KEY POINTS

  • On a 0-100 point scale, Tesla Model Y received 29 points
  • Tesla's Model X is also rated as subpar by Consumer Reports on reliability
  • Mazda and Toyota topped the list as most reliable auto brands

Tesla’s Model Y crashed almost to the bottom in Consumer Reports’ reliability ratings, bagging a "not recommended" rating due to significant reliability issues.

The EV leader’s newest Model Y, which started production at the beginning of 2020, performed well overall and received good ratings from the magazine’s staff during their test drives earlier this year, according to a report by CNN. But the magazine's industry-wide reliability report is based on surveys of actual owners, and that is where the car tanked.

The problems that were reported by Model Y's buyers included misaligned body panels, mismatched paint, dust, and debris in new cars among others. The Model Y is currently available for order in two trim levels, long-range and performance, both of which use all-wheel drive.

“A car might be great to drive and have all the features you want, but all that won’t matter to you much if you have to keep going back to the dealer for repairs,” Jake Fisher, senior director of auto testing at Consumer Reports, said in a release.

Fischer added that the problems with Tesla were disappointing, given that new cars often have reliability issues. “It is some basic stuff they are not getting right, which is disappointing."

Consumer Reports ranked Mazda as the most reliable brand for its new cars. Toyota and Lexus took second and third places, respectively. Tesla is in the 25th position among the 26 brands reviewed. It was followed by Lincoln and was just after Volkswagen.

The magazine marks cars on a 0-to-100 point scale, on which Mazda received 83 points and Tesla received 29 points, and Lincoln, just 8. An average brand ranks between 41 and 60 points.

Consumer Reports also downgraded Tesla’s Model S luxury sedan to "not recommended," joining Model X in the category. The only model in the good books at this point is Tesla’s best-selling Model 3, which received a "recommend" rating from the magazine.

Tesla models are among the best-scoring vehicles when reviewed by Consumer Reports' staff. This divide in the ratings from reviewers and customers is where the company has been struggling for the past few years, according to Fischer.

“If the reliability improved, I would be happy to recommend Teslas. They are satisfying and really fun to drive, they are good for the environment,” CNN quoted Fischer, as saying.

Tesla is recalling nearly 30,000 vehicles sold in China over suspension problems Tesla is recalling nearly 30,000 vehicles sold in China over suspension problems Photo: AFP / Emmanuel DUNAND