Consumer Reports puts Tesla back on recommended list as reliability improves

Carl Medlock's Tesla Workshop

Tesla, which has been accused of sacrificing quality when ramping up production of the Model 3, procures more reliable vehicles, according to a new study from Consumer Reports.

"What we have seen with Model 3 is that they had a lot of problems with starting with paint, some problems with the bodywork and many windows that cracked, but in a few years they have built the vehicle they have been working these problems out , "said Jon Linkov, deputy auto editor for Consumer Reports.

Improved reliability reports from Model 3 and Model S owners were enough to convince Consumer Reports to once again recommend both vehicles as reliable, a term the organization pulled last year.

In total, the Tesla brand jumped four spots in the latest Consumer Reports reliability survey, which is based on reviews from owners of more than 400,000 vehicles. This year, Lexus was ranked as the top brand for reliability, followed by Mazda and Toyota.

Tesla still ranks in the bottom third of the 30 car brands rated by Consumer Reports, which said the Tesla Model X is among the least reliable models in the survey.

The quality of Tesla's vehicle has been investigated as the car manufacturer increased production of Model 3 over the past two years, even placing an assembly line under a permanent tent right outside the company's plant in Fremont, California.

In April 201[ads1]8, Musk admitted that production delays with the Model 3 were partly due to relying on too many robots when building the vehicle. "Yes, excessive automation at Tesla was a mistake. To be precise, my mistake. People are underestimated," Musk tweeted at the time. As the car manufacturer increased production, some of those working in Tesla painted a picture of a car manufacturer struggling with production.

For 2019, Tesla said it expects to meet its guidance on delivering between 360,000 and 400,000 vehicles. Linkov said that Tesla still has plenty of room to improve the quality of models S, X and 3. but is clearly improving.

"They have worked through the problems, they are much better than many other vehicles," he said. .

Among those ranked below Tesla are some key brands that have historically outperformed Consumer Report's reliability survey, including Chevrolet, Acura and Cadillac, which ranked dead last.

"Cadillac has had a lot of different infotainment and electrical issues going on," Linkov said. CNBC has reached out to Cadillac for a comment on this year's results.

Here is the ranking:

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