TMC is an independent, primarily volunteer organization that relies on ad revenue to cover its operating costs. Please consider whitelisting TMC on your ad blocker or making a Paypal contribution here: paypal.me/SupportTMC

Consumer Reports is wrong about future reliability

Discussion in 'Model S' started by jesselivenomore, Oct 20, 2015.

  1. jesselivenomore

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2015
    Messages:
    384
    Location:
    New york, ny
    #1 jesselivenomore, Oct 20, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2015
    First of all, I am not blaming Consumer Reports for being biased or anything nefarious. They have their own criteria and are totally within their right to add or remove anyone to their recommendation list. However, their conclusion regarding future reliability is simply based on a false premise.

    The "below average" reliability rating is based on early year Model S's. The first batch of electric cars built by Tesla who's only prior experience in carmaking is retrofitting an electric engine into a Lotus chassis. The logic is that since this early version product now proves to have "below average" reliability, Consumer Reports extrapolates that future model years will have similar reliability issues. Furthermore, Consumer Reports concludes that since the reliability issue does not stem to EVs in general, citing the Nissan Leafs, it calls into question Tesla's ability to scale its production, in particular for the Model 3.

    The logic used by Consumer Reports here is simply wrong. It is one thing if a 100 year old car company making the same product with minor iterations produces a car with "below average" reliability. Then at least you can extrapolate with some firm standing. In Tesla's case however, it is like saying "Since the Iphone 1 had so and so bugs, we expect future models to be just as buggy". Elon Musk himself has admitted that, initially, Tesla was not good at making cars. He may have been talking about efficiency, but also overall you cannot expect a company in its infancy to be experts at making a brand new product. It is only natural that Tesla will improve over time at manufacturing, and we are already seeing that come to fruition in the model 2015 compared to 2013, after two short years. Future models will become MORE reliable as Tesla becomes a more mature company and manufacturer, not less. Just like any new technology on the market that gets better with time, not worse. And I hate saying this because sometimes it is used in hyperbole, but in this case its true: Consumer Reports is viewing Tesla as a car company, instead of a technology company that is improving its technology over time.

    This is what happens when Consumer Reports makes blind extrapolations based simply on history and ignoring reality or logic.
     
  2. AWDtsla

    AWDtsla Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2013
    Messages:
    2,134
    Location:
    NE
    What's amazing is that it's above so many other brands, not that it's "below average". And yes I don't think Consumer reports understands manufacturing.
     
  3. strider

    strider Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2010
    Messages:
    2,920
    Location:
    NE Oklahoma
    But what they are saying is absolutely true. The proof will be what happens with model X. If model X's are more reliable than Model S then your assertion is correct. But the simple fact of the matter is that the jury is still out on whether Tesla is improving reliability or not.
     
  4. jesselivenomore

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2015
    Messages:
    384
    Location:
    New york, ny
    Their numerical grade for reliability is absolutely true. It is based on their survey which was dragged down by older models. Their future prediction, extrapolated out of this survey, is what I call into question. Are 2015 Model S's higher quality than 2013? I believe so, but you are right, in time it will be proven. However, Consumer Reports is not taking the position of "the jury is still out", rather "once below average, always below average".
     
  5. gizmoboy

    gizmoboy Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2015
    Messages:
    611
    Location:
    Torrance, CA
    I do think they re-score brands regularly if not annually, so there's always a chance to move up or down in the rankings.

    For example, Tesla used to be higher-rated...
     
  6. jesselivenomore

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2015
    Messages:
    384
    Location:
    New york, ny
    Simply, they are calling to question the reliability of 2016 Model S's based on the reliability of 2012/2013 Model S's. When in 2012 Tesla was still trying to figure out how to build a car, and in 2016 Tesla will have the experience of building 100,000 cars.

    It is ridiculous.
     
  7. gizmoboy

    gizmoboy Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2015
    Messages:
    611
    Location:
    Torrance, CA
    It's just about the only thing one can possibly do to extrapolate...

    It would be great if they evaluated newer builds too, but if you're saying that "new cars have less issues than cars that have been driven a few years," then on the one hand "duh" but on the other hand, how does this model compare to that model over its expected lifespan? That's what their projections are trying to encapsulate.

    It's a valid point that 2016 builds may be better than 2012 builds, but they didn't survey only 2012 builds, did they? And everyone says their build quality is only ever going up, don't they?
     
  8. strider

    strider Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2010
    Messages:
    2,920
    Location:
    NE Oklahoma
    I think ridiculous might be a bit strong. The data is what it is. It's also an artifact in that there's no way to distinguish between different models or versions of Model S. I'm not talking about features or whatever. I'm talking about how Tesla drops in changes to the model mid-stream and doesn't have the concept of a "model year" or anything to differentiate when things change. I'm not saying that's a bad thing, I'm saying that it makes it very hard to judge these kinds of things since you can't say that something applies to "all Model S's." I know that my 2012 Model S is very different from a 2015 model but I only know that because I live on this forum. A less-informed buyer looking at a used Model S would have a really hard time figuring out all the twists and turns over the years and that is what Consumer Reports claims to help their readers do - make informed decisions about buying a product.
     
  9. Lump

    Lump Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2013
    Messages:
    2,108
    Location:
    So. Cal.
    Maybe you didn't watch CR's video, they questioned MS owners from the last 3 years, not just 2012.
    Tesla Reliability Doesn’t Match Its High Performance - Consumer Reports

    I know several 2015 owners that are having same issues that 2013 buyers continue to experience.
     
