Elon Musk Tweets In Response To Consumer Reports’ “Not Recommended” Status For Tesla Model S

OCT 22 2015 BY ERIC LOVEDAY 54

A few days ago, Consumer Reports dropped its recommended rating for the Tesla Model S due to its worse-than-average reliability. This negatively affected Tesla stock and in some unmeasurable way certainly impacted Tesla’s reputation.

Consumer Reports wrote:

“Owning a Tesla will likely mean worse than average reliability…as a result, the Model S will not receive Consumer Reports’ recommended designation, even though it did so well in our separate road test evaluation.”

As expected, Tesla CEO Elon Musk took to Twitter to defend Tesla and the Model S:

Elon Musk Tweets

Elon Musk Tweets

Separately, Elon Musk later responded to a few questions via Twitter. First up was 7.1 UI updates and 7.0 release in Europe:

Elon Musk Tweets

Elon Musk Tweets

Plans for Mexico, Central and Southern America:

Elon Musk Tweets

Elon Musk Tweets

Plans for Middle East:

Elon Musk Tweets

Elon Musk Tweets

Older Tweet on Autopilot at night:

Elon Musk Tweets

Elon Musk Tweets

Confirmation of time travel mode:

Elon Musk Tweets

Elon Musk Tweets

Lastly, yes Elon Musk likes Breaking Bad:

Elon Musk Tweets

Elon Musk Tweets

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54 Comments on "Elon Musk Tweets In Response To Consumer Reports’ “Not Recommended” Status For Tesla Model S"

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I thought I was the only nutjob who likes EV and breaking bad, nice to know I’m in good company. I bought a used Bounder RV of same vintage, and was considering the Aztek. But even I have limits!

Do you have a pizza on the roof of your house?

I’m not much of a TV watcher but due to hospital stay, I was forced to entertain myself. I tried various shows and Breaking Bad was the only great one. But after Breaking Bad, I have been unable to find anything worth watching. That’s fine, I can go back to doing other things.

Check out The Walking Dead or Game of Thrones.

“House of Cards” is good if you like Breaking Bad. Totally different subject material, but it’s the same vibe. You find yourself rooting for the “bad guy” and kind of hate yourself for it 🙂

I would also rate Dexter as similar in quality/tone to BB, but skip the horrible series finale and just pretend everything works out like the second-to-last episode leads you to believe it will.

Tesla/Elon has responded very smartly to both the CR and 7.0-UI blip. I’m liking how Tesla has ongoing direct dialogue with their user base…they don’t go about it by way of formal structured “focus groups” as is done with the traditional car makers.

When the truth spills out, Tesla is quick to cover it up with a deluge of tweets from the great tweet master.
But when it comes to meaningful communication (like X delivery date, X features, X specs, X pricing, Model S backlog disclosures, etc. etc. erc.), a lot of improvements are needed to grow into a real car company.

Ask Toyota the same questions about the Mirai. I am sure that a mature company like that will be a lot more informative… or not

Elon,

We really like our car but please take the CR survey results and feedback extremely seriously. Tesla does a great job at innovating but most customers prioritize a car’s reliability. For mass EV adoption it is critical to close off as many points for critique.

Best,

J.

electric-car-insider.com

+$1

I hope Elon is correct about problems being w/early models as I want the Model 3 to be rock solid when it arrives. I don’t think I’d consider the first batch off the line, but hopefully the quality dept. is on top of any issues that arise quickly.

It is a double edge sword though, if you don’t get an early 3, the tax credit will probably be gone.

I will probably roll the dice on an early one and cross my fingers that Tesla keeps up the great service work.

unless you’re gullible enough to believe that tesla is actually going to sell 500,000 model 3’s/year right out of the gate, there should not be a problem with kdawg waiting and still being able to get the tax credit.

I’d actually rather be one of the first ones to beta test a M3 and hopefully when something goes wrong – get to see under the under-the-hood (get it? :P).

Yes kdawg, keep driving your gas guzzler till you get a working model 3 in 2023.

