Consumer Reports, one of the most trusted independent sources of information on various products, does not officially recommend anything that it hasn't tested itself and gotten feedback on from its thousands of members who fill out surveys. That's why despite getting a 99 out of 100 and being described as the "best car we've ever tested", they could give it the very sought after 'recommended' seal of approval.
Well, until now, that is. Consumer Reports has received data from 600 Model S owners, allowing it to predict reliability from a large enough sample. This has also allowed them to official give the 'recommended' seal to the Tesla Model S.
So what kind of problems did Tesla owners report so far?
Based on data collected from more than 600 owners in our 2013 Annual Auto Survey, the Tesla Model S earned an average predicted reliability score. Owners of the 2012 model reported very few problems, although 2013 owners cited quite a few more. The combined score allows us to recommend it. [...]
The reported problems were not on the sophisticated electronic systems, powerful motors, or giant battery pack, as one might expect. Instead, it was the smaller details that caused some minor issues, such as wind noise, squeaks and rattles, and body hardware (including the sunroof, doors, and locks). These mechanical items expose one of the myriad challenges in competing with massive, long-running corporations. For Tesla, everything is new and almost every part is developed and fit together for the first time in modest volume.
Thankfully, these all seem like fairly small things that can be ironed out much more easily than if some major piece of engineering turned out to be deeply flawed...
Via Consumer Reports