Based on a number of complaints from members and owners of Tesla’s Model 3, Consumer Reports will no longer recommend the car.
With the amount of coverage the Tesla Model 3 has received over the last two years or so, we doubt that this negative news story will slow down sales of Tesla’s generally acclaimed entry-level car.
This is not the first time a Tesla product goes from recommended to not as the Model S went through the same “downgrade” a while back. At the time, other than creating content opportunities for media, consumers continued to buy just about every car Elon could produce.
Today, the tens of thousands that signed on for a Model 3 nearly two years ago have more or less all received their cars. Thousands more Model 3s are headed to Europe as you read these lines and for all intents and purposes, other than a few complaints, not one of these new and soon to be new owners will change their minds about their long-awaited electric car.
The complaints involve body hardware, as well as paint and trim. Consumer Reports themselves state that the Model 3 has been very well received by the vast majority of its owners and continues to garner top marks in CR’s most recent owner satisfaction survey.
Jake Fisher, senior director of auto testing at Consumer Reports, concludes by saying that: “In most cases, reliability issues will undermine satisfaction, but when a vehicle has an enthusiastic following, like with Tesla, owners may overlook some issues. We’ve seen this with other vehicles such as the Jeep Wrangler and Chevrolet Corvette.”
This is exactly why we know this news will affect nothing. In fact, CR’s only putting it out there because they have too.
Update: Tesla’s responded to CR’s rating drop by saying that the issues brought forth to justify the Model 3’s lowered rating have already been addressed. The current main impact to the news tory is that Tesla shares are down slightly.
A Tesla spokesperson had this to say :
“Not only are our cars the safest and best performing vehicles available today, but we take feedback from our customers very seriously and quickly implement improvements any time we hear about issues. That’s just one of the reasons why, in this very same survey from Consumer Reports, Model 3 was rated as the #1 most satisfying car, and why Tesla vehicles have topped Consumer Reports’ Owner Satisfaction survey every year since 2013 – the first year Tesla was included in it.
“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. 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.”