Here's Why I'll Never Buy a Tesla

Many or all of the products here are from our partners that compensate us. It’s how we make money. But our editorial integrity ensures our experts’ opinions aren’t influenced by compensation. Terms may apply to offers listed on this page.


  • Electric cars are the future, but my future electric car will never be a Tesla.
  • Teslas have had dozens of major recalls for everything from headlights to airbags. 
  • Tesla, as a company, is known to have serious discrimination problems, and the company is also unabashedly anti-union.

Popularity is never enough reason to buy something.

The modern electric car revolution has had a bit of a stuttering start. Rather than sweeping away the ocean of gas-guzzling polluters on the road, it's been something of a slow trickle of hybrids and all-electric vehicles dripping into the market.

Even so, if you live in a city of any real size, you'll probably see a disproportionate number of Teslas on the streets. That's because the car has somehow become some sort of status symbol (perhaps because of the outlandish price tag?).

As popular as they seem to be, however, I simply don't understand the appeal. I love the idea of an all-electric vehicle. But if I'm going to be on the hook for a $55,000-plus auto loan, it's never going to be for a Tesla. Here's why.

The quality is questionable

All other factors aside, I can't be sure that Teslas are reliable vehicles. Every other week it seems there's a Tesla vehicle in the headlines. If not for the horribly buggy "auto pilot" feature, then because the cars are catching on fire.

But even beyond the news, Teslas are trouble. If you look up the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) recalls, there are dozens of notices. Everything from the tail lights to the airbags have been recalled at some point. Earlier in March, there was yet another recall because the steering wheels can come off

I should think the least you can ask of a supposedly "luxury" vehicle is that parts don't fall off. (Even my 21-year-old Mitsubishi has all of her parts. And she's been on the road since before Tesla was even founded.)

Besides the obvious safety hazards presented by parts falling off and batteries catching fire, the reliability of your vehicle can also cause issues with your auto insurance. Insurance companies base their rates, in part, on the safety of your vehicle. So if you have a vehicle notorious for being unsafe, chances are good your auto insurance rates are going to reflect that.

Reputation matters

Another big reason I intend to avoid the puzzlingly popular Teslas is the company's reputation. Where I spend my money matters, and I just don't feel comfortable giving it to a company with such a sordid history.

For one thing, the company has had several lawsuits against it for things like discrimination. Tesla apparently has a questionable company culture prone to racial and sexual discrimination and abuse. 

It's also notoriously anti-union and a big pusher of the "hustle" culture that is so problematic in our society.

And then, of course, there's Elon Musk himself. While I don't want to dive too deep down the Musk hole, I will say that he doesn't seem to be the best role model.

There are more options than ever

I want to state clearly that I am all for electric vehicles. Sure, they're pricey to buy. And there are a host of hidden costs to consider, like higher repair costs than your average combustion engine.

But electric vehicles are the future. And that's a future I can support.

I just won't be supporting Tesla.

Luckily, I don't have to. There are more options than ever for jumping into the world of electric cars. Just about every major manufacturer has at least a few options for hybrid and all-electric vehicles. And that's before you start looking into all the new niche companies pumping out their prototypes.

At the end of the day, I want a vehicle I can rely on -- from a company that isn't making headlines in all the wrong ways.

Our best car insurance companies for 2024

Ready to shop for car insurance? Whether you’re focused on price, claims handling, or customer service, we've researched insurers nationwide to provide our best-in-class picks for car insurance coverage. Read our free expert review today to get started.

Our Research Expert

Related Articles

View All Articles Learn More Link Arrow