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Tesla got the worst score in the J.D. Power Initial Quality Survey

Discussion in 'Model 3' started by GZDongles, Jun 25, 2020.

  1. GZDongles

    GZDongles Member

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    Press release link

    Tesla scored an industry worst 250 issues per 100 vehicles. The best OEMs scored ~130.

    I knew quality was an issue, but I'm honestly surprised Tesla is so much worse than peers. The grouping of other automakers is fairly tight, but Tesla is a clear outlier. I just picked up my Model 3 LR AWD a few weeks ago, and there were no issues.

    I think poor initial quality is a self reinforcing problem. Because of Tesla's reputation for poor quality, I took a 3 page checklist to my delivery appointment and spent 30 minutes going over the car in detail. I wouldn't have bothered doing that with any other manufacturer with a better reputation. So, poor quality scores lead us to be more observant, which leads to more quality issues reported, etc.

    What can be done about this? I feel that this is where the lack of a dealership model with proper incentives is biting Tesla. Delivery centers need to be judged on the number of reported customer issues (with actual financial rewards/consequences for performance). This will incentivize delivery centers to do a better job inspecting and correcting cars before delivery.

    Tesla's end of quarter push is also crazy and unproductive. Things get missed in the end of quarter rush, and the employees are unevenly utilized. The company is mature enough that they need to get out of the "startup" mentality where they need to prove themselves every quarter in the same way that they did when they were a young public company. Investors at this point want sustained growth and measurable improvements in cash flow, margins, and quality, not these massive disruptive ebbs and flows.

    Any other thoughts on ways for Tesla to improve quality?
     
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  2. Gasaraki

    Gasaraki Member

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    Instead of doing what GM does, fixing problems after the vehicle leaves the line or factory, they need to what Toyota does. Fix the issues on the line before it leaves the factory. Having mobile repair or service centers try to fix issues after the fact is wasteful (costwise) and unsustainable.

    They don't want to do this because it slows down output and they can't bump quarterly numbers. They need more service centers and more factories. They need more authorized third party repair shops.
     
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  3. Kevy Baby

    Kevy Baby Dis-Member

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    Certainly not trying to defend Tesla here, but I take the ranking with a huge grain of salt when I read that Tesla was not measured the same as every other car:

     
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  4. Joshan

    Joshan Member

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    Before I bought my Tesla I had read forums with people complaining about so many things that I also brought a 3 page checklist to the purchase. Every single item was perfectly fine.

    I have since used that checklist on 2 other ICE cars we bought. Both cars had numerous issues on the list.

    at 18 months on my M3 now and could not love it more. It has never seen a service center except for the HW3 upgrade.
     
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  5. HyperionMark

    HyperionMark Member

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    Also, any little glitch in autopilot or any of the rest of the software package is counted as a problem. Would love to see one of the Tesla podcasters or YouTubers really dive into this. I think there is more than meets the eye. (probably doesn't help that Elon has railed against JD Power in the past)
     
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  6. GZDongles

    GZDongles Member

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    It seems that both of our good experiences were outliers :)
     
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  7. XLR82XS

    XLR82XS D M C

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    Get out of CA and get a grip on QC. J.D. is skewed showing Volvo and Porsche low on the list. I owned a 2006 Volvo - great quality car. I own 2 Porsches and have owned Porsches for years - new and over a decade old. The HIGHEST quality cars I have experienced both when new and when old.

    I got a J.D. survey for my 2020 Model 3. I reported honestly and only have 1 issue that is still present: the common front end/axle click. We all know Tesla post-sale service is lacking and hopefully improving rapidly.
     
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  8. GZDongles

    GZDongles Member

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    That's only true if the glitch is severe enough that the owner feels the need to report it on the JD Power survey. Also, that's true for every other car too. Just because my Telsa has the biggest screen doesn't mean no other cars have software or software issues. Also, software issues are a valid part of the initial quality experience for a customer, so of course they should be counted.
     
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  9. HyperionMark

    HyperionMark Member

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    Definitely agree. But Tesla operates differently than others. They aren't afraid to push software out when it isn't perfect. That is hopefully mentioned in all these articles.
     
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  10. GZDongles

    GZDongles Member

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    I have a hard time believing that "California" is to blame for anything other than the paint. On that point, that's the way the world is heading with restrictions on chemical usage. I can't believe that California is any more restrictive than Europe. Other than paint, I would wager that employee productivity in California is at least as good as in my hometown of Detroit. The Big 3 are doing okay quality wise with terrible management/employee relations and the UAW not exactly invested in improving efficiency.
     
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  11. Gasaraki

    Gasaraki Member

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    That sound like Tesla is trying to hide the data.
     
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  12. XLR82XS

    XLR82XS D M C

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    Paint for sure. I'm from Detroit and my father was a high-level exec with one of the Big 3 decades ago. FCA and GM are not doing ok quality wise for a while. I loved Detroit iron -- just nothing past ~1970 model year.
     
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  13. jjrandorin

    jjrandorin Another BMW convert

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    #13 jjrandorin, Jun 25, 2020
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2020
    I ususally dont comment on these type threads because they tend to turn into #!$Q% mud slinging contests between people who feel wronedg by tesla, and people who feel tesla can do no wrong, and the answer is always in the middle.

