Tesla Model 3 Loses Consumer Reports’ Recommendation Over Reliability; Toyotas Among Top 2019 Picks

2:15 PM, Feb 21, 2019 — Tesla’s (TSLA) Model 3 electric sedan is no longer being recommended by Consumer Reports after the influential product-testing organization’s annual reliability survey raised issues with the vehicles.

Owners of the car, which was unveiled in 2016 and marketed as more affordable than Tesla’s other models, reported problems with body hardware and in-car electronics, Consumer Reports said. There were reports of the car’s screen freezing and issues about paint and trim on the vehicle.

Others reported problems with the car’s glass, including cracks in the rear window. Consumer Reports said it experienced a similar problem earlier this year in its own Model 3 test vehicle, which developed a crack when it was parked outside during cold weather.

“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,” said Jake Fisher, senior director of auto testing at Consumer Reports.

Still, Tesla holds the top spot on the list of brands that satisfy owners, as Fisher said that when a vehicle has an “enthusiastic following” owners are willing to overlook some issues. “We’ve seen this with other vehicles such as the Jeep Wrangler and Chevrolet Corvette,” he said.

Consumer Reports gathers the reliability data through car owner surveys, and the sample size for the Model 3 was more than 500. A Tesla spokesperson was cited by Consumer Reports as saying “the vast majority of these issues have already been corrected through design and manufacturing improvements.”

Tesla’s Model S lost Consumer Reports’ recommendation in October “largely because of suspension problems,” the organization said. The Model X SUV has never earned a recommendation. In May, Consumer Reports gave the Model 3 a recommendation after initially stopping short of the seal of approval over an issue with braking distances, which Tesla resolved through an over-the-air update.

In the Consumer Reports survey, Fiat Chrysler’s (FCAU) Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger also lost their recommendations from, as did the Volkswagen Tiguan, the BMW 5 Series and the Acura RDX.

Top picks for 2019 include the Subaru Ascent and Forester, Toyota’s (TM) Camry Hybrid, Avalon Hybrid, Prius and Yaris, the Audi A4, Hyundai Kona, Ford’s (F) F-150 and the BMW X5. The picks are “cars that deliver superior reliability and satisfaction over the long haul and push the envelope when it comes to safety, technology, fuel economy, and performance,” Consumer Reports said. “These are the vehicles that set the standard for the industry.”

Companies: Tesla, Inc.
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