Economy

Consumer Reports' survey marks Tesla Model X 'least reliable'

Consumer Reports' survey marks Tesla Model X 'least reliable'”

Each of its models rated below average with the exception of the redesigned RDX crossover, dropping the brand seven spots to No. 19.

As you might have guessed, that prediction isn't based on anyone's actual experience with the auto.

Tesla has delayed the unveiling of an electric semi truck and fired workers this month following a slower-than-projected start of production for the Model 3. Only a few hundred vehicles have been sold so far, not almost enough to gauge the car's propensity for problems with any sort of statistical accuracy.

Last year's bottom-dweller Chrysler, while still in the bottom third of brands in reliability, moved up 10 places to No.17.

"Electric vehicles are inherently less complicated than gasoline or hybrid alternatives".

Electric cars escaped some of those reliability problems because they have fewer parts. That alone should leave them less prone to breakdowns.

Drivers are displeased with new vehicle technologies such as confounding infotainment systems, according to the annual reliability study released by Consumer Reports on Thursday. Prices rise quickly for cars with more options or brighter colors. The Model X exemplifies Tesla's checkered history of new product introductions, which larger automakers with decades of experience assembling in high volumes still struggle with, Consumer Reports said.

"We are predicting that the Model 3 should have about average reliability", said Fisher.

Its issues involve problems relating to infotainment systems, drive systems, climate control and power equipment. Transmissions have become a particular trouble area, the magazine said.

"These new technologies can add features and improve fuel efficiency, but are more are prone to have issues".

With many new cars, customers complain about problems with continuously variable transmissions and eight- and nine-speed gear boxes created to boost fuel mileage, the magazine said. Ford's Focus and Fiesta ranked well-below average due to clutch and transmission problems, according to the report.

Computer screens, such as stereo and navigation interfaces, have been another trouble spot, according to the magazine.

"More often than not, our data suggests it's prudent for consumers to wait for the technology to mature", Jake Fisher, head of Consumer Reports auto testing, said in a statement ahead of a presentation in Detroit.

The publication says some models scoring poorly previous year due to transmission and infotainment woes, such as the '16 Hyundai Tucson and '16 Honda Civic, respectively, saw complaints drop sharply for those same issues on their '17 versions. After Korean automaker Hyundai Motor Co got hit with complaints about the transmission on its 2016 Hyundai Tucson sport utility vehicle, the company took action that reduced complaints about the 2017 model by more than half, Consumer Reports said.

Consumer Reports predicts reliability of 2018 vehicles based on a survey of its subscribers, who owned or leased 640,000 vehicles from the 2000-2017 model years.

Kia's new-for-'17 Niro hybrid CUV landed on the list as the most reliable new model of any surveyed.



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