He has a volt

Unfortunately for those of us who actually want to have a rational discussion, Slime Through the toyota-troll won’t bother with facts.
Facts like the majority of posters here actually drive plug ins while Slime doesn’t and is only here to spread anti-Tesla FUD.

Allow me to list the Tesla trolls who come here to bash Toyota/GM/BMW/Ford/… every day. I will put this list in every article so other readers know their agenda.

Get Real, Anon, Big Solar, Pushmi Pullyu aka Lensman, Anti see-Through, Khai L.

The explanation of a “Sample Bias Error” in the CR’s survey results being mostly earlier cars, makes perfect sense. Tesla was still figuring out how to build an entirely new car from the ground up.

The Acid Test is true, Tesla owners love their cars, and nearly all would do so again. But the real test will be how Model X gets reviewed. That vehicle builds on everything that came before and hints at things to come (Model 三).

The argument that “below average” reliability is mostly due to very early production cars is good spin on Elon’s part, but doesn’t hold up to logical analysis. The production of the Model S started out slowly, and has been gradually ramping up ever since. The sample size available to CR has increased over the years, as the number of total Model S’s has increased. If the problems had been mainly with early production cars, then the percentage of such problems should have gone down over time, as the percentage of early production cars would have been swamped by much greater numbers from later production. But CR’s rating hasn’t gone up over time; it’s gone down. Their first reliability rating was “above average”, the second was “average”, and now this new one is “below average”. The trend is going in the direction opposite what it should be, if the primary problem was early production cars. However, note that CR’s reliability ratings are based on detailed surveys of consumers who actually own the product in question. One must ask if there is bias on the part of those who own the product. Bias is often pronounced in early adopters, and Tesla’s 97%… Read more »

That shows a fundamental misunderstanding of CR’s rating system.

If you look at reliability across years as a current snapshot, the ratings have gone up.

However, what changed is as the cars age, the older cars have more problems cropping up that didn’t show up in previous surveys, which makes CR change their ratings for the older cars and the overall rating for the car goes down.

The old “there was a problem but now it’s fixed” excuse is used by every manufacturer that gets a bad review. Sometimes that’s true, but more often it isn’t. People will have to judge how well it applies to Tesla.

Elon solved the DU problem last year during an earnings call, with a 50 cent shim fix. Alas! The new drive units are still failing. Just check the number of failures in P85D models. And it is not just the noise, Eventually, the noisy units all die completely. Tesla is now asking owners to keep driving with the annoying milling noise, even though owners find it embarrassing to drive around in a $100K clunker.

Says the resident troll Slime Through.

Umm, there is a simple explanation to the decline in the Model S’s reliability. The ’13 and late ’12 models might have held up for a year or so, but by ~3 years (now) more problems have come up. I own one and there has been small problems but were all fixed w/o cost in an hour or so. CR needs to qualify their poll, b/c a easy fix door handle and a transmission problem both counts as “reliability issues”. This should be parsed out in their polls and they are not.

They are. Drive train issues get more weight than door handles.

CR is treating all Model S as one “model year” because Tesla don’t do model years.
It would be more accurate to base it on each calendar year to see if there really is an incremental improvement over time.

Tesla’s do technically have a model year, it’s just that it’s based solely on the production date. CR does break down the results by model year.

Too bad he doesn’t take this issue seriously, either with the Roadster nor the S. How will he deal with the X?

the fact that the “founder’s edition” model x cars were hand-built tells you that that car is going to be a nightmare getting off a production line alone, not to mention problems that occur when the cars are put to daily use. i find it hard to believe that the model x is really going to be a regular production line vehicle. so much about the way that tesla operates leads me to think that musk isn’t running tesla as a “going concern” but is rather positioning the company to develop core competence assets to pump up the value of the company for eventual sale. when it comes to product realizations, musk shows a propensity for developing rube goldberg “gee whiz” gadgets that seek to solve problems that don’t appear to be particularly important. i mean really, how important is it that the door handles pop out upon detection of a person’s hand? it’s great that the falcon wing doors allow a person to stand up in the back seat, but what is the practical use of this feature? it’s not like people in the back seat are going to want to stand up to stretch their legs while the… Read more »

