CR's Tesla Model S P85D

CR's Tesla Model S P85D

Shortly after Consumer Reports posted on the now famous door handle problem with its Tesla Model S, the electric automaker turned defensive.

According to USA Today:

"Consumer Reports says testers were initially locked out of its 27-day-old top-of-the-line Tesla Model S P85D because the car's fancy retractable door handles wouldn't work. They were able to get into the car through the passenger's side door and squeeze behind the wheel, but the car then wouldn't shift into drive."

However, Tesla stated that Consumer Reports could have simply used Tesla's cellphone app to remote start the car. Jake Fisher, director of auto testing for Consumer Reports, responded by saying they were unaware that the app would allow for driving the car and suggested that most consumers would not know about this feature either.

Consumer Reports then stated that the big issue is that the car wouldn't go into drive due to the door handle issue.  Tesla states that there's no connection between the door handle and the car's ability to go into drive.  Here's where Tesla made a mistake.  Tesla suggested that perhaps the test driver didn't depress the brake pedal and that's likely why the car wouldn't go into drive.  Consumer Reports' Jake Fisher responded to this accusations by stating:

"We're not complete idiots.  We're not backing away from 'undriveable."

End of story...

As for those door handles, Green Car Reports reached out to Consumer Reports to see how big of an issue they are.  Fisher stated:

"Of the 1,278 2012-2014 Tesla Model S cars in our 2014 Survey, 31 were reported to have problems on locks and latches, and 11 were reported to have problems on doors."

"These are unusually high problem rates. The average problem rate for locks and latches is less than one-half of 1 percent for each of the model years 2012 through 2014."

So, yes, the doors, lock and latches are highly problematic on the Model S.

Source: USA Today