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Tesla Model S (Tesla Motors)
The Tesla Model S has turned into the breakthrough model that electric cars needed. Instead of looking like a futuristic jellybean whizzing by, the Tesla would still be incredibly attractive with a V8 stuffed under the hood. But beyond its appealing styling, the luxury sedan offers a realistic driving range, impressive performance and oft-praised driving dynamics. It's everything many drivers are looking for. However, as more long-term reviews come out, it's becoming clear that living with one of these wonder cars isn't without its fair share of problems.

A few weeks ago, Edmunds published its 17-month ownership experience with a Model S. It praised the experience being behind the wheel of the luxury sedan, at least when it was possible. Edmunds reported that it had to make seven unscheduled trips to the service bay and even left a writer by the side of the road once. The biggest issues included replacing the drive unit three times, needing a new main battery and numerous resets of the center screen.

Consumer Reports just wrote about its own driving impressions after 15,743 miles, and its experience with the Model S has hardly been a walk in the park, though not nearly as bad as Edmunds' rough time. The infotainment screen needed a hard reset once after blinking out, and one unscheduled service left the sedan in the shop for two days. There have been other, smaller issues too. In Tesla's favor, the repairs were done under warranty.

Even with this latest report, we only have data regarding two Model S examples out of thousands, but a somewhat difficult picture is being painted about the breakthrough EV as we read more and more. Everyone loves driving it, but living with one might not be quite so joyous.

This article originally appeared on Autoblog.


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  • 162 Comments
      fladvocatehoward
      • 7 Months Ago
      If it is good,works well,and made here,the "Captains" of industry will seek to dismiss it,destroy it,and yes even the "unbiased" press.as long as it is a threat to their bottom lines,along with our craven politicions,it does not have a chance to go mainstream,no matter how good it might be(or become)
      chuckhalper
      • 7 Months Ago
      The challenge for smaller companies will always be fielding a car that meets quality expectations.Tesla did not have a foundation with CBU past models ( they bought a chassis and body from Lotus). They, an all new company,with new personnel, built an all new vehicle from the ground up. Plus, they just don't have the engineering, test and quality management infrastructure that a volume maker has. More problems and more unit to unit variation ( some good, some not so good), will be a greater likelihood with a Tesla than if you buy a Honda or a BMW...One's POV on the merits of electric vehicles won't really change that.
        joshrendell
        • 7 Months Ago
        @chuckhalper
        it's not about electric vs gas.....there won't BE gas in the future
          chuckhalper
          • 7 Months Ago
          @joshrendell
          Maybe not, but there may well be fuel cells. Having worked for auto manufacturers for 42 years, in service and engineering, including an assignment on BEVs, I doubt that they are the long term solution. The notion of energy density in a bettery system is working against that. Of course, the devotees will argue a break through will change that---as though a strong ideological belief can change the laws of known physics.
      Who Loves Ya ?
      • 7 Months Ago
      Alas, T'is TESLA 2.0 the inception still as fraught as WINDOWS 95 was .. STOP and REBOOT .. and since the BETA testers all have seem to have" Time and Wealth" the mystique drives them on ... but who will buy these 3-5 year lease returns, WELL there YUGO! Call Triple AAA and have a "Nice Day!"
      dmspeno
      • 7 Months Ago
      Mine has been fabulous never had a problem in its first year. I now have 30,000 mile on it. Best car I have ever owned.
      hcwhy
      • 7 Months Ago
      I've got over 10,000 miles on mine with only one minor glitch. I can't say enough good things about the car or about Tesla service. Resetting the center screen is done with the push of a button.....I don't see why this is even mentioned. If you're thinking about getting a Tesla, go for it....you won't be sorry.
      cdidgh
      • 7 Months Ago
      What do we do with the dead batteries, put them in a land fill????
        JON
        • 7 Months Ago
        @cdidgh
        Store them in your attic what do you think. they recycle them melt the metals down and reuse them the same as car batteries.
        • 7 Months Ago
        @cdidgh
        Put them in the whole in the planet that we created when we sucked out all the oil. Maybe in another million years and it turn into more oil!!
        joshrendell
        • 7 Months Ago
        @cdidgh
        have a child teach you how to google
      • 7 Months Ago
      Beware, these BIG STORIES about electric and hybrid vehicles are often pushed and flamed by BIG OIL and competing car companies. Follow the money. We should all be driving electric cars fueled by cheap wind and solar energy. We could leave a world that our children could love living in. But BIG OIL is the most profitable industry in history, and they will not take our evolution lying down. They buy politicians and endless TV ads to brainwash Americans.
      gssempire
      • 7 Months Ago
      Gee, you found two cars with some minor issues! That is so tragic! I mean they were not perfect out of all of the thousands that were made? I mean 99.999% are doing fine? What a horrible reliability statistic? I guess GM recalling 13 million cars is just everyday stuff so lets look for a flaw somewhere else. This article is a great illustration of how pathetic the media truly is! Instead of praise for an amazing, innovative car and how wonderful the driving experience is, they found TWO that had an issue and made news about it...
        dlbcjs
        • 7 Months Ago
        @gssempire
        "Even with this latest report, we only have data regarding two Model S examples out of thousands, but a somewhat difficult picture is being painted about the breakthrough EV as we read more and more. Everyone loves driving it, but living with one might not be quite so joyous." gssempire hit the nail on the head. While I am not a Tesla owner, the car is pretty neat and goes darn far on a single charge as opposed to some EV's. Before passing judgement, perhaps we should wait a few years, read the 'more and more', watch for recalls, and THEN decide. Remember the TV program, 'Growing Pains'?
      frank58717
      • 7 Months Ago
      ok 300 miles nice.but its a expensive golf cart that can only go 150 miles one way and 150miles back,oh and its a great going shopping for the little lady.starting price $60.000 up $100.000 plus. come people lets get real
        marlowemar
        • 7 Months Ago
        @frank58717
        When the automobile first hit the scene over 100 years ago, you were there complaining that the horse was better. The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. It's new technology and ALL technology is most expensive when it first hits the market. In 1986 I paid $4,400 for my 8088 IBM computer. That's $9,500 in today's dollars. Compare the calculating power and speed of the 8088 to today's PC's that can be purchased for $500.
      gbaker9916
      • 7 Months Ago
      If were going to use electric cars someday, we better put some money in the power grid. It can barely handle the load now in the summers.
      ironmikemiata
      • 7 Months Ago
      Sounds like another "Edsil" in the making. Why anyone would buy an overpriced,over rated,over everything from a 1%er space cadet is beyond me,(At least it's not more of the Made in China schitt being crammed down our throats,still too damn expensive
        • 7 Months Ago
        @ironmikemiata
        Spoken like someone who never drove one! I have and would not want another ICE vehicle.
      fecarman
      • 7 Months Ago
      If the car is so loved, why does uncle sam need to subsidize it????
        marlowemar
        • 7 Months Ago
        @fecarman
        It's not being subsized by Uncle Sam. There was some seed money invested in Tesla but that money has been repaid in full. Your information, like most from right wingers, is either wrong, misinformed, outdated or just a plain lie.
        • 7 Months Ago
        @fecarman
        Because its $120,000 per car without the subsidy.
        joshrendell
        • 7 Months Ago
        @fecarman
        the world is using 42,000 gallons of oil a second, expected to run out of petroleum oil in 60 years
          xraybrain
          • 7 Months Ago
          @joshrendell
          LOL....during the gasoline crisis in the early 1970s experts were on TV saying that the world only had enough gasoline for 5 years tops
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