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Tesla Model S proves troublesome for Consumer Reports

Tue, 12 Aug 2014

The Tesla Model S has turned into the breakthrough model that electric cars needed. Instead of looking like a futuristic jellybean whizzing by, the Tesla would still be incredibly attractive with a V8 stuffed under the hood. But beyond its appealing styling, the luxury sedan offers a realistic driving range, impressive performance and oft-praised driving dynamics. It's everything many drivers are looking for. However, as more long-term reviews come out, it's becoming clear that living with one of these wonder cars isn't without its fair share of problems.

A few weeks ago, Edmunds published its 17-month ownership experience with a Model S. It praised the experience being behind the wheel of the luxury sedan, at least when it was possible. Edmunds reported that it had to make seven unscheduled trips to the service bay and even left a writer by the side of the road once. The biggest issues included replacing the drive unit three times, needing a new main battery and numerous resets of the center screen.

Consumer Reports just wrote about its own driving impressions after 15,743 miles, and its experience with the Model S has hardly been a walk in the park, though not nearly as bad as Edmunds' rough time. The infotainment screen needed a hard reset once after blinking out, and one unscheduled service left the sedan in the shop for two days. There have been other, smaller issues too. In Tesla's favor, the repairs were done under warranty.

Even with this latest report, we only have data regarding two Model S examples out of thousands, but a somewhat difficult picture is being painted about the breakthrough EV as we read more and more. Everyone loves driving it, but living with one might not be quite so joyous. Head over to Consumer Reports to read its full impressions.

By Chris Bruce

See also: Silly dyno, that Tesla doesn't have 2,000 lb-ft of torque, Tesla trademark suit in China ends with settlement, Weekly Recap: The divergent paths of Tesla and Fisker.