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Consumer Report drops Tesla Model 3 recommendation due to reliability issues

Consumer Report drops Tesla Model 3 recommendation due to reliability issues

Consumer Reports announced on Thursday that it can no longer recommend the Tesla Model 3, despite the fact the auto ranked the highest on Consumer Reports' "10 Most Satisfying Cars" list in January. This survey guides Consumer Reports decision making when it comes to the continuing recommendation of vehicles and is compiled using data from nearly half a million vehicles. It also read reports of Tesla owners' complaints regarding the fit and finish of their vehicles.

Consumer Reports dropped the Recommended rating for the most affordable Tesla in the lineup thanks to input from more than 500 owners.

Last May, the product testing website did not give the Model 3 a recommendation due to issues with braking but reversed its decision after Tesla released a firmware update improving the car's breaking distance by 20 feet.

A Tesla spokesperson told Consumer Reports that numerous issues being cited have already been resolved, noting, "The vast majority of these issues have already been corrected through design and manufacturing improvements".

Tesla publicly sparred with CR in 2017 after the magazine predicted "average reliability" for the Model 3 despite having very little survey information since the sedan had just begun shipping.

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"In most cases, reliability issues will undermine satisfaction", Fisher pointed out.

Unfortunately, this latest batch of reported reliability issues are not all easily fixed by over-the-air updates, as Tesla managed to do with the initial braking issue from a year ago.

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.

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. The Model 3 joins the Model S on the outside of the Recommended list looking in. The vessel is reportedly loaded with more than 1,800 Teslas, over 1,600 of which are Model 3.

Of the 33 brands included in its 2018 survey, Tesla fell to 19th with a score of 66. Tesla fan-sites and electric auto news outlets have suggested that Consumer Reports has an issue with Tesla, and Tesla's shares took a slight tumble earlier today as Wall Street reacted to the Consumer Reports news.