The Tesla Model S electric car has received plenty of praise from Consumer Reports, and now Tesla’s repair service turns out to get high marks too.
The Silicon Valley carmaker’s service was ranked top among all car dealers in Consumer Reports’ annual survey of subscribers.
In fact, Tesla was the only carmaker to score higher than independent shops not associated with car dealers — which generally outscore dealer-operated service centers.
The rankings were based on factors like the timeliness of repairs, cost, courteousness of the staff, perceived quality, and overall satisfaction.
These criteria were assessed by a survey group consisting of subscribers who had repairs made on more than 121,000 vehicles — including 80,000 repairs done at franchised new-car dealers, with the balance of 41,000 at independent shops.
Perhaps aware of the glaring spotlight cast on any new car company and its ability to support the cars it delivers, Tesla has made considerable efforts to keep customers happy — including standard loaner cars and picking up and returning cars needing service on flatbed trucks.
However, Consumer Reports notes that it’s possible Tesla may not be able to maintain these high standards if its sales numbers grow significantly.
With a relatively small number of Model S electric cars currently on the road, Tesla has far fewer customers to satisfy thus far than most established luxury brands.
The Consumer Reports staff said they will watch closely to see if Tesla’s repair policies change after the launch of the Model 3 small sedan (expected in two to four years).
With a target base price of around $35,000, Tesla will move downmarket with the Model 3, so whether it adopts the attitude of a more mainstream brand when it comes to service remains an open question.
The upscale brands largely dominate the survey: Buick, Lincoln, Cadillac, Lexus, Porsche, and Acura followed Tesla in the ratings, in that order.
Of course, Tesla does have one advantage over these and other brands: Its electric cars have fewer parts, so there’s less to potentially go wrong in the first place.
This story originally appeared on Green Car Reports. Copyright 2015
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