2020 Tesla Model 3 Reliability - Consumer Reports
GREEN CHOICE
2020
New 2022
GREEN CHOICE

Tesla Model 3

Tesla's Model 3 compact sports sedan is the California startup's most popular model. It is aimed at competitors like the Audi A4 and BMW 3 Series--but unlike those cars, the Tesla doesn't consume a drop of fuel. The driving range spans from 260 to 330 depending on the version. We tested a Model 3 with the Long Range battery.
Alerts
There are 6 recalls on this vehicle. Learn More.

Reliability

We expect the 2022 Model 3 will have about average reliability when compared to the average new car. This prediction is based on data from 2019, 2020 and 2021 models. Select the used car model year to see reported issues with those similar past models.

Overall Reliability
Most Common Trouble Spots
Common Trouble Spot
Common Trouble Spot
The 2020 Tesla Model 3 has been recalled 6 times by NHTSA. View Recalls
Research Years * Redesign year
Worse Better
00
01
02
03
04
05
06
07
08
09
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17*
18
19
20
21
Overall Reliability Verdict
NA
POTENTIAL TROUBLE SPOTS
Engine Major
NA
Engine Minor
NA
Engine Cooling
NA
Transmission Major
NA
Transmission Minor
NA
Drive System
NA
Fuel System
NA
Electric System
NA
Climate System
NA
Suspension
NA
Brakes
NA
Exhaust
NA
Paint/Trim
NA
Body Integrity
NA
Body Hardware
NA
Power Equipment
NA
In-car Electronics
NA
Reliability indicates how models have performed in the past, providing the basis for predicting how the vehicles will hold up in the year ahead. These charts provide the most comprehensive reliability information available to consumers. Based on information received from our latest subscriber survey for over 300,000 vehicles, our reliability history charts give you a rundown on how 2000 through 2021 vehicles are holding up in 17 potential trouble spots, ranging from the engine, transmission, and brakes to power equipment and the electrical system. NA indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.

Learn more about car Reliability.

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2020 Tesla Model 3 owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

Body Integrity

Squeaks, rattles, wind noises, loose or cracked seals and/or weather-stripping, air and water leaks.

What Owners Say

Air or water leaks

"Rear tail light leaked when taken to a care wash. Looks like unit was not sealed properly. Tesla came to my house and replace the part with no charge. That was just awesome!"

Anonymous, NH (2020 Tesla Model 3 Standard Electric)

"A small amount of moisture enters edges along windows on passenger side. Waiting to have repaired."

Anonymous, CA (2020 Tesla Model 3 Standard Electric)
Seals and/or weather-stripping

"I believe the wind noise problem is attributable to the seals and/or weather-stripping."

Anonymous, FL (2020 Tesla Model 3 Long Range Electric)
Squeaks or rattles

"The problem was there when I took delivery. Approx. two weeks after delivery I had the rattle in the dashboard repaired at my local Tesla service center. This seemed to have resolved the problem however the noise returned about a month later and due to Covid 19 I have not been able to get it back in to resolve the problem."

Anonymous, CA (2020 Tesla Model 3 Long Range Electric)

"Rattles (lightly) at over 70 MPH. Have not had a chance to service due to pandemic."

Anonymous, FL (2020 Tesla Model 3 Long Range Electric)

"There was a rattle from the B pillar at freeway speeds. Tesla placed additional insulation at no cost to me and the rattle ceased."

Anonymous, WA (2020 Tesla Model 3 Performance Electric)
Wind noise

"Noticable from the passenger side front window area at highway speed."

Anonymous, FL (2020 Tesla Model 3 Long Range Electric)

"Consistent wind sound on Passenger side began soon after purchase"

Anonymous, CA (2020 Tesla Model 3 Standard Electric)

In-car Electronics

CD or DVD players, radio, speakers, GPS, communication system (e.g., OnStar), display screen freezes or goes blank, phone pairing (e.g. Bluetooth), voice control commands, steering wheel controls, portable music device interface (e.g., iPod/MP3 player), backup or other camera/sensors.

