Tesla’s reliability concerns Tesla’s reliability concerns
Perhaps the hype has worn off and reality has finally set in. Just a few weeks after Consumer Reports reported that the Tesla Model... Tesla’s reliability concerns


Perhaps the hype has worn off and reality has finally set in. Just a few weeks after Consumer Reports reported that the Tesla Model S broke its rating scale, the group have retracted its “recommended” rating for the luxury electric vehicle. Once news of this began circulating, Tesla stock plummeted more than 10%.

The Model S was stripped of its “recommended” rating after more than 1,400 owners chronicled an array of complicated problems with their vehicles in Consumer Report’s annual reliability survey. As a result, the Model S now wears a “worse-than-average” reliability rating, with the warning that “From that data we forecast that owning that Tesla is likely to involve a worse-than-average overall problem rate.”

Model S owners have complained of faulty powertrain components, interior power components, charging system failures, as well as leaky and squeaky moonroofs. Others noted inoperable wipers, leaking battery cooling pumps, out-of-alignment trunk and hatchback latches and persistent wheel-alignment issues.

Although Tesla has a very Apple-like response to problems, simply replacing whole components wholesale rather than spending time diagnosing and repairing, owners appear to be increasingly discontent with having spent nearly $100,000 on a car, only to have it spend the majority of the time on a flatbed truck heading back to the Tesla dealer.

These reliability issues also draw into question Tesla’s ability to build the Model 3, the company’s mass-market EV that is due out in a few years.

Sean McKellar

Based in Brisbane, Australia, Sean has loved cars his entire life. At 21 he launched the popular 80’s Falcon forum xFalcon.com, then at 24 created TopGearbox.com, one of the most popular Top Gear fansites in the world.

  • the guy with no name

    October 22, 2015 #1 Author

    The Tesla has nothing going for it (other than the insane acceleration of 3.2 secs that the top model has). I’ve been in the back of one in a dealership and it was surprisingly cramped. The seats were far too low so my knees were in my eye sockets and my head was touching to roof (I’m about 1.82m tall).

    For the same amount of money (or possibly less) you can get yourself a supercharged 5L V8 Jag XJL. It’s big, very comfortable, very light (for a car of it’s type/size), doesn’t need to be charged, it can be a complete animal or completely civilized. And the Jag is far far cooler.


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