Consumer Reports and Tesla Feud Continues Over Model 3
Tesla Motors and Consumer Reports have enjoyed a fairly contentious relationship with each other over the last few years. The nonprofit consumer advocacy organization had previously slighted the Model S for being unreliable and unsafe, but upgraded that analysis as Tesla continued improving the model. In this year’s consumer survey, the model received higher marks —receiving “above-average reliability for the first time ever.”
However, the Model X suffered a dismal showing and Tesla was outraged that CR gave the Model 3 a predictive average reliability score without even having driven it. The publication was quick to respond, however, and suggested the manufacturer may have misunderstood what was a fairly positive rating for an unproven platform.
While the exchanges seem somewhat trivial and maybe a little petty, this is the kind of automotive drama that’s simply too fun to ignore. For whatever reason, Tesla seems unwilling to remain silent whenever some bad publicity heads its way. While it’s far from the only automaker to do this, its relationship with Consumer Reports has been filled with very specific ups and downs.
The Model S P85D had previously been called “the best car ever” by the outlet, garnering praise from both customer surveys and road tests in 2015. But its recommendation was later rescinded, after the vehicle showcased glaring quality issues and renewed safety concerns. CR eventually restored the Model S to an “average” reliability rating but continued being exceptionally hard on the Model X.
With the Model 3 now in production, albeit at an exceptionally low volume, Consumer Reports included it as part of its annual vehicle survey. However, with so few examples to draw data from, it gave the unit a predictive reliability score. Tesla responded immediately, claiming the outlet’s reporting was “consistently inaccurate and misleading to consumers” while specifying that it was “important to note that 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.”
The following day, Consumer Reports issued a response to Tesla’s complaints in self-defense. “Tesla does garner an outsized level of attention, scrutiny and discussion by the media,” read the statement. “While we appreciate Tesla’s efforts to typically embrace and navigate, if not directly steer, this attention, we would like to offer some clarity on the examples they cite.”
“Tesla appears unhappy that CR expects the new-to-market Tesla Model 3 to be of average reliability, which is generally a positive projection for any first model year of a car. This expectation is based on CR’s 2017 Annual Reliability Survey, measuring the dependability as opposed to the satisfaction, of more than 300 car models, model year 2000 to 2017, using the responses of individual owners of more than 640,000 vehicles.”
While the majority of the posting discussed the company’s objective analysis of all models and its the methodology behind them, it did save a little venom for when it poked at Tesla’s painfully slow progress on the Model 3’s production: “As with all the cars we review, you can rest assured that we will thoroughly test and evaluate the Model 3 with the same care and scrutiny we apply to all the cars we test just as soon as we can get one — we’re waiting patiently along with other consumers.”
[Image: Tesla Motors]
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- Kcflyer on one hand it at least wont have dirty intake valves like Honda's entire lineup of direct injection ice vehicles. on the other hand a CRV offers more room, more range, faster fueling and lower price, hmm
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- Billccm I had a 1980 TC3 Horizon and that car was as reliable as the sun. Underappreciated for sure.