What Owners Say

Backup or other camera/sensors

"The backup camera and navigation system would intermittently fail in unison. Tesla replaced the main computer and this resolved the problem."

Anonymous, (2020 Tesla Model 3 Standard Electric)
Display screen goes blank

"While driving, the display, e.g. electronics, rebooted twice within an hour. This was the first longer (3+ hours) trip I took it on. Both before and after, some odd things happened, like the indicators worked, but the display didn't show them, the speakers stopped working, the odometer showed a flat 50 mph regardless of speed or stop, etc. During the reboots the vehicle continued to drive, but obviously with no screen there was no information about speed available during the reboots. I ended up taking it to be repaired (which was definitely dissatisfying due to a week of texting with a tech who said they could fix OTA, but then I had to take it in anyway. After taking in, there were no updates for 24 hours to know when it might be ready.) They replaced a part with the infotainment system and the problem has not repeated, though I have not taken it on another long trip."

Anonymous, GA (2020 Tesla Model 3 Performance Electric)
Routine software updates

"When I picked the vehicle up from the dealership the screen informed me I had a system update that required being taken to the Tesla dealership. I never left the dealership and NO ONE helped me until I indicated I was ready to walk away and return the vehicle. It was the most unpleasant experience I've ever had buying/picking up a vehicle and made me rethink Tesla as a car buying option. However, the Tesla 3 is amazing and has changed my view of the DC commuting experience"

Anonymous, SC (2020 Tesla Model 3 Long Range Electric)
Software update fixes

"My model included one year of Premium Connectivity but it was not turned on. Online support representative was rude, argumentative, and refused to listen to reason. Issue finally resolved after reaching out for supervisory assistance and Tesla store management. Premium Connectivity adds satellite-view maps with live traffic visualization, streaming music & media, an internet browser and over-the-air software updates via Wi-Fi and cellular."

Anonymous, OH (2020 Tesla Model 3 Long Range Electric)

"My car would not download updates. It never downloaded an update after I received. This was stressful for me because I did not know if I was doing something wrong. I requested service and they fixed the updates a few days later."

Anonymous, OH (2020 Tesla Model 3 Performance Electric)

"Driving on interstate and navigation system was showing I am 500-1000ft off on city streets. Because of this the Autopilot turned off and only cruise control was working but at a speed limit set for city streets."

Anonymous, OH (2020 Tesla Model 3 Standard Electric)

Body Hardware

Power or manual windows, locks and latches, tailgate, hatch or trunk, doors or sliding doors, mirrors, seat controls, safety belts, sunroof, convertible top.

What Owners Say

Doors or sliding doors

"bad fit on doors"

Anonymous, (2020 Tesla Model 3 Long Range Electric)

"Front passenger door handle currently sticks. This keeps the handle in the open position making it difficult to close the door. The problem doesn't happen consistently, but enough to make it an annoyance."

Anonymous, TX (2020 Tesla Model 3 Long Range Electric)
Mirrors

"The only issue with the mirrors is the paint defect."

Anonymous, (2020 Tesla Model 3 Standard Electric)
Tailgate, hatch or trunk

"Body panel joints are poor. The tolerances are uneven. Some are too wide. Other body panel joints are not in the same plane. The car is built somewhat sloppy."

Anonymous, (2020 Tesla Model 3 Long Range Electric)
Windows

"Left passenger window was not adjusted properly at delivery, allowing for significant wind noise. I made an appointment for it to be fixed and it was fixed under warranty at no charge to me."

Anonymous, (2020 Tesla Model 3 Standard Electric)

Paint/Trim

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling), loose interior and exterior trim or moldings, rust.

What Owners Say

Loose interior trim or moldings

"On the interior of the B Pillar, lower section, the trim keeps popping off. The design and engineering of this peace is poor."

Anonymous, (2020 Tesla Model 3 Long Range Electric)
Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling)

"trim mismatch...gaps were excessive and misaligned, also paint had imperfections"

Anonymous, CA (2020 Tesla Model 3 Long Range Electric)

"Paint quality is absolutely terrible."

