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Model S reliability issues

Discussion in 'Model S' started by kuttakamina, May 20, 2015.

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Model S reliability

  1. 2012 Model S owner and I've had > 1hr of being without my car or loaner replacement

    7 vote(s)
    9.5%
  2. I have a 2012 Model S I've not had any major reliability issues

    4 vote(s)
    5.4%
  3. 2013 Model S owner and I've had > 1hr of being without my car or loaner replacement

    7 vote(s)
    9.5%
  4. I have a 2013 Model S I've not had any major reliability issues

    20 vote(s)
    27.0%
  5. 2014 Model S owner and I've had > 1hr of being without my car or loaner replacement

    6 vote(s)
    8.1%
  6. I have a 2014 Model S I've not had any major reliability issues

    30 vote(s)
    40.5%
  1. kuttakamina

    kuttakamina Member

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    #1 kuttakamina, May 20, 2015
    Last edited: May 20, 2015
    Is Model S plagued with reliability issues, or in a world of transparent open internet discussions we are reading too much into it?

    Let's find out! I kindly request that only owners of Model S respond, and wannabe owners like me learn from their experience. Thanks.

    note: flat tire does not count as a reliability issue. Dead 12v battery does.
     
  2. Johan

    Johan Took a TSLA bear test. Came back negative.

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    An open-ended question like this will never get you any useful data. Either people will post here "in defense" of Tesla saying they never had any issues, or those who had issues will come and post about how unreliable the car is. You'll only get polarized case reports and lots of bias.

    You should go after more systematic data collection such as Consumer Reports owners survey, where Model S was the highest rated vehicle ever investigated. JD Powers usually comes out with good data but it will take some time before a clear picture forms.

    My opinion, as an owner and as an enthusiast who has followed the community since 2012 is that the Model S is an overall very reliable vehicle, on par with other high-end cars. Which is a remarkable feat for a new company, with a new car, designed from the ground up.
     
    • Like x 1
  3. kuttakamina

    kuttakamina Member

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    yeah I was posting a poll to make it more "survey like" :) ... Takes time to type on iPads
     
  4. Johan

    Johan Took a TSLA bear test. Came back negative.

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    #4 Johan, May 20, 2015
    Last edited: May 20, 2015
    If you know anything about statistics, you know that when doing a survey the data you get is worthless if the participants do not properly represent the entire group you're trying to gauge.

    In other words: either you poll all Model S owners, which is impossible. Or you create a statistically selected group that is representative for all owners (age, location, model, time of ownership etc. etc.). Creating such statistical selections is very hard. Getting people to answer a survey is even harder. You will always have non-respondents. If you're doing things properly you have to analyze how the non-responders are different from those who do respond. Often you find that for example that disgruntled owners are more likely to answer such a study then those who are neither happy nor unhappy. (This is called an attrition-analysis is makes for much more robust conclusions).

    Also, remember that the outcome you're trying to get data on: the car being "reliable" is not in fact a type of hard, objective data point. It's not like weight, top speed, price. It's subjective. What you mean by reliable is not necessarily what someone else may mean by it.

    So in conclusion, if you are really interested in what you're asking there is really no way for you yourself to get proper data.
     
  5. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    Just the annual service means you're without the car for more than an hour, so every owner would say that. I'd suggest it should be > 5 days.
    Also, the availability of a loaner doesn't reflect on the reliability of a particular car. "The SC that I go to is short on loaners so the car is unreliable" just doesn't make any sense.
     
  6. BoerumHill

    BoerumHill Member

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    @Johan - just a point of information, while CR did give the MS the highest overall rating - 99, which is phenomenal, only a handful of models scored In the mid-80s - the predicted reliability is rated average. There are literally scores of ICE cars with better reliability ratings.

