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Transportation

Consumer Reports Withdraws Its Tesla Model S Recommendation (consumerreports.org) 222

An anonymous reader sends news that Consumer Reports, after earlier giving the Tesla Model S a perfect road test score, has now withdrawn its recommendation for the electric car after investigating its reliability. As part of our Annual Auto Reliability Survey, we received about 1,400 survey responses from Model S owners who chronicled an array of detailed and complicated maladies. From that data we forecast that owning that Tesla is likely to involve a worse-than-average overall problem rate. ... The main problem areas involved the drivetrain, power equipment, charging equipment, giant iPad-like center console, and body and sunroof squeaks, rattles, and leaks. ... Overall, squeaks and rattles appear to be the most prevalent complaint. But as one respondent commented, "The car is so very silent when driving that minor squeaks and rattles that you wouldn't be able to hear in a gasoline engine car become very annoying." The list of issues also includes more significant problems, which could be pricey to fix once out of warranty. Based on survey responses, Tesla has made a habit of replacing the car’s electric motors. The brake rotors tend to warp. And the door handles often fail to “present” themselves as drivers approach their cars.
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Consumer Reports Withdraws Its Tesla Model S Recommendation

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  • by 93 Escort Wagon ( 326346 ) on Tuesday October 20, 2015 @05:35PM (#50768825)

    Hearing those noises is reassuring - it tells me the part making the noise hasn't fallen off yet.

    • Hearing those noises is reassuring - it tells me the part making the noise hasn't fallen off yet.

      Ah, but the part stopping the noise might have fallen off :-) FTFA:

      "The car is so very silent when driving that minor squeaks and rattles that you wouldn't be able to hear in a gasoline engine car become very annoying."

      This bit is pure BS - once my car gets to 60km/h and above the engine is undetectable above the sound of road, wind and tyre noise. Most ICE cars don't have engine noise in the cabin at a level sufficient to drown out squeaks and rattles.

      • by KGIII ( 973947 )

        I love the car threads... Anyhow, I bought a BMW, it's my third in my life, and was so impressed with the noise level inside the cabin. It's silent. I don't know what they did for installation but it's damned quiet unless I want it to be loud and then it's a low throaty growl and the front end hunkers down (it's the 640Li) but, assuming I'm not playing with a ricer at a stop light, the thing's really quiet. It's almost alarmingly quiet at speed.

  • by Strudelkugel ( 594414 ) on Tuesday October 20, 2015 @05:35PM (#50768829)
    I always wondered how the door handles would work after an ice storm or freezing rain. I've dealt with my share of frozen car door locks, but at least I could get the handle to move. I think the touch screen console was a big mistake. You need to be able to manage things like climate settings, radio stations, etc. by touch. Forcing the drive to look at a screen for mundane things was a bad idea. I don't own a Tesla, partly because they are so new and I don't like the design elements I mentioned. But I have driven one. There are very few other cars that are as much fun to drive.
    • by Moridineas ( 213502 ) on Tuesday October 20, 2015 @05:42PM (#50768869) Journal

      I think the touch screen console was a big mistake. You need to be able to manage things like climate settings, radio stations, etc. by touch.

      Knobs and buttons in a car seem to be going the way of the dodo. It's a major pet-peeve for me--I can't stand the idiocy of car user interface design--they seem to be getting so much worse. Wife's Honda Odyssey has two screens (one touch, one not), and it's never clear which information will display where, the climate control is dreadful, tuning the radio is time consuming and attention-grabbing. It's just awful.

      Nice car though.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Falc0n ( 618777 )
        But in the Chevy Volt, for the 2nd gen (2016), the knobs and buttons have made a comeback. The space-age tactile feedback flat buttons were pretty well shunned by the community. And for good reason, they were clunky, and not usable in cold months with gloves on. I've owned the car for 3 years and for even simple buttons like seek takes an extra few seconds compared to other vehicles.
        • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

          The Tesla has physical controls too - on the steering wheel. They are fully configurable. The idea is that you set up the functions you want to use while driving, like radio tuning or climate control, on those buttons. There are little mini displays for the left and right side buttons to either side of the speedometer.

