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Tesla's 2 Downgraded Models Regain Consumer Reports Recommendation

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Consumer Reports has once again recommended Tesla's Model 3 and Model S sedans as reliable, after the vehicles were previous downgraded by the organization.

Consumer Reports said that the two sedans regained its recommendation due to improved reliability reports from owners of the cars, based on the results of its annual Auto Reliability Survey that were announced Thursday.

This year's survey is based on information on about 420,000 vehicles, including nearly 4,000 Tesla cars, from the organization's members.

"The Tesla Model 3 struggled last year as the company made frequent design changes and ramped up production to meet demand. But as the production stabilized, we have seen improvements to the reliability," said Jake Fisher, senior director of auto testing at CR.

In February, CR had said it would no longer recommend the Model 3 due to reliability issues, including those with the trim, body panels and paint.

In the latest survey, CR members reported fewer problems with body hardware issues for both Tesla models, such as trunks that did not close properly or loose body trim panels.

According to CR, there were fewer reports of stuck latches or malfunctioning doors for the Model 3. Owners of the Model S reported fewer problems with paint and trim quality - issues that have plagued the vehicle in the past.

Owners also reported lesser number of problems with power equipment, such as cruise control, cameras, and warning lights.

CR noted that the Model 3 is now the fifth most reliable out of twelve luxury compact cars in its ratings of predicted new-car reliability, while the Model S is the second-most reliable out of four ultra-luxury cars.

Overall, the Tesla brand jumped four spots from last year to 23, but still ranked in the bottom third of the 30 auto brands rated in the survey.

CR does not recommend Tesla's Model X, which continues to rank among the least reliable models in the survey.

Japanese brands - Lexus, Mazda, and Toyota, in that order - continue to be the best for new car reliability in CR's survey.

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