The Tesla Model 3 and Chrysler 300 are among the six cars that can no longer be “Recommended” by Consumer Reports (CR) due to declining reliability, the organization announced at the National Press Club in Washington, DC.
Predicted reliability is a key element in CR’s Overall Score, which is calculated by combining a vehicle’s performance in the organization’s road tests; reliability and owner satisfaction ratings drawn from CR’s exclusive Auto Survey; the inclusion of blind spot warning and frontal crash prevention systems with pedestrian detection; and, if available, results from government and insurance-industry crash tests.
Only vehicles with the highest Overall Scores in their category earn the distinction of CR “Recommended.” Declining reliability caused the Overall Scores of these vehicles to fall below that threshold. The Dodge Charger, Acura RDX, BMW 5 Series, and Volkswagen Tiguan also lost their CR Recommendation.
CR obtains its reliability data from its Annual Auto Reliability Survey that is typically sent to CR members each spring. The results of the spring 2018 survey were released this past October. However, CR collected additional auto reliability data during the summer of 2018 from car owners who did not respond to the initial survey, and updated reliability scores for its Annual Auto Issue and Autos Spotlight, based on information on about 500,000 vehicles.
CR’s Predicted Reliability rating is based on the model’s recent history, provided the model hasn’t been significantly redesigned for the current model year. For a brand new or redesigned model, or one with insufficient data, CR makes a prediction based on the manufacturer’s track record, history of the previous generation, or similar models that shared the same components.
Tesla Model 3 owners told CR that problem areas included loose body trim and glass defects. With the Chrysler 300, it was problems with the in-car electronics and transmission. These reliability issues contributed to both brands tumbling eleven spots in CR’s latest Car Brand Rankings, which reveals which brands make the best cars.
Overall Scores for all 33 brands included in Consumer Reports’ 2019 Brand Report Card are available in CR’s Annual Auto Issue or by visiting CR’s 2019 Autos Spotlight online at http://www.CR.org/spotlight.
Three other vehicles can now be “Recommended” by CR because of improved reliability. They are the BMW X3, Genesis G90, and Lincoln Nautilus (which used to be the Lincoln MKX).
Consumer Reports buys all its test cars anonymously from dealers and does not accept free samples from automakers for any of its ratings or evaluations. CR conducts a battery of tests on every vehicle it evaluates, including braking, handling, comfort, convenience, safety, and fuel economy. Roughly 6,000 miles of general driving and evaluations are racked up on each car during the testing process.