EVs less reliable than conventional cars: Consumer Reports [Lauren Sforze | 11/29/23 | The Hill]

The annual car reliability survey by Consumer Reports found EVs are 79 percent more likely to have problems than conventional cars. Consumers reported electric drive motors, charging and EV batteries had the most common issues associated with EVs, according to the survey.

Jake Fisher, senior director of auto testing at Consumer Reports, noted that there may be “growing pains” among EVs because they are based on new technology or are being manufactured by new upstart companies, such as Rivian. He said companies “need some time to work out the bugs,” according to the magazine.

Plug-in hybrids are more likely to have more issues than gas-powered cars, EVs and hybrid vehicles. The survey said that plug-in hybrids have 146 percent more problems than gas-powered cars.

nomecks ,

My Japanese EV is as reliable as any other Japaneae car I’ve owned.

ExfilBravo ,

Something that just came out and is technologically more advanced isn’t as reliable as the “gas go bang car go fast” version that’s been around longer than we have been alive? I’m shocked! /s

Nollij ,

I had to do some serious digging on this. They previously listed the Chevy Bolt as expected to have good (not excellent) reliability in terms of batteries and motors. A few years later, reviewing their ratings for those same years, it dropped to very bad.

Once I filtered out the noise (and trust me, there was a lot), it seemed that they were counting recalls as failures. And to be clear, the Bolt had a very significant battery recall that drove most of this. But being a recall, these were all covered for free, and most of the repairs were done before failure (as parts became available).

While these were technically failures, they are not the type of data that people generally look for. I want to know how likely I’m going to be stuck with a repair bill (especially a big one), and how often I’m likely to be going in for service. Neither of which is covered by this data.

madcaesar ,

Look I’m all for EVs, but massive recalls absolutely should count as failures. Them covering it just means the company isn’t pure trash.

Nollij ,

It’s a valid point of view, but I don’t think that’s what most people use these reliability ratings for. At least for me personally, I use it as a way to gauge the likelihood of future failures. At least in the past, CR has explicitly stated this as part of their methodology. I don’t think the recall is indicative of future issues.

dogslayeggs ,

I really want to see the data behind this, because it just doesn’t ring true based on my own experience with multiple EVs and a lot of friends who have EVs. Maybe 79% more likely to “have problems” if you are including things like broken plastic or chipped paint or bad design recalls (which I see of as different from buying a vehicle that has a maintenance/repair problem). It’s not shocking that there are fewer recalls on 100 year old technology than 20 year old technology, but it is shocking that there are more serious problems on something with 1000 fewer moving parts.

Illuminostro ,

“The Hill Reliably Panders To Big Business: Electric Bad, Oil Good. Invest Today!”

jimmydoreisalefty OP ,

While the survey found that electric vehicles are still less reliable than gas-powered vehicles, Consumer Reports recommended Tesla’s Model 3 and Model Y for those interested in purchasing an electric car. Steven Elek, who heads the auto data analytics program at Consumer Reports, said Tesla’s components are “generally reliable,” according to the magazine.

However, Elek added that Tesla still struggles with the build quality of its electric cars.

Illuminostro ,

“Electric cars are not reliable, but if you’re stupid enough to buy one, buy a Starkmobile to support the myth of The Benevolent Billionaire.”

Got it.

Rusticus ,

Lol. Consumer Reports, the “good old boy” for the fossil fuel industry. What idiot would ever believe a machine with less than 20 moving parts would be somehow “less reliable” than a machine with 2000 moving parts? Sure, panel gaps (Tesla) are the same thing as GM ignition switch faults. Imagine what the MSM would say if Tesla cars killed a hundred people lol.

jimmydoreisalefty OP ,

I would say the Right To Repair should also be on peoples mind when looking at cars.

Reminds me of Apple and how they try to control the repair market to keep profits high and screw consumers.

CaptainPedantic ,

So you’re just going to ignore data that says something opposite to your preconceived notions about how stuff works? In that case, I’ve brought you a nice box of sand for your head.

It is surprising that EVs are not as reliable as one would expect, but then again, we have way more experience building internal combustion engines than we do EV components.

Consumer Reports publishes their methodology for collecting this reliability data. It’s not difficult to find. It’s not a black box.

I’m in the market for a new EV, so I checked out Consumer Reports reliability data for the models I was looking at. They break it down based on 20 areas (engine, electronics, infotainment, build quality, etc.) and provide reliability for each of those areas. And those areas are not weighted the same. Most of the reliability issues with the EVs I looked at are with electronics (presumably charger related) and drive train issues.