      • by Solandri ( 704621 ) on Tuesday October 20, 2015 @07:08PM (#50769541)
        Knobs and buttons will always be best in cars for physically manipulated interface controls. The reason is pretty simple - cars move. When they move, they hit bumps that makes everything inside jiggle. Unless through a remarkable coincidence the mass, springiness, and dampening of your body, arm, and fingertip exactly matches that of the LCD display, this means your finger will move relative to the screen every time you hit a bump. This makes trying to precisely manipulate touchscreen controls in a moving car an exercise in frustration.

        Knobs and buttons are not just decorative. They support your fingers as you wrap them around the controls, effectively "docking" your fingers to the control. When the Shuttle or Soyuz capsule reaches the International Space Station, do they just kinda press up against the ISS and open the hatch? No. They dock the two with clamps which hold them together, then open the hatch. That's an extreme example because lives are at stake, but the principle is the same. By docking your fingers to the knob or button, you prevent your fingers from slipping around the control with every little bump you hit - your wrist and arm absorbs the relative motion of your body with the car, while your fingers remain stationary relative to the controls. Thus allowing you to precisely manipulate the interface in a moving, jiggling, bouncing car.

        Don't get me wrong, touchscreens have their place. They're especially good for arbitrary 2-dimensional inputs, like typing on a virtual keyboard or flinging a GPS map back and forth. But the designers who decided to make basic controls like the radio and climate control touchscreen-only were idiots too caught up in the hype over the latest trend to bother thinking about why traditional interface controls are built they way they are. They can be somewhat forgiven because they probably used their phone or tablet inside and car and thought it was great. But what they didn't realize was that when you use a touchscreen phone or tablet in a moving car, you're holding the device so it doesn't move relative to you. And so accurate touchscreen inputs are possible.
        • by rmdingler ( 1955220 ) on Tuesday October 20, 2015 @09:10PM (#50770275) Journal
          Like the light switch in the dark in the bathroom of a domicile of long habitation,

          a radio knob can be located in the dark of night on an unfamiliar interstate, on virtual autopilot, drinking truck stop coffee while needing to pee.

          • by KGIII ( 973947 )

            You are wise in the Way of the Interstate Traveler. I've grown fond of steering wheel controls. I didn't think I would. I think that turned into a good design idea but it requires familiarity. You can't just hop into a different make and model and know what you're doing. For a vehicle that you're intimately familiar with, however, it's a great idea. BMW really has this figured out. With HUD it's not bad at all. You can really give a good amount of attention to the idiots on the road with you.

        • Hmm, the obvious solution is to filter out finger movements due to bumps by shifting the screen in the opposite direction. Accelerometer sensors would provide the inputs, along with "anticpational imaging", i.e., a camera that tracks generalized finger movement and plots out the likely tradgectory. It'd be like a steady-cam, but for the touchscreen. Alternatively, you could be boring and have a knob or button.

      • Actually the controls are very easy to use and the steering wheel has mechanical controls that adjust fan speed.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by MightyYar ( 622222 )

      I don't own one because it's $100,000 for a damn car. Any $100,000 car is going to be unreliable - the whole reason it is $100,000 is because it is all gussied up with extra crap that can break.

      But when electrics become economically prudent I will probably get one. They should be mechanically simpler and I only commute 20 miles a day - my wife only goes 10 miles.

      • by rmdingler ( 1955220 ) on Tuesday October 20, 2015 @06:06PM (#50769095) Journal
        Yes, and the inevitable learning curve every new technology encounters.

        It takes a while to work out all the bugs during the incipient stage.

        I just always figured the wealthy are covering the R & D expenses in exchange for the Look what I got! conversation starter;

        so that, in the future, these become within the realm of affordable for us mere mortals.

        • by Rei ( 128717 ) on Tuesday October 20, 2015 @06:18PM (#50769181) Homepage

          That's pretty much what the article says - the summary only cited the bad:

          The Tesla wasn’t the only high-performance vehicle that fell below average in reliability. Others include the BMW X5 and 5 Series, and the Chevrolet Corvette.

          When automakers roll out new technology, be it infotainment, transmissions, or engine variations, it often has a deleterious effect on vehicle reliability. Tesla is not only the poster child for a new type of high-performance, high-mileage EV, but it also has been adding complex new variations as assembly-line updates, such as all-wheel drive this year. So it’s not surprising to see problems continue to crop up.

          Despite the problems, our data show that Tesla owner satisfaction is still very high: Ninety-seven percent of owners said they would definitely buy their car again. It appears that Tesla has been responsive to replacing faulty motors, differentials, brakes, and infotainment systems, all with a minimum of fuss to owners.

