Consumer Reports To Call Tesla Model 3 'Average' In Reliability

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A survey of 640,000 consumers showed all new or updated models are more likely than prior models to develop engine problems, jerky transmissions or suffer failures in high-tech features. Consumer Reports has not yet tested the new Tesla Model 3 but anticipates that it will also score well for reliability, according to Fisher, who based his prediction on the results of continuing tests of Tesla's Model S and X. The three Tesla models share the same basic technology.

Consumer Reports made the prediction based on the amount of technology the Model 3 shares with the larger Model S sedan, which the magazine's subscribers rated above average for the first time in an annual survey. It also noted that its survey listed Tesla's Model S sedan as the magazine's top rated vehicle with "above average reliability for the first time ever."Palo Alto, California-based Tesla said earlier this month that "production bottlenecks" had left it running behind in ramp-up plans for the Model 3, which is still short in supply with long waiting lists for deliveries". The Model X exemplifies Tesla's checkered history of new product introductions, which larger automakers with decades of experience assembling in high volumes still struggle with, Consumer Reports said. The auto will likely lag behind General Motors Co's electric Chevrolet Bolt, which launched with above-average reliability, Consumer Reports said. General Motors Co's Cadillac brand was last among 27 brands ranked.

"Consumer Reports has not yet driven a Model 3, let alone do they know anything substantial about how the Model 3 was designed and engineered", a Tesla spokeswoman said in an emailed statement.

Fisher noted that electric vehicles are inherently less complicated than gasoline- or hybrid-powered alternatives, and the Model 3 should be the least complicated Tesla yet.

Hard to use infotainment systems also continue to annoy customers.

Now that Tesla has ripped Consumer Reports' integrity, the question is whether it will change how the magazine's auto team views Musk's company or the Model 3. Consumer Reports said its survey found that owners of models in the first year of production reported twice as many complaints about vehicle electronics. After Korean automaker Hyundai Motor Co got hit with complaints about the transmission on its 2016 Hyundai Tucson sport utility vehicle, the company took action that reduced complaints about the 2017 model by more than half, Consumer Reports said.

Has focusing on Tesla raised Consumer Reports profile?

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