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.