With four drive unit replacements and two new battery packs, the Edmunds long-term review of the Tesla Model S has raised some reliability concerns regarding the electric sedan. Joining the chorus of concerned publications is Consumer Reports, which delivered one of the most glowing reviews of the Model S to date but has updated its review with some reliability issues they encountered.
Unlike Edmunds, Consumer Reports hasn’t experienced any drive unit or battery failures, though it did encounter pop-out door handles that occasionally didn’t pop out. Also, just before their 12,000 mile service appointment, the massive touchscreen console that controls almost all of the car’s functions went blank, leaving the car unable to even charge. That doesn’t bode well for the highest-rated car in the magazine’s history.
All these issues, as well as a few other quibbles (like a non-functioning trunk lid and replacement rear seatbelts) were fixed at no cost to Consumer Reports. It does, however, show just how hard it is to build a car from scratch these days. Tesla has reportedly ironed many of these issues out, and Consumer Reports noted that some fixes were done with over-the-air updates that didn’t even require a visit to the service center.
With the latest Consumer Reports reliability ratings just a month around the corner, will Tesla lose its vaunted “Recommended” rating due to reliability woes? Or is this otherwise well-crafted electric car still good enough to remain one of the highest-rated vehicles in the magazine’s history?