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Consumer Reports withdraws recommendation for Tesla Model S

It was just a matter of time. All the first adopters loved the brand, the car and all cars where new. As years go buy, the first enthusiasm goes away and the cars age. People are starting to look at their cars just as they look at every other car.
I'm not one to sugarcoat things.

Honestly, I'm surprised it took this long. I love my Model S, but I mentioned it here before but I've had more issues (by number and time spent in shop) with it than every previous vehicle I've owned combined. I wouldn't be surprised if the same were true by dollar amount given the new drivetrain. It's not a very reliable vehicle, and I doubt I'd ever consider owning it out of warranty. I have a half dozen more things broken I need to have looked at during my upcoming yearly service.

The other side of that is that Tesla has been fantastic in resolving issues. I get a loaner, they proactively fix things, and so forth. If you have issues, getting them fixed is usually very painless. And it's a new company, so I personally think they deserve some slack here as long as it's low impact to the owner. It's a learning process and that's what I signed up for when I bought a new car from new company with tons of new technology.

So I'm not surprised reliability issues are the weak point, but I don't think the CR outcome warrants the huge hit they took today. They're handling things quite well, I think.
 
I'm not one to sugarcoat things.

Honestly, I'm surprised it took this long. I love my Model S, but I mentioned it here before but I've had more issues (by number and time spent in shop) with it than every previous vehicle I've owned combined. I wouldn't be surprised if the same were true by dollar amount given the new drivetrain. It's not a very reliable vehicle, and I doubt I'd ever consider owning it out of warranty. I have a half dozen more things broken I need to have looked at during my upcoming yearly service.

The other side of that is that Tesla has been fantastic in resolving issues. I get a loaner, they proactively fix things, and so forth. If you have issues, getting them fixed is usually very painless. And it's a new company, so I personally think they deserve some slack here as long as it's low impact to the owner. It's a learning process and that's what I signed up for when I bought a new car from new company with tons of new technology.

So I'm not surprised reliability issues are the weak point, but I don't think the CR outcome warrants the huge hit they took today. They're handling things quite well, I think.

As an intended owner, this is pretty damning. CR's ratings for the MS had all been average or better than average as recently as a week or two ago.

Having them pull their recommendation is a big deal.
 
The combination of low reliability numbers and a high cost of repair visits for many of us who don't live close to a service center are an ongoing problem for Tesla. If I knew every service visit was going to be $400 even for routine service visits I would not have bough the car. I'm happy I did now, but I never would have got there if the service fee structure had been in place at the time.
 
Unless your car is out of warranty, is this really a problem besides the time you spend having to deal with these issues?

It is when service is so backed up they often can't schedule for minor to moderate issues for over a month. Plus, as good as Tesla is about making it painless, it's still a pretty big inconvenience, especially if you aren't right near a service center.
 
I think most "typical" people aren't going to really appreciate Tesla service, the entire process results in over-inflated costs and unnecessarily long lead-times.

No one repairs the parts, everything is just replaced (wait for shipping, wait for core, etc) b/c it is all "electronic" and the service centers don't know what goes on internally, the parts require electric-techs to diagnose and repair parts (replace IGBT, caps, etc), which does not happen at any service center. Also Tesla service (at least here in Scottsdale) has a really "snooty" attitude, which means they miss the mark on many of their "non-snooty" customers (like myself) and are off-putting... I love Electric Vehicles and Tesla makes the best ones so I'm a buyer regardless but to the "common man" making the choice to switch to Electric, I think they are failing in a few ways.

They will have to beat out this period between "hype and excitement" and maturing into a real long-lived vehicle manufacturer... There are only so many bullets left in the chamber on the big bang advertising model (Charge up big hype around latest model, 0-60 in 2.7... Now its 2.5... Now its 2.1... Now its 1.9s... Can only last so long, right?)
 

efusco

Moderator - Model S & X forums
Moderator
As an intended owner, this is pretty damning. CR's ratings for the MS had all been average or better than average as recently as a week or two ago.

Having them pull their recommendation is a big deal.
Meh, keep the big picture in mind. Even with a very early model and lots of the various issues that have been reported none have been catastrophic or deal breakers and the up-side benefits way out weight the negatives.... enough that we reserved a Model X over 2 years ago even knowing that would be an early, and likely buggy, model. Look at the actual rantings and how many are "Excellent"...the number of problems reported might be somewhat high, but the severity is low.
 
Meh, keep the big picture in mind. Even with a very early model and lots of the various issues that have been reported none have been catastrophic or deal breakers and the up-side benefits way out weight the negatives.... enough that we reserved a Model X over 2 years ago even knowing that would be an early, and likely buggy, model. Look at the actual rantings and how many are "Excellent"...the number of problems reported might be somewhat high, but the severity is low.

"Below average" reliability for an expensive car doesn't matter to fat cats (I'll just use the Rolls instead...), but it's going to keep Tesla from breaking into the mainstream market. That is the big picture.

One-percenters may not care all that much about Consumer Reports ratings on cars, but the average consumer does to a much greater degree, and a "yanked" rating is egg on the face. Period. (The egg is marginalized right now because Tesla's not a mainstream auto brand, but they are trying to become one, and this hurts them in that pursuit.)
 

Cosmacelf

Well-Known Member
Supporting Member
Mar 6, 2013
9,386
25,325
San Diego
I thought Consumer Reports went overboard in their 102/100 points evaluation nonsense. And now they've gone overboard with this reliability thing. I don't doubt the survey is true since early Model S had to contend with third tier at best part suppliers. However, Tesla service has been awesome fixing everything for my early Model S. It is inconvenient, but it is also worth it. CR has now shown itself to be silly in both recommendations...
 

Canuck

Well-Known Member
Nov 30, 2013
6,125
5,779
South Surrey, BC
The truth, as always, lies somewhere in the middle. The rating was too high to begin with. Now it's too probably too low. I look at the highest marks in their ratings and you will never see a Mazda or Toyota in my driveway. Nissan is average and Chevy is poor but I'll really like my Leaf and Tahoe Hybrid, and love my Tesla, over any of their top pics.
 

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