But despite that, CR still recommends a number of EVs, even ones with meh reliability. Fossil fuel good ol’ boys my ass.

snowe ,
@snowe@programming.dev avatar

Many other studies have said the opposite of what CR says, so not sure it’s worth what it looks like. They’re also considering non-dangerous recalls as a failure, for example the slow acceleration in eco mode on the Hyundai Ioniq 5 (which I considered a fantastic feature) would be a “problem” under the consumer reports methodology.

Tesla was considered absolute bottom of the pack in a Which? report autonoid.com/which-ev-owners-survey-ranks-tesla-b… and businessinsider.com/tesla-least-reliable-ev-brand…, with 2/5ths of Teslas having major problems and 1 in 20 failing to start! How in the world did CR get the complete opposite data and actually recommend a car that could fail to start.

Clearly there’s something wrong with how all of these reliability surveys are occurring, if they’re getting completely opposite data.

tesla 3rd from bottom in reliability while Kia and Hyundai are at the top

What is very clear from looking at all these surveys is that American brands are absolutely terrible for reliability. Every single one of the surveys ranks American cars far below European or Asian cars, with many incredibly dangerous recalls for things like failure to start, losing power while driving, airbags failing to deploy or deploying at the wrong time (like when a child is in the seat), loose subframe bolts, and tesla has had so many that it’s not even worth sourcing them at this point. just go look up all the dangerous tesla recalls.

OhmsLawn ,

I looked through the article and didn’t see, but I imagine this includes all of the battery recalls. As serious as those are, I don’t see them as reliability issues, so much as product defects.

drdabbles ,
@drdabbles@lemmy.world avatar

One brand brings the average down. Can anybody guess which one? 🤔

gamermanh ,

electric drive motors, charging and EV batteries had the most issues

Does “an issue charging” include the broken machines? If so that’s not an issue with the EV, that’s an issue with the charger. That’d be like including every downed nozzle someone drove to in an ICE vehicle as an issue as well

snowe ,
@snowe@programming.dev avatar

Or it’s because Tesla is like 60% of the market and their quality is absolute shit. insideevs.com/…/tesla-60-percent-ev-market-share-…

SeaJ ,

That was my assumption. They have issues with batteries dying from heavy rain because they suck at fitting things together properly. Their manufacturing tolerances are way too high.

cosmic_slate , (edited )
@cosmic_slate@dmv.social avatar

The quality is fine now. I wouldn’t say the interior is deserving of the price tag but meh, I moved up from a Camry. Any issue I’ve had so far that I’d say has been annoying has been patched by a software update. My car even got rear ended back in July and there hasn’t been anything creaky/shaky/etc after the back hatch, rear fenders, and bumper was replaced, which is shocking to me since getting rear ended would typically cause a nightmare of cascading issues in other vehicles. Mine also hits its 2 year mark in a couple weeks.

If you look at the CR report, CR places Tesla right in the middle of the pack so “absolute shit” is an inaccurate exaggeration.

snowe ,
@snowe@programming.dev avatar

CR is the only one placing Tesla that high. Other surveys have placed tesla almost dead last in reliability, with a Which? survey stating that 1/20 teslas have problems failing to start and 2/5ths having major problems otherwise. I literally haven’t seen a single other survey besides CR placing Tesla that ‘high’ (is middle of the pack good now?), and it’s pretty apparent it’s because they consider anything the respondent tells them as a failure as an actual failure, even if it’s just a feature that the person doesn’t like. For example, the slow acceleration in Eco mode on the Ioniq 5 (which I absolutely love, and is perfect for luxury driving) was complained about so much that Hyundai was forced to release a TSB to ‘fix’ it, even though those users could have just used a different mode and gotten the results they desired. That counts as a ‘problem’ to CR. Clearly that’s not what a problem is. A problem is things like the seatbelts not working or the steering wheels falling off

cosmic_slate ,
@cosmic_slate@dmv.social avatar

I agree that the acceleration thing shouldn’t be classified as a problem, but I think you should familiarize yourself with the scope of vehicle recalls because those are comparatively minor defects based on number of affected vehicles. While any number above 0 for safety defects is seriously concerning, overall, Tesla hasn’t been bad despite the blog posts otherwise.

Recalls are typically given to a large range of potentially affected vehicles and assessed with the actual realistic number that might have an issue. A lot of times this will be a low percentage of a batch of affected units. Any number of recalls for safety-critical issues that is above zero is terrible, but most vehicles have safety issues of varying risk, and the risk varies based on circumstance.

