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How Reliable are Tesla Cars?

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Tesla has a fairly spotty record when it comes to reliability, but you will want to know the details before making a decision. These cars have garnered a lot of attention all over the world, but they are far from perfect. You don’t want to buy any vehicle before doing your homework. This will help you get a better sense as to which ones are worth seriously considering.

Reliability Ratings

A reliability survey from Consumer Reports ranked Tesla 23 out of 30 different major car manufacturers. It came in with a total score of 39, which is more than a little bit perturbing. In fact, only 67% of Tesla’s offerings were recommended.

This survey consisted of various Tesla owners who were asked to answer questions about various problems with these vehicles. These problems were broken down into 17 sections. The survey included over 400,000 cars, of which only 4,000 were Teslas.

Innovative Technology

Tesla has established quite a reputation for itself, especially in the last several years. This company is known for making some of the most innovative vehicles in the world. It uses state-of-the-art technology and employs some very smart people (we’re looking at you Elon Musk).

The technology and overall engineering of a vehicle is a huge contributing factor in how reliable it is as a whole. While Teslas seem to have their fair share of problems, there is no denying that they are doing things no other company is, at least on the same level.

Tesla Model 3

The Tesla Model 3 scored a four and a half out of five star consumer rating, according to Edmunds. This particular model is one of Tesla’s more affordable offerings, though it is a bit bare bones compared to its other cars. The Model 3 does not have a touchscreen interface, which is a bit strange to see these days. It is, however, considered to be generally reliable by consumers.

Model S

The Model S is another vehicle from Tesla, but it doesn’t have quite the sterling reputation of the Model 3. This car has a three and a half out of five star consumer rating on Edmunds’ website. While this isn’t the best score in the world, it is also far from the worst. It has a nice sleek design but is definitely on the expensive side. Unless you have at least 75k to spend on a new car, this one probably isn’t in your price range.

Model X

The 2019 Tesla Model X has a 7.6 out of 10 Edmunds rating. While it does have quite an impressive electric range and quiet engine, it doesn’t offer the smoothest ride. One of the biggest complaints with this particular vehicle is that it is fairly rough in general. There is also the expansive windshield, which means a lot of sunlight flooding in during the day. This is definitely not one of Tesla’s highest ranked vehicles. With a price tag of at least $81k, it is not intended for middleclass consumers.

Common Problems with Teslas

There are definitely some problems associated with various Tesla cars that you need to be aware of before buying any of them. These issues vary from pretty minor to incredibly serious.

Power Steering Issues

Tesla might be known for its innovative engineering, but this manufacturer still seems to have problems with power steering. A number of Tesla owners have complained about having these issues after just 30,000 miles. The steering wheel in some of these cars is known for locking up when in mid-turn, which can be dangerous to say the least. If you ever experience this problem, you’ll need to get it fixed immediately.

Low Quality Backup Camera

The backup camera on the Model 3 is not the best. There have been lots of complaints from these owners, stating that it is very blurry. This can inhibit your ability to see behind you clearly when backing up from your driving way or a parking spot.


Another big issue with Teslas is rust. While all cars are prone to rust, the Model 3 and some others from this company are known for being particularly bad. Rust can quickly become a major problem, affecting the overall drivability of the vehicle. Despite what some people seem to believe, this is not a purely aesthetic issue.

Problems with the Paint

Even the paintjob on some Teslas can be problematic. Some people who own these vehicles say that the paint gets scratched rather easily. It is not cheap to have any car painted, even if it is only a few small spots. The last thing you want is to be constantly paying for touchups to your car’s paintjob.


Touchscreen Malfunction

It is not uncommon for the touch screens in Teslas to act up in a number of ways. These screens sometimes freeze up or don’t work properly. Considering how much these vehicles cost, you wouldn’t think this would be such a big issue. While the electronics in general don’t seem to be too bad with these cars, the touchscreen is a different story.

Locked Out

It seems as though some Tesla owners have grown accustomed to getting locked out of their own cars. The Model 3 in particular has an issue with locking out its owners. This can be frustrating to say the least, especially when you are trying to get to work in the morning.

Final Thoughts

While Tesla might not offer the most reliable vehicles in the world, they certainly have a lot to offer consumers. Most of this company’s models cost at least $75,000, so they definitely aren’t affordable for everyone. If you are looking for a car that will stand the test of time, you might want to think twice about getting a Tesla. There is a strong possibility that this company’s reputation will improve in the coming years. For now though, it is a good idea to stick with car companies that are a bit more tried and true.

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