Is the honeymoon over? Tesla, the darling of the rich, famous, environmentally friendly, tech industry and the automotive industry, has been called out on an assortment of problems by Consumer Reports. The well-regarded magazine says that the Model S sedan has had “more than its share of problems.”
The U.S. consumer magazine said that the car has impressed staff, thanks to it’s “smoothness, effortless glide and clever, elegant simplicity,” however, there have been many issues that may dampen the experience of consumers.
CR gave top marks to the car only a year ago. They purchased the car anonymously in January, 2013, for $89,650 and have put nearly 16,000 miles on it. In a statement, the magazine said: “Just before the car went in for its annual service, at a little over 12,000 miles, the centre screen went blank, eliminating access to just about every function of the car.”
That issue was repaired by Tesla, under the car’s warranty, involving a hard reset. This restored the car’s functions, after the centre screen went blank, and fixed problems with the car’s automatic retracting door handles, which sometimes refused to emerge.
Last year, Consumer Reports collected owner feedback from 637 owners in an auto reliability survey; where the Tesla Model S received only a score of “average.”
“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,” said the magazine. “The reality is, it might — depending on the frequency and severity of problems reported by our subscribers and whether they show that reliability is below average.”
Consumer Reports magazine is not the first to find fault with the Tesla. Automotive data and pricing company Edmunds reported last month problems with a frozen touch screen, steering wheel and sunroof problems, forcing a need to replace the car’s battery pack in order to resolve the issues.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk has responded to the claims. “We definitely had some quality issues in the beginning for the early serial number cars, because we were just basically figuring out how to make the Model S. I think we’ve addressed almost all of those for current production cars,” Musk said. “Every week I have a product excellence meeting which is a cross-functional group, so we’ve got engineering, service and production and we go over all the issues that customers are reporting with the car and the action items that have to be addressed to get the car ultimately to the platonic ideal of the perfect car.”
In a statement, Tesla said: “We err on the side of being proactive to ensure the best driving experience possible,” it said. “That means we are particularly attentive in addressing potential issues, even if those issues appear to be very minor or have a low likelihood of causing any future problems. We take these actions with the customer’s convenience and satisfaction top of mind and strive to go above and beyond the expected level of service.” The statement added: “In addition, we are constantly upgrading the functionality, features and quality of every Model S through the free over the air updates we provide to every owner.”
By Linda Aylesworth – car-news.ca