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Posts Tagged ‘consumer reports’

Why is Tesla’s Musk Sleeping on the Factory Floor?

Battery-carmaker “hell-bent” on solving quality problems, says CEO.

by on May.05, 2016

CEO Elon Musk trying to get out of the trouble Model 3 through its falcon doors.

He may be worth billions, but Tesla Motors founder and CEO Elon Musk apparently likes to rough it. He’s been spending a lot of nights curled up in a sleeping bag at the company’s Fremont, California assembly plant, he revealed during a Wednesday evening teleconference.

It has nothing to do with the fact that Musk is getting divorced again. The South African-born executive is trying to stay as close as possible to the plant as it struggles to resolve embarrassing quality problems while getting set up for next year’s launch of the Model 3 battery-electric vehicle.

Electrifying!

The well-reported quality snags have already cost the bigger Tesla Model S its coveted “Recommended Buy” endorsement from influential Consumer Reports magazine. And industry analysts warn that if the problem carries over to the Model 3, it could short-circuit initially strong demand for the more affordable electric sedan.

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Tesla Hammered by New Quality Woes with Model X

Battery SUV “more likely to have problems,” warns Consumer Reports.

by on Apr.20, 2016

The Tesla Model X falcon doors have been a major source of problems for owners.

Tesla is being hammered again for quality woes as a growing number of owners complain about the new Model X battery-electric sport-utility vehicle.

And after soaring to recent highs, the California carmaker’s stock is tumbling in the wake of a new report by Consumer Reports magazine spotlighting issues such as the frequent failure of the unique “falcon doors” on the Model X. The magazine noted a variety of other issues that have left customers increasingly frustrated.

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“Tesla message boards are already swelling with complaints from Model X owners regarding balky doors, interior trim-piece tolerances, paint-spray quality, malfunctioning second-row seats, sheet-metal panel gaps, and climate control issues,” Consumer Reports said in website post.

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Lexus, Toyota Top Latest Consumer Reports Reliability Survey

CR yanks recommendation for Tesla Model S.

by on Oct.20, 2015

Lexus ranked at the top of the CR Automotive Reliability Study thanks to vehicles like the RX450h.

As has been the case consistently over the past few decades, Toyota and its upscale Lexus brand once again topped the 2015 Consumer Reports Automotive Reliability Study; but the annual survey of U.S. motor vehicle owners also revealed a number of surprises.

Among other things, the CR study shows big gaps between the best and worst manufacturers, whether Asian, American or European. And while some of the biggest reliability issues in recent years have involved advanced infotainment technologies, the 2015 study indicates U.S. motorists have also been experiencing serious problems with the latest, high-mileage transmissions.

Another unexpected finding comes as a bit of an embarrassment for Consumer Reports itself. Earlier this year, the magazine gave its highest rating ever to the Tesla Model S. But CR has now withdrawn its sought-after “Recommended Buy” endorsement from the battery car because of significant reliability issues.

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“Tesla has moved from ‘Average’ to ‘Below Average,’ said Jake Fisher, who oversees automotive testing for the non-profit magazine. “Were no longer recommending the Model S,” which suffered from a variety of issues, ranging from squeaks and rattles to drivetrain failures, as well as electric door handles that wouldn’t operate properly, explained Fisher.

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Tesla Lands a Perfect Score from Consumer Reports

Model S P85D receives highest rating ever, despite occasional complaints.

by on Aug.27, 2015

The Tesla Model S overcame a few concerns to land a perfect score from CR testers.

The Tesla Model S P85D not only received the best score of any vehicle ever tested by Consumer Reports magazine, it somehow managed to earn 103 points on a 100-point scale, the often skeptical non-profit magazine has announced.

The P85D is the longer-range, higher-performance version of the Tesla battery-electric sedan that already was hailed by Consumer Reports in previous tests. The latest glowing review comes despite a warning issued by the magazine in May that a P85D it was using had become “undriveable” because of a series of problems.

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“When the Model S P85D was evaluated at Consumer Reports’ test track in East Haddam, Connecticut, it initially earned a raw 103-point score in a system that by definition doesn’t go past 100. Consumer Reports had to make changes to its scoring methodology to account for the car’s exceptionally strong performance,” the magazine said in its new report.

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Consumer Report Calls Out Oil Burners

Magazine notes Audi, BMW and Subaru biggest offenders.

by on Jun.30, 2015

The BMW 5 Series is 27 times more likely to need oil between service intervals than other vehicles.

If you’re adding oil to your car’s engine between oil changes, something may be askew, according to Consumer Reports.

The advocacy magazine found that some cars built between 2010 and 2014 are not just needing a little top off between service intervals, but burning through as much as a quart a month.

