Hopeful buyers need to pay attention to this.
One of the main reasons why people buy and love pickup trucks is because of their durability and reliability. Unlike many conventional cars, trucks are put to use because, well, they're trucks. That's the whole point. Given that the truck industry is about to receive a major disruption from the upcoming and still unnamed all-electric Tesla pickup, the issue of reliability is once again coming into focus. After all, Teslas, especially the Model X crossover, have had some past reliability concerns. The Model S and Model 3 have also had some issues, but what vehicle hasn't?
The question remains whether Tesla is capable of building a truck that will meet all owner demands. Seeking Alpha.com has compiled some past Tesla reliability studies, specifically those from Consumer Reports and Cox Automotive, in order to get a possible reliability preview about Tesla's next vehicle.
There is some cause for concern. For example, Cox Automotive found that "only 5.8 percent of full-size pickup truck buyers consider driving performance to be the most important factor in their purchasing decisions. Rather, reliability is king in the pickup market, with 31.3 percent of buyers surveyed… citing it as the most important factor in their purchasing decisions." In other words, the Tesla pickup truck's reliability needs to be as good if not better than segment heavyweights like the Ford F-150, Chevrolet Silverado, and Ram 1500. The Toyota Tundra has also received excellent reliability scores.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk has stated his pickup truck's performance will embarrass its competitors, but he never said anything about reliability, and therein could lie the problem.
Tesla may at first receive more orders than it can handle for the truck, but over time its reliability score will speak volumes. Consumer Report also notes that "while Teslas perform well in (its) road tests and have excellent owner satisfaction, their reliability has not been consistent, according to our members, which has resulted in changes to their recommended status."
With all of that in mind, concern for the Tesla pickup truck's reliability is genuine and, unfortunately, owners could pay the price. Meanwhile, the Detroit automakers know very well how to build reliable trucks. Turning them into EVs is, however, untested territory.