Consumer Reports: Tesla #1 In Service/Repair – Beats Independent Shops & Dealerships


Tesla Service Center

Tesla Service Center

Tesla Motors has proven that its company-owned service centers are more than capable of delivering a repair satisfaction experience well beyond that of new franchised car dealerships and even independent repair shops.

In Consumer Reports’ latest survey of repair satisfaction, Tesla scored top marks:

“Our annual survey of Consumer Reports subscribers found that independents outscored dealership service once again for overall satisfaction, price, quality, courteousness of the staff, and work being completed when promised. With few exceptions, the entire list of independent shops got high marks on those factors. The same couldn’t be said for franchised new-car dealers.”

“The one automaker that outscored the independent shops was the electric carmaker Tesla, which earned high praise for its on-time repairs, courtesy, price, quality, and overall satisfaction.”

“But part of Tesla’s success might be because it’s new to the market, and it has a relatively small number of customers to satisfy compared with the established luxury brands.”

Tesla Highland Park Service Area (via Tony Schaefer)

Tesla Highland Park Service Area (via Tony Schaefer)

It’s not surprisingly that “luxury” brands led the way.  Here’s the rundown of the top scoring brands in repair satisfaction:

  • Tesla
  • Buick
  • Lincoln
  • Cadillac
  • Porsche
  • Acura

Some of the lower scoring brands include (in no specific order):

  • BMW
  • Jaguar
  • Mini
  • Mercedes-Benz

Most of the lower scoring brands were knocked mostly for cost of parts & labor.

*The survey, conducted by the Consumer Reports National Research Center, was based on subscriber satisfaction with repairs on more than 121,000 vehicles—80,000 of which were repaired at franchised dealers and more than 41,000 at independent shops.

Source: Consumer Reports

Categories: Tesla

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25 Comments on "Consumer Reports: Tesla #1 In Service/Repair – Beats Independent Shops & Dealerships"

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The Tesla Service Centers look like annexes to the Factory the vehicles were built at…

And not a drop of oil on the floor.

But the late owners are waiting a month for their drivetrain replacments. That can’t be good for future reports.

“I’m on my second drive unit replacement and looking at a third. Drive unit is droning above 70 MPH and is now starting to exhibit a faint buzzing sound at low power. At high power there is a very high pitched, quite intense buzzing sound that I’ve never heard before. I have been waiting over a month to be scheduled for a repair, I was told there is a shortage of drive units and they are trying to get me a new one versus a remanufactured unit. “

I don’t see the connection to my comment about the pristine look of Tesla’s Service Facilities.

What’s the built date of the vehicle in question? Waiting for a new unit rather than installing a refurb, seems perfectly prudent to me… *shrugs*

I don’t care who you are, replacing a car’s engine is going to take a little time, man!

And while Tesla has had a little more of an issue with that than most automakers, I suspect it’s also because their owners are considerably harder on the drivetrain than even the high-end gassers are. You can make 0-60 in under 3 seconds without even waking the neighbours at 3 am, so there’s even less incentive to *not* do so.

Cost of parts is something to consider. Right now most Teslas are still under warranty. So I’m not sure what the cost of parts/labor will be for them.

In consideration of my next car being either a 2016 Volt or a BMW i3 Rex, I’m somewhat leaning towards the Volt simply because I am afraid of being stuck with a car that costs a fortune to replace any little part that might break once it is out of warranty.

+1 I love me some EV goodness, but the parts production scale/costs are just not there yet to keep the car for much longer than the life of the warranty on it. The new BOLT and Tesla Model III will hopefully change all this.

Has anyone tried to by a battery for the SmartEV? The battery costs as much as the car.

I’m in the same boat. I wish the i3 had the same battery pack capacity as the B Class ED – that would have been perfect.

It makes sense since it has fewer moving parts thus less things need repair thus higher chance of customer satisfaction.

No surprise that European cars(dealers) scored low.

It is common knowledge that taking a vehicle to be repaired at a franchised dealership is considered a rip off, and independent shops are not much better. That’s one reason that if you find someone who can fix your vehicle for a reasonable price and does a good job it is like finding gold. Also those guys would not exist if other shops did not cheat you. Another black mark for franchise repair and another gold star for Tesla. Changing the car industry one vehicle at a time.

“Tesla Motors has proven that its independently-owned service centers are more than capable of delivering a repair satisfaction experience well beyond that of new franchised car dealerships and even independent repair shops.”

I thought Tesla service centers were company owned and not independently owned.

