When the Tesla Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) Model 3 received a preliminary reliability rating of “average” from Consumer Reports last week, there were bound to be repercussions.
The electric carmaker quickly fired back, issuing a scathing statement that included the following passage:
Regarding its predicted reliability rating for Model 3, it’s important to note that Consumer Reports has not yet driven a Model 3, let alone do they know anything substantial about how the Model 3 was designed and engineered. Time and time again, our own data shows that Consumer Reports’ automotive reporting is consistently inaccurate and misleading to consumers. We have urged them multiple times to correct this, and they’ve refused. We believe this refusal is rooted in the fact that their coverage of Tesla generates significant attention for the publication.
Accusing the consumer ratings agency of clickbait? Those are fighting words, as CNBC reports:
After being bashed by Tesla for predicting the new Model 3 will have average reliability, Consumer Reports says the automaker may not understand what the magazine does.
“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,” the company said in a prepared statement.
At issue is whether Consumer Reports should have predicted the reliability of the Model 3 and how it reached that conclusion.
CR says it made the “average” reliability projection based on its extensive testing of Tesla’s Model S and Model X. Since the Model 3 is much simpler than those cars, the agency believes it will have less glitches than the vehicles that came before it.
Expect more fireworks in the coming days, as the two firms continue to duke it out in a war of words that has the entire auto industry talking.
Tesla Inc shares closed at $345.10 on Friday, down $6.71 (-1.91%). Year-to-date, TSLA has gained 61.50%, versus a 16.66% rise in the benchmark S&P 500 index during the same period.