The study, which evaluated 221 car models from July 2022 to June 2023, found that the Model 3 has a 14.7% failure rate, putting it at the bottom of the list. TÜV SÜD, a well-known German testing and certification company, identified lighting, brakes, and suspension as the main sources of malfunctions in the Tesla Model 3.
The high failure rate of the Tesla Model 3 can be explained by Tesla’s decision in 2019 to stop defining service intervals and the limited availability of the company’s service centers. By comparison, the second least reliable car was the Dacia Logan with an 11.4% failure rate, while the most reliable German car, the VW Golf Sportsvan, had a three-year failure rate of only 2.0%.
The report challenges the common belief among electric vehicle manufacturers that electric vehicles require less maintenance and repair than gasoline-powered cars. Jürgen Volz, a specialist at TÜV SÜD, notes that although the powertrain of an electric vehicle requires less maintenance, other components still actively wear out and need to be checked regularly.
The problem of a shortage of Tesla service centers is typical not only for Germany but also for the whole world. In the United States, Tesla has 186 service centers, compared to Ford’s nearly 3,000 service centers. This disparity highlights the challenges Tesla faces in providing adequate service support for its vehicles.