Why is EV Reliability So Bad? | Talking Cars with Consumer Reports #433

Why Is Ev Reliability So Bad? | Talking Cars With Consumer Reports #433 1

More info on the 2024 CR Reliability Survey here:

Ratings and test results on every car CR purchases and tests:

Every year, Consumer Reports surveys thousands of its members, asking about issues and trouble spots with their cars. Using this exclusive data. CR provides reliability ratings for every major mainstream model, from brands that are highly rated to those that give owners constant issues. In this episode, we discuss some notable new insights on EVs, plug-in hybrids, hybrids, and traditional gas vehicles, and the difference in their reliability performance. Also, we explain how CR's "average" reliability rating has changed over the years–Is an "average" car from 2022 more or less reliable than one from 2012. And as a comparison, what is a more sensible purchase? A Tesla Model 3 or a Toyota Corolla hatchback?

00:00 – Introduction
00:16 – What is CR’s Car Reliability Survey
01:04 – What’s New in the 2024 Survey
02:00 – Reliability Trends
02:40 – EV Reliability
06:04 – Tesla
07:58 – Hybrid Vehicle Reliability
11:25 – Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV) Reliability
13:41 – New Charts and Presentation
17:13 – Sustainability
18:29 – Has CR’s “average” reliability rating change over the years?
23:24 – What is a more sensible purchase, a Tesla Model 3 or a Toyota Corolla Hatchback?

Guide to Car Reliability & Owner Satisfaction

10 Least Reliable Cars

10 Most Reliable Cars

Car Reliability Histories

Car Safety Guide

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36 Comments on "Why is EV Reliability So Bad? | Talking Cars with Consumer Reports #433"

  1. @ronkemperful | November 29, 2023 at 3:06 PM |

    Reliability is awful due to excess complexity in electronics and safety systems. Even makes such as Toyota have had failures with BZ4X and other recent offerings. What is scary is the deluge of infotainment systems that have gotten all too common place — this does not bode well for the future, like ten years from now when capacitors and back-lights fail on unsupported older models.

    • All these infotainments are also dangerous because they’re creating distracted drivers. Take it from me, someone who drives an emergency vehicle for a living, people are so distracted playing with all this crap in their cars that they don’t see lights, hear sirens or airhorns till you’re basically on top of them!

  2. also… I do agree that Toyota hybrids are probalby the most reliable hybrids out there… however, my friend just forked out $4150 for a new hybrid battery in her Camry yybrid. (but otherwise, the car had been trouble-free for 110,000 miles)

    • Got a Lexus with 255k miles still going strong. Those Toyota hybrid powertrains are something else.

    • How many years has your friend have that hybrid? The hybrid battery is a consumable

    • Factor in the cost of the battery how much money did you really save on fuel over a basic four-cylinder Camry?

    • @ragweedmakesmesneeze | November 29, 2023 at 6:40 PM |

      I don’t know the exact situation with your friend’s car, and it is surprising to me that the pack needed to be replaced with that few miles, but I do understand that there are third party companies who do a nice job of replacing bad cells in existing packs, rather than the more expensive whole battery pack change.

    • Imagine your friend have to replace his Tesla battery.. might need to add another zero in the back.

  3. @Buc_Stops_Here | November 29, 2023 at 3:19 PM |

    The new breakdowns on their website were erroring out this morning. This afternoon some are working now. The breakdowns on reliability giving an overall score on each car model are quite helpful. Thank you Consumer Reports. The second question is primary concern is reality. The answer between Tesla and Toyota is Toyota by a long way. It is far more reliable than Tesla. For that matter, so is any Mazda model. Teslas are average is not great in this day and age.

  4. @mrworldwide305 | November 29, 2023 at 3:23 PM |

    Nothing says “I love sustainability” like having 4 cars

  5. @Blind_of_Colour | November 29, 2023 at 3:58 PM |

    I find your rating of the 2023 Model Y a bit curious. You give it a ^^ rating (your best score) in 5 out of six of your reliability categories and give it a VV rating (your worst rating) in one of your 6 reliability categories: build quality. I took delivery of my 2023 Y in January: it was built in Fremont California and has no issues with build quality. There have been some recalls and so far as I am aware I have not been effected by any. I was aware of a very very very few with a potentially loose steering wheel and I know I was not one of them. I checked the recall database on some Washington government website against my VIN. I have received zero recall letters. I’ll double check the rest and get back to you if I find a problem. It is excellent you list them all online. Thanks. Further: there are software reliability issues. The sentry camera enabled monitoring software has a setting I have set to turn it off at home. I park in a garage inside my house, the car shows my location exactly corrrectly as my home address yet the sentry monitoring software often (not always) turns on when I get out of the car inside my own garage and that has not been corrected by service though they tried. Another problem is that the proximity monitoring system that is supposed to help me park safely tells me to STOP every time I back out of my garage. It is crude. If I obeyed it, I’d never leave home. When I bought the car I paid for parking features still not in the least delivered.

  6. @reaality3860 | November 29, 2023 at 4:31 PM |

    Hybrid is the way to go and Toyota is a generation ahead of all others. My 40 MPG AWD 2022 RAV4 hybrid has no clutches, no alternator, no starter, and no driveshaft to power the rear wheels. It is a marvel of technology! I expect it to last 10+ years, holding an above-average resale value, just as has my 2012 Camry Hybrid I still own.

