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Tesla's Model 3 Had 'Recommended' Status. Not Anymore

'Consumer Reports' pulls back coveted designation after customers complained of reliability issues
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 22, 2019 6:25 AM CST
In this July 8, 2018, photo, Model 3 sedans sit on display outside a Tesla showroom in Littleton, Colo.   (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)

(Newser) Consumer Reports giveth, and Consumer Reports taketh away—and this time around, it's Tesla who's losing out. New Atlas documents the "love-hate relationship" between the consumer advocacy group and the electric-car maker, with the former either not offering its coveted "recommended" status to Tesla's cars or yanking it back after issues later crop up. The latest vehicle to lose that CR designation: the Model 3, which, despite getting a big thumbs-up from consumers in terms of owner satisfaction, and from CR in its road tests, fared poorly in the group's annual reliability survey. Among the issues that customers complained about, per CR: glass defects (including cracks in the rear window), paint and trim problems, and glitches with the infotainment touch screen, such as freezing and randomly increasing volume.

"Consumers expect their cars to last—and not be in the repair shop," Jake Fisher, CR's lead auto tester, tells CNN Business, which notes Tesla's Model S lost "recommended" status last October due to suspension issues, even though its P85D version had been "so good it broke Consumer Reports' scoring system." Tesla's response, in a statement: "The vast majority of these issues have already been corrected through design and manufacturing improvements. We take feedback from our customers very seriously and quickly implement improvements any time we hear about issues." (But has Consumer Reports queried four-legged friends on how they feel about Tesla's pet-friendly features?)

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