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Tesla Tumbles After Consumer Reports Yanks Its "Best Car Ever" Recommendation, Now Says It Has "Poor Reliability"

In what is truly historic flip flop, just a month after Consumer Reports said the Tesla Model S is the best car it has ever tested, the agency has not only yanked its original review, but has come out with what is clearly a hitjob sponsored by another highest bidder, aimed squarely at Elon Musk's overpriced science experiment.

As a reminder, back in September, in "an expert and unbiased review" Consumer Reports gave the Model S a rating of 100— a perfect score — calling it "the best-performing car that Consumer Reports has ever tested." It added:

"The Model S being the first car to receive 100 out of 100 points is truly a testament to our commitment to continually give our customers enhancements in range, performance and value, and ultimately a better driving and ownership experience."

 

"It really blew up our system," said Jake Fisher, the head of automotive testing for Consumer Reports. "It actually scored above 100 in our system before we had to make some changes to account for this car."

 

Initially, the P85D Model S scored 103 points when Consumer Reportsmeasured the car's acceleration, braking, handling and other key performance characteristics. Fisher and his team then modified their scoring model to make the P85D fit into a 100-point scale.

A little over a month later, the Elon Musk marketing check appears to have bounced, because not only did Consumer Reports yank, literally, its glowing September review, leading to the following 404-ed page...

 

... but has come out with the following unabashed hit job on the car. LA Times has more:

Cnsumer Reports withdrew its recommendation for the Tesla Model S – a car the magazine has previously raved about – because of poor reliability for the sporty electric sedan.The turnabout comes after the influential consumer magazine handed the luxury car a “worse-than-average” rating in its annual report on the predicted reliability of new vehicles issued Tuesday.

 

Consumer Reports surveyed 1,400 Model S owners “who chronicled an array of detailed and complicated maladies” with the drivetrain, power equipment, charging equipment and giant iPad-like center console. They also complained about body and sunroof squeaks, rattles and leaks.

 

“As the older vehicles are getting up on miles we are seeing some where the electric motor needs to be replaced and the onboard charging system won’t charge the battery,” said Jake Fisher, Consumer Reports’ director of automotive testing. “On the newer vehicles we are seeing problems such as the sunroof not operating properly. Door handles continue to be an issue.”

 

Fisher said the flaws could signal future problems for the brand, which plans to roughly double production next year. It has just begun deliveries of a second vehicle, the Model X electric crossover, and intends to introduce the Model 3, a smaller, less expensive electric car, in 2017.

It also notes the following (un)reliability schematic:

 

The bottom line:

 

And so the myth dies (at least until Elon Musk's generous "marketing" check clears), and the stock is responding accordingly.