Consumer Reports [CR], which last year gave Tesla Motors (TSLA) Model S sedan perfect marks, was highly critical of the car in a recent report saying that while the Model S owned by the influential U.S. magazine since January 2013 has impressed staff with its “smoothness, effortless glide and clever, elegant simplicity,” the car it owns has had “more than its share of problems.”
The magazine which anonymously buys the vehicles its staff tests from auto dealerships, said its Model S, purchased for $89,650, now has traveled nearly 16,000 miles and has developed many minor problems that merit some reflection.
In a statement Consumer Reports said that “[j]ust before the car went in for its annual service, at a little over 12,000 miles, the center screen went blank, eliminating access to just about every function of the car, including popping open the charge port. The shop…performed a “hard reset” that restored the car’s functions. It also fixed a creak emanating from the passenger side roof-pillar area, disassembling and refitting some trim panels.”
CR also said its staff had a problem with the car’s automatic-retracting door handles, “which were occasionally reluctant to emerge from the coachwork so we could open the driver’s door.” Tesla took care of the issue with an over-the-air programming update beamed to the car.
In May of last year, Tesla’s Model S earned a score of 99 out of a possible 100 in Consumer Reports’ performance tests, which ties for the highest score any car has ever received. In fact, the magazine’s head of auto testing said the car would have scored even higher had it not been for the fact that it has to be recharged on long trips.
California-based Tesla said in a statement,that it considers service a top priority.
“We err on the side of being proactive to ensure the best driving experience possible,” it said. “That means we are particularly attentive in addressing potential issues, even if those issues appear to be very minor or have a low likelihood of causing any future problems.
“We take these actions with the customer’s convenience and satisfaction top of mind and strive to go above and beyond the expected level of service.
“In addition, we are constantly upgrading the functionality, features and quality of every Model S through the free over the air updates we provide to every owner,” it said.
TSLA has been one of the best performing stocks this year, gaining about 70% year-over-year and more than 72% year-to-date. Ticker closed on Monday at $259.32/share, up $11 and change,or 4.5%.