Tesla Says Model S Reliability Issues Cut In Half

Tesla Motors is again responding to contentions of poor reliability for its vehicles, this time by reaching out directly to customers.

In an email obtained by Electrek, Tesla told its customers that reliability issues have already been reduced by half, listing decrease brake noise and a better designed interior as example of improvements made. The email also emphasized that almost every owner is satisfied with their Model S. A portion of the email is posted below.

Tesla Reliability and Service

Close communication between customers, service, and engineering enables us to receive feedback, proactively address concerns and quickly fix issues. Customer feedback in the last three years has helped us increase the reliability of our charging equipment and infotainment system, reduce braking noise and improve the fit and finish of the Model S interior.

In the last 12 months alone we’ve decreased reliability issues by half, and improvements have been made at no cost to our owners. If hardware does need to be fixed, we strive to make it painless through our four-year/50,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty (and eight-year/unlimited mileage battery and drivetrain warranty). Even if potential issues have a low likelihood of causing future problems, we fix them. It’s why 97% of Tesla owners expect their next car to be a Tesla.

To our owners we say: Thank you. Uncovering and resolving quality and reliability issues on an ongoing basis will allow us to continue to innovate and drive to accomplish our mission of a renewable transportation future.


Last month, Consumer Reports announced that it was removing its recommendation for the Model S because of reliability concerns. The move came after reviewing feedback from hundreds of customers.

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“Tesla owners chronicled an array of problems: display screen freezes, door handle malfunctions, sunroof leaks, and full-blown replacements of their car’s electric motors,” said Jake Fisher, auto test director for Consumer Reports.

Following the downgrade by Consumer Reports to “below average” reliability, Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk took to Twitter to respond.

“Consumer Reports reliability survey includes a lot of early production cars,” he wrote. “Already addressed in new cars.

However, editors with Consumer Reports noted that model years were separated from each other. This allows them to log the changes made on new models, as well as track potential issues with aging vehicles.

“Specific areas that scored worse on the 2015 model, compared with the 2014 model in last year’s survey, were the climate control, steering, and suspension systems,” said Consumer Reports of the Model S. “Complaints about the drive system have also increased as the cars have aged – specifically for the 2013 model, which was the car’s first full model year.”