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J.D. Power: Tesla Model 3 buyers may not be as tolerant of quality issues as Model S, X owners

Problems associated with Tesla Model S and Model X have little influence on the overt affection owners have for these cars and the brand, according to a new J.D. Power report titled “Tesla: Beyond the Hype.” However, the J.D. Power report suggests, consumers who opt for Tesla’s next model, the Model 3, are expected to be less forgiving of quality issues.

Tesla owners see themselves as pioneers who enjoy being early adopters of new technology. Spending $100,000 or more on a vehicle that has so many problems usually would have a dramatically negative effect on sales and brand perception. Right now, though, Tesla seems immune from such disenchanted customers. When consumers buy a mass-market car priced around $35,000 that will be their primary mode of transportation [the Model 3], the degree of expectation will increase immensely. We’ve seen that with other well-liked brands, whether or not it involves an electric vehicle.”

—Kathleen Rizk, director, global automotive consulting at J.D. Power

“Tesla: Beyond the Hype” is a detailed examination of the brand’s quality issues, based on multiple focus groups of Tesla owners and an in-depth evaluation of Tesla models against competitive vehicles by automotive research experts at J.D. Power.

Historically, small sample size has prevented Tesla from appearing in the annual rankings in both the J.D. Power Initial Quality Study (IQS) and the Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) Study. This report, however, provides clients with directional data that gives greater insight to Tesla vehicle quality and owners’ emotional attachment.


Bernard Harper

The Model 3 has to be a success, so is likely to be the most conservatively engineered of all Teslas. It therefore should be the most reliable Tesla and have high resale values as long as they use their tried and trusted solutions. However, if Tesla choose this model to debut untried technology (new chemistry batteries, advanced super capacitors, compact hub motors etc) then their customers and the brand will suffer the inevitable consequences.

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Musk did a lot of tweeting last night about the Model 3 and the solar roof that they will take orders from in late April and start delivering in the summer.

Musk tweeted a low resolution video of their first release candidate made by production equipment. It looked exactly like previous models apart perhaps from a sharper front end.


Musk said it will feature one screen only for everything infotainment, autopilot, speed etc. So no fancy head up display. The door handles also look more conventional in the video. I do not think they are electric.

Herman the battery will be new for model 3. It will use the new battery packing tech that was introduced in Model X and S with the 100kwh pack. That battery packing tech will also soon replace Tesla’s 60 to 75kwh packs with my guess a 65 to 80 kwh pack for model s and x.

Model s and x still use the 18650 cell in their pack but model 3 will use the new 2170 cell made at the giga factory. That cell is different in form factor and cell chemistry from the 18650 cell. The cell is produced already at the gigafactory for the powerwall 2 and the powerpack 2.

Musk said that the 2170 will also go into the model s and x but not before the start of 2018. The cell is a huge step up from the 18650 with a 30% increase in wh/kg but Musk has also said that 100kwh is enough for the model s that get 335 miles range. So when the 100kwh pack comes with 2170 cells it will just be used to cut weight and cost of that pack.

Musk said the Model 3 will launch like Model S with RWD first and then 9 months later with a dual engine drive and 3 months later with a performance model. He even said the top battery pack for model 3 is 75kwh. I am sure the entry battery pack is a 55kwh and that the model 3 will do 4 miles per kwh so 220 miles range for Model 3 55 and 300 miles for Model 3 75.

Musk also said that the fastest Tesla will still be the Model S until they make a new roadster. The performance version of model 3 will not beat the 2.5 sec to 60mph than model s manages.

Musk has also said that Tesla’s 30,000 employees will get ahead of everybody when ordering the Model 3 so the first few thousands will be for Tesla employees.


Model 3 will be a winner as long as they stay conservative, no fancy door handles nor gull wing doors.

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