Tesla Avoids Dismal Reliability Ranking by Withholding Data, J. D. Power

Fancy automated driving and infotainment technologies in premium cars are punishing the reliability scores in J.D. Power’s latest consumer survey.

Reuters reports that Tesla would have finished fifth from bottom out of 32 brands in the Vehicle Dependability Study rankings with owners citing problems with the Autopilot driver assistance system and the forward collision warning systems, as well as wind noise. However, J.D. Power had to cut Tesla from its league tables because, unsurprisingly considering the brand’s litany of issues, the automaker refuses to share consumer data.

However, Tesla was not alone in providing less consumer confidence over reliability than the average mass-produced vehicles with luxury automakers, offering technology-rich products such as Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, Audi and Acura, also were among those that scored below average for all brands. The survey asked owners about problems with their three-year-old, 2020 model vehicles in the latest survey released this week. The gap in reliability scores between luxury brands and those for mass market brands such as Kia were the widest in the 34 years that J.D. Power has conducted its report, the company said.

Infotainment systems issues, such as problems with wireless Bluetooth phone connections, dragged down scores from vehicle owners of several luxury brands, according to the report. As luxury brands compete to offer more advanced digital content and dashboard features, luxury vehicle owners are finding fault with the infotainment systems at about double the rate as owners of mass-market brands. Toyota’s Lexus brand was once again rated the most dependable brand in the survey. Hyundai’s Genesis and Kia brands finished second and third, respectively.

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in Europe. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_

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