    With that being said, in this case, its my personal opinion that tesla has made a calculated decision that "good enough, is good enough, because better than good enough costs more money than we have to spend right now".

    Initial quality will get better for tesla when other manufacturers produce a product that competes directly with tesla that people want to buy, and tesla is forced to up the quality by slowing down production (to spend more time on QC ing the cars) or, has enough money to higher more people to do so.

    I believe they know exactly what they need to do, they just feel that they dont have the money to do so, and dont NEED to do so because the cars still sell. They had to prioritize company survival over "making sure each car has absolutely zero paint issues" for example.

    TL ; DR .... Initial quality will get better when they have the money to spend on additional QC people that are needed to get this done, and they wont do this until they are forced to by the marketplace, or are flush with cash.
     
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  14. Az_Rael

    Az_Rael Supporting Member

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    I agree, this is what they are doing, however, I wonder if they will be able to recover once they do get competition. A reputation for poor quality takes a long time to fix with consumers even after you have improved your quality. You might have to go overboard to prove to consumers you are worth the risk like Hyundai did back in the late 90s with the 10 year warranties to win back customers. Took them years to regain the sales lost.
     
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  15. Joshan

    Joshan Member

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    I am so confused about the "poor quality" remarks. Are people really more worried if the hood is .0001 farther to the left than the right? To me "quality" means how reliably it gets me to where I am going without any issues or surprises and how often it needs service.

    Thus far it is the highest "quaity" car I have ever owned. I have owned Porsche Boxster and currently also own an Acura RDX. They both required repairs and towing...
     
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  16. GZDongles

    GZDongles Member

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    Yeah, I should have said "they are doing surprisingly well given the state of employee/employer relations".
     
  17. GZDongles

    GZDongles Member

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    I think the real problem is extreme variability from one customer to the other, which points to the lack of a standard processes and differences in how much effort delivery centers put into correcting issues before the customer sees them. As I mentioned, my car and delivery experience were perfect. I'm still within the three month window of "initial" quality, so something may come up in the next few months I suppose. But I saw pictures of a Model 3 in another thread from last week that should not have made it out of the factory, much less been allowed to be given to a customer from a delivery center. We can all have our personal anecdotes about how the cars are good or bad, but we have hard data now on quality, and it shows Tesla is the worst manufacturer for initial quality issues. There are some valid points about software or other things skewing the results, but there is no way that is accounting for the majority of the quality issues.

    Like everything else in life, it comes down to processes and incentives. Delivery center employees have no commissions, and no monetary incentives to do anything other than deliver as many cars as possible. That was the right choice to make in 2017 and 2018 when Tesla was struggling to prove they could survive the ramp up, but incentives and processes need to evolve and mature as companies grow, and that has been Tesla's biggest failure to date. A $20B+ company cannot run on a cult of personality where the CEO's emails telling the team to work extra hard at the end of each quarter are the driving force. A simple way to do this is to have a nominal quarterly bonus based on the number of deliveries that do not require substantial rework. That way, employees get incentivized to increase deliveries as much as possible while preserving quality. I'm sure there are dozens of other schemes that would work as well or better, but the point is AFAIK there are no significant incentives today tied to that type of performance. In a factory and delivery setting, you need a combination of collective rewards/collective punishments and individual rewards. That gives employees a sense of personal responsibility while also pushing them to hold each other accountable for mistakes.
     
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  18. LionXng

    LionXng Member

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    I had 5 issues with my car. I totally believe the score.

    I don't understand why the factory can't catch the problems. A team of inspectors should be able to find the same things that I found. They should fix it there AND instruct the factory team about the mistake they made. I think that part is critical because it ships across the country and the same guy just keeps on making the same mistakes. Whether it is cheaper to fix at the factory or service center is debatable (but IMO the factory) but if you stop making the mistakes that is undeniably cheaper.
     
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  19. Runt8

    Runt8 Active Member

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    I've never really had a reason to care about JDP until this report came out, but any quality ranking list that puts Dodge at the top and manufacturers like Toyota and Honda near the middle (not to mention boutique and luxury imports near the bottom) definitely rings my WTF bell.

    While I'm definitely not denying that Tesla has quality control issues, all of the issues I know about have come from reading Tesla forums (which have the squeaky wheel problem) or media reports (who love negative reporting on Tesla). Anecdotally, my Model 3 has been almost perfect, and the same goes for everyone I personally know who owns a Tesla. To me, the more important ranking is Consumer Reports Customer Satisfaction ranking.

    Also, any survey that ranks powertrain issues the same as "I had trouble connecting my phone over Bluetooth" doesn't merit a whole lot of attention. And the obligatory XKCD:
    [​IMG]

    I've also seen comments from people who say that certain domestic dealerships are giving incentives to buyers who fill out the survey with perfect scores. I guess when you're paying for the privilege of advertising your award you want to get you money's worth. I don't know if this is a widespread issue but I have a hard time believing a single dealership would decide to give out free oil changes in the hope of improving the entire companies ranking. </ConspiracyTheory>
     
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  20. jkdman123

    jkdman123 Member

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    Well said. 100% agree.
     
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