It wasn’t long ago that Consumer Reports was in awe of the Tesla Model S, but the magazine is now pumping the brakes on its love affair with the luxury electric sedan.
The influential consumer magazine has graded the $100,000 car as “worse-than-average” in its annual report detailing anticipated reliability of new vehicles.
The magazine’s grade is the outcome of a survey of 1,400 Model S owners, who cited a laundry list of issues ranging from charging issues to body and sunroof noises and leaks, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Tesla defended its proactive steps to address customer problems, citing its over-the-air software updates and quick response should a vehicle require to be brought in for service.
The Palo Alto company pointed that “Consumer Reports also found that customers rate Tesla service as the best in the world,” according to the L.A. Times.
The reliability issues plaguing the Model S are dampening the outlook on Tesla Model X and the ballyhooed mass market Model 3. As Tesla readies to double production within the next year, Consumer Reports is questioning whether, for instance, the Model X “Falcon Wing” doors could be reliable considering there are reportedly issues with Model S door handles.
“As the older vehicles are getting up on miles, we are seeing some where the electric motor needs to be replaced and the on-board charging system won’t charge the battery,” said Jake Fisher, CR’s director of automotive testing, according to The L.A. Times.
Tesla could offset its reliability issues with top-notch customer service and satisfaction.
“Tesla will fix the issues and learn from them,” said Thilo Koslowski, automotive practice leader at Gartner Inc., according to the L.A. Times. “I don’t think it will hurt the company long term.”
On the heels of Consumer Reports’ Model S rating, Tesla Motors stock dropped nearly 10 % before closing down 7% at $213.03 on Oct. 20.
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