For the seatbelt incident, the recall report estimates ~158 vehicles being impacted of a pool of 15869. For the steering wheel issue, the recall report indicates that 13 vehicles, of a pool of 137 are affected. But if you look at the design of the steering wheel, the bolt is not the only instrument passing control from the wheel to the column, so at least you can pull over. As far as steering safety recalls go, this is dangerously embarrassing that they didn’t attach a bolt but you can maintain control of the vehicle by pushing the wheel forward.

For fun, let’s take a look at a 2018 F-150 (pick any car at least a couple years old, I just know Ford’s been in the news for big recalls lately). While the F-150 is among the most-sold vehicles, even if it outsold Teslas 100:1, Ford’s numbers get… concerning.

But if we’re using these numbers as the bar for dangerous behavior, consider the handful of vehicles that forced Hyundai and Kia to do a recall on most of their eGMP EVs to fix an issue where a voltage fluctuation can make the car roll away when parked (~107 vehicles for Hyundai) and ~90 for Kia, with an ongoing investigation of 30 reports of sudden power loss which can also be dangerous if you’re travelling at highway speeds. There are a potential 39,557 vehicles impacted (though I’d guess if this becomes a recall, it’ll get narrowed down to 1-2% with an actual risk).

jordanlund ,
@jordanlund@lemmy.world avatar


“Consumer Reports recommended Tesla’s Model 3 and Model Y for those interested in purchasing an electric car. Steven Elek, who heads the auto data analytics program at Consumer Reports, said Tesla’s components are “generally reliable,” according to the magazine.

However, Elek added that Tesla still struggles with the build quality of its electric cars.”

AbidanYre ,

The same Tesla that didn’t know why automotive grade parts exist?

jimmydoreisalefty OP ,

Thank you!

GuyDudeman ,
@GuyDudeman@lemmy.world avatar

My Chevy Bolt has been solid as a rock, and anything that was “wrong” with it has been fixed under warranty.

zib ,
@zib@kbin.social avatar

That was my thinking. A friend of mine has had a Polestar 2 for about a year now and absolutely loves it. Hasn't had a single problem with it. Like with conventional vehicles, some brands are just shit for quality and others are great.

dpkonofa ,

To play devil’s advocate, I bought a Model 3 in 2017 and have had 0 issues with it also and it has none of the fit-and-finish issues that newer ones have.

Arcturus ,
@Arcturus@kbin.social avatar

The Chinese built ones that supply Asia and Australasia are almost faultless as well. My one is an earlier model, US-built, and you can definitely tell the quality difference even with the early models that came from China.

Bell ,

Seconded, mine is a 2018 and has had only one problem. Best car I’ve ever owned.

dpkonofa ,

Kinda hate to say it but… same. The stereo is my favorite part and it’s the best stereo I’ve ever heard in a car. It’s incredible.

clay_pidgin ,

What makes the stereo great? Good speakers, a nice interface?

dpkonofa ,

Great speakers that are incredibly well-tuned and balanced with power that gets them right up to the limit without clipping. Granted, these were the premium speakers installed with the first models so I don’t know if they’re still available but they are the best sounding audio system I’ve ever heard in a car.

halcyoncmdr ,

Same here. No panel gaps or fit and finish issues on mine from Sep 2018. And it’s not like there was a lack of reported issues from that time either.

Mr_Blott ,

That’s not devil’s advocate though, that’s two exceptions to a rule

Even over in Europe, Tesla ranks at the bottom for build quality and reliability in almost every metric, for ALL types of vehicles

You have to be pretty bad to be as unreliable as a Land Rover Discovery, but they’ve somehow managed

jimmydoreisalefty OP ,

Right to repair is also not helping EV market.

  • All
  • Subscribed
  • Moderated
  • Favorites
  • news@lemmy.world
  • kamenrider
  • Lexington
  • cragsand
  • WarhammerFantasy
  • itdept
  • mead
  • RetroGamingNetwork
  • bjj
  • xyz
  • PowerRangers
  • AnarchoCapitalism
  • WatchParties
  • brutaldeathmetal
  • pixo
  • electropalaeography
  • Rutgers
  • AgeRegression
  • slaythespire
  • Teensy
  • neondivide
  • learnviet
  • mauerstrassenwetten
  • loren
  • steinbach
  • MidnightClan
  • jeremy
  • space_engine
  • artificial
  • All magazines