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Consumer Reports gives the Model S a low reliability rating "44" out of a 100?

Discussion in 'Model S' started by cloudoc1, Oct 29, 2016.

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  1. hsctiger93

    hsctiger93 Member

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    Read through a few pages of this. Not sure if someone already posted something similar, but this owner's opinion looks like this...

    CR has its data. They've used data for decades and are effective at analyzing it. Their number is their number. As far as I can tell they are not beholden to oil or big auto or dealers. They have remained independent and their analysis is done without bias. Yes, it's a smaller survey than any other auto maker but the data is what was reported by the owners surveyed. There's little use in trashing CR unless their methodology was flawed. It appears not.

    My personal experience is that my 2014 MS has been almost bulletproof in 46k miles. Only one issue with a leak discovered in the back when we got 3 inches of rain overnight in Orlando. Otherwise any of my other "complaints" amount to grains of sand vs. my ownership experience. When I compare my MS experience vs. the very best ICE car I ever purchased new, I'd say the number of issues is about the same.

    It's new technology. No one has ever built something like this before. Expectations of owners is high due to the high price point. However early adopters need to expect errors. And that's kind of the amazing part. To have something totally new compare equally (and in some cases favorably) in reliability to brands that have a 100 year head start is pretty dadgum impressive.

    IMHO Tesla invests in advancing technology more than anything else and I like that direction. If you look at how slowly ICE automobiles have evolved over the decades it's amazing nothing better came along until now. Give me the constantly-improving car and I'll put up with the wrinkly leather seats and the creaks and the tiny issues. Tesla will eventually get around to those too. But not before the cars drive themselves and avoid accidents and all that great stuff that brings our society to a new, better place.
     
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  2. SteveG3

    SteveG3 Active Member

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    hsctiger93, nothing personal, but I just want to clarify what seems to be a repeated miscommunication on this thread.

    more than once, I've seen people here categorize other people's comments as accusing CR of fudging numbers on the behalf of vested interests like big oil and the incumbent automakers (fwiw, something I would find extremely improbable, and not worth discussing). I may have missed it, but what I'm fairly sure I've never seen anyone suggest on this thread that CR is biased (just other people later categorize comments as if another poster had suggested this).

    what a few of us have suggested is not CR fudging their survey, but the vulnerability of an outside actor possibly corrupting the CR survey data despite the fact that CR does not want this to occur (and taking them at their word, takes actions to try to thwart this possibility). the idea is not that CR is bribed with $5k to $10K in subscriptions, but, rather a mere $5K to $10K in disingenuous subscriptions that CR has no idea have been setup would be sufficient to tank the Tesla ratings unbeknownst to CR. no one's claiming this happened, but just raising concern about the possibility of this having occurred or occurring in the future, in the context of the amount of money betting against Tesla (absurdly dwarfs a $10K "investment" in gameplaying), and the kind of actions the actors behind that money are known to have taken in the past.
     
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  3. jaguar36

    jaguar36 Active Member

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    It seems like everyone assumes that they've worked out most of these issues, but do we have any real proof of that? The drive unit replacements do seem to have calmed down, but your comment that you've gone through more than 16 door handles makes me think they haven't, particularly as my car is sitting at the service center getting 3 new door handles right this minute.

    I held off on getting a S for two years assuming they would work out all the problems, but so much has gone wrong on my car that I think the 44 rating CR gives is super generous.

    I wonder if we're all just being optimistic and in 2 years the 2016s will have just as many problems as the 2014s have now.
     
  4. whitex

    whitex Active Member

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    Wouldn't there exist an equal "possibility of this having occurred or occurring in the future" of some outside actor manipulating the reliability score to be artificially higher? Say someone who owns Tesla stock who wants to prop up the stock?
     
  5. u00mem9

    u00mem9 Member

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    Honestly this thread has me just sitting here shaking my head. I've actually lowered my expectations for our ability as a people to use reason.

    Depressing.
     
  6. SteveG3

    SteveG3 Active Member

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    agree there is also the possibility, I hope CR has very effective measures either way.

    that said, I find what you have suggested far less likely if media coverage of Tesla is a useful barometer. over the past four plus years, I have seen two or three instances of what seemed quite likely attempts to misinform in a way to positively influence the share price... that is comically dwarfed by the amount of media pieces that seemed quite likely attempts to misinform in a way to negatively influence the share price (just read the Yahoo Finance "News" ticker for TSLA for a few weeks... probably a few days would suffice to make this obvious).
     
