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Tesla's 'Tumultuous Year' Just Got Worse

Automaker ranked almost last for reliability in new Consumer Reports ranking
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 19, 2021 8:13 AM CST
Tesla's 'Tumultuous Year' Just Got Worse
An unsold 2021 Model X sits at a Tesla dealership on Jan. 24, 2021, in Littleton, Colo.   (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

(Newser) – Lexus will be pleased with the latest Consumer Reports new-car reliability rankings, but one big name won't be. After surveying owners of more than 300,000 vehicles that were 2020 or 2021 models, the consumer group placed Tesla second to last (ahead of only the Lincoln brand owned by Ford) out of the 28 automakers on its list, after what SFGate notes was a "tumultuous year" for the Elon Musk-helmed company. Tesla's Model X came in last among all vehicles in terms of reliability, earning a measly 5 points out of 100, with the X, Y, and S versions all said to suffer from AC and heat pump issues, as well as misaligned panels.

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Part of the problem with Tesla is that all-electric vehicles as a whole are at "the absolute bottom" when it comes to reliability, Jake Fisher, who heads up Consumer Reports' auto testing, tells Reuters. He adds that for EV models, there's also "a tendency to just add so much tech that is not necessary," per CNBC. On the flip side, Tesla aficionados are keen on such bells and whistles, which may be why Tesla continues to top the rankings when it comes to customer satisfaction—"proof that buyers may value brand loyalty and innovation over stability," SFGate notes.

The Toyota-owned Lexus topped the Consumer Reports list released Thursday, followed by Mazda, Toyota, the Nissan-owned Infiniti, and Buick, the only American brand (it's owned by General Motors) that made the list's top 10. Reuters notes eight of the top 10 are Japanese brands. CNBC adds that last year, when Mazda reigned in the No. 1 spot, was the first time in 15 years that a Toyota brand hadn't led the pack. (Read more Tesla stories.)

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