Anonymous, AZ (2020 Tesla Model 3 Long Range Electric)

"Overall, I am pleased with the assembly, fit and finish of my new Model 3. The passenger side mirror has a minor paint defect that is visible in direct sunlight. Tesla tells me they will correct it. Otherwise the color and finish are good."

Anonymous, (2020 Tesla Model 3 Standard Electric)

"Some chipped paint when we picked it up"

Anonymous, (2020 Tesla Model 3 Standard Electric)

Engine Minor

Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.

What Owners Say

Engine computer

"Something in the drive system (motor, computer, fuse, etc.) broke on the second day that I had the car. They never told me what it was. The car notified me that it might not start again after being shut down. I drove it to my garage and turned it off. It did not start again after that. Tesla tried to fix it in my garage. They failed. They towed the car to a service center 250 miles away where they fixed it about 5 weeks after it broke down."

Anonymous, OH (2020 Tesla Model 3 Performance Electric)

Climate System

Blower (fan) motor, A/C compressor, condenser, evaporator, heater system, automatic climate control, refrigerant leakage, electrical failure.

What Owners Say

Automatic climate control

"In March, during a heat wave, outside temp in the 70s, the climate control was on/off by itself. Tesla service end up replacing the control module under warranty."

Anonymous, OH (2020 Tesla Model 3 Standard Electric)

Electric System

Alternator, starter, hybrid battery and related systems, regular battery, battery cables, engine harness, coil, ignition switch, electronic ignition, distributor or rotor failure, spark plugs and wires failure.

What Owners Say

Keyless entry

"The Model 3 is designed to use a smart phone as a key fob. It's a convenient feature but the functionality is buggy, it works well for me as principal driver but is very unpredictable when my wife uses the car. This may be a user problem but points to an overly complex implementation."

Anonymous, (2020 Tesla Model 3 Standard Electric)

Suspension

Shocks or struts, ball joints, tie rods, wheel bearings, alignment, steering linkage (includes rack and pinion), power steering (pumps and hoses, leaks), wheel balance, springs or torsion bars, bushings, electronic or air suspension.

What Owners Say

Alignment

"The steering wheel was not level when driving in a straight line. We had to take it 100 miles to the Portland dealer."

Anonymous, OR (2020 Tesla Model 3 Long Range Electric)

Power Equipment

Cruise control, clock, warning lights, body control module, keyless entry, wiper motor or washer, tire pressure monitor, interior or exterior lights, horn, gauges, 12V power plug, remote engine start, alarm or security system

Fuel System

Check engine light, sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor), emission control devices (includes EGR), engine computer, engine computer, fuel cap, fuel gauge/sender, fuel injection system, fuel pump, fuel leaks, stalling or hesitation.

Drive System

Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.

Engine Major

Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.

Exhaust

Muffler, pipes, catalytic converter, exhaust manifold, leaks.

Brakes

Antilock system (ABS), parking brake, master cylinder, calipers, rotors, pulsation or vibration, squeaking, brake failure or wear.

Engine Cooling

Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.

Transmission Minor

Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.

