Reliability issues lead Consumer Reports to downgrade the electric car makers’ flagship model.
The Tesla Model S is one of the most technologically advanced cars on the road, and as recently as August was lauded by Consumer Reports for its best-ever scores on the magazine’s performance tests.
But this week the influential auto ranking nonprofit told a meeting of Detroit’s Automotive Press Association that it would no longer recommend the vehicle, according to Reuters. In explaining the decision, magazine editors noted the increase in reliability complaints related to the car’s new technology.
The issues underscore the tension between car makers’ desire to meet consumer expectations for technological upgrades with their demand for the reliability of proven technologies. Complaints about the Model S and other similar vehicles are believed to be mostly related to the innovative mileage-boosting transmission device and digital multi-media systems.
In Consumer Reports surveys of more than 1400 Tesla Model S owners, the car received lower than average reliability ratings. Complaints revolved around drive train issues, problems with the dashboard display, electric charging issues and general noises and leaks.
Still, 97 percent of Tesla owners said they would buy another Model S, and lauded the company for the ease of repairs and responsive customer service. A Tesla spokesman noted that, with the companies’ networked software, many repairs could be made without owners needing to bring in their cars.
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