  7. msnow

    msnow Active Member

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    Isn't it more "likely" that negative and positive reports are that way because that's where the facts took them? Why overcomplicate this with what "could" or "may" have happened without proof?
     
  8. SteveG3

    SteveG3 Active Member

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    @msnow and @u00mem9

    I have next to no doubt that your latest replies were emotionally honest. As to being intellectually honest, I cannot say the same.

    As it would be both unkind and impossible to attempt to as if 'police" anyone into an intellectually honest discussion, I'll simply wish each of you all the best... something that genuinely matters more to me than what we have been discussing.

    Steve

    edit: in the time I wrote this msnow added another reply to me. I was referring to her one word reply to me just before that. as to the newly added response, msnow, again I care more about your well-being than having a back and forth on this (what's more, I'm quite confident anyone following Tesla coverage in the media can answer your question for themselves without my two cents).
     
  9. msnow

    msnow Active Member

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    Steve, you're overthinking this. You've been around this forum long enough to know that the problems identified by CR came as no surprise to the owners here. There's absolutely no reason to develop a theory to explain its origin as coming from shorts, big oil, big electricity, ICE manufacturers or anything else even if we have proof people may have tried to influence news in the past. The reason we know about those is that those false/fake reports didn't make sense and raised a red flag. This isn't like that at all and comes from a reliable and time tested source. All that we need to know is that it syncs with the facts as we know them. Until proven otherwise CR has a long history of objectivity and has controls in place to protect against the kinds of scenarios you mentioned. It doesn't add anything to say "well this could have happened" or "maybe these guys rigged the results" other than to inject doubt and therefore lost credibility in the report. All I am really saying is we are on much more solid ground if we stick with what we know factually. Make sense?

    Mike
     
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  10. SteveG3

    SteveG3 Active Member

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    Mike, I certainly appreciate the more cordial tone.

    I don't think you are clear on the point I've tried to make. I actually have explicitly written that I think the current rating makes sense, and is indicative that even if some gamesmanship had been attempted, it did not have a material impact.

    I joined this conversation by adding my perspective that the possibility of Tesla's data being corrupted, already raised on the thread, was not an absurd concern... but a matter I have reason to believe CR has had concern about themselves.

    what was my reason to believe this? as I described, I had contacted someone at CR automotive testing (as senior a member of the team as there is, fwiw) in September, 2014.

    I don't want to identify the individual, but this was the response this person sent me,

    "I did read it all - Interesting. What other ideas do you have?"

    in response to this email from me initiating the discussion,

    "I'm a big fan of Consumer Reports, and, I'll say up front a big fan of Tesla Motors (and I do own some shares).

    I know CR is soon to publish their annual report on vehicle reliability based on your survey. My concern is that Tesla Motors may have an issue that has not presented itself before... a set of actors with the motivation and means to corrupt your survey data.

    Tesla has the potential of disrupting the trillion dollar energy and automotive industries (both the manufacturers themselves and the dealerships). There is tremendous interest out there for Tesla to have problems. In addition to those industries, various hedge funds have a combined $10 billion bet on the shares going down (30% of the stock's shares are sold short).

    I tried to be brief about that, but the point is there are those with tremendous financial incentives to see Tesla have difficulties (in addition to some personal animosity that no doubt has developed among the likes of those working in dealerships). Watching a recent talking cars, I know you were struck by how much attention (and sensationalism) went with CR's piece on the reliability issues you'd had with the Model S which CR owns.

    Frankly, I think a combination of interest's who are motivated to pump out FUD on Tesla and a media that likes a sensational story results in the news cycle you saw around Gabe's rather reserved piece on one car, and events like the Tesla car fires last fall.

    In addition to Tesla being unique among automakers in the amount of interest lined up against them, when it comes to your survey Tesla is kind of rare... the entire company had a sample size in the hundreds in your last survey. That is it has a an unusually small sample size that could be manipulated by these large interest groups who have been known to spread FUD in the past (if your not particularly an observer of the stock market, there's a short piece I can link for you from Jim Cramer, who you probably have heard of, that discusses the everyday nature of stock manipulation for hedge funds).

