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Consumer Reports has pulled its recommendation of the Tesla Model 3, citing reliability issues and customer complaints about fit and finish.
“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 an post explaining the change.
An online questionnaire sent out each spring to Consumer Reports members asks if they have had vehicle problems within the previous 12 months, including major systems such as the suspension and electrical system, as well as fit and finish issues such as paint and trim.
Model 3 owners in the survey reported “body hardware and in-car electronics problems, such as the screen freezing.” Consumer Reports also received complaints about paint and trim issues.
Some owners also complained about glass defects, including cracks in the rear window. Consumer Reports said it experienced similar problems with its own Model 3. “Earlier this year, our test vehicle developed a large crack in its massive rear window during a cold spell when it was parked outside,” Consumer Reports said.
The sample size of 2018 Model 3s in the survey was more than 500, Consumer Reports said.
“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 wrote in an emailed statement to Consumer Reports. “We take feedback from our customers very seriously and quickly implement improvements any time we hear about issues.”
Earlier this month the Tesla Model 3 topped a Consumer Reports survey of how happy car buyers are with the car they own.
Consumer Reports said it collected survey data from an annual survey on more than half a million vehicles. “Our subscribers provide great insights into their satisfaction by answering one simple question: If they had it to do all over again, would they definitely buy or lease the same model?” the report says.
And Tesla buyers were more likely to be satisfied with their car than customers of any other brand.