          And Tesla’s attention to customer service has been effective. Almost every survey respondent made note of Tesla’s rapid response and repair time, despite the lack of a traditional dealer service network. For its early adopters, Tesla has made a practice of overdelivering on service problems under the factory warranty, as noted by these owners:

          “A minor amount of play developed in the differential gears. Tesla replaced the entire drive system. Remarkable service!”

          And:

          “Had a creaking ball joint in the driver[-side] front lower control arm. Tesla replaced it the following day after they were notified.”

          • by ksheff ( 2406 )

            “A minor amount of play developed in the differential gears. Tesla replaced the entire drive system. Remarkable service!”

            meaning that Tesla's field service techs don't know how to fix that, so it's easier to just remove the entire thing, send it back, and let the factory rebuild the offending part for a new customer.

            I found these parts interesting:

            Based on survey responses, Tesla has made a habit of replacing the car’s electric motors. The brake rotors tend to warp.

            I thought low maintenance was a part of the EV-crowd's mantra. With regenerative braking, one wouldn't have to replace brake pads very often and especially not rotors. This sounds like a car that one would not like to have once it was out of the warranty period.

            • meaning that Tesla's field service techs don't know how to fix that, so it's easier to just remove the entire thing, send it back, and let the factory rebuild the offending part for a new customer.

              Or it's just easier to swap out the whole in order to get the car back to the customer quicker.

            • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

              Nissan Leaf owners are finding them to be reliable, and getting very low wear on the brakes. It seems to be a Tesla specific problem.

              • Break wear is proportional to how ludicrously fast the owners drive the car. Actually, it's probably an exponential curve. The Tesla S is a very fast car, and very heavy to boot. I don't imagine Leaf owners are getting into a whole lot of trouble with their 92 MPH speed governor and 8.8 second 0-60 times.

      • by tnk1 ( 899206 )

        Strictly speaking, you're probably right.

        However, you could build a very well designed car that is $100,000 which is only that expensive because it was built with the best possible parts and careful engineering. There's a lot of plastic shit in cars today where it might be better off with some good metal. Or even better, with a durable, lightweight, but absurdly expensive alloy.

        Not that I am saying that this describes a Tesla, of course.

        • You are right that some of the plastic parts could probably be replaced with some metal parts, and then those parts would last longer. But it wouldn't really matter once the drivetrain and suspension points are all worn out - you'd just toss the whole thing anyway. They even get the upholstery about right - just when the seats are falling apart is when the car isn't worth repairing anymore mechanically. Higher quality material in the seats would delay them getting ratty, but you'd still have to toss out the

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by AK Marc ( 707885 )

      . I think the touch screen console was a big mistake. You need to be able to manage things like climate settings, radio stations, etc. by touch. Forcing the drive to look at a screen for mundane things was a bad idea.

      Yes, everyone here drives without taking their eyes off the road. Yet I've never ridden with anyone where that was the case. Everyone I've ever watched touch a control in the center console turned and looked at it. Ride with someone. Watch their eyes. They will turn and look at the console, every time. Unless you are explicitly trying to adjust something without looking, you'll glance at it.

      That is, of course, everyone on the planet but those here, who are the only ones in the universe who fiddle wit

      • depends on the console. muscle memory is very good concerning buttons.

        ever use your remote in the dark to change the channel? Do you look or know where the button is???
      • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 20, 2015 @06:33PM (#50769299)

        True, they will often look. The difference is the time needed to actually actuate the control. A quick glance is enough to get your finger on the right real button, because you can rely on touch to "zero in" on the control.

        With a touch screen, you have to keep your eyes off the road a lot longer, because there is no point at which you can rely on touch alone.

      • by lgw ( 121541 )

        It only take me a few milliseconds of glance to operate the center dash controls on my car by touch - volume, source select, temp, etc. Once my hand is in the right general area, the dash has a lot of tactile clues build in to guide my hand w/o looking and is safe to gently touch anywhere. I can fumble my way to the desired outcome quite reliably.

        I used to have an Audi where all the dash controls were smooth and uniform - not a touch screen, just a stupid style decision. It was very distracting. To do

      • "Everyone I've ever watched touch a control in the center console turned and looked at it. Ride with someone. Watch their eyes"

        Probably yes.

        But the difference is, as a parent poster said, with physical knobs/buttons, people look at the controls just an instant, enough to reach it and then operate it without look at it. With touchscreens you need to look at them for the whole process. Ride with someone. Watch their eyes.

