More than 18,000 car owners in the UK identified the Tesla Model S as the least reliable car out of 31 brands and 159 model.
Motoring magazine What Car? gave the Tesla Model S a reliability rating of just 50.9%, with owners identifying issues with the car’s electrical systems and bodywork.
The car’s “electric powertrain is proving reliable,” What Car? said, but owners reported bent seat frames, broken door handles, and failures with parking sensors.
What Car? factored in how much cars cost to repair and how long they were off the road for. When it came to the Tesla Model S, “Just over half of the cars were out of action for at least a week and some fixes cost more than £1500,” What Car? reported.
41% of the Tesla Model S cars owned by those who responded to the survey had faults. Of those, 30% had issues with bodywork, 19% had issues with non-engine electrics, and 7% had issues with the interior trim.
Another 4% of these owners identified issues with battery, brakes, steering, and the wheels and tires.
Tesla’s Model S, first released in 2012, was the second car that Tesla ever produced and made waves in the industry, becoming the first car without a combustion engine to win Motor Trend’s Car of the Year award.
While the Model S was placed in What Car?’s electric and hybrid cars category, it received the lowest score out of any car in any category.
It was 16.4 percentage points behind the second least reliable car, the Land Rover Range Rover.
What Car? asked owners about car trouble they had faced in the past 12 months, and ranked cars that were up to four years old.
The overall most reliable car was the Toyota Taris, which was given a reliability score of 100%.
The most reliable electric car, the category that the Tesla Model S is included, was the Nissan Leaf, which was given a score of 99.7%.
Overall, What Car? found “that it is Japanese models that continue to dominate the top of the reliability rankings, both for car model and brand rankings,” according to a statement from Editor Steve Huntingford.
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