Good to see that Elon stuck to the facts in responding to the Consumer Reports downgrade, and didn’t post a knee-jerk counterattack tweet. I hope that he’s actually turned over a new leaf, and that this will be the start of a trend where Elon considers the effect of his remarks before tweeting.

i always encourage people to not be gullible when reading the comments of people who have an economic interest in having you believe them. since musk presumably doesn’t have consumer’s reports’ data set, i don’t know that he is in a position to comment on the integrity of their data. so you don’t know whether musk truly “stuck to the facts” because musk is clearly not going to disclose any “facts” that are unfavorable to his economic interests. but common sense should tell you that these “neat” gadgets are going to be prone to failures and fixing those failures is going to be quite expensive.

I own one and I can tell immediately you don’t own a Tesla b/c you’d know that all the fixes are free. Secondly, this is not a “neat” auto, I have owned them all Merc/BMW/and one Audi and my Tesla has totally unexpectedly changed my driving experience. And this is coming from a HUGE early BMW fan boy who only bought BMW M3’s when I was younger. I find it funny people who don’t have a clue about Tesla say that they think Tesla’s are “toys” for the rich or w/e. I don’t buy toys, I buy things that blow my mind away and this car does that.

i don’t own a tesla, but i know enough to know that the warranty on a model s is *4* years. now, it appears to me that you flip cars at a fairly rapid clip, so warranty expiration is probably not an issue for you. but my sense is that there are people who are stretching to buy a model s and they are likely to hold on to it a lot longer than you probably will. those people are going to have to worry about repair costs when the warranty is up.

by the way, when you stated that: “I buy things that blow my mind away and this car does that”; what you are actually saying is that you buy TOYS. the mentality that you expressed is a “kid under a christmas tree” reaction. the toy might “blow your mind away” when it is new, but after you have played with it for a while, you eventually get to the point where “the thrill is gone”. it sounds to me that such a development would lead you to move on to the next “toy” so as to allow you to continue to realize mind-blowing experiences.

That reminds me of a guy named Ron Barron. He still believes (at least says) Tesla has no moving parts, and a bit of gas slushing around in the gas tank is scares him! I guess, he was riding a bicycle before becoming a Tesla investor.

Go back to your Coyota dealer Slime Through.

It would be awesome if this forum had the ability to mute people.

Seeing the stock shorts lying and spreading FUD on so many Tesla stories doesn’t really class up the joint. :-/

CR scores the reliability of the Model S as follows for each year:

2012: Poor
2013: Fair
2014: Good
2015: Poor

So I guess what he’s trying to say is that the Model S did improve year after year, then the dual motor brought the reliability way down again. Basically, if you buy a Tesla in the first two years of production, expect problems.

And he’s not quite right about the owner satisfaction. The question that CR asks is would you buy the same car again, if you could do it over. It’s not about what plans are for your next car.

Breezy said:

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
CR scores the reliability of the Model S as follows for each year:

2012: Poor
2013: Fair
2014: Good
2015: Poor
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
[end quote]

Ah! I had not seen that before, and it puts a rather different light on things! I wish I had seen that before making my previous posts in this thread.

Thanks muchly for the info, Breezy.

Breezy continued:

“So I guess what he’s trying to say is that the Model S did improve year after year, then the dual motor brought the reliability way down again.”

I don’t recall seeing any discussion of increased problems with the powertrain in “D” dual drive cars. But that doesn’t mean it can’t have escaped my notice. I guess it’s time to visit the Tesla Motors Club forum again, and see if there is any discussion of an increased number of problems with 2015 vs. 2014 production cars.

I don’t think the rating change had anything to do with drive unit as that actually improved for 2015 (screen capture before they put it behind paywall):
http://www.teslamotorsclub.com/showthread.php/55988-Consumer-Reports-reliability-of-Model-S-worse-than-average/page5?p=1203469&viewfull=1#post1203469

Looking at it, I’m not sure how CR arrived at Poor for the 2015.

