Tesla Model 3 reliability issues lead to downgrade by Consumer Reports

Elon Musk said the only cryptocurrency he owns is bitcoin. | Source Twitter

Elon Musk said the only cryptocurrency he owns is bitcoin. | Source Twitter

The magazine's decision to withdraw its endorsement, less than nine months after recommending the electric sedan, raised questions about quality that Tesla has faced since the Model 3's hard launch.

"We are absorbing a significant part of the tariff to help make our cars more affordable for customers in China", the EV maker said in a statement at the time.

Consumer Reports also said many customers reported problems with the Model 3, including loose body trim and glass defects.

For example, they identified issues with the body of the Model 3, its paint, and the interior trim.

At one point, Tesla added an additional Model 3 assembly line by erecting a permanent tent outside its assembly plant in Fremont, California. While most owners who responded to the survey are happy with the vehicle, many did report reliability issues. "But when a vehicle has an enthusiastic following, like with Tesla, owners may overlook some issues".

While Consumer Reports initially predicted the Model 3 would have average reliability, it's turned out to be below average. The vehicle maintained its average score for predicted reliability in October 2018 based on the experiences of Model 3 owners who completed our spring survey.

As a brand, Tesla fell 11 spots to No. 19 out of 33 brands ranked by Consumer Reports.

Its two other stablemates are the Tesla Model S five-door liftback and Tesla Model X mid-size luxury crossover vehicle.

We're setting an extremely high bar for Model 3.

The spokesperson added, "This new data from Consumer Reports comes from their annual Owner Satisfaction survey, which runs from July through September, so 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". Those issues led to both Tesla and Chrysler plummeting 11 places in the Consumer Reports vehicle brand rankings.

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

The lowest-rated auto brand by Consumer Reports is Fiat (FCA-IT), right behind Jaguar and Land Rover. I reached back out to Tesla for clarification and will update if we hear back.

Much of the public difficulty Elon Musk suffered last year-from tabloid scandal to publicly getting stoned with Joe Rogan on a podcast-originated in Musk's public fight with unnamed short-sellers he said were deliberately sabotaging Tesla's stock price without cause.

Latest News