Sometimes relationships just don’t work out, no matter how hard both parties try. You know the story: Over the course of the union, issues that weren’t noticed early on take on new significance. Then, before you know it, you’re “consciously uncoupling,” like Gwyneth Paltrow and that guy from Coldplay.
That’s exactly what’s happened with Consumer Reports (CR) and the Tesla Model 3. The electric sedan earned a CR recommendation a while back. Now the organization has withdrawn that recommendation, citing reliability issues related to body hardware, paint and trim.
CR based its decision on information gathered in its most recent annual reliability survey. This wide-reaching survey includes data on about 470,000 vehicles.
The Model 3 plays a key role in Tesla’s vehicle lineup. As the most affordably priced offering on Tesla’s roster, it’s intended to serve as the brand’s gateway model.
Those who’ve been paying attention know that the Model 3’s rollout has been anything but smooth. There have been numerous production delays, and buyers who had placed deposits on the car were forced to face long wait times. Many Model 3 buyers have experienced wait times of up to a year between purchase and delivery.
Though the Model 3 performed poorly in CR’s reliability evaluation, it’s scored high marks in other areas. The sport sedan nabbed a respectable road-test score from CR, one that places it in the esteemed company of the Audi A4 and BMW 3 Series. And the Model 3 also earned rave reviews in CR’s most recent owner satisfaction survey.
“In most cases, reliability will undermine satisfaction,” says Jake Fisher, senior director of auto testing at Consumer Reports. “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.”