Consumer Reports Is All Out of Love for the Tesla Model 3

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
consumer reports is all out of love for the tesla model 3

Less than a year after bestowing a coveted “Recommended” label on Tesla’s Model 3, Consumer Reports is taking is back. You can just imagine the outrage in the online Teslaverse.

Consumer Reports’ secret ownership by shadowy oil execs and General Motors notwithstanding (this is clearly false, don’t sue us), the retraction of what amounts to a “buy this, you probably won’t be sorry” label is a blow to the automaker, and CR claims it’s all Tesla’s fault.

At least Tesla can say it isn’t alone in the recommendation withdrawal camp.

The revoking is a direct result of reported quality issues that came to its attention over the past year, CR claims. While the Model 3 excelled in crash tests, predicted reliability can sink any rating. Apparently, owners made good use of the reviewer’s Annual Auto Reliability Survey.

“Tesla Model 3 owners told CR that problem areas included loose body trim and glass defects,” the nonprofit organization claims.

Anyone who spends any amount of time on Twitter or immersed in one of the many Tesla forums will notice owner complaints, usually related to fit and finish. Not surprising, many claim, given the rush to ramp up production of the compact electric sedan — not to mention the facility’s improvised assembly line, which came together under a tent in mere days.

Unlike in past years, Tesla CEO made no mention of the slight on social media, spending Thursday tweeting about SpaceX rockets instead. The company’s shares closed down 4 percent following the CR report.

Musk can find solace in the fact that five other models also had their recommendations stripped. Based on consumer feedback, CR is no longer giving its nod of approval to the Chrysler 300, Dodge Charger, Acura RDX, BMW 5 Series, and Volkswagen Tiguan.

Good news awaited BMW, Genesis, and Lincoln in the report, as CR returned the recommended label to the X3, G90, and Nautilus (formerly MKX).

[Image: Tesla]

Join the conversation
3 of 83 comments
  • EBFlex EBFlex on Feb 23, 2019

    "I love our ’17 Jeep GC" Lets see if that "I'm a car guy" really is true: HEMI or V6?

    • Oreguy Oreguy on Feb 23, 2019

      Yeah, you got me. Pentastar. Deduct points. Turns out I was wrong about myself all these years. Not to blame my wife, but the Jeep IS hers. She picked it out and wrote the check. Had I told her we need a HEMI, she would have followed my advice, but we don't tow anything that the Pentastar won't readily handle. Not totally applicable to the story, but a good friend of mine has an new-ish GC SRT. I've driven it, and rode in it a lot. It's a ton of fun for short bursts, but even he admits it's a bit tedious for daily driving.

  • HotPotato HotPotato on Feb 23, 2019

    Can someone enlighten me how the Recommended thing works? The same make and model will go from recommended to not recommended and back again from year to year. Is there really that much variation in vehicle quality from year to year, or is it a statistical quirk, or what?

  • Wjtinfwb Over the years I've owned 3, one LH (a Concorde) a Gen 1 300 and a Gen 2 300C "John Varvatos". The Concorde was a very nice car for the time with immense room inside and decent power from the DOHC 3.5L. But quality was awful, it spent more time in the shop than the driveway. It gave way to a Gen 1 300, OK but the V6 was underwhelming in this car compared to the Concorde but did it's job. The Gen 1's letdown was the awful interior with acres of plastic, leather that did it's best imitation of vinyl and a featureless dashboard that looked lifted from a cheaper car. My last one was a '14 300C John Varvatos with the Pentastar. Great car, sufficient power and exceptional highway mileage. The interior was much better than the original as well. It was felled by a defective instrument cluster that took over 90 days to fix and was ultimately lemon law' d back to FCA. I'd love one of the 392 powered final edition 300s but understand they're already sold out and if I had an extra 60k available, would likely choose a CPO BMW 540i for comparable money.
  • Dukeisduke Thanks Cary. Folks need to make sure they buy the correct antifreeze, since there are so many OEM-specific ones out there nowadays (Dex-Cool, Ford gold, Toyota red and pink, etc.).And sorry to hear about your family situation - my wife and I have been dealing with her 88-yo mom, moving her into independent senior living, selling her house, etc. It's a lot to deal with.
  • FreedMike Always lusted after that first-gen 300 - particularly the "Heritage Edition," which had special 300 badging and a translucent plastic steering wheel (ala the '50s and '60s "letter cars").
  • Dave M. Although the effective takeover by Daimler is pooped upon, this is one they got right. I wasn't a fan of the LHs, mostly due to reported mechanical, NVH and build quality issues, but I though Chrysler hit it out of the park with the LXs. The other hyped release that year was the Ford Five Hundred, which, while a well-built car with superior interior space, couldn't hold a candle to the 300.
  • Art Vandelay I always liked those last FWD 300's. Been ages since I've seen one on the road though. Lots of time in the RWD ones as rentals. No complaints whatsoever.