    Anyway, I think you can probably see what I've been building up to... this was probably never an issue before for any car manufacturer, but have you any manner of determining that replies to your survey are authentic? If there was nothing in place in the past (and why would there have been), I have a few suggestions on how you can look at the Tesla information to see if there's anything fishy (i.e. compare reporting of people who've had CR membership over a year, and over two years, to those less than a year, among other ideas I've had).

    If you've read this far, hey, great appreciation, either way, I'm really happy we have CR and I especially enjoy the automobile section and it's videos!

    Steve"
     
  11. u00mem9

    u00mem9 Member

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    Steve

    Your note was kind, and I will be as kind as possible in return.

    My disgust may be a result of knowing something about this topic. I work in the auto industry. I have actually travelled to CT to measure and evaluate the areas that CR tests cars. Other members of my team have spent time meeting with CR staff and analyzing their methodology and historical results. In some cases we have recreated their test methods internally to accurately forecast our performance and resulting ratings. Literally thousands of man hours have been spent ensuring our products meet their targets and receive high ratings because it is known that in some vehicle segments CR has an outsized influence on buyer preferences. These are typically the 'appliance' class vehicles where the average buyer has no enthusiast expectations and is focused on safety, value, and most importantly, reliability. These buyers are CRs primary customers and from what I have observed personally, CR does everything in their power to make sure they are accurate in reporting and forecasting what issues can be expected with each make and model. Their reputation within the industry is of integrity far exceeding other automotive publications. I hope I can say that without making too many implied accusations toward other review publications, but suffice to say there is some notable difference. Would I buy a Porsche based on CR's assessment of its handling performance? ...probably not, as that's not really their expertise. Their expertise is in documenting the historical reliability of the automobiles available and making recommendations based on that -Recommendations their customers have trusted for years and continue to trust because their track record validates that trust.

    Now, I don't know if you know anything about this area of our world. What I do know is that if I was an accountant or attorney and a new tesla owner on this thread for the first time, I wouldn't be able to have any idea if early model S units had reliability issues. I wouldn't find it easy to make a conclusion, because every 3rd post includes a ridiculous hypothesis that the data has been sabotaged by short sellers...or rather "wouldn't it be possible" phrasing since there is zero basis for the accusation AND the flippin' data matches our collective experience!!!!

    So, let me say this: It is irresponsible for you, Steve, to continue to repeat the same baseless 'what if' scenarios for readers who do not have the knowledge to evaluate your statement and realize you are trying to justify something uninformed you posted in an internet forum without evidence, rationale, and likely without sufficient consideration.

    I'm well aware of the headwinds facing Tesla, and it's absolutely true that many wish to see them fail. But based on everything I know, that did not happen here. And continuing to restate "but you can't know if aliens stuffed the survey to keep Elon from reaching Mars" is probably motivated by less than noble self interest and ego.



    Finally, since some of you have muddied this topic so tragically, let me add this note for would-be buyers that happen upon this thread looking for recommendations. If a personal friend were considering a Tesla, I would encourage them but caution them as follows:

    As shown in the data, the early cars are unreliable. I'm talking about major components that could cost you thousands of dollars if they fail and you have to pay for the repair. If you buy a 2012 or 2013 model S, make darn sure it includes a CPO warranty because the original drive unit has likely already been replaced and if it happened early, will probably need the later unit at some point. You do not want to be left holding that bill. Also the door handle design was completely changed and while the latest design is still the source of many replacements, the original is far worse. Tesla makes amazing vehicles that are worth the money and a little inconvenience of reliability issues. Buy the newest one you can afford and don't touch an early car unless you have someone else paying the repair bills.
     
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  12. Driver Dave

    Driver Dave Member

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    Ranked # 15 of 16
    Luxury midsized sport-utility vehicles

    This is the silliest thing I've seen in a long time.

    The Model X is superior to any gas car. Gar cars blow. Slow, noisy, exhaust kills you, costly to fuel, costly to maintain, all are behind the times in both style and technology, not to mention the dealers rip you off constantly, especially in the luxury market.

    The CUs problems with the X are mere nits in the big picture of things.

    After driving an X, I wouldn't even consider any of the other SUVs on that list. They all suck.

    X is absolutely #1

    The rest are way way way way below...
     
  13. SteveG3

    SteveG3 Active Member

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    @u00mem9

    I have next to no doubt that, yet again, your latest reply was emotionally honest. As to being intellectually honest, I cannot say the same.

