CR responds to Tesla over claims that its reviews are inaccurate and misleading

Discussion in 'Model 3' started by gene, Oct 20, 2017.

  1. gene

    gene Moderator

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    #1 gene, Oct 20, 2017
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    Consumer Reports has fired back at Tesla, issuing a statement that defends its recent report that predicts Model 3 to have “average reliability”.  “Tesla appears unhappy that CR expects the new-to-market Tesla Model 3 to be of average reliability, which is generally a positive projection for any first model year of a car.” says CR in a press release sent to Teslarati.

    The nonprofit organization that aims to educate consumers on the value of product, that can be anywhere from a household vacuum cleaner to an automobile, through its product testing reinforces its methodology for making predictions. “Here’s how we make the prediction” notes CR, addressing Tesla’s claim that the organization’s “automotive reporting is consistently inaccurate and misleading to consumers”.

    “CR uses survey data it receives from car owners to predict the expected reliability of new cars being introduced to the market by looking across a manufacturer’s historic results (akin to how a weather forecaster predicts it will be sunny) - separate from the hands-on road tests we use for our overall score.” reads the press release.

    The organization provides further reasoning for the predicted reliability rating assigned to Tesla’s latest mass market vehicle. “For the Model 3, we looked at more than 2,000 consumer survey responses about Tesla models. In fact, the Tesla Model S is now reported as having above average reliability for the first time ever. The Tesla Model S is also currently CR’s top rated car, period. (Kudos on both, Tesla!)”

    We’ve provided the full press release from Consumer Reports below. Let us know what your thoughts are in the comments section.

    CONSUMER REPORTS RESPONDS TO TESLA’S COMPLAINTS ON REPORTING, RESEARCH AND REVIEWS

    Late yesterday, Tesla shared with select journalists what appears to have been a prepared statement of supercharged and unsupported claims about the performance and safety of their own vehicles and our 2017 Annual Reliability Survey results, taking the occasion to air a number of grievances against Consumer Reports (CR) and our overall reporting on Tesla and its products.

    As is often the result of any new product or company that electrifies the market, Tesla does garner an outsized level of attention, scrutiny and discussion by the media. While we appreciate Tesla’s efforts to typically embrace and navigate, if not directly steer, this attention, we would like to offer some clarity on the examples they cite. (For other, perhaps not surprisingly Tesla-positive, examples from CR, you can visit the articles currently available at the Tesla press site, at least until they pull those links down, or visit us at CR.org).

    Tesla seems to misunderstand or is conflating some of what we fundamentally do - our Annual Reliability Survey report and the related predictions versus our car reviews and tests.

    First, Tesla appears unhappy that CR expects the new-to-market Tesla Model 3 to be of average reliability, which is generally a positive projection for any first model year of a car. This expectation is based on CR’s 2017 Annual Reliability Survey, measuring the dependability as opposed to the satisfaction, of more than 300 car models, model year 2000 to 2017, using the responses of individual owners of more than 640,000 vehicles. We provide this information to help people make informed purchasing decisions as new products reach the market.

    Here’s how we make the prediction: CR uses survey data it receives from car owners to predict the expected reliability of new cars being introduced to the market by looking across a manufacturer’s historic results (akin to how a weather forecaster predicts it will be sunny) - separate from the hands-on road tests we use for our overall score.

    For the Model 3, we looked at more than 2,000 consumer survey responses about Tesla models. In fact, the Tesla Model S is now reported as having above average reliability for the first time ever. The Tesla Model S is also currently CR’s top rated car, period. (Kudos on both, Tesla!)

    Second, Tesla has taken larger issue with how CR produces car ratings, citing specific examples where they think our testing methods fell short or were unfair. CR conducts a battery of 50 standardized tests across all the vehicles we review - we have a lot of mileage in this arena. We also continuously update our ratings as new surveys are conducted and we test the cars we purchase to reflect the current realities of what a consumer should expect in the marketplace. (That’s right, purchase. CR does not accept any advertising and purchases the products we rate like any other regular person.) The Model S rating has changed over time, going up and down, as new data becomes available.

    Thanks to technological advances such as product changes delivered by an over-the-air software update and thereby adding or subtracting features, we reevaluate products to inform consumers about what to expect after any update. These changes are then reflected in our ratings. Tesla frequently updates its software in just this way, which is relatively unique in the automotive market, often resulting in material changes to its products and therefore our ratings - both positively and negatively. It also happens to drive more frequent press coverage given the need to communicate product changes to consumers.

