3 Used Tesla Models Consumer Reports Gave the ‘Never Buy’ Label

Never say never, except when it comes to these Tesla vehicles. Consumer Reports says that some years of the Model S, Model X, and Model Y are worth avoiding buying used. What faults do these electric vehicles have and why does Consumer Reports suggest avoiding these years of the Tesla Model S, Model X, and Model Y?

Consumer Reports says to avoid the 2019-2020 Tesla Model S

Consumer Reports suggests avoiding these Tesla vehicles
Consumer Reports suggests avoiding the Tesla Model S electric vehicle | VCG/VCG via Getty Images

Starting the list of used vehicles to avoid is the Model S. Consumer Reports gave the 2019 – 2020 Tesla Model S a reliability score of one out of five. In certain areas, the Tesla electric vehicle did fine. Consumer Reports liked the green nature of the EV and the two trunks.

The list of highs and lows Consumer Reports compiled says a lot when it came down to it. The Model S doesn’t consume gasoline, has no tailpipe emissions, and offers a quiet cabin. The Model S is fast, agile, and gets to use the Tesla Supercharging stations.

The range for the 2020 Model S is still pretty short compared to a gas-powered car. The charging times are fairly long, and longer trips require a bit of extra planning. If you live in an area with extreme weather, this can impact the range. But the 2019 – 2020 year of the Model S is probably best to avoid.

Consumer Reports also suggests avoiding the 2017, 2019 Tesla Model X

For the 2017 and 2019 Tesla Model X, Consumer Reports had similar feelings. It received a low reliability score, but the owner’s satisfaction score was a four out of five. There were a variety of owner-related complaints lodged about the body integrity, brakes, and drive systems. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) gave the 2017 Model X five-star safety ratings. Additionally, many safety features were included standard.

The 2017 Tesla Model X has three open recalls. The first is related to the rearview camera and exterior lighting. The EMMC controller can wear out and cause visibility issues, increasing the likelihood of a crash. The second recall is for the seats moving forward during a crash, increasing the risk of injury. For the final recall, there is an issue with the parking brake. It has the potential to break loose, which could send the vehicle rolling.

The highs are the same as the Model S above, except the 2017 and 2019 Model X vehicles charge faster. Also, this was one of the first electric vehicle SUVs, which makes it pretty cool!

A new addition to the list is the 2020 Tesla Model Y

For the 2020 Model Y, Consumer Reports found the Tesla had a one out of five reliability score. However, the owner satisfaction score was a five out of five. The acceleration was solid, the range was good, the braking and seat comfort all scored well. But that’s where the positives end.

Consumer Reports noted that the first year of the Tesla Model Y needed work. The ride, controls, and limited range held it back. It suffered from long charging times, and the lack of blind-spot warning was a detriment. Owners took issue with the tailgate not closing or opening properly. There were also complaints about the body panels not lining up.

On top of those issues, there are five recalls for the Model Y. The first recall noted by the NHTSA was for the Model Y concerning the seat belts. The recall notice says that certain 2018-2020 models might not have the front seatbelt properly attached to the b-pillar. There is a second recall for the seat belts again, and the third recall is for loose brake caliper bolts. A recall from 2020 is noted for a detached upper control arm issue. The fifth and final recall is for exterior trailer brake lights not illuminating properly.

So while some of these electric vehicles might seem tempting, Consumer Reports suggests avoiding these used Tesla vehicles. However, the 2021 models might have improved on some of these issues, especially the short-range problems. Things like the range and charging time will likely continue to improve as batteries start to get better.

RELATED: Recall Alert: Over 5,000 Tesla Model 3 and Model Y Cars Recalled