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New Survey Describes Tesla Owners as Fanatical

New Survey Describes Tesla Owners as Fanatical


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A rather astute South Park episode sees all the adults purchase hybrid cars and become insufferably smug. That was running through my mind when I read the results of a survey describing Tesla owners as “fanatical” (despite admittedly subpar service). Shock of the century, right?

Don’t get me wrong – the Tesla vehicle family is an admirable environmental boon. But their modest reliability (and service options) doesn’t quite match their owners’ fervent loyalty.

A new report from sell-side research and brokerage firm Bernstein claimed that “83 percent of respondents are much more likely to repurchase a Tesla,” while 90 percent prefer an electric driving experience over internal combustion engines, and 68 percent swore to never buy a gas-powered vehicle again.

79 percent trusted their Tesla’s abilities on the highway, though only 22 percent felt the same off the highway. On the other hand, 1/3 of respondents couldn’t get a service appointment within 10 days, and nearly ¼ needed more than one visit to fix their problems.

This squares a bit more succinctly with a 2015 Consumer Reports survey labeled “Tesla Reliability Doesn’t Match Its High Performance.” While the Tesla Model S Sedan was the “best-performing car” they’d ever tested, Consumer Reports forecast that “owning that Tesla is likely to involve a worse-than-average overall problem rate.”

“The main problem areas involved the drivetrain, power equipment, charging equipment, giant iPad-like center console, and body and sunroof squeaks, rattles, and leaks,” they claimed.

This history of under-reliability may be slowly (albeit, belatedly) influencing consumer behavior, though. According to the Bernstein survey (and CNET), as it relates to the Tesla Model 3, “30 percent of reservation holders polled were ‘unsure, unlikely or very unlikely’ to actually take delivery of their Model 3.”