    While our reliability survey data feeds into the overall score we give any product,that is just one input. As with all the cars we review, you can rest assured that we will thoroughly test and evaluate the Model 3 with the same care and scrutiny we apply to all the cars we test just as soon as we can get one - we’re waiting patiently along with other consumers.

    As an independent, nonprofit organization that works side-by-side with consumers to create a fairer, safer, and healthier world, CR provides trusted knowledge people depend on to make better, more informed choices. We conduct evidence-based product testing and ratings, rigorous research, hard-hitting investigative journalism, public education, and steadfast advocacy on behalf of consumers’ interests. Buying a car that has an average or above average score for predicted reliability will likely reduce the chances of having problems with the car.

    We at CR are confident in our data, methods, and reporting - and the historic results we’ve achieved in improving consumer products, services, and the marketplace. We will continue to report on and test Tesla’s products in the same fair-minded, consumer-focused way we do with all manufacturers, to help shape products to best serve the needs of consumers.

    Article: CR responds to Tesla over claims that its reviews are inaccurate and misleading
     
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  2. Michael Russo

    Michael Russo Moderator

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    One last time... I don’t get how the experience of Model S owners (in the meantime per CR top rated!) necessarily translate into average reliability projections for the much simpler Model 3...

    You would think that this progress on reliability on the larger T≡SLA would be easier to replicate on the newest addition, no?

    Maybe it’s just me... ;) Too much glass half-full...? :D
     
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  3. vdiv

    vdiv Member

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    Well, it is called Consumer Reports though they are neither consumers nor do they have something to report on. This kind of publicity is better for CR than Tesla so the best answer to all of this is many happy owners with a reliable Model 3.

    As a consumer I don't remember ever consulting CR before buying a new product or service, only afterwards to laugh or yell at their assessment.
     
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  4. The Engineer

    The Engineer New Member

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    I am a fan of both consumers reports and Tesla. In my experience CR does a great job documenting the real world reliability of cars. I will be going from a nearly perfectly reliable 9 yr old 110k mi Honda Civic to a Model 3 and I am actually delighted that CR feels good enough about Tesla to give it an average rating. Average is pretty good these days and with newer technologies it can be tough to achieve. I think it would be in Teslas best interest not to pick fights with CR.
     
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  5. Top12

    Top12 New Member

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    Our first modelS had some minor problems 2014 that we fixed with the best service ever from a car producer. It\'s has over 100.000 miles  and still going strong.Our second modelS has never been back to SC and with 80.000 miles still as good as new.We have ordered 2 model 3 cars let
     
  6. joeski1

    joeski1 Member

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    I think it is total whining on Tesla's behalf which is duly noted and thoroughly embarrassing to be associated with as a Tesla owner.

    To attempt to deride CR..an institution for consumer protection for over 70 years.. is like some street punk questioning the neighborhood Godfather..

    I've been to the shop a bunch of times for my ms.. how many issues? Almost 10 times in 18 months..a visit from a Tesla ranger.. 4 times to repair a defective door handle .. then to get it right? A bad connector cord.. fried from use..a defective charger port door and misalignment of the new one..

    Shall I go on?

    Nothing major... but a bunch of bs inconvenient nuisance stuff that I may have all right after 19 months..

    You REALLY think you are gonna get better for less money?

    Consider yourself smoked!

    The car is good.. not perfect.. but it sure has a few bugs, glitches. .

    I think I stand with CR and not crybaby Tesla on this.
     
  7. joeski1

    joeski1 Member

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    Not my experience. .but it is all correct after over a half dozen visits...
     
  8. Darren

    Darren New Member

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    The car does not exist yet. Tesla has never built a car like this before, and any historical stats from a car that was launched four years ago has no bearing on the likely ratings of a simpler car that they will launch soon. Tesla certainly could have acted more cool about it. But CR often does absurd things that they know will help promote themselves. I don't care if CR is non-for-profit and accepts no advertising, they are known for this kind of nonsense. From time-to-time, someone there gets bored of stroking Toyota constantly, and they decide to stir the pot a little with stuff that they know will generate buzz.
     
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  9. Michael Russo

    Michael Russo Moderator

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    Welcome Darren, and thanks for this excellent first post! This is the kind of balanced perspective we can always use! Well done.
     
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  10. Darren

    Darren New Member

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    My pleasure!
     
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