    • by tnk1 ( 899206 )

      I thought the popping out handles was only an option. And a $10K option at that. Or part of a $10K package anyway.

      • I thought the popping out handles was only an option. And a $10K option at that. Or part of a $10K package anyway.

        I don't think so. My wife has the base model (only $70k), and the handles pop out.

    • by jrumney ( 197329 )
      Radio stations can generally be changed from buttons on the steering wheel. With a modern climate control system, why would you need to adjust anything (except maybe toggling the defog setting) while you are driving. This isn't some 70's style slider controlling radiator water flow into the heating system and a manual fan speed control. You set a target temperature, and the climate control automatically adjusts the heating/cooling and fan speed to get the car interior to that temperature.
    • The touch screen console is one of the things that works well. The two main problems are the door handles and the main drive motor.

    • We've had ours for almost two years in Chicago and we did have a couple of bad ice storms. The handles popped out ok. I guess the motors are strong enough to break the ice...
    • I guess the assumption is that the driver is probably texting anyway, so, wht, what's one more touchscreen?
  • by UnknowingFool ( 672806 ) on Tuesday October 20, 2015 @05:38PM (#50768853)

    Comedian: "So I just spent $200 to fix my muffler."
    [Crowd cheers]
    Comedian: "No, no. It's a bad thing. It was so loud that I couldn't hear all the other things that were wrong with my car."
    "Now I'm going to have to spend $500 . . .
    . . .
    . . .
    "for a better stereo system."

    • I understand this is a joke but, it's a surprisingly accurate one. As you lower the noise floor in the vehicle, it becomes increasingly difficult to make it tolerable in the cabin. You can take any car, pull out the interior, cover it in dynamat/dynapad type materials, put everything back in and you will nearly eliminate road noise. The problem is that you have then lowered the noise floor to such an extent that you can now hear a seatbelt gently tapping against the door. You can hear a crumb under your

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 20, 2015 @05:39PM (#50768859)

    That a car can fall this far this fast with little or no structural or locomotional changes says more about the raters than the ratee.

    • by 0123456 ( 636235 ) on Tuesday October 20, 2015 @05:44PM (#50768887)

      That a car can fall this far this fast with little or no structural or locomotional changes says more about the raters than the ratee.

      Why? When a new car is released, they typically rate it based on initial experience of the new model, and past experience with similar models from the same manufacturer. If reality proves it's not, they adjust the rating.

      What else do you expect them to do? Travel into the future and ask owners how reliable it's been over the last ten years?

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by ChrisMaple ( 607946 )
        I expect them not to rate it until it has a track record.
        • On that note, hopefully they* won't release anymore software till its done and free of bugs!

          *the "they" they, not necessarily CR

        • by tnk1 ( 899206 ) on Tuesday October 20, 2015 @07:00PM (#50769499)

          That works for the used cars, but not for the new ones.

          I think CR did the right thing. They made a recommendation based on the best information they could get at the time, and then when faced with conflicting experience which only time would have exposed, they changed their recommendation to fit new data.

          The fact is that despite the potential for mistakes, following someone's advice who has done the investigation is always a better strategy than the alternative.

          Now if their investigations are slanted or have crappy methodology, then by all means trash them, but don't do that for simply trying to provide good advice for an important purchase (ie. a new car) where they can't have the benefit of time, because once you have tried out a new car over time, it's no longer a new car.

        • Cool story. So people should just buy completely blind on new car models? Yeah, that sounds real consumer friendly.

    • by Tx ( 96709 )

      Seems a bit harsh. You can only go with the information available at the time. You're not going to be able to pick up on longer term wear-and-tear issues until the products have actually been around for a while. Now that that information is available, they've updated their opinion to factor it in. That seems eminently reasonable and honest to me. I guess they could refuse to give an opinion on anything until it has been around for a year or two...

    • Consumer reports has been a joke as car raters for decades.

      They rated the 84 'vette as unacceptable because it wasn't an economy car. Seriously, it's been bad that long yet people still pay attention to them. I don't know why.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        Because they're a far more reliable source of information than the people who fall over themselves to fellate Musk?

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by AK Marc ( 707885 )
        They deliberately rigged the Suzuki Sidekick to tip, by strapping weights on the side, then used an altered photo to make it look like it would tip without the weights, which never happened.

        Consumer reports is not ethical, and I don't listen to anything they have to say.

