Tesla Statement: Model X Reliability Is Continuously Improving


Tesla Model X

Tesla Model X

Tesla Model X

Tesla Model X

Just days ago, Consumer Reports issued some wonderful news related to Tesla: Model S regained “Recommended” status. This news was followed by the bad…Model X was found to be plagued with problems, according to Consumer Reports‘ survey and Tesla, as a brand, ranked down near the bottom of the pack (just above Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat and Ram) in terms of reliability.

Tesla tried to address the bad in its latest shareholder letter by issuing this statement:

“Reliability of our vehicles continues to improve and our warranty accrual rates on new and used vehicles declined from Q2 to Q3. The amount of issues that we have addressed with Model X have fallen by 92% in the last 12 months, a reflection of the improvements we have made in Model X due to our ability and commitment to react quickly to issues.”

While we applaud Tesla for its continued improvement, we find it a bit unsettling that an automaker would actually launch a vehicle that’s so problematic from the get-go. A 92% reduction in the “amount of issues that we have addressed” would lead us to believe that the earliest X SUVs were, as Consumer Reports basically stated, plagued with problems.

On the one hand, we feel sorry for those early adopters who own the problematic vehicles, but on the other hand we think early adopters are likely aware that this will be the case with most new vehicles, especially those like the Model X, which are technological marvels in their own right. It’s really a battle Tesla can’t win. Innovative technology is difficult to master right out of the gate, but at least Tesla is on the ball in improving the reliability of this tech over time.

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48 Comments on "Tesla Statement: Model X Reliability Is Continuously Improving"

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Whoever can plonk down >$80k for this, b/c the Model S isn’t enough, I don’t really feel sorry for.

But it kind of makes you wonder what’ll happen with the Model 3.

Even if Tesla somehow manage to break their 100% record of serious delays, the combination of trying to outdo and outsmart everyone on every single front – even ones that are not mission-critical from an EV standpoint – doesn’t seem to be improving over time in terms of first-year reliability.

At this point it makes no sense to wait for the Model 3 once you can get your hands on a Bolt.

The more prone a car to breaking down and needing repairs. The more I would hate and resent it. This is what worries me about Tesla such as when they add X and Y along with the kitcten sink to the car on top of what they are trying to do. The more I think how much is my wallet going to go screaming when I go to take it in for repairs. Another thing about Tesla is that as if now none of my local car places could fix it. And a Tesla service center is 200 miles away.

Many times the service people will come to you. 🙂

I don’t think they are coming to you when there is a recall for 300,000 Model 3s.

“….The more prone a car to breaking down and needing repairs. The more I would hate and resent it. …”

+1 Been there done that…Which is why I hesitate to buy Tesla.

Model 3 will be a simpler design and therefore less prone to problems. That said, I would not want one of the early builds as there will be some kinks.

Falcon wing doors was a mistake, the X was a mistake. If they had developed the Model 3 right after the Model S it would be in production now.

Building the X was a great idea, a way to capitalize on the engineering and design investment in the Model S while grabbing a slice of one of the most lucrative automotive niches.

I agree that so far the doors look like a mistake. Should have just gone with conventional doors. But if they can perfect the Falcon doors then they do make a statement … not a statement I personally want to be making, but for people spending $75,000+ on an SUV I imagine a lot of them like the flash of the falcon wings.

Lots of rich people have a Model S in their 8 car garage, now they want a Model X there also.
The Model X is one of the six worst cars for quality and reliability, tell that to the thousands wanting to take delivery.

The Model X was one of the six worst cars for reliability … now they are much better according to Tesla.

The 12740 buyers and thousands more on the waiting list seem to disagree with you..

Falcon wing was and is a mistake, there will always be people who believe the emperor’s clothes look great, but the reality is they missed out on the utility of such a great platform, with non folding back seats and Douche factor falcon wing doors. They have the same appeal as giant wing spoiler on the Honda Civic.

Yes and No. Yes, they certainly have been a problem for the Model X and continue to be so. But on the other hand, they are so damn cool looking that they are a natural marketing tool. Free advertising. Any time they open up in public, people are just drawn to them.

Seriously?…the FDs are not a mistake. When they work, they are amazing and do exactly what they are supposed to do: make it easier to access the 2nd and 3rd row seats.

However, the fact that the 2nd row seats do not fold down is pretty dumb on Tesla’s part.

As a person that slept out at a Tesla store less than 3 miles from their HQ, I should have a pretty early spot in line so I may get an early Model 3 with all the flaws.

But as an early adopter, I’m fine with that. Especially since I also live only 20 miles or so from the factory.

