Tesla Inc’s recently introduced Model Y crossover, which has had body-hardware and paint issues, dragged down the electric automaker’s standing in Consumer Reports magazine’s annual reliability study.
Owners of the Model Y, which started production in January, have reported misaligned body panels that had to be repaired and mismatched paint including, in one case, human hair stuck in the paint, according to Consumer Reports. The Model Y completed with a “much worse than average” reliability rating.
The automaker’s ranking would have increased a few spots if not for the Model Y’s performance, said Jake Fisher, senior director of auto testing at Consumer Reports.
New models often have concerns over reliability, but Tesla’s problems were not typical.
“I am surprised that we would see just basic paint and trim type issues and body panel fitment issues,” Fisher said in an interview. “You would think that that would have been worked out a long time ago.”
“Really disappointing when you spend this much money for a car and hopefully they’ll be able to rectify a lot of these as time goes by,” Fisher added.
Tesla’s ranking dropped two spots to No. 25 out of 26 brands rated in the U.S. market, ahead of only Ford’s Lincoln luxury brand, according to the annual survey released on Thursday.
The Tesla Model S sedan and Model X SUV were both worse than average, with the former losing its “recommended” status. Though the Model 3 sedan maintained an “average” rating and its “recommended” status.
The poll predicts which new cars will give owners fewer or more concerns, based on data collected for over 300,000 vehicles from model years 2000 to 2020. Its scorecard is influential among costumers and industry executives.
Brands with no significant changes to their lineups, such as Mazda Motor, made gains. Mazda finished above Toyota Motor and Lexus brands. This was the first time that a Toyota brand did not finish first in the survey, Fisher said.
The reliability of full-sized pickups, the most popular automobiles in the U.S. market, was weaker.
General Motors’ Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra 1500 pickups had “much worse than average” reliability, whereas Fiat Chrysler Automobile’s Ram pickup finished “worse than average”. Ford’s F-150 was not rated as a redesigned model was just introduced, but the larger F-250 and F-350 versions were “average.”