        If you want proof that their methods don't work, go look at their reports on dual-badged cars. Ford/Mazda co-ventures, Mitsubishi/Chrysler co-ventures. The cars will score very differently based on who sold them, unrelated to who made th
        • by Lunix Nutcase ( 1092239 ) on Tuesday October 20, 2015 @07:38PM (#50769737)

          Yeah sorry. No. History doesn't actually bear out your story.

          [quote]It sued Consumer Reports the following year, and although they would settle out of court eight years later, Suzuki probably came out looking worse. The problem was that a Suzuki internal memo from 1985 surfaced, saying "It is imperative that we develop a crisis plan that will primarily deal with the "roll" factor. Because of the narrow wheelbase, similar to the Jeep, the car is bound to turn over." The Pinto-like paper trail would have surely been even more damaging if Suzuki hadn't already pulled the vehicle out of North America. Suzuki would eventually admit to having knowledge of 213 deaths and 8,200 injuries as the result of rollover, and would settle some 200 lawsuits.[/quote]

          http://www.carbuzz.com/news/20... [carbuzz.com]

      • Downgrading the 1984 Corvette because it wasn't an economy car was silly. I had one, and given the sort of car it was, fuel economy wasn't bad. What was bad was reliability. It was a new version, and many things were terrible. Air conditioner failed twice in 2 years, power steering failed, clutch master cylinder failed, horns failed, pressurized struts for hood and hatchback failed, instrument console failed, temperature sender connector failed, car barely passed emissions testing, radiator fan control fail

    • Or it merely means they are updating their rating as more data comes in? How horrible of them!

  • I'm not surprised (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 20, 2015 @05:42PM (#50768879)

    I'm not surprised. NADA wrote about their experience driving one for a year, and they experienced a lot of problems over that time. Their problems, like what CR indicates, were with drivetrain and touch screens mostly. Frankly, I don't even find anything about this concerning except the drivetrain problems. The only electric I'd be interested in would be a low-mid end model, which likely wouldn't have as much extra stuff to break (touch screens, pop out handles, etc.). However, if they can't even keep the drivetrain from breaking, that doesn't bode well for the lower models.

    I like Tesla, but I have a nagging feeling that what's going to happen is that one of these days Toyota or Honda or someone will start taking electric very seriously, and Tesla will be done. Toyota and others have experience and economies of scale that Tesla can't match.

    • by rsborg ( 111459 )

      I like Tesla, but I have a nagging feeling that what's going to happen is that one of these days Toyota or Honda or someone will start taking electric very seriously, and Tesla will be done. Toyota and others have experience and economies of scale that Tesla can't match.

      Tesla will be happy when that happens, because they've been living electrics for years, and any competition that Toyota or Honda can put up will force that company to compete with its other offerings, causing internal disruption.

      This is classic innovators dilemma territory and Musk/Tesla and everyone else knows it. Which is why there will be no competition, simply hit-pieces and trumped up issues that are funded by industry groups.

      and btw, Toyota has bet the farm not on battery-electric hybrids (Prius) as

    • by tnk1 ( 899206 )

      They have economies of scale, but battery tech and battery production are things they don't have. They would need to seriously ramp up their production of batteries or source them from someplace that has production in order to compete in the EV market.

      You know who is working on a lot of battery production capacity? Tesla.

      I assume that a back-up plan for Tesla is precisely what you consider to be their doomsday scenario. Yes, Tesla may not ever make a splash as a car manufacturer in that scenario, but the

      • Last year, Toyota sold over twice as much kWhr by battery as Tesla. They have battery tech - and they have production. Tesla is playing catch-up, not the other way around (Toyota: Prius has a 1.3 kW battery pack, Tesla S has an 85 kW battery pack. Prius sales of 419,000 in 2014 and Tesla 32,000 in 2014).
        • by fnj ( 64210 )

          Last year, Toyota sold over twice as much kWhr by battery as Tesla. They have battery tech - and they have production. Tesla is playing catch-up, not the other way around (Toyota: Prius has a 1.3 kW battery pack, Tesla S has an 85 kW battery pack. Prius sales of 419,000 in 2014 and Tesla 32,000 in 2014).

