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More Trouble for Tesla: Consumer Reports Trashes Reliability

Model X rated “sixth least reliable vehicle” in latest owner study.

by on Oct.25, 2016

Tesla's Model X has had a series of major quality problems, especially with the falcon doors.

Already facing growing concerns about quality issues with its newest electric vehicle, the Model X SUV, Tesla Motors was hammered by influential Consumer Reports magazine this week, the non-profit publication ranking the California carmaker 25th of 29 brands in its annual automotive reliability study.

It wasn’t all bad news. After faring poorly in the 2015 auto survey, CR said the Tesla Model S actually had “improved reliability.” But the newer Model X “has a long way to go,” with a variety of issues including balky falcon wing doors, locks, latches and other systems.

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The Model X is “the sixth least reliable vehicle in our survey, and there are some monumental challenges with that vehicle,” Jake Fisher, Consumer Reports’ director of automotive testing, said during an appearance before the Detroit Automotive Press Association. “It’s unclear,” he added, “whether they will get the ‘falcon wing’ doors right ever.”


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.


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.


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.


Consumer Report Calls its Tesla Model S “Undriveable”

Electronic door module problems reportedly widespread.

by on May.18, 2015

Consumer Reports had difficulty testing Tesla's new Model S P85 D because the door handles didn't work.

Consumer Reports, the influential non-profit publication that once called the Tesla Model S the best vehicle it ever tested, had harsher words for the latest – and fastest – version of the battery-electric sedan.

The $127,000 vehicle turned out to be “undriveable,” the magazine said in a new blog post because of problems with the automatic door handles that are supposed to extend out when someone with the keys approaches the vehicle, didn’t work. It’s an issue that others have been complaining about.

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A new car shouldn’t have problems when you’ve owned it for less than a month,” the magazine said in its posting. “Yet Consumer Reports’ brand-new $127,000 Tesla Model S P85 D, with the fancy retractable door handles refused to let us in, effectively rendering the car undriveable.” (more…)

Rethinking the Tesla Model S as Quality Concerns Appear

Consumer Reports raises consumers about nagging problems.

by on Aug.12, 2014

The Tesla Model S has been highly rated, but there are a growing number of reports about nagging quality issues with the battery sedan.

It has been proclaimed Car of the Year, other critics ranking it among the best vehicles they’ve ever driven. But a small but growing list of critics is now raising concerns about the quality of the Tesla Model S.

That list includes influential Consumer Reports, which complains the magazine’s long-term test vehicle has had “more than its share of problems” – some of which echo the complaints of a Wisconsin doctor who recently won a legal battle with Tesla which ultimately purchased the vehicle back under the state’s lemon law.

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When first reviewing the Model S in May 2013, Consumer Reports gave it a score of 99 out of a possible 100, tying the best car the magazine had ever reviewed. But after a year of testing, and of listening to feedback from 637 owners, concerns are beginning to mount, CR reporting, “Given the number of bits and pieces Tesla has replaced on our car, it might be tempting to guess that its reliability score will go down.”