Yes, they are company-owned. Independently-owned was poor wording on my behalf. Owned independently by Tesla. Company-owned works better. Sorry ’bout that.

But overall, Eric, I have noticed much better overall grammar and spelling in InsideEVs articles, starting a few weeks ago. I’m guessing you hired someone to copy-edit your articles?

Anyway, for whatever reason, congratulations on making InsideEVs a more professional publishing site.

Like most people here who are long-time car owners, I’ve had at least my fair share of bad experiences with car dealers in both sales and service. (My worst service incident was a blatant “wall job” — a dealer charged me several hundred dollars for suspension work on a minivan, and I had to take the vehicle somewhere else for unrelated work, and the second place took me into the service bay and showed me that the dealer hadn’t touched a thing. You can’t imagine the conversation (read: screaming match) I had with the dealer that afternoon.)

I’m not surprised by the Tesla results, although it will be interesting to see how things evolve once many of their cars are out of warranty, as someone else pointed out above. My guess is they’ll still come out very well in rankings.

Several reports about excessively high prices for small accident scratches tell a different story.

But those excessive repair costs for small scratches were from INDEPENDANT Body Shops, not Tesla.

Yeah, that’s true… A rock hit my windshield, and since I didn’t want to pay for glass coverage (normally cheap) for an ‘Exotic’ (precise insurance co. term) car, I had to swallow it myself. Tesla’s was going to be around $1,900 so I bought the windshield from them, had it delivered when my car was coming back for something else, for $900 and got it installed for $131. So I saved $869 (almost 1/2) by taking care of it myself. ON my Roadster I was concerned about your point prior to purchase, but I figured if the major stuff can keep working, then I could take care of the little things myself whether it was Tesla approved or not. The big thing that is troublesome in my head about the model S is the ‘droneing gearbox’.. Obviously a design flaw and is very undersized. I took a look at the thing at the Toronto Galery and I was the killjoy of the party asking the salesman “You mean to tell me they’re gonna get 350 horsepower through those tiny gears?”, as well as looking at the Nema 14-50 connector’s button attachment which violates Nema standards of current density… If you… Read more »

When it is free, it’s all good. Wait till the warranty expires.
No wonder the body repairs are outsourced. If those expensive repairs are included, it will be a different story.

The Tesla car service experiance seems to be superior – which is actually not a suprise … Bad service reputation will directly impact their business – same boss would kick some service dude’s bottom for crap service. Not happenig for the oldshool OEM/Dealership model – this is an area of improvement for sure

I wonder what percentage of Tesla owners pay for the annual $600 inspection. I’ve pasted Tesla’s info about that below. To check wheels and wipers, $600 seems a little steep to me. I don’t see how such simple stuff could require almost 10 hours of labor. And I thought their software updates could be done remotely.

Any thoughts?

Tesla recommends that you bring your Model S to a service center for an inspection every year or 12,500 miles, whichever comes first.

Unlike gasoline cars, Model S requires no oil changes, fuel filter or spark plug replacements, or smog checks. As an electric car, even brake pad replacements are rare because most braking energy is regeneratively captured by the motor and returned to the battery. Our inspection instead focuses on tire condition and alignment, replacement parts like windshield wiper blades, and upgrades to Model S software.

Remember, the $600 annual maintenance prepay is Optional. Good to have choices I say.

The $600 is not prepay, that’s the pay-as-you-go price, and I know it’s now optional (after the original griping when it wasn’t). I’m trying to understand the value of that cost. Any grease-monkey can check wipers and wheels, plus such problems are obvious anyway. “Yeah, your car looks fine. That will be $600. Thanks.” What am I missing? Does a Tesla service center inspection include a day of free food, booze, and strippers? Dinner with Elon? A ride in his jet? If not, their $600 inspection fee seems a bit high to me.

My Volt is probably more complicated than a Model S, yet GM does not recommend $600 yearly inspections. I bring my Volt in for service when I think there’s a problem, then they inspect it and fix it under warranty for free.

Note that I’m a Tesla fan and stock holder, so I hope this doesn’t sound like I’m griping. I actually hope to own one of their cars some day,

It is tough to square the “EVs have much lower maintenance costs” argument with the fact that Tesla’s service plan costs just as much as the Euro luxury ICEmakers.

Yes agree…

Telsa from downloading updates
to refreshing sales and SERVICE models

NO WONDER they are No1.

The top 4 scoring brands are all American makes.

Good to see. Let’s keep it going!