Tesla’s Model 3 and Model S sedans have both regained recommendations from American product testing group Consumer Reports.
The two vehicles were removed from CR’s recommendations following numerous reports of quality issues, citing stuck latches and malfunctioning doors to name a few from Model 3 owners, and issues regarding the quality of paint and trim from Model S owners. CR notes in its latest report that these issues have been and recommending both Tesla’s Model 3 and Model S based on evidence of improved reliability.
Tesla’s relationship with Consumer Reports has never been picture perfect. The Silicon Valley-based electric car maker has been the subject of numerous points of criticism from CR. Most recently, the company gave a negative review of Tesla’s new Smart Summon feature. In the past, they have criticized the Navigate on Autopilot feature and stated the Model 3 will give owners “average reliability. Despite this, following the Model 3 being readded to Consumer Reports recommendations, the company has comprised a list of the 12 most reliable luxury compact cars, and the Model 3 is ranked 5th.
The Model 3 lost CR recommendation in February 2019 after the company stated they questioned the vehicle’s reliability after there were too many reported issues with paint, trim and, body hardware. Senior Director of Auto Testing at Consumer Reports, Jake Fisher, said, “The Tesla Model 3 struggled last year as the company made frequent design changes and ramped up production to meet demand. But as the production stabilized, we have seen improvements to the reliability.”
Improvements in the quality of the vehicles made by Tesla are possible through a various array of techniques. Software issues and even some performance-related problems can be fixed through routine software updates the company releases to its owners. However, production quality issues cannot be adjusted through software and can be fixed by one of Tesla’s service centers directly. Complaints of panel gaps were increasingly popular, but a recently released report from Bloomberg that surveyed 5,000 Tesla Model 3 owners showed buyers were impressed with the company’s increasingly improved build quality.
Consumer Reports conducts its reliability survey by obtaining information on nearly 420,000 vehicles across all manufacturers. This year’s survey attracted the data of nearly 4,000 Tesla vehicles. Owners are asked about any issues they have had with their vehicles within the last 12 months. These could range from engine issues to “annoying noises and leaks,” according to the Consumer Reports website.
The improvements to both the Model 3 and Model S have allowed even Tesla’s most intense critics to recognize the reliability of the vehicle. While Consumer Reports is a neutral company that simply reviews vehicles with the information they are given by real owners, they simply could not ignore Tesla’s improvements to its vehicles. Numerous Bloomberg studies have shown that Model 3 is one of the most reliable vehicles on the road. The Model S continues to impress as well, and with Tesla releasing a more powerful Plaid variant next year, the company has no plans to stop improving upon any of its vehicles.