Receiving a recommended rating for any product or vehicle from Consumer Reports is a big deal. It’s also a big deal if a product receives a recommended rating from the publication and then has that rating pulled. Consumer Reports recently announced that the publication no longer recommends electric vehicles from Audi and Kia.
One of the big draws for many electric car owners to an EV is that the vehicles have a simpler design that should mean improved reliability. They also don’t require gasoline or routine maintenance like vehicles featuring an internal combustion engine do. Typically an EV costs less to maintain and repair than a traditional automobile.
However, in its latest reliability survey, Consumer Reports notes that some data has been revealed on some new electric cars showing they have significant problems that will be covered under the vehicle warranty. Statistics show that first-year vehicles tend to have more issues than vehicles that have been on the market for several years. This holds for electric vehicles as well. However, it is worth noting that electric components, including batteries and drivetrains, aren’t typically the issue.
Survey results polled Consumer Reports members about their experiences with 329,000 vehicles. Out of those owners, vehicles that had more problems than others included the Audi E-Tron, Kia Niro EV, and the Tesla Model Y. E-Tron owners specifically reported drive system electrical failures along with power equipment issues. Model Y owners had problems with the build quality, including paint problems and body alignment problems preventing the rear hatch from closing.
The Kia Niro EV had problems with the electric motor requiring a replacement bearing. Due to the complaints from owners, both the Audi and Kia lost their recommended status while the Model Y never had a recommended status. The survey results also led to reductions in reliability predictions for EVs the publication hasn’t tested, such as the Mustang Mach-E and Mercedes-Benz EQC. The Porsche Taycan also saw its reliability expectation reduced.