The stock price of Tesla Motors has taken the largest hit it has seen in two months following a Consumer Reports release stating that it will be dropping its “recommended” rating for the Model S. The magazine attributed the change in status to problems including failed electric motors and charging issues in older Model S vehicles.
According to LA Time writer Jerry Hirsch, “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.”
Despite its fall from recommended status, Consumer Reports noted that owners still reported extremely high satisfaction with their purchase, in part due to Tesla’s exceptional service in correcting any issues. Tesla reinforced that point following the announcement from Consumer Reports, “Close communication with our customers enables Tesla to receive input, proactively address issues and quickly fix problems. Over-the-air software updates allow Tesla to diagnose and fix most bugs without the need to come in for service. In instances when hardware needs to be fixed, we strive to make it painless.”
Tesla wasn’t included in a ranking against 28 other car brands because it needed sufficient user responses for two models. Up until September’s release of the Model X, the company was only selling the Model S, preventing users from submitting reviews for the new vehicle in time for the April survey.
It wasn’t all bad news for the company this week, however. Model S owners were surprised to find that the latest software update allows the vehicle to function in a semi-autonomous mode. The new feature known as Autosteer allows for the vehicle to maintain its lane in highway driving, change lanes and parallel park. Don’t expect to see Tesla owners napping behind the wheel in the near future, though, the program requires the driver to maintain at least one hand on the wheel or it will stop the vehicle.