          So according to your own figures, Tesla sold 2.72 GWh of installed batteries and Prius sold 0.54 GWh of installed batteries. I realize Toyota sells other hybrid cars, but so far you sure haven't supported yo

          • by jcdr ( 178250 )

            Toyota seem to like relatively small NiMH battery for now as there use it on hybrid and fuel cell cars. There is maybe ecological and economical reasons to limit the quantity of the battery that will need to be recycled. Toyota officially plan to recycle nearly all the NiMH battery there sold, and at least the European program seem to be on track to archive this goal. Don't know about Tesla on this question as searching returns mixed results.

      • by KGIII ( 973947 )

        Look at Ferrari. They sell cars to fund their racing. Tesla will probably continue to sell some cars, just high end cars. They'll keep developing tech in that sector and sell/license it to others. What's funny is all the people assuming all sorts of strange conspiracies in this thread - not you but I've noticed it as I am going through. Really, it's just good business sense. Also, and again not you, why are people made that a company changes its stance when new information comes in? That's as stupid as bein

        • > That's as stupid as being mad a a politician who changes their views when they learn more things. We're supposed to be ever changing and able to admit our mistakes!

          Sadly. most voters around the world do not agree. They want politicians to be "principled" (a euphemism that means: stick to your guns and defend what I want to believe regardless of facts and evidence). A politician who changes his mind based on new information gets branded a "flip-flopper" and deemed unreliable. Voters believe that such a

  • So the question is, can they fix it? This is a relatively new car company, certainly the most successful of any new car company in the last decade. A problem with a door handle or a brake rotor is hardly unique in this industry.

    To think this will cause permanent harm to all future Tesla owners is ridiculous. The car is pretty darn good for a new model. In a few years people will start to notice all the failed parts on their Fords and Toyotas and buy a Tesla next.

    • by Trepidity ( 597 )

      That's the key question, and I think too early to say. A one-time repair under warranty is fine from an owner's perspective (even if not ideal) as long as it's really a one-time fix, and the replacement will last a long time rather than need to be replaced/repaired a second time, but this time out of warranty at the owner's expense. It's hard to really guess whether that will be the case. Tesla presumably claims that they fixed early mechanical problems, but you have to wait a few years to figure out if tho

    • by es330td ( 964170 )

      In a few years people will start to notice all the failed parts on their Fords and Toyotas and buy a Tesla next.

      What are these people going to buy when they start noticing failed parts on their Tesla? Every car is going to have parts wear/rattle/fail. This is the nature of subjecting a two ton object made of metal and plastic to the forces of nature.

  • by haruchai ( 17472 ) on Tuesday October 20, 2015 @05:44PM (#50768899)

    Squeaks, rattles, door handles? oh, that can't possibly ever be fixed
    Yes, all those things are annoyances for owners but they'll be addressed. Did someone not get the 4 year bumper to bumper warranty? It's included in the sale.

    Motor and brake problems are more serious but again, nothing unfixable.
    However, the company has to work on improving its reliability quickly, before the launch of the Model 3.
    That's the car that's going to determine if Tesla has a future - and is far more likely to be the ONLY car someone owns.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      The problem is when the 4 years are up and its $10,000 to fix a "minor problem"

      The resale value of a car with expensive repairs can go to near zero, fast, which will affect the price Tesla can demand for its new cars.

  • Tesla deserves some scrutiny, but I'd be very interested in the driving habits of those surveyed. With the rotors reportedly "tending to warp" I'd be interested in knowing whether the rotors are insufficiently thick (it's a pretty heavy vehicle at 4800 lbs/2100 kg) or if the drivers tend to have a lead foot.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      When rotors warp there is a single answer as to why. They were not designed/manufactured thick enough. Don't blame driving styles or any bullshit like that. Brake rotors should be able to glow red and still not warp.

      But weight. But cost. But didn't think. But, driving style. These are all lame excuses for bad design. And when I pay $100,000 for a car, I expect proven technologies like disc brakes to be flawless!

      What this Consumer Reports article is telling me is that, most unfortunately, my plan to buy a us

      • by 0123456 ( 636235 )

        Buying any $100,000 car used is generally an expensive proposition.

      • Actually, It most likely is driving style! In this case, the nature of driving an electric car. First of all, rotors don't "warp" in the sense that you're implying. Vibrations from a "warped" rotor aren't from deformed metal, its from uneven brake pad material deposits that can come from improper bedding procedures or operation outside of ideal operating temperatures. A brake's stopping power isn't simple friction, its also a complex interaction of brake pad material transferring between the pad and rotor.

