Elon Musk Defends Tesla After Consumer Reports Pulls Recommendation

Jason Siu
by Jason Siu

Tesla CEO Elon Musk issued a couple tweets in response to Consumer Reports pulling its recommendation for the Tesla Model S.

Consumer Reports‘ annual reliability survey revealed that numerous Tesla Model S owners are reporting reliability issues with their vehicles ranging from drivetrain and power equipment problems to faulty door handles and sunroofs. The publication surveyed 1,400 Model S owners and as a result of the responses, Consumer Reports no longer recommends the Model S. This is all despite the fact that it gave the Model S a perfect score on its review, a higher score than any other product it has ever tested.

SEE ALSO: Consumer Reports Yanks Recommendation for Tesla Model S

Some of the issues were attributed to the fact that the Model S is older now and owners have had the vehicle for longer, so wear and tear issues are popping up. Musk responded on Twitter saying that the reliability survey included a lot of early production cars and that those issues have already been addressed in new cars. In addition, Musk reiterated that Tesla received a top rating of any company in service, adding that Consumer Reports says 97 percent of current owners expect their next car to be a Tesla.

Consumer Reports reliability survey includes a lot of early production cars. Already addressed in new cars.

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 21, 2015

Tesla gets top rating of any company in service. Most important, CR says 97% of owners expect their next car to be a Tesla (the acid test).

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 21, 2015

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Jason Siu
Jason Siu

Jason Siu began his career in automotive journalism in 2003 with Modified Magazine, a property previously held by VerticalScope. As the West Coast Editor, he played a pivotal role while also extending his expertise to Modified Luxury & Exotics and Modified Mustangs. Beyond his editorial work, Jason authored two notable Cartech books. His tenure at AutoGuide.com saw him immersed in the daily news cycle, yet his passion for hands-on evaluation led him to focus on testing and product reviews, offering well-rounded recommendations to AutoGuide readers. Currently, as the Content Director for VerticalScope, Jason spearheads the content strategy for an array of online publications, a role that has him at the helm of ensuring quality and consistency across the board.

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  • Hearsetrax Hearsetrax on Oct 23, 2015

    just my two cents ...... I still say the tesla is a cute experiment and has tons of room for improvement, but still a nothing more then ipad on wheels

  • CactusJack CactusJack on Oct 23, 2015

    Consumer Reports has always been full of crap. Their evaluations are not done by knowledgeable people, are usually based on a single sample, and often end up being completely subjective despite the technical jargon they employ. Their "statistical analysis" of owner reports violates just about every rule of statistical reliability. And just look at their Honda bias over the years. I remember a review of a category called something like "sporty compacts" or something similar. Despite scoring in the middle or lower in every category except fuel mileage, the Honda got the nod. As I had predicted before reading the article. Ralph Nader's "Unsafe at Any Speed" set the standard. The extensive reviews by both the Engineering School at UTexas and the NHTSB disputed the Nader's results, but guess what gets mentioned any time the Corvair is mentioned? Nader's main complaint, the swing axle, remained in use for years after GM dropped it by Volkswagen and Porsche. But hey, the Bug was PC, so was untouchable. Nader isn't even a good lawyer; he's certainly no engineer. I read the rag every couple of years and it has never gotten any better. I have no more confidence in a Consumer Reports opinion than I do in that of any other ignorant blowhard.

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    • CactusJack CactusJack on Oct 25, 2015

      Okay, but JDPower uses scientifically accepted methods of statistical sampling, unlike CR. And you are certainly welcome to forgive CR's bias, but the point of statistics is to minimize bias. I agree that no analysis should ever be accepted as perfect, but the fact is that most people who read CR only look at the ratings, not the analyses, which often reveal the weaknesses of CR's approaches to the careful reader. That's not to say they are wrong, only that they are too unreliable to be useful.