Edmunds had issues with its long-term Model S. Now Consumer Reports says it’s having issues with its long-term Model S. Tesla touched on the Edmunds experience during the July 31 earnings call, saying Kaizen has already exorcised the gremlins that might have plagued that early-production specimen, but TeslaMondo suspects that behind closed doors, perfectionist Musk is cracking the whip at Tesla QC.
Considering the level of service Tesla provides, which increasingly involves a team attacking the car at the owner’s home or office, akin to an F1 pit stop, the company surely has a strong incentive to curb that kind of expensive behavior pronto, before Tesla’s sales volume requires too many pit stops. Also, Tesla purports to make zero profit from service, citing a conflict of interest in benefiting from product failure. And, of course, the Model X will share much with the S. It would be nice to show refinement.
Consumer Reports rates the Model S “average” for reliability. Seems the 2012 fared better in the magazine’s surveys than the 2013. The latter year Model S earned black marks for body integrity and body hardware. Body integrity means “squeaks, rattles, seals, and/or weather stripping, air or water leaks, wind noise.” And body hardware means “windows, locks and latches, tailgate, hatch or trunk, doors or sliding doors, mirrors, seat controls, safety belts, sunroof, convertible top, glass defect.”
Unfortunately, it’s hard to judge the Model S against its peers at the top of the sedan totem pole. Most competing sedans are new designs and therefore escape the CR endoscopy. Only the Lexus LS460L and BMWLi have reliability ratings. The Lexus is flawless, and the Bimmer is average, like the Model S. No ratings yet on drop-drawer offerings from Porsche, Maserati, Jaguar, Benz, Audi.
Average, eh? Not part of Tesla’s vocab.
UPDATE: TSLA closed up .25% despite a steady drumbeat of negative headlines all day due to CR. This means (pick one):
1. Tesla is a long-term story.
2. Tesla is seen as an energy technology company currently known for cars but eventually known equally for battery storage.
3. High-end sedans can outright flunk CR with no ill effect on sales. Ask Mercedes and BMW.
4. All of the above.
5. None of the above.
6. 1 and 2.
7. 2 and 3
8. 1 and 4
9. 4 and 3
10. Just shut up.