  10. Beryl

    Beryl Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2015
    Messages:
    594
    Location:
    South of Houston
    Exactly right. We can gnash teeth, analyze the statistics and question their models but at the end of the day, this CR rating will effect future buyers, stock prices, and (hopefully) changes at Tesla.
     
  11. jesselivenomore

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2015
    Messages:
    384
    Location:
    New york, ny
    They shouldn't be extrapolating it to begin with. It is the same thing that happened when Tesla supposedly broke their road test and measured 103/100. It was because their testing criteria was based on ICE vehicle performance standards. It made Tesla seem better than it actually is, "better than perfect". Similarly for reliability, they are measuring it as if it is a 100 year old manufacturer, instead of a tech company in the first generation of product development. So instead of Tesla being "better than perfect" performance-wise, or "below average" reliability-wise, the conclusion is neither, rather: Consumer Reports simply does not know how to evaluate Tesla cars.
     
  12. Lump

    Lump Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2013
    Messages:
    2,108
    Location:
    So. Cal.
    Maybe you can tell that to Elon & Tesla because they don't have a problem with CR on their web site,

    Screen Shot 2015-10-20 at 4.06.04 PM.png
     
  13. jesselivenomore

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2015
    Messages:
    384
    Location:
    New york, ny
    And I know a lot more than several 2015 owners who are having zero issues. Are 2015 owners having more or less issues than 2013? We will see in time. I am saying, most likely, as a young manufacturer refines its craft, Tesla will become more reliable. We don't know for sure, but I can extrapolate based on logic and common sense. In Consumer Reports opinion, that is not a possibility.
     
  14. strider

    strider Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2010
    Messages:
    2,920
    Location:
    NE Oklahoma
    But they need to evaluate Tesla vs other auto manufacturers because that is their competition. That is what a CR reader would be using CR for to make a buying decision. Do I buy the Tesla or the Audi? A car should last a lot longer than a music player, phone, or computer/tablet and unlike one of those devices if something breaks on your Tesla they won't give you a new one, they'll try to fix it. Further, all the existing car companies have had periods of varying reliability.

    However I do agree with you that Tesla is being punished for being a young company. They are still building their track record. All they ned to do is to keep improving and keep executing and the accolades and customers will follow. Let's remember that Japanese cars were derided when they first came to America but now for many they are the model (at least is terms of reliability). Trust has to be earned over time.
     
  15. jesselivenomore

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2015
    Messages:
    384
    Location:
    New york, ny

    Based on their 103/100 performance rating, and now this reliability rating, it is clear that Tesla does not fit into Consumer Reports comfy mold. They are welcome to call it their "best car ever tested". Just because their testing criteria is broken doesn't make them blind.
     
  16. epicsurf

    epicsurf Member

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2015
    Messages:
    32
    Location:
    Coto De Caza, CA
    Interesting info from Consumer Reports. Tesla was below average for reliability but scored a 97 out of 100 for owner satisfaction. The next closest sedan was an Audi A7 which scored an 84 for owner satisfaction and was actual 30+ above average for reliability. So... Tesla owners are still more satisfied with their below average reliability cars compared to Audio owners.
     
  17. AWDtsla

    AWDtsla Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2013
    Messages:
    2,134
    Location:
    NE
    Then the measure is bogus. Maybe those Audi's had better initial quality, but then you get boondoggles like the old bi-turbo v6 that would destroy it's turbo's quite often due to oiling and heat issues, then required a $7500 repair because the whole damn engine had to be pulled to access the turbo's. Then there's it's successor, the V8 with the "lifetime" timing chain crammed in the rear of the engine by the firewall, of course you look at a picture of it it looks like a freakin picasso painting with plastic chain tensioners all over the place. Guess what, they wear out slightly after warranty ends. $8000 repair. Let's not even get into BMW's E46 M3 engine failure saga...
     
  18. tomp

    tomp Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2013
    Messages:
    386
    Location:
    Durham, NC
    I think the difference is the quality of the service. I've had a number of reliability issues, including center screen issues, drive unit replacement, various squeaks and rattles, as many have. But Tesla's incredible service and rapid response to correct key service issues really sets them apart, and helps keep owners happy.
     
  19. JRP3

    JRP3 Hyperactive Member

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2007
    Messages:
    10,117
    Location:
    Central New York
    Are they? Only a handful of cars were built in 2012, maybe 2,600, so those cars would likely have little impact on the results. 2013 was about 23,000, 2014 was about 32,000, we're at about 32,000 for this year, so the majority of their sample should actually be 2014 and 2015 cars.
     
  20. S4WRXTTCS

    S4WRXTTCS Active Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2015
    Messages:
    1,178
    Location:
    Snohomish, WA
    I think the important thing is to focus on what's wrong, and how Tesla can fix things.

    The first thing is the drivetrain (inverter, etc). This has been a trouble spot for Tesla especially in the older models. I have no idea if they've definitely fixed this issue.

    What I don't understand is the climate control, steering and suspension system. I have a 2015 model and I haven't had any issue with any of those. It would be interesting to see the root cause of those failures, and what they are but CR doesn't dive that deep into them.

    I have had body and sunroof squeaks, and rattles and I definitely feel like Tesla needs to start taking those issues seriously, and coming up with better testing. The problem with this one is Tesla has to do even better than an ICE car on this because you can hear everything a lot easier in a Tesla.
     

Share This Page