All things considered, electric car makers deserve credit for the work they’ve done so far. Whether spurred by regulators or a mission to reduce emissions (or both), manufacturers have given consumers more quality options than ever heading into 2019.
Still, no one would claim progress occurred in a straight line. The electric vehicle segment has produced some duds over the years to go with the top nameplates on the road. For every Model S, there was a Think! or Coda EV that was doomed from the start.
While glitches are always a part of all-new models, some EVs are doing better than others at staying out of owners’ way. The latest Consumer Reports reliability survey shed some light on where automakers are at heading into 2019. These five models lodged enough complaints to be rated worst for reliability among plug-ins on the market.
(Note: As with all reliability ratings, your personal mileage may vary. Some predicted to be rock-solid may break down, while some predicted to be unreliable may turn out better.)
Tesla Model S
After years of average (or worse) ratings, Tesla Model S broke through with an excellent reliability score for 2018. However, that success was short-lived. Issues with the suspension in Tesla’s flagship sedan sent its reliability rating tumbling, and Model S lost its Consumer Reports recommendation for 2019 as a result. (Tesla said it has addressed the problem.)
In recent years, trouble with power equipment, body hardware, and body integrity also prompted negative feedback from owners. If there was a bright side for Tesla in this year’s rankings, it was the prediction of average reliability for the new Model 3.