Because Chevrolet and LG have stellar records at building cars…

The Chevy Volt actually does! Stellar reliability, which was my point.

When it comes to EVs, GM seems to have taken the high-reliability path. So I’d trust the Bolt to have less teething problems than each of Tesla’s models in the first 1-2 years.

It’s just wrong to call the Volt’s reliability ‘stellar’ especially in light of the second generation’s teething pains.

Consumer Reports surveys gave the 2012-2014 model years a ‘good’ reliability rating which is their central or average rating. 2015 was rated ‘fair’: below average. 2016 was ‘poor’: much below average. And 2017 projection is for ‘much worse than average’.

I would honestly be a little worried about the reliability of the Bolt, with LG manufacturing so many important bits. And, yeah, Chevy not the paragon of reliability in the auto world either.

Credit to Chevy for the first generation Volt’s average reliability, but the redesign introduced a lot of issues apparently. Consumer Reports gave them a ‘Poor’ rating for 2016 reliability and their 2017 projection is ‘much worse than average’. Those kind of ratings from CR make a car a total no-go for me. Average, like the 2012 Volt I bought used not long ago, is as low as I’ll go.

Well, the Model X might have been a good experience for Tesla to teach them a HUGE lesson . . . KISS principle. The Model X was too much tech and they know it.

So for the Model 3, they are trying to keep in simple. Minimize part content. NO FALCKING-WING DOORS. Heck, as far as we know, the dash is so simple that it practically doesn’t even exist.

So the Model X may have served the lesson of what NOT to do for the Model 3.

The Tesla press release said:

“The amount of issues that we have addressed with Model X have fallen by 92% in the last 12 months, a reflection of the improvements we have made…”

This is a perfect example of why, as a Tesla fanboy, I love Tesla’s accomplishments and its vision, but hate the very high level of hype. This has to be one of the most extreme cases of putting a positive spin on something negative I’ve ever seen!

A more honest way to phrase the same thing: “When we first started selling the car, it had twelve times as many problems as the ones we’re still dealing with.” Not exactly something Tesla should be bragging about!

I’m reminded of a Dilbert cartoon, in which management gave a hapless employee the task of coming up with a marketing slogan for a product which had an unfortunate tendency to kill some of its users. His solution: “The perfect gift for someone you hate.” 😉

We’re not fooled by this post. Grand wizard of the Tesla cult! 😉

I need to get Kdawg to put a “Grand Wizard” hat on my old “South Park” avatar image. 😉

Yep. He does Great Stuff!

I think it was a good idea to make a PR statement in response to the Consumer Reports slagging of Model X reliability.

Sure, ideally Tesla wouldn’t have had so many problems with initial Xs, but if they truly have cut the problems as dramatically as they say, then it’s appropriate to publicize that in response to the CR ratings.

To do otherwise would be very bad PR, allowing an extremely negative impression to linger that supposedly is no longer applicable to Xs coming off the line.

BenG said:

“I think it was a good idea to make a PR statement in response to the Consumer Reports slagging of Model X reliability.”

Sure, but why cite the unnecessarily precise “92% reduction” figure? Why not just say “We had an unexpected number of early production problems, but most of those have been worked out now.” That’s just as truthful, and doesn’t lead to those who actually think about what they read saying to themselves “Wait a minute! If they’ve reduced the number of problems with the Model X by 92%, but they are still having a lot of problems, then that means…”


note the automakers they still rank above.

They may have had 1200 problems and have reduced it to 100 still outstanding. Then again, they may have had 12 problems and only have one left to overcome!

Either way, I don’t understand why the way Elon phrased this is upsetting people.

Any Model 3 beta testers here? Please do a good job, as I want all those issues ironed out, before I put in my order. 😉

Any Model ≡ beta testers would be under a NDA to not reveal anything before Tesla reveals it publicly.

I think there was a story a few months back about someone who was given a test drive — was that in a Model ≡ prototype? — who posted some info online, and got in trouble for violating his NDA.

Of course, other auto makers do the same thing. They all want info coming from their marketing department, timed to maximize publicity. And not dribbling out a bit at a time from unofficial or even anonymous sources.

Well, if you haven’t put your order in yet, believe me, by the time you get a car, any problems will have long since been ironed out.?

Not a beta tester but I did sleep out for a good place in line and I live about 4 miles from the HQ and 20 miles from the factory, so I’ll probably sort of be a very early adopter.

I waited until April for my X, hoping not to achieve early adopter status. Sadly, I failed, but the car is almost fully repaired. One or two more service center visits ought to do it.

