Consumer Reports Lowers Tesla’s Reliability Rating But Raises It For Model S

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Tesla did not do very well this time in Consumer Reports’ latest annual reliability survey. However, there was one bright spot: the Model S, notes CNBC.  The low overall ranking of the electric car maker was due to many issues with its Model X crossover, like obstacles with its falcon-wing doors. However, the Model S was able to improve its image.

Average rating for the Model S an “impressive feat”

This year the Model S got an “average” rating, with Consumer Reports recommending the electric car. In an interview with CNBC, Jake Fisher, director of automotive testing for Consumer Reports, said that on metrics such as performance and road tests, Consumer Reports had given the Model S high scores, but due to reliability concerns, they had held back a recommendation.

“In terms of any new or redesigned vehicles, we often see a tumble on reliability,” Fisher said.

He added that they always see reliability improve as automakers work out design issues and bugs. Further, Fisher said that considering the short life of the EV firm, the fact the Model S is average at all is an impressive feat as there are automakers like Fiat Chrysler that are unable to make “very conventional cars reliable.”

Tesla ranked near bottom thanks to Model X

Once the Consumer Reports said that a car by Tesla was so good that it broke their ratings system. However, now the group has ranked the automaker 25th out of 29 auto brands in the 2016 Annual Auto Reliability Survey. Tesla’s Model X crossover and its signature falcon-wing doors are one reason behind the decision.

Consumer Reports noted that the Model X launched with many problems, including water leaks, climate control system problems, infotainment, and frequent malfunctions of the falcon-wing doors. Fisher told CNBC that the Model X out “of the gate is very problematic,” adding that several problems are related to the complex doors.

“The falcon-wing doors are kind of an accident waiting to happen,” he explained.

Previously, Consumer Reports has praised Tesla. The P85D,- a version of the Model S, earned the highest possible score from the group. But the group expressed concerns about the reliability of the Model S even at that time, notes CNBC. This year the Model S has finally gained an average reliability rating.

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About the Author

Aman Jain
Aman is MBA (Finance) with an experience on both Marketing and Finance side. He has worked as a Risk Analyst for AIR Worldwide, and is currently leading VeRa FinServ, a Financial Research firm. Favorite pastimes include watching science fiction movies, reviewing tech gadgets, playing PC games and cricket. - Email him at

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