    The CR podcast "Talking Cars" (iTunes) has covered this extensively. #5 #7 #34 #42 #64 and #66 all have lengthy discussions on Tesla, with #42 being of particular interest to this subject. In the owner satisfaction surveys, 650 Tesla owners gave the MS the highest rating of any production car today. That speaks not to reliability but the overall ownership experience. Tesla SC stores/gallerys truly are different from every other car manufacturer.

    In their formal review (subscription required), the host begins with: "The Tesla Model S is the best car we've ever tested. We don't mean it's the best in its class, or best in its price range, or the best car we tested this year. The MS is the best car we've ever purchased, period."

    They've only had their P85D a few weeks so there is not a full report on that variant. They had an issue with the drivers side door, which was fixed by a ranger the next day. They were quick to point out this wasn't a special favor to CR; this is the standard treatment for ANY Tesla owner. It's clear from podcast #66 Insane Mode had them at hello.

    I don't view MS as a very reliable car, but that is ameliorated by the fact they will do whatever it takes to make things right. And while I haven't seen data which supports this position, I'm of the opinion the engineering at Fremont is continuously improving. Average reliability is not an issue when the customer service is off the charts superior.
     
  7. Johan

    Johan Took a TSLA bear test. Came back negative.

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    This is a fair assesment, that I agree with.
     
  8. kuttakamina

    kuttakamina Member

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    Well - if a car has reliability issues, but the SC always provides a free loaner, then the inconvenience is greatly reduced.
    The issue I am trying to get to is, if Model S was your only car, and you have an important meeting to be at or a plane to catch, can you count on your car to not give up on you at the most unfortunate times? As a comparison, my first car being an exception (college), neither of my subsequent cars have let me down for > 1 unplanned hour. My current car (acura), is 8 years old, and the 12v battery died on it once - thats it. (and that was after the car was sitting my garage for 3 weeks in winter). And I replaced the battery myself! It cost me $110 :)

    Things such as accidents, tire flats, tire replacement in 40k miles etc. can occur to any car. So I don't see those as reliability issues. Service isn't a reliability issue either.

    Reliability issue could be,
    - 12v battery died (happens on all cars, but Model S seems notoriously bad for it)
    - Pano roof leaked or didn't close or seals had an issue
    - Door handles wouldn't let you in
    - Car wouldn't start, center console goes blank

    .. etc. etc.
     
  9. Johan

    Johan Took a TSLA bear test. Came back negative.

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    In your first post you write:

    "Is Model S plagued with reliability issues, or in a world of transparent open internet discussions we are reading too much into it?"

    So obviously you have a preconcieved perception that the car is "plagued". I can assure you it's no more plagued than any other car. TMC is a poor source for information since every little issues will be dissected in detail here.

    I can answer your question about going to the airport to catch a plane: Yes, I choose to drive my Model S every time. The first few weeks I had it I was feeling unsure about this, but after owning the car for 2-3 months I don't think twice. Going to the airport? Model S. Taking my wife to the hospital to give birth? Model S. Long weekend trip to Sweden with 3 kids and loads of luggage, dependent on SuperChargers to get there and back? Model S.
     
  10. kuttakamina

    kuttakamina Member

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    As far as the engineering at fremont improving - I have seen/read evidence of that too. Which is why I broke apart the poll by years.

    Customer service vs. a good product, is like sticking a finger in the dyke vs. building a good dyke in the first place.
    Don't get me wrong, I love good customer service and I would gladly pay a huge premium for it.
    It's just that Tesla, the company, faces headwinds that puts their long term excellent customer service in question.
     
  11. neroden

    neroden Happy Model S Owner

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    I've had reliability issues with the Model S -- all of which are fixed, or at least ameliorated, by revised parts -- but I have *never* had the car become undriveable.

    "Undriveable" issues are very rare.
     
  12. kuttakamina

    kuttakamina Member

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    --
    Thanks for your Assurance. I'd really like others to chime in with their opinions as well.
    I also see that you've owned MS for 3 months, I'd love to keep up with your long term experiences as well.
     
