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Tesla Tanks Consumer Reports Rankings

Misaligned panels and human hair stuck in the paint.

Just when you think Tesla is going to have a good, drama-free run for a bit, something weird happens. And this time, it’s really weird.

Consumer Reports dealt an embarrassing blow to Tesla’s reliability rankings this week, when it added the company’s newest model -- the Y -- to the review pool. 

Deliveries of the Model Y first began in spring of 2020, and the mid-sized SUV is apparently not performing to the standards that Tesla enthusiasts are accustomed to.

In its assessment, Consumer Reports acknowledges that it’s common for new models to have dependability problems, especially those with very high tech features, but in the Model Y’s case the quality control problems were unusually basic. For example, they say owners have reported things like misaligned body panels and mismatched paint colors. One of the more horrifying claims was from a buyer who said there was human hair stuck in the paint on their vehicle.

With the Model Y dragging the automaker’s overall ranking down, it fell to number 25 out of 26 brands assessed. Only Lincoln performed worse. According to Reuters, Tesla would have actually increased its ranking a few slots over last year were it not for the Model Y. 

Even so, some of Tesla’s other models didn’t exactly shine in the rankings. While the Model Y did the worst with its “much worse than average” designation, Consumer Reports says the Model S sedan and Model X SUV were both “worse than average.” Only the Model 3 has retained an “average” rating and recommended status.

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