Tesla Model 3 loses Consumer Reports recommendation over 'declining reliability'

Posted February 23, 2019

In a report published today, Patrick Olsen of Consumer Reports wrote that "Consumer Reports can no longer recommend the newest Tesla-the Model 3 electric sedan-because members say they've identified a number of problems with their cars, including issues with its body hardware, as well as paint and trim". The Model S then lost its buy recommendation again previous year, when Consumer Reports cited issues with its door handles and suspension.

The magazine said owners have complained about issues including loose-fitting exterior parts and defective glass, casting doubt on the Model 3's reliability and costing the vehicle its recommendation.

"While Teslas perform well in Consumer Reports' 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", Jake Fisher, senior director of auto testing at Consumer Reports, said in a statement. Some owners mentioned malfunctioning screens, one claiming it would "intermittently begin acting as if someone was touching it rapidly at many different points...[causing] music to play, volume to increase to maximum, and would rescale and pan the map in the navigation system."Others, including Consumer Reports itself with its own test vehicle, tell tales of the rear window's glass cracking in cold weather". Consumer Reports said that the vehicle it purchased for testing exhibited the last of those when a crack appeared in its rear window.

When the Model 3 first came out in 2017, Consumer Reports gave it an average predicted reliability score based on the survey results at the time about the Model S because the two shared much of the same technology.

The report was based on its annual reliability survey, which polls vehicle owners about the long term performance of almost every major automobile on the market.

The initial deliveries will go to customers who placed their orders before the end of 2018, Tesla said.

"When we look at the Model 3 a lot of the issues are the electronics".

"We're setting an extremely high bar for Model 3". "There are some issues replacing the (navigation/infotainment) screens, for instance, but we've seen other issues in terms of the trim breaking and the glass". The vessel is reportedly loaded with more than 1,800 Teslas, over 1,600 of which are Model 3. That is out of 33 brands ranked by the group.