Consumer Reports finds poor reliability for Tesla Model S

  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
Consumer Reports can giveth and Consumer Reports can taketh away – at least when it comes to Tesla. Just months after lavishing praise on the Model S P85D in the magazine's highest-rated vehicle test ever, the electric sedan is now being slammed in the Annual Auto Reliability Survey. Investors responded by sending the automaker's stock value down by over 10 percent at one point, according to The Los Angeles Times.

In a story on its website, CR concedes that the Model S is a fantastic vehicle to drive, but around 1,400 owner surveys suggest a lot of potential problems when living with one every day. The magazine can't even give the EV its recommendation because the sedan actually dropped a ranking to "worse-than-average" from last year's "average" reliability prediction.​

The most common complaint among owners is an annoying issue with interior squeaks, but more serious problems can also pop up. Door handles sometimes don't deploy, which locks people out, including CR. The magazine lists issues with warping brake discs, alignment issues, and wipers not working, and there are reports of drivetrain issues on early cars. Despite the problems, 97 percent of owners are undeterred and would buy another Model S. They give Tesla's warranty service high praise, too.

As of this writing, the stock is rebounding slightly but is still down 6.61 percent for the day. However, a longer-term concern might loom for Tesla. "Going forward, this poses the question whether they will be able to keep quality up as they increase volume and add models to the mix," Jake Fisher, director of auto testing at CR, said to The LA Times. The brand is just launching the Model X and wants the more affordable Model 3 out in 2017.

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