Consumer Reports Yanks Recommendation for Tesla Model S

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Consumer Reports no longer recommends the Tesla Model S now that owners are reporting numerous reliability issues.

The publication gave the Tesla Model S a “worse-than-average” reliability rating after surveying 1,400 Model S owners “who chronicled an array of detailed and complicated maladies” with the drivetrain, power equipment, charging equipment and the tablet-like center console. Owners also complained about body and sunroof squeaks, rattles and leaks. Keep in mind that this is the same vehicle that Consumer Reports gave a more than perfect score, the highest score to any product it has ever tested.

But now, the Model S has been on the road for quite some time, and owners are experiencing issues with the electric motor needing to be replaced and the onboard charging system not charging the battery. Newer vehicle owners are seeing problems with the sunroof not operating properly, and the pop-out door handles continue to be an issue.

SEE ALSO: Tesla Driver Using Autopilot Has a Close Call Exiting a Freeway

Now with Tesla adding the Model X to its production, the big question is whether or not the American automaker can keep up quality as it increases volume. Since Tesla only had one model in its lineup for the reliability survey, it was not included in the full automakers’ rankings. Had it been scored as a brand however, it would have ranked 19th out of 29.

Discuss this story on our Tesla Forum

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  • Bug S Bunny

    Hmmm.. C/R is still using the incorrect definition of “reliability”. Things like “power equipment, charging equipment and the tablet-like center console. Owners also complained about body and sunroof squeaks, rattles and leaks…” have NOTHING to do with reliability.

    Does the car get the driver/passengers where they need to go each and every time? If so, the car is reliable. All of that other stuff pertains to quality, not reliability.

  • Fred Sandford

    Lol are you joking? How does the charging system failure NOT impact reliability? It’s like a normal car that has a fuel pump periodically failing.

  • smartacus

    Consumer Reports is bipolar and no longer has utility.
    To go from singing Tesla praises, to doing a 180 and calling another Tesla “undrivable”, to turning around and claiming a Tesla broke the test with such high marks, and now this “worse than average” reliability rating?

  • Bug S Bunny

    I think if you will re-read my first sentence above, and the article again, you will see that the comments were about the “charging EQUIPMENT”, not the charging system. Those a re two different things. So to answer your question, no I’m not joking.

  • nauticalone

    Surely you must be joking!

  • Jeff T

    Not a huge surprise. Small manufacturer with limited resources. Tesla is losing money still on every car sold. I hope for their sake they manage to improve their reliability record while starting to turn a profit. Still is a pretty amazing car.

  • danwat1234

    I believe some of the ‘full blown replacements of their car’s electric motors’ was just because they were making some noise but not necessarily wearing out or less life than other units that weren’t making noise.

    It’s usually caused by a shim needed in the rear differential, or a cable causing vibration. Most of the electric unit (drive unit) replacements were probably proactive instead of necessary, when a repair was all that was needed. But I don’t know for sure. In the first year of production, the Model S had many problems, including doors that would open when the door handles pop out (because they popped out too aggressively so the handle bumped the mechanical door-open sensor thing that happens when the user pulls on the handle). But Tesla has been very aggressive with correcting them.

  • narg

    I do so wish CR would calculate “human expectations” into it’s numbers. We all know Toyota owners don’t expect more out of their cars, and put up with stupid little errors far more than any other car owner would. Same goes for Tesla. Anyone that would expect this car to be perfect is…. well, not quite up to full ants worthy of a picnic. Seriously. This is a fine car. As is any other car on the market today, sans scads few. People need to get a dose of reality, seems to me…..

  • KnoKnees

    This is a reasonably accurate view of what Consumer Reports factually knows about automobiles, which absolutely nothing.
    Car of the year, Honda Civic. You bet!

  • Fred Sandford

    If you’re referring to the power recharging infrastructure, I concede the point sir.