Tesla plunges after Consumer Reports casts doubts on Model S reliability

Shares of Palo Alto-based Tesla Motors plummeted Tuesday after Consumer Reports raised doubts about the company’s Model S electric vehicle.

Consumer Reports praised the Model S highly for performance, but quickly coupled that with a warning about reliability.

“The Model is is the best-performing car we’ve ever tested,” Consumer Reports stated. “But its predicted reliability is another matter.”

As part of the magazine’s annual auto reliability survey, the publication received about 1,400 survey responses from Model S owners who outlined an array of problems with the Model S.

“From that data we forecast that owning that Tesla is likely to involve a worse-than-average overall problem rate,” Consumer Reports said. “That’s a step down from last year’s “average” prediction for the Model S.”

Consumer Reports withdrew its prior recommendation for the Model S.

“The drive train, power equipment, charging equipment, giant iPad-like center console, and body and sunroof squeaks, rattles, and leaks” were the primary problems identified by customers, Consumer Reports stated.

Specific areas that scored worse on the 2015 model, compared with the 2014 model in last year’s Consumer Reports survey, were the Model S climate control, steering, and suspension systems, according to the review.

“Complaints about the drive system have also increased as the cars have aged—specifically for the 2013 model, which was the car’s first full model year,” Consumer Reports stated.

Tesla shares fell 9 percent Tuesday.

The sour report from the respected publication raises fresh questions — which had already surfaced in recent weeks — about whether Tesla can meet its prediction that it would deliver 50,000 to 55,000 vehicles by the end of 2015.


Photo of a Tesla Model S from Associated Press


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  • Pfft

    Dated someone with a Model S. 50,000 on the odometer. What a hunk of crap. Lots of rattles and a horrible noise from the front suspension during slow speed turns. They’ll get better in time, though. Still wouldn’t buy or lease one.