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The Tesla Model Y has taken the electric vehicle world by storm. Since its 2020 debut, this EV has become one of the top-selling vehicles in its class. Although the Model Y is popular, it has lower reliability scores than many other EVs in its class. What causes this luxury electric SUV to rank so low?

Does the Tesla Model Y reliability score relate to its recalls?

Red 2023 Tesla Model Y with mountains in background
2023 Tesla Model Y | Tesla

The 2023 Tesla Model Y has a reliability score of 73/100 from J.D. Power. The market research firm considers a rating of 70 to 80 “average.” So the Model Y’s 73 is only four points from the lowest range of “fair.”

J.D. Power says its quality and reliability scores measure the level of defects, malfunctions, and design flaws that car owners experience. That encompasses the entire vehicle, from the powertrain to the infotainment system. A higher rating indicates fewer issues.

Since Tesla introduced its electric compact SUV, it has been involved in 23 recalls reported to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The 2023 model year alone has seven recalls. The issues affect various model years, but Tesla has addressed all of them.

Why is the Tesla Model Y reliability rating low despite no reported problems?

The automotive repair and maintenance site RepairPal doesn’t show any owner-reported problems for the Tesla Model Y. Shouldn’t that fact put this electric SUV ahead of the rest? It could, except RepairPal collects data for issues that owners pay to fix. So far, most Tesla Model Y SUVs are still under warranty, which means RepairPal doesn’t have any data for this electric SUV yet.

Is this Tesla SUV the subject of too many recalls?

A gray 2023 Tesla Model Y small electric SUV is parked by the water.
2023 Tesla Model Y | Tesla

You might think 23 recalls is too many, but you must consider a few factors.

First, new vehicles, especially those from Tesla, are tech-heavy, and many of the recalls aren’t for anything more severe than a simple programming error. Several Model Y recalls reported to the NHTSA are addressed by a simple over-the-air update.

Second, the Model Y was a brand-new SUV in 2020. Most new vehicles experience recalls early in their lifecycle. These recalls often address unforeseen issues during the design and development process.

Where does the Tesla Model Y rank among other EVs in its class?

U.S. News & World Report ranks the latest Tesla Model Y 12th out of 17 models among luxury electric SUVs. That places this Tesla EV in the bottom half of the rankings but above its stablemate, the Model X, which sits dead last. From first to last, U.S. News’ list of the 2023 and 2024 luxury electric SUVs is as follows:

  • Rivian R1S
  • BMW iX
  • Genesis GV60
  • Mercedes-Benz EQS SUV
  • Volvo XC40 Recharge
  • Audi e-tron
  • Genesis GV70
  • GMC Hummer EV SUV
  • Cadillac Lyriq
  • Audi Q4 e-tron
  • Mercedes-Benz EQB
  • Tesla Model Y
  • Volvo C40 Recharge
  • Jaguar I-Pace
  • Lexus RZ
  • Mercedes-Benz EQE SUV
  • Tesla Model X

Is the Tesla Model Y a good electric SUV?

The Tesla Model Y provides up to 330 miles of driving range, an impressive sprint time to reach 60 mph, and handling that rivals some small sedans. These qualities make it a good luxury electric SUV to drive. This small crossover also delivers advanced safety tech, excellent crash test scores, and access to the Tesla Supercharger network.

On the other hand, the cabin of the Model Y could be better, the ride can feel stiff, and its overreliance touchscreen controls can present a steep learning curve for some drivers.

Despite having no reported problems on RepairPal, the Tesla Model Y doesn’t hit top marks for reliability. Could this change? Only time will tell.