        I

        • by maeka ( 518272 )

          First of all, rotors don't "warp" in the sense that you're implying. Vibrations from a "warped" rotor aren't from deformed metal, its from uneven brake pad material deposits that can come from improper bedding procedures or operation outside of ideal operating temperatures.

          Says someone who clearly has spent more time reading about rotors than working on rotors.

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WkBrrOLRd00 [youtube.com]

          Or are you suggesting 8/1000ths of invisible pad material?

  • VW publicly stated that they will going to electric car business.

    Wait for Apple competition, Apple Car, in several years.

    Hope that Toyota will deliver their water-electric (hydrodgen fuel) cell products.

    One needs to assume that Chinese owned Volvo will roll out some models for the western market.

    Then American manufacturers will follow. There is room for many manufacturers. I hope that prices will drop and there will no longer be dealers to deal with.

    • by KGIII ( 973947 )

      Saab's supposed to have some EVs for the Chinese market according to some news that I've read. As for Greeley owning Volvo, yeah - I expect them to do the EV thing too. They've not done too bad with the brand from what I've seen. I love my brick. I need to drive it more often. It goes from 0 to 60 in about three days but it's awesome/fun in the snow. (I'm also a Saab fan - I've a 900S Turbo and it sees some use - I love it on the twisties out through the mountains. Five speed, of course.)

  • by ErikTheRed ( 162431 ) on Tuesday October 20, 2015 @06:11PM (#50769129) Homepage

    Consumer Reports does some good work tracking reliability ratings and some of their reviews are decent, but over the past several years they have weighted things so heavily towards environmentally "friendly" products (scare quotes because items that don't work well aren't really that friendly when they wind up in a landfill when you replace them with something that actually fucking works right) that their overall recommendations are pretty close to worthless.

    • Not to mention they are the same guys to recommend the iPhone 4, and then not recommend it after conducting a test that they saw someone else do that they didn't feel important enough to do the first time.

  • by GoodNewsJimDotCom ( 2244874 ) on Tuesday October 20, 2015 @06:16PM (#50769171)
    They aren't powered by electrity, but hampsters. Now hampsters normally are not enough to power a car, but put some snakes in with them, and they make orders of magnitude more energy trying to run away. This is the only possible reason you hear squeeks and rattles.
  • arg (Score:2, Funny)

    by dlenmn ( 145080 )

    undoing mod

  • As a Tela owner: 1) Assembly quality lags BMW but is plenty good especially considering they have not been building cars for decades 2) Some people have had motor units replaced due to a whine. This isn't actually a motor issue or a reliability issue and doesn't affect the reliability at all. It's shim wear that is fixed by replacing the shim in the single gear transmission. Since the motor with gear is easily swapped in a few hours (free), I chalk this up as a minor issue that they will likely fix with a b
    • Since the motor with gear is easily swapped in a few hours (free)

      Is this offer valid forever or just while the warranty is valid and after that it's $10k?

      Switches? Almost everything is controlled by the huge touchscreen which means zero wear.

      On the other hand, the touchscreen forces you to look at it to operate it and if if fails, then it fails completely (unlike, say, the rear window heat switch failing, but others working fine).

      Any software problems can be fixed over the cell connection that is free for life and virtually always connected

      Unless the company decides to EOL your car and updates the software to no longer work. Or someone hacks their server and uploads a malicious update.

      I'm not saying the car is bad, it may be very good. Not for me though. I prefer a c

  • We've had our Model S for almost two years. The only issue we've had was with the tire pressure sensor. It would say we had low pressure when we didn't. Tesla came out to where our car was parked and replaced a wifi antenna. Who knew tire pressure sensors use wifi? In any case once they replaced the wifi antenna with a newer design that problem went away (except for when we got a nail in the tire). The limited experience with Tesla service has been amazing.

    Other than that - 0 problems. No noises, rattles
  • "The car is so very silent when driving that minor squeaks and rattles that you wouldn't be able to hear in a gasoline engine car become very annoying."

    That's only true at low speeds. At highway speeds, 3/4s of vehicle noise comes from tires on the road (trapping pockets of air as they roll), not the engine. That's why those sirens on EVs like the Leaf can shut-off above 35MPH, and why you still don't want to live near a busy road in an all-EV future...

    Some design changes to roads have been tested, but th

  • So, the most prevalent complaint is that the car is too good, such that you can notice minor defects that would be undetectable in a petrol car.

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