It’s just poor, very poor, no matter how we put it. You folks just have to gulp it down and move on with your lives.

And you, silly See Through, have to keep cashing the checks from Toyota (or whatever other company has paid you to bash Tesla). If you owned a Tesla, it would be one thing, but you don’t. Perhaps you are simply a short-seller?

With your lack of objective commentary, anything you say is immediately discounted.

Fixed that for you Woodster:

And you, Slime Through the toyota-troll, have to keep cashing the checks from Toyota (or whatever other company has paid you to bash Tesla). If you owned a Tesla, it would be one thing, but you don’t. Perhaps you are simply a short-seller?

With your lack of objective commentary, anything you say is immediately discounted.

See Through has admitted to being a TSLA short seller.

His goal seems to be doing anything he can to lower the stock price.

It’s super annoying. :-/

Good point. It doesn’t look like it was the drive unit that caused the problems in 2015s.

Does anyone know if using so much aluminium could be part of their troubles?

Aluminum is a softer metal, so perhaps it distorts faster thus causing the rattles, squeaks, and leaks. Is that possible? I’m no metallurgist so I’d be interested in hearing the opinions of anyone that knows better.

Absent the drive train, can anyone list the issues that owners stated were the problem?

IMHO, there’s just too much over-engineering of simple things like the Door handle.

I know some of the early issues were with the motor bearings making noises that required a motor change. Those were fixed and should not be a problem anymore. Another problem was the leaking and noisy sunroof. I know that around July of 2015 Tesla started producing a new sunroof design which should be an improvement, but an early Teslamotorsclub forum member had issues with it:
http://www.teslamotorsclub.com/showthread.php/49470-New-Panoramic-Roof-Good-news-bad-news

I am going on 3 months with my 70D and no issues

Tesla has importantly not had material “found on road dead” reliability issues. Hence, the acid test results.

I’m having AP installed today, on a car that has the sensors. I had driven the new adaptive cruise before, but the P85 loaner w/full AP is a real trip. Stop and Go traffic really jams. No pedal, or steering inputs, sometimes for miles. Time becomes more productive.

I love how Tesla stays focused on a real world performance envelope, and how the driving you actually do can be made immensely better. The car is still a wolf, when you want it.

The main problem i see with CR is they measure problems on cars that are usually the same from day one of MY to the last day of the same MY without any changes within that timeframe for that MY. Then, a problem that occurs in a car at the beginning of a MY will likely be present on the last car of the same MY.

Tesla, on the other hand, makes so many changes every week that a MS built on the last day of the year should be much improved over the first day MY.

I actually wish other car makers would build their cars that way, but they don’t. Ask me if i like the fact that my engine starts in my 2012 Volt when it’s only -3C outside?

If i had the money, i would jump in a Tesla any day cause i know my probable eventual problems WILL be solved quickly without any fuss.

As far as i know, every major problems on MS were solved to the owners satisfaction.
Call me a fanboy if you want, but i truly trust Tesla’s engineering for making the cars better with every copy they make unlike others.

Ignition switch anyone?

Reported reliability would have had to decrease from the initial recommendation for CR to un-recommend them. So I don’t buy Elon’s tweet that it’s just early cars unless a lot of early owners started reporting to CR (more so than new cars).

CR’s rating looks at all cars (even the old ones). What happened is there were problems in the older cars that didn’t pop up until this year and that affects the overall rating.

Here’s a post that compares the changes from last year’s survey for previous year models:
http://www.teslamotorsclub.com/showthread.php/55988-Consumer-Reports-reliability-of-Model-S-worse-than-average/page16?p=1204975&viewfull=1#post1204975

While 2015 did have some areas that went down (some up), the areas affected weren’t that much (three areas where it went from excellent or very good to good):
http://www.teslamotorsclub.com/showthread.php/55988-Consumer-Reports-reliability-of-Model-S-worse-than-average/page5?p=1203469&viewfull=1#post1203469

The correct response to the time travel question would have been.

“How do you think we got the battery technology for the roadster…”