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Cars scare tactics

Published on November 14th, 2019 | by Johnna Crider


Tesla Regains Consumer Reports Recommendation

November 14th, 2019 by  

scare tactics

According to a new announcement by Consumer Reports, Tesla’s Models 3 and Model S regained a recommendation from Consumer Reports. This is due to Tesla’s improved reliability based on the results of the organization’s annual survey.

As close followers of the company know well, Tesla faced quite a few challenges last year as it made several changes to the vehicle trims while ramping up production to meet intense consumer demand. Consumer issues with early cars, even if they didn’t bother owners very much, seemed to make Consumer Reports feel a bit skittish.

However, Jake Fisher, senior director of auto testing at Consumer Reports, says, “as the production stabilized, we have seen improvements to the reliability.”

Fewer problems were reported when it came to body hardware issues for the Model 3. There were fewer reports of stuck latches or malfunctioning doors. The Model S, according to Consumer Reports, showed fewer problems with paint and trim quality. Other improvements were in cruise control, cameras, and warning lights.

The reliability survey asked members about any problems they might have had with their cars in the past year. The survey had 17 potential problem areas and captured data regarding (don’t laugh, Elon) 420,000 vehicles. This includes almost 4,000 Tesla vehicles.

When it comes to “luxury compact cars,” CR’s ratings show that the Model 3 ranks as fifth most reliable. The Model S comes in as the second most reliable out of four “ultra luxury” cars and is predicted to be more reliable than either the Mercedes-Benz S-Class or the Lexus LS.

CR speculates that the inconsistent reliability could be due to Tesla’s approach to manufacturing. Tesla is constantly tweaking and significantly changing model features and parts as well as the manufacturing process. It never rests. In a recent “Tesla Inside Out” episode, 7-year Tesla veteran told CleanTechnica that Elon Musk and Jerome Guillen, currently President of Automotive at Tesla, required two manufacturing improvements a week years ago. While that specific number was not provided to CleanTechnica when we interviewed Jerome Guillen and top factory engineers in March, it sounded like the process and expectation was more or less the same. Here are related stories:

Tesla Continues To Progress

Well, the CR results and upgrade are definitely a great thing and show areas that Tesla has improved in. Tesla can also learn, I think, from these reports as to how it is progressing in consumers’ eyes. The company can also learn improvements it should implement and things it should pause or consider stopping. Tesla is still new and, like a student, continues to make improvements as needed and as possible.

Tesla has much growth to come, which will present challenges, but the company seems to be adept at surpassing such challenges. Tesla is already planning to open its 4th Gigafactory, in Germany, and it has its Gigafactory in China just now coming online. The Model 3 has pretty much taken over half the world, but there’s much more to go and there’s also the coming Model Y and Cybertruck.

The Tesla Model 3 is no stranger to high-level awards, we should note. Just this past week Elon Musk was in Germany to accept one of the highest awards in the auto world and in Germany, Das Goldene Lenkrad from Auto Bild. It’s one of the most well-known German awards for new car models and has been awarded since 1976. In 2017, the rules were changed to include the fact that everyday fuel consumption had an impact on the grading of the test vehicles. Price is also important, alongside performance of course.

While graciously accepting the prestigious award, Elon Musk dropped the bombshell announcement that the location of Gigafactory 4 would be Berlin. It will be in or near the city. Tesla’s progress is not over yet. 

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About the Author

Johnna Crider is a Baton Rouge artist, gem and mineral collector, and Tesla shareholder who believes in Elon Musk and Tesla. Elon Musk advised her in 2018 to “Believe in Good.” Tesla is one of many good things to believe in. You can find Johnna on Twitter

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