LOL Four Electrics. One has to have a sense of humour about it. Poor MarkZ’s X has been in the shop for a month waiting for parts and he is getting bitter about it. He also has one of the first S’s-a sig model- and also bot one of the first X’s.

He swears he will never buy an early issue one again. There in lies the rub on ordering a Model 3.

I wonder, If you have a early enough reservation number, and you don’t order right away where do you go in the input que? Do you give up your place in line?

Your reservation number is your place in line for configuration access, not place in line for production. If you waited you are just getting behind the person that placed their configuration order into the system.

I guess I’m asking what the best strategy would be to hold your place in line but not order right away….so they can get early issues out of the way.

I guess you just order a plain jane car then?? It’s not an easy decision.

It’s understandable that a small relatively new start up will take time to learn how to build cars. New company, now plant and new car then expect crap from about any company. It’s weather they quickly address the issues successfully is the question. Some old automakers are plagued with problems for years and their reliability hardly changes year after year with unsuccessful attempts to fix issues. The bigger the redesign the bigger the problems. Conservative manufactures like Toyota have even great first year quality, but their redesigns are evolutionary and usually quality is lower first year still. Example Toyotas Scion sports car was all new with Subaru and quality was crap. Toyota is also starting to fall behind on technology and features, not a problem right now but eventually. I also like that they have taken steps to improve the quality quickly with good results. Tesla is also doing major updates on the vehicles continuously which makes improving quality all so much of a challenge. I expect better quality for Model 3 out the gate as it was designed to be simple and simple to assemble, where the model S and X are not. While quality still might not be… Read more »

As I posted yesterday – any PREMIUM vehicle GM releases has been diametrically opposed to this statement from the very first vehicle:

“…we think early adopters are likely aware that this will be the case with most new vehicles”.

There have been some recalls with the Chevy Volt, but they’ve been trivial, such as making the battery even more protected, and changing the charcoal canister gas fume absorber, or fixing the silly charge port “Nothing to Steal” door on the early models.

Good old GM reliability is hard to beat.

You would know after having the Roadster.

so that wasn’t here that I read “Tesla Model 3 could be Tesla’s most reliable vehicle”?

here it is http://www.cnbc.com/2016/10/24/consumer-reports-analyst-says-model-3-could-be-teslas-most-reliable-car.html

I think it likely that early production run Model ≡’s will have fewer reliability issues than early production units of Tesla’s previous cars, simply because the Model ≡ will be a less expensive car with fewer parts, and thus fewer things to go wrong.

But that’s relative. I wouldn’t expect early production Model ≡’s to be less problematic than new Model S’s, because by the time the Model ≡ goes into production, Tesla will have had about five years to work out problems with the Model S.

Well I would expect so. I mean if your quality is worsening the more you manufacture then you have some serious problems…

Well, I just wrote about my isolated, but significant, X reliability issue when the first article appeared. Several days ago, I wrote up an op-ed piece about a guy shaking with anger over seeing my X. Today, I will write about just the opposite. Those who have followed my Volt postings know that I went deer hunting with my Volt…well I just went deer hunting with my X a couple days ago. I was blessed to bag a deer on my first outing and popped the deer on the cargo carrier mounted to the trailer hitch and off I went to the deer processing place. At this time of year, business is slow in the place, due to its location. No one was there initially, but one fellow came in and stood there patiently while I had the paperwork written up. When I was done speaking, he asked if the Tesla was mine and asked me how I liked it. I told him that I had previously come in with my Volt in a similar configuration. It truly BLEW HIS MIND that the paradigms of electric car driving and deer hunting could merge…and HE SHOOK MY HAND in congratulations for… Read more »

Very cool – thanks for the post!

I look forward to having a frunk for a number of reasons, not the least of which are your points that 1) people can’t see in at all, and 2) most people don’t know (yet) that it’s a storage compartment.

“And one thing really handy is the frunk. It is just about the right width and depth to store my firearms”

That line cracked me up. It makes me want to buy a Tesla just so I can put firearms in the frunk. Just so I can show it off to my ICE-fanatic and gun-fanatic brother, to show him how superior an EV can be — even at carrying guns!


Anyone who is one of the first to get a Model 3 will likely buy a LEMON. It is unfortunate that Tesla uses its first customers as Beta testers – or suckers.

I wonder how the first Model X owners feel about quality improving after they bought their vehicle – but only a little. I have little sympathy for those who can buy a $80K car that turns out to be junk. Those falcon wing doors are a gimmick.