Lees than reliable?

Lees than reliable?

Hi everyone. My name is Rick and I am new here. I have reserved a M3. Just got my auto issue of consumer reports and they have just raised the reliability of the MS to average, up from less than average in previous years. I couldn't find what the issues with the MS were/are. Does anyone know and do you think any may appear in the M3? Isnt the M3 being assembled in a new plant? If there were problems related to assembly with MS, I would think a new plant would address those. Better batteries for the M3 I thought I read also. Pity the noob for he knows not what is goin on.

bmalloy0 | 07/03/2017

The original cars had some motor issues. They were fixed by "Total motor replacement," even though it was just a bearing that needed to be replaced (cheaper and faster to just take out the motor, pop a new one with the new bearing in, and then fix the old motor as leisure than to fix each one that came in). That blemish has taken a long time to recover from, even though it is a non-issue for all Teslas for the past few years.

The Model 3 itself will be assembled at the Fremont facility just like the S/X, but the battery pack and motors will be built at the Gigafactory (unlike the S/X).

Carl Thompson | 07/03/2017


Many have noted (including CR) that the fit and finish of the S and X are not what is expected for cars in their price range. I've also read that Tesla has made quite a bit of progress in this area and their scores in that regard are going up.


topher | 07/03/2017

Consumer Reports rates reliability based on number of problems, not their severity, nor the quality of the resolution of those problems.

Tesla is new to making cars, that their first (real) attempt had flaws, is hardly surprising. The question is how did they recover from those problems. By all accounts they learned from their mistakes, are fixing issues with the Model S, and will simply avoid those issues with the Model 3. (they will come up with new and different problems, no doubt).

A new plant wouldn't have the slightest affect on the the quality of the cars produced. The assembly line for the 3 will be brand new, but then so was the assembly line for the S, back when they started making those.

Thank you kindly.

lilbean | 07/03/2017

It has been my experience that there are issues with any brand new model in any make.

Red Sage ca us | 07/03/2017

Civicrick: Also, take note that for any new automotive brand, Consumer Reports will not publish an official recommendation on reliability until there are at least two vehicles on offer from them at once. And, that rating will contain historic data from the first that will weigh heavier against the second. The Model X appeared in late 2015, over three years after the Model S debut, so Tesla's placeholder rating of 'Average' dropped to 'Below Average' immediately upon its availability. Please note that the overall ratings for Tesla's direct competitors, BMW and Mercedes-Benz, were lower despite their 'history, experience, and craftsmanship' gained in over one hundred plus years.

Quinten | 07/03/2017

Hi fix your typo Less and edit and replace it with Less, thank you.

Civicrick | 07/03/2017

Thanks for the input. Carl, I stopped by my local tesla dealer for a close up hands on and the MS I was looking at was a hair over 100k. The front hood did seem very light (er- flimsy?) but I chalked it up to weight savings. Don't believe it would be acceptable on an equivalently priced gas chugger. I agree Topher that Tesla should learn from its mistakes (if there even were any major glitches in the existing line) which is why I felt that a new assembly line would be designed with more experience at hand. Moot I guess but it makes it a bit easier for me to wait for next year until my car rolls off the line. Our 2004 Sienna was the first year of a major redesign and the engine was a hair small at 3.3L so Toyota bumped it up to a 3.5. But if Tesla is giving out new motors just cuz the old one has one bad replaceable part- sounds like Elon stands behind his product.

Aaaaaaaand.... your welcome!

Civicrick | 07/03/2017

Sorry Quinten but I don't understand what you mean

Haggy | 07/03/2017

Even though the raw number of problems I had with my Model S was above average, the inconvenience of having those problems was below average. If I look at the total inconvenience of taking the car in for service for anything related to warranty issues or scheduled maintenance, I would have spent more time on oil changes for an ICE and far fewer warranty issues.

I have a 2016 spec drive train on a 2014 car because the 2014 bearings were inferior. CR might say my car is a less desirable used car, but it's a pointless claim since chances are slim it will have any drive train issues. CR gives the 2016 cars their full orange circle for drive trains. Tesla makes improvements over time, and the improvements end up in older cars when they need service.

Tesla will not start off making the Model 3 with inferior bearings, only to replace them later. Anything they have learned from the Model 3 has been incorporated into the new design. With the Model S, there was no real world road experience. Now Tesla has over a million miles driven each day.

Another thing to keep in mind is that even when CR said that reliability was below average (but not well below average) the Model S still had a 98% customer satisfaction rating. What could you possibly want more than the car you will be most satisfied with?

pavel | 07/03/2017

No car maker scored perfect grades in anything from inception. Tesla has performed impressively well for the little time that they've been around. They've lit a fire under the auto-industry's butt and that's the whole point - disrupting a system that has been comfortably soaking in mediocrity for too long.

chris.pribe | 07/03/2017

I’m optimistic about quality and reliability mainly because the Model 3 is an EV and I trust Tesla.

Since I’m hoping to get my Model 3 relatively early (I live in Silicon Valley and I was in line at the Sunnyvale store before it opened on 3/31), I wouldn’t be surprised or particularly bothered if Tesla needs to address a few issues in my car. I’m confident they will get things right.

Further, I’m sure Tesla’s suppliers will also be on their toes given the sales volumes involved, so any quality issues should be addressed quickly and related equipment and processes improved accordingly.

To put this in perspective, normally I would want an extended warranty on a new car, but I’m inclined not to do so for this car.

In fact, I’m tempted to get the air suspension if it is offered. I’m thinking the reduced maintenance costs of an EV would counterbalance any risk of the high maintenance costs historically associated with air suspensions from some other manufacturers.

bmalloy0 | 07/03/2017

@chris: suppliers are already on their toes, I'm sure. Tesla already cancelled an order for not being up to their standards.

chris.pribe | 08/03/2017

@bmalloy0: Yes, true. That is what I had hoped to convey: I was using ‘will’ in the sense of “expressing probability or expectation about something in the present” rather than strictly “expressing the future tense.”

andy.connor.e | 08/03/2017

Word of advice,
Consumer Reports is pretty mainstream. Not the most reliable "go-to" for information on what is the "best".

greg | 08/03/2017


Quinten was asking you to correct the posts title to "Less than reliable?" from the current "Lees than reliable?"

andy.connor.e | 08/03/2017

Omg i did not even realize that LOL!!!!