oil change is enough for the majority of individuals to purchase a Tesla. However, there’s a probability that the cost of the typical Tesla hardware repair will exceed the money you save on standard vehicle maintenance. Tesla repair expenses, according to RepairPal, are 27-percent higher than those for comparable gas-powered vehicles. According to the same report, the average annual repair cost for a Tesla vehicle is estimated to be $832, compared to $652 for a vehicle on average. Many of the parts for Teslas aren’t as mass-produced as those for far more high-production vehicles, which is why repairs are so pricey. Consider a Tesla Model X windshield, which one owner had to replace for more than $1500. After a family of vehicles has been on the road for a while, third-party providers must invariably fill the need for replacement parts. This hasn’t happened yet since Tesla hasn’t been producing cars long enough. Given a little more time on the market, this issue may somewhat mend itself.

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Here’s How The Models Performed – Best And Worst

A red, a white, and a blue Tesla Tesla

A red, a white, and a blue Tesla lined up with a cityscape in the distance

The Model 3 is one of Tesla’s models with the greatest reliability ratings. The Model 3 has a dependability rating that is comparable to other cars in its class, including those with conventional internal combustion engines. Not to mention, despite the price of maintenance and repairs, it is the only model Consumer Reports actively advises drivers to buy. Tesla’s Model Y has a much lower reliability rating than other vehicles in its class. The Model Y has been recalled four times since it was introduced. These have been connected to difficulties with tire pressure loss, wheel alignment concerns, and issues with the automated emergency braking (AEB) system that might cause the Model Y to abruptly stop in traffic. The Model S is Tesla’s flagship car and stands out from the competition thanks to its practical design and strong performance. The Tesla Model S was formerly highly regarded for dependability. However, in recent years, issues with the electronics, body components, and suspension have decreased its ratings.

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The Final Summation On Tesla cars

Tesla emblem on black Austin Ramsey via Unsplash

Silver Tesla emblem on the back of a black Tesla 

Overall, Teslas don’t have the best reputation for reliability. You’ll also pay a good bit for maintenance and repairs if you purchase a Tesla. The wise move would be to put in plenty of research time before getting your heart set on any particular Tesla model. In spite of its low-reliability ratings, Tesla remains popular among today’s car buyers. It’s also important to note that Tesla’s reliability is projected to improve over the next few years. Electric vehicles are just now taking their place in consumers’ hearts. Once they are well established, the availability of parts, along with the reliability of Tesla vehicles will be on the rise.