Consumer Reports stops recommending Tesla 3

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Jake Fisher, senior director of automotive testing at Consumer Reports, said the organization encountered numerous reliability issues related to the Model 3's electronics.

"When a vehicle has an enthusiastic following, like with Tesla, owners may overlook some issues".

This became evident in Tesla's struggles with the Model 3 ramp - an experience that Elon Musk describes as one of the most hard points of his career.

On the other hand, using data from the same survey, the publication said last month the Model 3 had the highest driver satisfaction ratings of any vehicle, while the Model S took the fifth spot in the rankings. The moves have raised concern among some investors about demand for the vehicles keeping pace after deliveries surged in the second half of previous year.

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Last year, Tesla won a Consumer Reports recommendation for the Model 3 thanks to a last-minute upgrade to its braking software.

Tesla pushed back on the magazine's assessment.

It had initially projected a March start for Model 3 deliveries in China - the world's biggest auto market where overall vehicle sales contracted in 2018 for the first time in more than two decades. This year, Tesla fell behind Ford Motor Co.'s (F.N) Lincoln and General Motors Co.'s (GM.N) Buick. Part of this was based on reviews of thousands of vehicle owners.

But will it really make a big difference to Tesla Model 3 sales? This survey guides Consumer Reports decision making when it comes to the continuing recommendation of vehicles and is compiled using data from nearly half a million vehicles. Tesla's stock dipped after Consumer Reports pulled its recommendation for the Tesla Model 3.

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Tesla publicly sparred with CR in 2017 after the magazine predicted "average reliability" for the Model 3 despite having very little survey information since the sedan had just begun shipping.

For example, they identified issues with the body of the Model 3, its paint, and the interior trim. "We've seen this with other vehicles such as the Jeep Wrangler and Chevrolet Corvette". The new report raises questions about the reliability of the Model 3.

Tesla shares dropped Thursday after Consumer Reports said it could no longer recommend the Model 3 due to a variety of problems the publication's members have raised.

By comparison, Subaru has soared to the top of the latest auto brand rankings. The top five brands in the survey are Subaru (81), Genesis (80), Porsche (79), Audi (77) and Mazda (76).

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Four of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV brands were among the 10 worst, with Chrysler falling 11 spots.

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