Elon Musk has gotten a lot right with Tesla Motors and the Model S by building not just a great electric car, but a customer service and support network second to none. This extends to Tesla’s repair facilities, which Consumer Reports recently rated as better than both conventional franchised dealers, and independent repair shops.
According to their annual survey of subscribers, independent repair shops were rated higher in customer satisfaction than most franchised dealership, with luxury automakers like Audi and Lexus rated higher than more plebeian brands. The one exception to that was Tesla’s official repair shops, which outranked even independent shops for on-time repairs, costs, quality, and overall satisfaction, despite some mechanical woes.
That’s another gold star for Musk and his crew of EV enthusiasts, though as Consumer Reports notes, Tesla still has a very small customer base that it needs to satisfy. There are more Mercedes owners in one corner of Los Angeles than there are Tesla owners worldwide, and the Model S is so new that all battery and motor repairs still fall under warranty. It’s easy to have happy customers when they’re not paying one dime for the service, though Tesla’s unique drivetrain also makes repairs a relatively quick and painless process as well. There are built-in advantages when fixing the simple drivetrain of any electric vehicle, the Model S included, helping it remain the car with the highest customer satisfaction.
Following behind Tesla in dealership repair satisfaction was Buick, Lincoln, Cadillac, Lexus, Porsche, and Acura, in that order. Things like big-screen televisions, free Wi-Fi, and massage chairs are becoming more commonplace at high-end dealers, but that does little to mollify the high prices many luxury car owners have to pay.
Tesla owners already face high repair costs for cosmetic damage. With only an average reliability rating though, sooner or later Tesla owners are going to have to start paying. Once Model S warranties start to run out, will Tesla’s high marks for quality and satisfaction run out as well?