Consumer Reports sours on Tesla Model S for faulty door handles
EV Maker Gets High Marks For Service Responsiveness, Though
The popular electric vehicle features retractable door handles that are supposed to pop out when the driver arrives. It's a cool feature, when it works. After less than a month of driving its vehicle, though, CR said the driver's side door handle stopped popping out, rendering the car undrivable. The upside is that a Tesla technician made a next-day house call and quickly repaired the problem, so the California-based automaker gets points for being as responsive as its super-quick sedans.
"Model S's connectivity paired with over-the-air software updates allow Tesla to diagnose and fix most problems in Model S without the owner ever coming in for service. In instances when hardware, like the door handle, need to be replaced, we strive to make it painless for a customer to get their Model S serviced," Tesla spokeswoman Alexis Georgeson wrote in an e-mail to AutoblogGreen. "Every fix is an opportunity for us to learn and apply towards making owning a Model S a great experience."
Last fall, Consumer Reports gave the Model S an "average" reliability rating after factoring in responses from 1,300 Tesla owners as well as its own experience driving the car for about 16,000 miles. The most-prominent issues at the time were creaky windshields and, yes, faulty door handles. CR was more charitable with its May 2013 assessment of the Model S, which it gave a score of 99 out of 100 and called the vehicle the most practical electric car it had ever tested.
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