Tesla Model 3 loses Consumer Reports’ ‘Recommended’ rating over ‘reliability’ issues

Daniel Fowler
February 22, 2019

Despite the reliability problems, the Model 3 ranks high in Consumer Reports' customer satisfaction survey, which gauges buyer satisfaction over time.

Some news outlets have proclaimed this news is going to cause major headaches for Tesla.

According to a report on Elektrek, Tesla is preparing to launch leasing products for its Model 3 electric sedan in order to boost demand. In the short term, no.

This new report confirms concerns raised by many analysts about the quality of Tesla models being compromised as the automaker feverishly boosted production a year ago to attain monthly production targets.

The new data from Consumer Reports was derived from its annual Owner Satisfaction survey, whose data encompassed July through September 2018. Consumer Reports said that the auto it purchased for testing exhibited the last of those when a crack appeared in its rear window.

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The magazine similarly went back-and-forth with its ratings of the Tesla Model S and Model X in 2017, docking points and then re-awarding them after the company restored an automatic emergency braking system.

The Model 3 was just one of six cars to lose the recommendation in light of the reliability survey, with the Acura RDX, BMW 5 Series, Chrysler 300, Dodge Charger and Volkswagen Tiguan also stripped.

Among the issues highlighted by the nonprofit ranking outlet - gathered through a Spring survey of its members - are problems with vehicles' hardware and electronic troubles, including defective touch screens.

"The vast majority of these issues have already been corrected through design and manufacturing improvements, and we are already seeing a significant improvement in our field data", a Tesla spokesperson told Consumer Reports in an emailed statement.

"When we look at the Model 3 a lot of the issues are the electronics", said Consumer Reports' Senior Director of Automotive Testing, Jake Fisher. That kind of love-hate relationship isn't uncommon for iconic vehicles with persistent quality issues, such as the Jeep Wrangler and Chevrolet Corvette, he said.

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