Compare 2020 Models

Similar Cars
Acura TLX
Audi A4
BMW 3 Series
Mercedes-Benz C-Class
Tesla Model 3
Volvo S60
This score shows whether the model had more or fewer problems overall than the average model of that year, calculated from the total number of problems reported by subscribers in all 17 trouble spots.
Recalls
PROVIDED BY
BACK OVER PREVENTION, ELECTRICAL SYSTEM, VISIBILITY
Dec 21, 2021
A rearview camera that does not function reduces the driver's rear view, increasing the risk of a crash.
Summary:
Tesla, Inc. (Tesla) is recalling all 2017-2020 Model 3 vehicles. The rearview camera cable harness may be damaged by the opening and closing of the trunk lid, preventing the rearview camera image from displaying.
What should you do:
Tesla Service will inspect and install a guide protector and new cable harness as necessary, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed February 18, 2022. Owners may contact Tesla customer service at 1-877-798-3752. Tesla's number for this recall is SB-21-17-008.
For more information:
Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.nhtsa.gov.
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 21V00D000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 356309
FORWARD COLLISION AVOIDANCE
Oct 29, 2021
Unexpected activation of the AEB system may cause the car to stop suddenly, increasing the risk of a crash.
Summary:
Tesla, Inc. (Tesla) is recalling certain 2017-2021 Model S, Model 3, Model X, and 2020-2021 Model Y vehicles operating software version 2021.36.5.2. A communication error may cause false forward-collision warning (FCW) or unexpected activation of the automatic emergency brake (AEB) system.
What should you do:
Tesla Service has released an over the air (OTA) software update, free of charge. The recall began October 25, 2021. Owners may contact Tesla customer service at 1-877-798-3752. Tesla's number for this recall is SB-21-00-004.
For more information:
Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.nhtsa.gov.
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 21V846000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 11728
SUSPENSION
Oct 25, 2021
A lateral link separation could shift the wheel alignment, causing instability and increasing the risk of a crash.
Summary:
Tesla, Inc. (Tesla) is recalling certain 2020-2021 Model Y and 2019-2021 Model 3 vehicles. The front suspension lateral link fasteners may loosen, allowing the lateral link to separate from the sub-frame.
What should you do:
Tesla Service will tighten or replace the lateral link fasteners as necessary, free of charge. Owner notification letters were mailed December 20, 2021. Owners may contact Tesla customer service at 1-877-798-3752. Tesla's number for this recall is SB-21-31-003.
For more information:
Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.nhtsa.gov.
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 21V835000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 2791
AIR BAGS
Oct 25, 2021
A twisted side curtain air bag may improperly deploy, increasing the risk of injury or occupant ejection during a crash.
Summary:
Tesla, Inc. (Tesla) is recalling certain 2020-2021 Model 3 vehicles. The left and/or right side curtain air bag may have been improperly secured to the roof rail, which could result in a twisted air bag. As such, these vehicles fail to comply with the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard numbers 214, "Side Impact Protection" and 226, "Ejection Mitigation."
What should you do:
Tesla Service will inspect and realign the left and right side curtain air bag as necessary, free of charge. Owner notification letters were mailed December 23, 2021. Owners may contact Tesla customer service at 1-877-798-3752. Tesla's number for this recall is SB-21-20-006.
For more information:
Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.nhtsa.gov.
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 21V834000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 2
SERVICE BRAKES, HYDRAULIC
May 25, 2021
Contact with the rim may cause a loss of tire pressure, increasing the risk of a crash.
Summary:
Tesla, Inc. (Tesla) is recalling certain 2019-2021 Model 3 and 2020-2021 Model Y vehicles. The brake caliper bolts may be loose, allowing the brake caliper to separate and contact the wheel rim.
What should you do:
Tesla Service will inspect and tighten, or replace the caliper bolts as necessary, free of charge. Owner notification letters were mailed July 23, 2021. Owners may contact Tesla customer service online by visiting www.tesla.com/support/contact or by calling 1-877-79-TESLA (or 1-877-798-3752). Tesla's number for this recall is SB-21-33-002.
For more information:
Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 21V387000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 5974
SEAT BELTS
May 25, 2021
An improperly attached fastener may prevent the seat belt system from performing as designed, increasing the risk of injury.
Summary:
Tesla, Inc. (Tesla) is recalling certain 2018-2020 Model 3 and 2019-2021 Model Y vehicles. One or both fasteners that secure the front seat shoulder belt to the b-pillar may not be properly attached.
What should you do:
Tesla Service will inspect and repair both fasteners if necessary, free of charge. Owner notification letters were mailed July 23, 2021. Owners may contact Tesla customer service online by visiting www.tesla.com/support/contact or by calling 1-877-79-TESLA (or 1-877-798-3752). Tesla's number for this recall is SB-21-20-001.
For more information:
Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 21V389000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 5530
Check Vehicle for Unrepaired Recalls
Enter a valid 17-character VIN
Enter a valid 17-character VIN
Change Vehicle