Electric Cars

Tesla receives a failing grade from Better Business Bureau

The BBB claims the company doesn't respond satisfactorily to customer complaints.

Tesla Model 3 Long Range

The Tesla Model 3 has a range of up to 310 miles on a single charge.

Tim Stevens/Roadshow

Tesla just got a failing grade, and not from the many folks waiting for their Model 3 to come online. No, the Better Business Bureau gave the company an "F" for not resolving customer complaints, sometimes not even responding to complaints.

According to a report in the Mercury News, the BBB received 65 official complaints about Tesla, but only 23 were resolved satisfactorily. Of the remaining complaints, Tesla responded to 10 of them but didn't offer an adequate solution and in 15 cases the company didn't respond at all. In the remaining cases, the BBB says Tesla responded to the problem but either the customer rejected the response or didn't notify the bureau that the issue had been resolved.

Grievances have ranged from warranty issues to customer-perceived defective floor mats. One official complaint had nothing to do with Tesla cars; a promised email receipt for the purchase of two Tesla t-shirts was not sent to a customer.

Tesla was dismissive of the rating. "Tesla has the highest customer satisfaction ratings in the entire auto industry, and it's not even close," a Tesla spokesperson said in a statement. "While we can always do even better, the BBB customers are based on a tiny number of customer issues dating back several years, most of which were resolved a long time ago. Everything we've achieved is due in large part to the goodwill of our customers, so this is something we care deeply about."

The cult of Tesla is a strong one, and it's highly doubtful this development will make much of a dent in its armor. Still, if you file a case with the Better Business Bureau, you might need to be the squeaky wheel if you want to see a solution.

Update, April 23: Added manufacturer comment.