    As it would be both unkind and impossible to attempt to as if 'police" anyone into an intellectually honest discussion, I'll simply continue to wish you all the best... something that genuinely matters more to me than what we have been discussing.

    fwiw, if you decide that you would like to persue an intellectually honest discussion, I will gladly respond, as I did when msnow sent me such a response.

    Steve
     
  14. whitex

    whitex Active Member

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    Negative media coverage is not an indicator of much other than human psychology and the economics of news outlets. All news stories/headlines are mostly negative. I remember seeing a study that during the peak of dot-com boom in the USA, where national unemployment was at record lows, government had tax revenue surplus, and things were really well in the US. At that time a study found that 6 out of 7 news headlines were negative. Why? Because negative headlines sell, attract clicks, make revenue. Positive news not so much. "A man drives his Tesla into a concrete wall and it caught on fire" will attract more clicks than "Man drove to work in his Tesla, then safely returned home". Even positive articles tend to have negative headlines to grab attention. I recall seeing a headline not too long ago "Elementary schools in country X will no longer teaching writing". Only after clicking the article you find out they mean handwriting as the curriculum catches up with the times and typing is the norm.

    So, no, the fact that most news is negative does not imply someone is trying to negatively influence stock prices. It's just the nature of news. And since Tesla has a high media profile, people want to know anything Tesla, it just causes more news to be generated about Tesla, and more news means more negative stories. No need for conspiracy theories. ;-)
     
  15. u00mem9

    u00mem9 Member

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    #155 u00mem9, Dec 8, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2016
    Steve, I will not be able to be more honest or candid in my discussion with you without losing my ability to be kind to you. I've said my peace (for the sake of other people reading the thread looking for information rather than debate)

    Best of luck.
     
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  16. Driver Dave

    Driver Dave Member

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    I'm pretty much an anti-conspiracy guy, and don't think that something like Consumer Reports can be easily "hacked"

    But... and this is a way huge but...

    Tesla is disrupting in a way huge way the car industry, the energy industry and the oil/gas industry.

    And these are way huge industries that will not just go lightly into the pages of history.

    I mean, they already set up a web site to just to attack Elon. That's a whole lotta crazy right there.

    So should we put on the old tin hats and see conspiracy everywhere? Probably not.

    But should we be alert to the shennagins that are no doubt coming, if not already here?

    We'd be fools to not keep our eyes very very open, and be open to the fact that some very strange things may be plausible in this environment of way huge disruption.

    Cheers!
     
  17. SteveG3

    SteveG3 Active Member

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    whitex I would heartily agree with your point that the media is tipped toward presenting "negative" rather than "positive" news, and there is no reason to think that Tesla is exempted from this phenomena. I would heartily disagree with the assertion that Tesla has not received an even further tilt of negative coverage from some media outlets due to the influence of some actors who wish to influence perception of the company and its stock price. I'm speaking particularly of the financial media, I'm not as aware of broader media coverage of Tesla. You need not take my word for it, scan the Yahoo Finance news section for TSLA for a few weeks and I am quite confident this will be vividly apparent to you.
     
  18. AmpedRealtor

    AmpedRealtor Well-Known Member

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    Clearly it's the Russians...
     
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  19. SteveG3

    SteveG3 Active Member

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    nothing wrong with having some fun, so, great point Amped Realtor! those with concentrated influence tell us what we need to call a "conspiracy theory" and what we need to ingest as truth... how convenient!

    The DNC tilting the scale to favor Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders in the primaries? Clearly a laughable conspiracy theory (just look, that's what nearly all the network media told us).

    The DNC emails (exposing that the DNC actually did tilt the scale for Clinton) hacked by the Russians? Clearly what happened, a certainty, and this is dead serious stuff, so it would be childish to wonder about, clearly not a conspiracy theory (again, as told to us on nearly all network media, no need to try to think about this on your own). ps- that Assange fellow, obviously in bed with the Russians... pay no mind to anything that chap says or leaks.

    Climate change? Conspiracy Theory (just listen to mainstream media and talk radio aligned with concentrated fossil fuel wealth... you'll be glad you didn't waste time thinking about this for yourself).

    how nice to live in a world where we have over 90% of our media owned by 6 massive corporations. it means such a minuscule number of us need to figure out for us what is "truth" and what is "conspiracy theory"

    our media always tells it to us just like it is... clearly it's the Russians indeed!
     
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