  7. Great episode. I want to clarify something without getting too nit-picky. (I won’t go into the use of the word “less” vs. “fewer”.) In the answers to the last question about the Tesla Model 3, the viewer as well as the hosts mentioned “rebates”. There may be state government or other private rebates for EVs. But the federal government program if I remember correctly involves EV tax credits and not rebates. The big difference is that you must have enough tax liability (i.e. earn enough) to get the full rebate. E.g. if your yearly tax bill is not >=$7,500, then you would not get the full EV tax rebate possible but only as much as your tax liability for that year. Also the tax credits vary depending on whether the EV and the batteries in it were domestically-made, and whether the car is new or used.

  8. What a sweet lady🦋 she reminds me of a kindergarten teacsir or a guidance counselor Very well said, she gets right to the point. Very well spoker, love your thoughts. 🇺🇸🦈🇵🇷

  9. My Prius is 2012…. no problems and still driving it daily even under Toronto’s winters. If Toyota could produce more Hybrids, they will blow Tesla out of the water big time. Ask them how many customers are waiting for a RAV, Highlander, Sienna, Corolla Hybrids………….

  10. Reliability and lack of maintenance is one of the main talking points of EV crusaders. I’ve always called bs because running gear is the same and EVs are heavier. Running gear has been the main vehicle issue for me over the last 20 years.

    • @cyruslupercal9493 | November 30, 2023 at 3:20 AM |

      Also, they have no way of checking the batteries and doing maintenance on them. Small collision can damage the battery that will go into thermal runaway later. No way to check.

  11. @calvincheung4335 | November 29, 2023 at 8:14 PM |

    Will EVs have right to repair issues like smartphones and game consoles? That is my concern.

    • @cyruslupercal9493 | November 30, 2023 at 3:24 AM |

      Yes, they already have. Not realy legal issue though, but no one will repair your battery on an EV. If you suspect it to be damaged they will replace the whole thing, no individual cells.

  12. @tonydemore1280 | November 29, 2023 at 8:22 PM |

    When you compare Tesla with other brands such as Toyota you have to look at the convenience of finding a local dealer to perform repairs. For example, here in the Portland metro area there are 3 Tesla service centers and 10 full service Toyota dealers. And there are a huge number of independent repair shops will service a Toyota but won’t touch a Tesla. Portland area would be considered a medium sized metro area with about 1.8 million people across 3 counties.

  13. Seems like I have seen a lot of batteries catching fire. Very dangerous and expensive. Also, if you have a small hit in an EV, are the batteries trashed? Also Tesla is starting to make the batteries integrated with the body. Also making repairs very expensive.

    • EV battery fires are a tiny fraction per capita of ICE fires. We just saw how an ICE vehicle literally blew itself apart in Niagara Falls!!! Engine failures in ICE vehicles are expensive too, and are much more likely to fail than EV battery packs. EV battery packs are robust and if they are damaged in an accident, it was typically quite severe.

  14. I love these podcasts on CR. I’m ready to go Hybrid next year or keep my ICE Crossover. For me, it’s the battle of final price and availability. Whichever crossover I get next year at lease end (Kona or Corolla Cross Hybrid), one manufacturer that I would NEVER deal with is TESLA! Elon can go F-K himself!!!!

  15. Wanted to hear Jake’s rebuttal at the end lol

  16. A really interesting episode, and great to see you as moderator for this one Jennifer!

  17. @johngoreham8352 | November 30, 2023 at 9:47 AM |

    Things Toyota hybrids and PHEVs REMOVE from a gas-powered car: Timing belt, accessory belt, alternator, starter, rear differential (AWD), torque converter, drive shaft (AWD). The electric drive and regen motors are not added to a Toyota hybrid, they replace other components that have historically required maintenance and were very troublesome. There is a strong case to be made that in the most reliable designs, hybrids and PHEVs actually don’t have more potential trouble spots, but fewer.

  18. @brianmurphy8811 | November 30, 2023 at 10:27 AM |

    Uh oh, Consumer Reports got their new marching orders from Ford!

  19. 25:44 also, don’t rely on tax incentives.

    They have so many conditions it’s too easy to not qualify. Based on the fact that they have 4 cars, I’m betting the income restriction would kick in.

  20. I found your conversation about reliability and suitability to be interesting. But you failed to add another dimension to that discussion. I began driving and repairing cars around 1950. In 1950 a person would expect the following routine maintenance for their car. Oil change every 1000 miles with chassis lubrication of about 15 lube fittings. New spark plugs and ignition tune-up every 10,000 miles. New tires and shock absorbers every 20,000 miles. New exhaust system every 35,000 miles. Top end rebuild of engine with regrind of valves and tappet adjustment around 50,000 miles. At around 70,000 miles most people were trading in their vehicles because of excessive body rust out or need for an expensive rebuild of the engine or transmission. Today’s cars are so much more reliable and sustainable with regards to their basic functionality, but they do suffer from too many components and unnecessary conveniences that compromise the overall reliability. Today I expect a car to be reliable transportation for at least 200,000 miles. Today I drive a 2018 Kia Niro hybrid with every convenience imaginable. I’ve got 55,000 miles on it without any maintenance except oil changes every 7,500 miles and one set of new tires. Recalling the hours I’ve spent over the years under the hood or under the car, I am absolutely delighted with the progress of automotive technology.

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