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Tesla is nearly last on Consumer Reports reliability list

Following a tumultuous year for Tesla including a company relocation helmed by CEO Elon Musk, viral reports of cars on fire and other self-admitted quality control issues, Tesla has plummeted on Consumer Reports’ annual list of most-reliable carmakers.

The electric car manufacturer now ranks 27th out of 28 car brands on Consumer Reports’ list, above only Ford-owned legacy luxury brand Lincoln. Much of it has to do with the overall instability of electric vehicles in general — especially SUVs — which Consumer Reports’ Jake Fisher said during a presentation are the “absolute bottom in terms of reliability,” according to Reuters.

But considering that, at one point, the Tesla Model S excelled so much in Consumer Reports’ own analyses that the organization itself said it was “breaking the Consumer Reports Ratings system” due to its excellence, the low rank is tough criticism for Tesla and its legions of enthusiasts.

Among the concerns Consumer Reports had for the Tesla Model S, X and Y lines, according to CNBC, were issues with “heat pumps, air conditioning” and notoriously, misaligned panels. It’s also worth noting that Tesla’s Model X ranked dead-last among all cars for reliability, scoring a 5 out of 100.

The issue, Consumer Reports’ Fisher told CNBC, is that the company has the tendency to “add so much tech that is not necessary.” And while this makes for a product that varies wildly from year to year, it is part of the Tesla brand that enthusiasts adore. 

As a result, it makes sense that even though Tesla and Lincoln are the lowest-ranked in terms of reliability, they continue to fare well among its buyers and rank high on its customer satisfaction index — proof that buyers may value brand loyalty and innovation over stability.


The longtime organization gathered data from a survey of around 369,000 vehicles sold from 2018 to 2020 for this listing. 


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