Model 3 loses Consumer Reports recommendation; Tesla brand drops

Model 3 loses Consumer Reports recommendation; Tesla brand drops

Model 3 loses Consumer Reports recommendation; Tesla brand drops

Just a few weeks after Consumer Reports published a report claiming that Tesla's Model 3 is the "most satisfying" auto to own, Tesla's mass market EV somewhat abruptly lost its "buy" recommendation from the publication, according to a report published earlier today.

Given the somewhat back-and-forth relationship Consumer Reports tends to have with Tesla, it wouldn't be shocking in the slightest to see the Model 3 get back its "buy" recommendation over the next few months. Others pointed to issues with vehicle paint or trim.

Over the past year, Tesla has talked about using leasing to boost demand for the Model 3, but the automaker has been reluctant to introduce the measure because of its effect on GAAP financials. Tesla's Model X SUV has consistently rated poorly due to problematic doors and display screens. The survey, which collects data on an estimated 470,000 vehicles, evaluates overall reliability, as well as key issues which pinpoint specific problems reported by owners who provide a response to the study.

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While Consumer Reports initially predicted the Model 3 would have average reliability, it's turned out to be below average.

The stripping of the recommendation comes after Consumer Reports tallied the results of an annual survey focused on vehicle reliability. The others in the top five also are premium marques: Volkswagen AG's Porsche and Audi, followed by Toyota Motor Corp.'s Lexus. Jaguar and Fiat were the lowest, each with a score of 44. Regarding its Model 3, Tesla says "significant improvements" have already been made.

Four of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV brands were among the 10 worst, with Chrysler falling 11 spots.

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