The Biggest Tesla Complaints

There’s no denying that Tesla has become one of the most popular automotive brands in the country. Its cars are sleek. The tech is cool. And owning one means that you won’t be stopping to refuel at the pump anytime soon. But as enticing as all of that may be, Tesla does have some issues to contend with.  

Two Tesla models in front of a building
Two Tesla models | Spencer Platt/Getty Images

A Tesla mechanic can be hard to come by

Owners will tell you that finding a Tesla-approved mechanic can be quite a challenge. The automaker doesn’t have Body Repair Centers in all states, meaning that if you own a Tesla and need damage repaired after a car crash, you’re probably going to have to drive several hours to a Body Repair Center. Live far enough away, and you may even have to have your car shipped to the Body Repair Center

The good news is that the brand does have a network of approved body shops. However, the bad news is that if you live in as rural of an area as I do, even a Tesla-approved body shop might be hours away from you. As someone who lives in upstate New York, I was surprised to find that the closest Tesla-approved mechanic to me is actually located across the border in Canada. 

Employees work at the Tesla Gigafactory in Shanghai, east China, Nov. 20, 2020. U.S. electric car company Tesla
The Tesla Model 3 | Xinhua/Ding Ting via Getty Images

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Charging a Tesla can be problematic

Keeping your Tesla fully charged can make for an arduous task. All models come standard with a NEMA 5-15 charger, which can be plugged into any standard 120-volt outlet. While that does sound convenient, Solar Reviews reports that this particular charger will add only 3 miles of range per hour of charging, making it the slowest way to charge a Tesla.

Some owners do choose to use a Supercharger instead. These chargers can recharge the vehicle’s battery up to 80% in just about 40 minutes, which does sound impressive. Unfortunately, according to Solar Reviews, using this type of charger can put stress on the vehicle’s battery.

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Build quality isn’t always the best

Tesla has experienced a handful of recalls in the last few months. Some Model 3 owners have also reported their windows spontaneously shattering after taking delivery of their car. Inside EVs reports that the issue could be attributed to assembly mistakes with the Model 3’s subframes. 

Unfortunately, this type of issue is pretty on par with Tesla’s build quality. This past summer, J.D. Power announced the results of its Initial Quality Study. Unfortunately for the automaker, it didn’t do so hot. In fact, according to J.D. Power, it found itself at the very bottom of its list. According to the study, Tesla models suffered 250 problems per 100 vehicles. Compare that to the industry average of 166 problems, and yeah. Tesla’s build quality isn’t always the best.

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Should you avoid buying a Tesla?

Maybe, maybe not. While Tesla does have some issues to contend with, most owners are pretty happy with their purchase. In fact, according to Consumer Reports, all Tesla models have scored a five out of five owner satisfaction rating for 2021. That shouldn’t be much of a surprise though. As it turns out, Consumer Reports has given most models a four or five out of five owner satisfaction rating. So, while the brand certainly has some complaints to deal with, there’s a good chance you’ll still be happy with your purchase if you end up buying one.