Consumer Reports On Tesla Model S’ Average Reliability Rating – Video

3 years ago by Eric Loveday 16

There’s been several high-profile Tesla Model S reliability issues documented by the likes of Edmunds, Motor Trend, Consumer Reports and so on.

It seems fitting then to explore the reliability of the Model S.

That’s precisely what Consumer Reports has done through its annual survey of actual Model S owners:

“The Tesla Model S represents the cutting edge of electric car technology. But is it reliable? Data from over 1,300 Consumer Reports subscribers supplies an answer.”

And the answer is…the Model S’ reliability is “average,” which is impressive for a newer automaker.

Tesla Model S Scores "Average" In Reliability

Tesla Model S Scores “Average” In Reliability

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16 responses to "Consumer Reports On Tesla Model S’ Average Reliability Rating – Video"

  1. Big Solar says:

    I think they will achieve above average rating as they mature as a car company, average is bad. Beating Mercedes in reliability is no great feat.

    1. Joshua Burstyn says:

      Actually for a brand new car company, with a brand new full design, I think it’s beyond remarkable. Just think of how they’ll place in quality once they’ve got the same number of years’ experience as other established makers.

      1. Mark says:

        Consider how this rating will be impacted as the cars age and non-Tesla technicians start to work on the cars.

        1. Stimpacker says:

          Can non-Tesla technicians even order factory parts for repair work?

          Will non-Tesla technicians be given/sold the information/equipment needed to talk to the car’s electronics?

          I’d like to support my local mechanic but I don’t think it’ll be easy or even possible.

          1. Rob Stark says:

            There are federal right to repair laws.

            OEMs can not force you to repair your vehicle at a facility of their choice.

            After a vehicle is three years old it is no longer included in reliability scores.

            Long term vehicle dependability studies are more complex and less visible in the press,marketing, and purchase decisions of consumers.

            A 10 year old car has little to do with the car you are considering now.

            1. Big Solar says:

              If the bumper to bumper warranty was say 4 years on any car would it be included in the reliability scores for 4 years? Just wondering.

    2. Rob Stark says:

      A start-up beating Mercedes S Class in its second year manufacturing its first all new car is a remarkable achievement.

      You would expect Fisker Karma reliability from a new manufacturer.

  2. Chris O says:

    I think the reliability rating doesn’t accurately reflect where Tesla currently is in terms of reliability because it is let down by teething problems with early models.

    1. Rob Stark says:

      If you watch the vid it says the drivetrain problems are largely contained to 2012 models.

      That fixes instituted for 2013 largely worked.

      Current reported problems revolve around noise and vibration. Many of these noise and vibration “problems” would go unnoticed in an ICE car given the baseline for a properly functioning ICEv has far higher noise and vibration.

  3. ModernMarvelFan says:

    You can look at it from a “bottle half full” or from a “bottle half empty” point of view.

    1. Tesla is a brand new company that is ONLY on its 2nd model, so it is pretty good.

    2. It is electric which should be superior to ICE in terms of quality and reliability by design and by the fact of less moving parts… But it is only average.

    I think it will only get better over time.

  4. wraithnot says:

    I’ve certainly seen an improvement over time in my early 2013 Model S. I had something like four or five service visits between March 2013 and the end of 2013 for all sorts of issues- in most cases the issues were resolved with a newly designed part or a new procedure. For all of 2014 I’ve only had two service visits for a single issue each time.

    I knew I was basically a beta tester when I bought the car and Tesla has both treated me extremely well every time I brought the car in and redesigned the problematic parts quickly. Between that and all the software updates this is the only car I’ve ever owned that has improved the longer I’ve owned it.

  5. Omar Sultan says:

    It certainly seems that build quality is getting very good, very quickly. My 2013 had way less problems than the 2012 builds and the current builds seem better than mine.

    To put things in some perspective, I have put 40K miles on my S85 in ~15 months. The only real “service” visit I had was at ~10K to deal with a loud drone from the drive unit (they swapped the unit out), but since then, the only time I see my service center is tire rotations.

    I think the big test will be the Model X – as buyers get more mainstream, they will be less forgiving than the early adopters who bought into the Model S.

  6. Bill Howland says:

    Now by means of comparison, the VOLT which has been deemed “all-new” by many of these magazines: What is its reliability rating? Should be easy to survey. 69,000 have been sold with a billion miles travelled.

    1. Bonaire says:

      For my early build 2011 Volt, i have had two oil changes. Pretty good reliability. 45,000 miles and driving it for 2.5 years.

  7. Peter says:

    Well no problems with mine so far. Did get it in May this year and 12500 miles (20000km). Maybe 2014 year models are better produced. I think that they have learned so much about car production in such a short matter of time. All other carmakers should produce better cars considering that they have been inte business för 100 years or so.

    Nothing what so ever and no plan to make any visit to a service station this year. (maybe next year I will have the air filter and wiper blades replaced but to early to decide that now.
    But some firmware updates for sure as all computers need.

  8. leaf owner says:

    No major issues with my 2013 leaf over 10k miles. Just a recall to update some airbag software.