Consumer Reports Director Blames Tesla's 'Growing Pains' After Rescinding Recommendation

Photo Credit: David Zalubowski/AP/Shutterstock
February 22, 2019

By Amanda Weston

In order to earn back the trust of Consumer Reports, Tesla must complete a simple task, according to the magazine's director of automotive testing: Make more reliable cars.

"People are very satisfied with their cars," Jake Fisher told Cheddar Friday. "They like the way they drive. But they're also telling us that when it comes to reliability, they're not the best. In fact, they're below average."

The influential publication rescinded its recommendation for the Tesla ($TSLA) Model 3 on Thursday, citing owner-reported issues in its announcement, including problems with the car's screens, paint, and trim.

However, Tesla still remains at the top of CR's list of brands that satisfy owners the most.

Tesla responded to the report, saying it takes customer feedback "very seriously" and intends to quickly make improvements.

"We’re setting an extremely high bar for Model 3," a Tesla spokesperson said. "We have already made significant improvements to correct any issues that Model 3 customers may have experienced that are referenced in this report, and our return policy allows any customer who is unhappy with their car to return it for a full refund."

Fisher said it's a positive sign that Tesla is recognizing its problems ー and that it's doing something about them.

"We continually do more and more surveys, so in our next batch of surveys hopefully the results will show an improvement," Fisher said. "And that also isn't something that is unheard of. Often when they launch a vehicle, any manufacturer, there's going to be some growing pains. And with time they're going to work those out. So hopefully next year, or even later on this year, we'll be reporting improved reliability."

For full interview click here.