Tesla Model 3: consumer watchdog withdraws its recommendation

Tesla Model 3 Consumer Reports reliability

Respected American watchdog Consumer Reports has revoked its recommendation of the Tesla Model 3, following numerous complaints of sub-par build quality.

Viral social media threads and online ranting are one thing, criticism from an organisation like Consumer Reports is quite another. And Tesla’s Model 3 troubles have come to a head with this critical blow.

The company faced issues getting its entry-level electric car to market, both in terms of quality and speed of delivery. Although it was thought that such kinks had been ironed-out, Tesla’s troubles clearly aren’t over yet. As a result of the CR decision, its stock dropped 2.2 percent last Thursday.

Tesla Model 3: the issues

Tesla Model 3 Consumer Reports reliability

Owners had reported everything from paint defects and poor quality trim, to windows cracking out of the blue in cold conditions and electronic glitches. Even the Consumer Reports test car got a crack in its rear glass during a cold snap.

The screens in the car’s cabin have been reported as freezing and ‘acting strangely’. “The touch screen would intermittently begin acting as if someone was touching it rapidly at many different points,” reported one Consumer Reports member. “This fault would cause music to play, volume to increase to maximum, and would rescale and pan the map in the navigation system.”

Suspension issues have also been reported, although these are largely exclusive to earlier 2017-build cars.

On the plus side, the actual driving systems have largely been reliable. Consumer Reports puts that down to the simplicity of electric powertrains versus conventional internal combustion engines.

Tesla’s response

Tesla Model 3 Consumer Reports reliability

Tesla was swift to respond to the Consumer Reports decision, saying that “significant improvements” had already been made to address the issues owners raised with the organisation.

“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,” said a Tesla spokesperson.