Consumer Reports u-turned away from recommending the Tesla Model 3, citing reliability issues after owners reported loose trim and defects in the sedan’s glass.
“Consumers expect their cars to last—and not be in the repair shop. That’s why reliability is so important,” Jake Fisher, Consumer Reports’ senior director of automotive testing, said in a statement.
Consumer Reports announced on Thursday that it can no longer recommend the Tesla Model 3, despite the fact the car ranked the highest on Consumer Reports’ “10 Most Satisfying Cars” list in January. The reliability issues came to light in Consumer Reports’ annual reliability survey, which asks members to rate their vehicles based on 17 aspects, ranging from suspension and electrical systems to cosmetic features, such as paint and trim.
A Tesla spokesperson said the company takes customer feedback “very seriously,” and noted that Tesla has topped Consumer Reports’ owner satisfaction survey every year since it was first included in 2013.
“We’re setting an extremely high bar for Model 3. We have already made significant improvements to correct any issues that Model 3 customers may have experienced that are referenced in this report, and our return policy allows any customer who is unhappy with their car to return it for a full refund,” the spokesperson said.
It’s not the first time Consumer Reports has changed its mind about a car. Last year, the Tesla Model S lost its Consumer Reports seal of approval over reliability concerns, despite giving the car its highest rating ever during a road test.
Tesla also received another ding on Consumer Reports’ latest rankings. The six-figure, sporty Model X was named one of the least reliable cars. The car was called “more showy than practical.” Its batwing doors might look cool, but “take their time to open and close”, The Model X also lags behind the Model S when it comes to “ride comfort and noise isolation,” according to Consumer Reports.
In 2017, Tesla and Consumer Reports butted heads after the outlet predicted the Model 3 would have “average reliability,” despite the fact the car had not yet been made available for a road test.
Tesla stock fell 3.7% to its lowest close since January 23. And as of Thursday night, Elon Musk had yet to tweet about the Consumer Reports news.