2019 Tesla Model 3.
2019 Tesla Model 3.

Huge problem with Tesla Model 3

TESLA has experienced another embarrassing setback.

The car maker's all-important Model 3 has been called out for a string of reliability issues.

American organisation Consumer Reports - which is similar to Australia's Choice - savaged the brand in its latest reliability report.

Consumer Report's annual reliability survey analyses data from about 470,000 vehicles and their owners.

The Tesla Model 3 is experiencing growing pains.
The Tesla Model 3 is experiencing growing pains.

Common issues afflicting the Model 3 include faulty infotainment functions (including instances of screen freezing), faulty paint, randomly cracking rear windows and numerous other hardware issues.

Last year, some Model 3 bumpers fell off when it rained.

Numerous faults led Consumer Reports to give the Model 3 a "do not recommend" rating.

Last year the Model 3's brakes were found wanting, taking an extra six metres to come to a stop from 100km/h than the average vehicle in its class - its stopping distance was rated similar to a big American pick-up truck. Tesla subsequently fixed the issue via a firmware update.

Tesla's stablemates, the Model S and Model X, received the same "do not recommend" rating. The Model X was among the 10 least reliable vehicles with its controversial "falcon-wing" doors coming in for special mention.

Tesla’s head-turning ‘Falcon-wing’ doors have proved problematic.
Tesla’s head-turning ‘Falcon-wing’ doors have proved problematic.

Despite the numerous faults with the Model 3, its owners were among the most satisfied. Respondents rated the 3 on its driving, value, comfort, styling and climate and audio features.

Tesla's reliability woes could be a symptom of the maker's growing pains. The brand's very public struggle to get the Model 3 up to mass-production led to Elon Musk claiming the company was in "production hell".

Tesla attempted multiple scenarios to pump up production to the magical 5000 a week to help the company break even, including removing automation and setting up an assembly line in a tent.

Tesla Model 3: Due in Australia in the latter half of the year.
Tesla Model 3: Due in Australia in the latter half of the year.

However, in 2019 production has stabilised and Musk believes the company will be on track for annual production of 500,000 vehicles by the end of this year.

A big sticking point among consumers is that Tesla has yet to produce any of the promised cheaper $US35,000 ($50,000) version, instead prioritising the more expensive dual-motor examples as the company aims to boost profitability.

Tesla has recently announced that it made a profit in the past two quarters. The company has never posted a full-year profit.

There is no update on when the Model 3 will arrive in Australia. Musk has previously asserted that it would be about the middle of this year.

The company's local website says right-hand drive models will commence delivery in the second half of 2019. However, that doesn't necessarily mean Australia - it could suggest larger markets such as the UK or Japan.