Though we understand the excitement about buying a brand-new car, early production teething problems are an all-too-common affliction with all-new or heavily redesigned models, as evidenced by how often we’re forced to bring our test cars back to the dealer for TSBs, recalls, or repairs within the first few weeks or months we own them. These sometimes annoying—other times serious—issues are exactly why CR has long recommended against trying to be one of the first to own an all-new or heavily redesigned model.
While we put vehicles through more than 50 tests and log thousands of miles as part of the CR auto test program, we occasionally discover a problem—in the midst of our testing—that the automaker needs to address immediately, such as the one we uncovered with the Elantra. Below, we highlight some other findings CR discovered during testing that necessitated an automaker fix, including braking problems on the Tesla Model 3 and the Toyota Sienna. We also share some of the most recent TSBs, recalls, and repairs on the CR test fleet that required trips to the dealer, and we offer advice on how to find free TSBs for your vehicle.
CR’s Annual Auto Surveys also routinely show that all-new vehicles tend to have more reliability problems in their first year compared with later in their life cycle. Jake Fisher, senior director of auto testing at Consumer Reports, says waiting just a few months to buy a brand-new or heavily redesigned model can be enough time for the automaker to work out kinks in the assembly process, not to mention avoid potential safety issues.
“As a lifelong car enthusiast, trust me, I understand the appeal of driving the latest and greatest car,” Fisher says. “But if you can have the restraint to wait even just six months or so to purchase a new model, you could save yourself the time and hassle of having to bring your vehicle back to the dealer to fix various issues.”