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Tesla Reliability Doesn’t Match Its High Performance

Tesla Reliability Doesn t Match Its High Performance Consumer Reports


Tesla Motors’ all-electric Model S sedan got high marks in Consumer Reports’ 50-plus tests involving driving dynamics and livability, and it consumed energy at the electric equivalent of 84 miles per gallon (87 MPGe in the P85D trim). It’s the best-performing car we’ve ever tested.

But its predicted reliability is another matter.

As part of our Annual Auto Reliability Survey, we received about 1,400 survey responses from Model S owners who chronicled an array of detailed and complicated maladies. From that data we forecast that owning that Tesla is likely to involve a worse-than-average overall problem rate. That’s a step down from last year’s “average” prediction for the Model S. It also means the Model S does not receive Consumer Reports’ recommended designation. (To be recommended, a vehicle has to meet stringent testing, reliability, and safety standards, including having average or better predicted reliability.)

The main problem areas involved the drivetrain, power equipment, charging equipment, giant iPad-like center console, and body and sunroof squeaks, rattles, and leaks.

Specific areas that scored worse on the 2015 model, compared with the 2014 model in last year’s survey, were the climate control, steering, and suspension systems. 

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Would it be too much to want performance AND reliability?

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