Why Tesla Is Getting Dragged by Consumer Reports

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A new report has questioned the reliability of Tesla Inc.’s (NASDAQ: TSLA) Model 3. Ultimately, Consumer Reports claimed that it will no longer recommend Tesla’s Model 3 for a number of reasons.

The Consumer Reports recommendation is based on a few factors, including the feedback of vehicle owners, crash test performance and the testing and reviews conducted by the Consumer Reports auto team. The group reached its conclusion after reading reports of Tesla owners complaining about the fit and finish of their vehicles.

It’s worth pointing out that this new data from Consumer Reports comes from is annual owner satisfaction survey, which runs from July through September, so the vast majority of these issues already have been corrected through design and manufacturing improvements. Tesla has said that it already is seeing a significant improvement in its field data since that time.

On the other hand, this report confirms the concern many analysts have raised about the quality of Tesla models slipping as the automaker ramped up production last year.

According to CNBC, at one point, Tesla added an additional Model 3 assembly line by erecting a permanent tent outside its assembly plant in Fremont, California. Reports of production issues ranged from robots on the assembly line not working properly to Tesla employees claiming the company was churning out a high volume of flawed parts that led to the automaker needing to rework and repair new models before they were shipped to customers.

Jake Fisher, senior director of Automotive Testing at Consumer Reports, commented:

When we look at the Model 3 lot of the issues are the electronics. There are some issues replacing the (navigation/infotainment) screens, for instance, but we’ve seen other issues in terms of the trim breaking and the glass.

While many Tesla owners may not be happy about the reliability of their car, Consumer Reports says those owners are generally satisfied with their electric vehicles.

Shares of Tesla were last seen down about 1.5% at $297.96 on Thursday, in a 52-week range of $244.59 to $387.46. The stock has a consensus price target of $332.44.

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