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Taking Audi, BMW and Subaru to task for the issue, it notes that Audi’s 2.0-liter turbocharged four cylinder and 3.0-liter V6; BMW’s 4.8-liter V8 and 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8; and Subaru’s 3.6-liter six-cylinder and 2.0- and 2.5-liter four-cylinder engines all burned oil at a higher than normal rate, although the Subarus burned less oil than the others. (more…)

Consumer Reports Name Top Brands and Models

Japanese makers dominate again.

by on Feb.24, 2015

The Toyota Highlander was one of the top-ranked models according to Consumer Reports readers.

Consumer Reports’ latest list of top-ranked automotive brands and models contained some big surprises and reinforced some long-standing reputations. Notably, little battery-car start-up Tesla Motors had the top-ranked product overall in the form of its Model S sedan.

Toyota, a manufacturer long associated with high-quality products, managed to place two of its brands in the Top Ten, meanwhile. But Kia, a marque may traditionally associated with lowball pricing, also managed to place among the industry’s best, nudging aside BMW to take the ninth place spot in Consumer Reports’ annual automotive brands report card.

Top-Ranked!

Who led the list and who lagged behind? Here’s a quick look at some of the key findings from the study, which looked at how individual models scored in both road and crash tests, while also looking at what the magazine’s readers reported in terms of real world reliability.

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Ram Truck Sales Bolstering Chrysler Group Profits

Brand making inroads in full-size pickup segment.

by on Oct.31, 2014

The Ram 1500 EcoDiesel is the brand's fastest-selling model. Ram is gobbling up marketshare in the full-size pickup segment.

The battle for pickup truck supremacy is getting more intense and Ram is enjoying a run that is not only gaining it a larger marketshare, but also a major contribution to Chrysler Group’s bottom line.

While Ram is still No. 3 on the list of full-size truck sales, it’s an active player in the segment and, perhaps more importantly, the brand’s leadership is ready to jump in and scrap for sales.

Power Up!

Bob Hegbloom, the new head of the Ram brand, said during a luncheon meeting with reporters that he was both surprised and disappointed with the Chrysler Group’s showing in the Consumer Reports annual quality survey, adding the company was moving to fix the problems cited by he influential magazine. (more…)

Infotainment Systems are the Plague of the Auto Industry, Says Consumer Reports

Japanese makers retain lead in quality, reliability.

by on Oct.27, 2014

CR gives thumbs up to the Toyota Camry, the magazine predicting good reliability for the 2015 update.

The quality of the cars sold on the U.S. market has hit a plateau, and motorists can put the blame on new technologies – especially the infotainment systems that have become increasingly common on today’s models, according to a new study by Consumer Reports.

The influential non-profit publication likened the issue to a “reliability plague,” chief auto tester Jake Fisher noting that, if anything, the latest annual Consumer Reports Automotive Reliability study might be downplaying the problem because it reports only actual defects.

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The situation would be even worse if the study included complaints about just how difficult many infotainment systems are to operate.

“The big problem is infotainment. Take that out and (the quality of) cars would be improving,” said Fisher, during an appearance before the Detroit Automotive Press Association.

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Ram Diesel, Toyota Highlander Hybrid Win Consumer Reports Nods

Both deliver unexpected mileage, magazine says.

by on Aug.27, 2014

The Ram EcoDiesel delivers sedan-like mileage, according to Consumer Reports testers.

Consumer Reports has placed Fiat Chrysler’s Ram 1500 EcoDiesel at the top of its full-size pickup truck ratings due to its performance in fuel-economy tests, while the influential magazine also lauded the Toyota Highlander SUV.

The choice of the Ram Diesel underscores the growing intensity of the competition in the full-size pickup segment, which is undergoing a technical revolution as truck makers roll out new, more fuel-efficient powertrains and make other significant improvements meant to boost fuel-economy.

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Ford Motor Co. will launch a new, aluminum-bodied F-150 this fall that sheds up to 700 pounds and is expected to gain significant mileage, but the all-new truck wasn’t included in this round of tests by Consumer Reports.

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Consumer Reports Gives Buick Regal Thumbs Up

Buyers echoing sentiment as sales up 40% this year.

by on Jul.23, 2014

Consumer Reports recently gave the Buick Regal a glowing review, putting it in a tie for second-best vehicle in its segment.

Buick was at death’s door just a few years ago. A staid image and a mandate to cut down the number of brands in its portfolio, it looked like General Motors’ oldest nameplate would be heading to the scrap heap of automotive history.

However, GM surprised everyone by keeping Buick and repositioning the brand. And now those efforts are paying off in spades as Consumer Reports recently gave the Buick Regal a big pat on the back and sales of the Regal and the brand are both up double digits.

Your Automotive Source!

Consumer Reports, after testing the Regal and the new Volvo S60, described both cars as serious competition for the more prestigious competitors from BMW and Mercedes-Benz. Apparently, the magazine was a bit late to the party as Regal sales are up nearly 40% through the first half of this year. Buick’s overall sales are up 12.5% in the first half of the year. (more…)