Tesla Model 3 loses Consumer Reports recommendation over ‘reliability problems’

TechCrunch | 2/21/2019 | Staff
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Consumer Reports has placed the Tesla Model 3 into that fun-to-drive, terribly unreliable category where brands like Alfa Romeo, Land Rover and Masterati also live.

Consumer Reports, which has a complicated relationship with Tesla, says it can no longer recommend the Model 3 because issues with the paint, trim and body hardware raises reliability questions. CR members reported the results in an annual reliability survey that includes data on about 470,000 vehicles.

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The report caused Tesla shares to fall more than 2.7%.

The Model 3 is arguably Tesla’s most important vehicle. Tesla’s survival hinges on Model 3. It’s no longer just about being able to produce and deliver the vehicle cost effectively — although those are biggies. If more consumers turn to other electric vehicles, the sales momentum that helped Tesla have two consecutive quarters of profits could falter.

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Owners appear to like, even love, the Model 3. It received top marks in CR’s recent owner satisfaction survey and also earned a positive road-test score. It’s a weird duality — and one the even CR acknowledges — that other aspirational lifestyle luxury vehicles share. Owners love the vehicles, despite persistent issues with the components inside them.

“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 CR article.

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Tesla has asked Consumer Reports for more details about the issues customers reported. According to Tesla, CR said they had no more specific information to share.

“Not only are our cars the safest and best performing vehicles available today, but we take feedback from our customers very seriously and quickly implement improvements any time we...
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