Market Overview

Tesla And Consumer Reports: A History

Tesla And Consumer Reports: A History

The latest chapter in a historically bumpy road between Tesla, Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA) and Consumer Reports sent the stock tumbling Thursday.

What Happened

On Thursday, Consumer reports withdrew its recommendation for the Tesla Model 3, citing quality and reliability issues.

“While Teslas perform well in Consumer Reports’ road tests and have excellent owner satisfaction, their reliability has not been consistent, according to our members, which has resulted in changes to their recommended status,” Consumer Reports senior director of auto testing was quoted as saying in the story. 

Consumer Reports noted problems with Model 3 electronics, including control screen freezing and other bugs. In addition, owners reported problems with paint, trim and glass, including cracked rear windows.

Consumer Reports noted that, despite the defects, Tesla currently holds the top spot among its auto brand customer satisfaction rankings.

“When a vehicle has an enthusiastic following, like with Tesla, owners may overlook some issues,” Fisher said.

Why It’s Important

Last year, Tesla stock took a hit when Consumer Reports withheld a recommendation for the Model 3 due to several issues, including inconsistent braking distance, excessive wind noise, a stiff ride and uncomfortable rear seat.

A week later, Consumer Reports reinstated its recommendation after a Tesla software update reduced the Model 3’s average braking distance by nearly 20 feet.

It wasn’t the first time Tesla butted heads with Consumer reports. In late 2017, Consumer reports said the Model 3 would have an “average reliability” rating for its class. At the time, a spokesperson for Tesla said “Consumer Reports' automotive reporting is consistently inaccurate and misleading to consumers.”

What’s Next

In response to the latest criticism from Consumer Reports, Tesla said it takes customer complaints extremely seriously.

“The vast majority of these issues have already been corrected through design and manufacturing improvements, and we are already seeing a significant improvement in our field data,” a Tesla spokesperson told Consumer Reports. 

Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who has often lashed out in response to media criticism of Tesla, has yet to address the Consumer Reports news via Twitter.

Tesla shares were down 2.98 percent at $293.55 at the time of publication and are down roughly 15 percent in the last three months.

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Photo courtesy of Tesla. 


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