  13. Johan

    Johan Took a TSLA bear test. Came back negative.

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    No owner since automn 2013. I have had no issues. Had low 12V warning, but it was promptly resolved (got a pre-emptive call fromTesla)
     
  14. kuttakamina

    kuttakamina Member

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    Awesome! Thanks
     
  15. Magus

    Magus Member

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    Tesla has some things to correct. The goal is an extremely highly reliable auto with significantly fewer complexities. Saying that Tesla is going to face service headwinds is dramatic. They take care of their customers.
     
  16. ToddRLockwood

    ToddRLockwood Active Member

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    #16 ToddRLockwood, May 20, 2015
    Last edited: May 20, 2015
    How do you define the word "major?" A buggy door handle or clicking steering linkage is not major. (Consumer Reports overstated their door handle issue in calling their car undriveable. I had the same issue with the driver's door handle. I continued to drive my car by simply reaching through from the passenger side to open the door. No big deal. It was fixed in two days.)

    A dead 12V battery is not the same thing as having your 12V battery replaced before it fails. My 2013 P85 actually contacted the factory (on its own!) to report that the 12V was no longer taking a 100% charge. Tesla service followed up and replaced the 12V battery several months before it got serious.
     
  17. Zythryn

    Zythryn MS 70D, MX 90D

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    I didn't vote as I didn't fit into any of the categories.
    We have a 2012 Signature which has had a number of issues, most minor, a couple not so minor that would fit in your "reliability" category.
    We have not, however, been without a loaner for more than an hour (actually, not more than 5 minutes) and the loaner was always another Model S.

    Our 2013 has had a few minor issues, noisy pano roof, squeaky seat belts, but nothing that fits your "reliability" description.

    In the case of both cars, the issues cropped up in the first year to year and a half. Both have been perfect in the latest year to year and a half.

    It is the first model fully engineered in house by a new auto maker. They went through, and will likely to continue going through some growing pains.
    They have learned from their mistakes very quickly and have always taken care of any issues we have had quickly, with zero inconvenience to us.
    I have been inconvenienced more, anytime I went to get an oil change in our old ICE vehicles.

    So much so that we have traded in our 60 and have a 70D on order.
     
  18. kuttakamina

    kuttakamina Member

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    It would probably be impossible to define "major" that would suit everyone.
    An unplanned > 1hr of outage, making the car undrivable (or drivable without doing damage to the car), I thought was a good metric to go by.

    Buggy door handle - well if you can't get inside the car is an issue. I'd say if I can get in even through the tailgate, its a way out in an emergency .. as long as I can get out that is :)
    Clicking steering linkage - I'm not mechanically inclined, I'd be worried about that.
     
  19. Jess

    Jess Member

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    You should include reliability of all Tesla parts in your survey, like HPWC, since having that be unreliable becomes an issue for commuters without nearby Superchargers, who count on it working to get to work.
     
  20. kuttakamina

    kuttakamina Member

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    Good point! Per your description, I'd say, you haven't had MAJOR issues. You should vote :) (in positive).

    My current car, I take it to the dealer for oil changes. I have to make an appointment, I have to wake up early on Saturday, get there right on time, and it still takes them 2 hours - and I sit in their lobby and enjoy free coffee and wifi. I'd rather be home. If I don't make an appointment, I have to leave my car there for almost a whole day - and even though when I bought the car, they said I'd get a loaner, I've actually gotten a loaner for a grand total of ONE time over 8 years of ownership. I HATE DEALERS! UGH! Also there are TWO dealers about 15 mins from where I live - and this experience is with the "better" dealer.

    My prev. car was cheaper, and Jiffy Lube screwed up the aluminium pan underneath the car when screwing back the cap - cost me $600 to get that fixed... what really burned me was .. that was the LAST oil change before I sold the car.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Yeah, but the survey already had 6 choices. I'd say - if you've had that unreliability/inconvenience, you should vote in negative.
     

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