(Adds statement from Telsa)
DETROIT Aug 11 Consumer Reports, which last
year gave top marks to electric carmaker Tesla Motors Inc's
Model S sedan, now says the car it owns has had "more
than its share of problems."
While the car has impressed staff at the influential U.S.
consumer magazine with its "smoothness, effortless glide and
clever, elegant simplicity," there have been many quirks that
might dampen consumers' experiences, Consumer Reports said in a
statement on Monday.
Consumer Reports, which anonymously buys the vehicles it
tests from auto dealerships, said the Model S it owns now has
traveled nearly 16,000 miles. Its 2013 Model S was purchased for
$89,650 in January of that year.
"Just before the car went in for its annual service, at a
little over 12,000 miles, the center screen went blank,
eliminating access to just about every function of the car," the
magazine said in its statement.
Tesla fixed the issues on the magazine's Model S under
warranty. These included a "hard reset" to restore the car's
functions after its center screen went blank and problems with
the automatic retracting door handles, which were occasionally
reluctant to emerge.
Last November, Consumer Reports ranked the Model S best
among all cars on the market in its annual survey of vehicles on
U.S. roads. And in May 2013, the magazine awarded the Tesla
sedan 99 out of a possible 100, one of the best ratings it has
ever given an automobile.
The base version of the Model S starts at around $70,000.
Tesla said in statement that it considers service a top
"We err on the side of being proactive to ensure the best
driving experience possible," it said. "That means we are
particularly attentive in addressing potential issues, even if
those issues appear to be very minor or have a low likelihood of
causing any future problems.
"We take these actions with the customer's convenience and
satisfaction top of mind and strive to go above and beyond the
expected level of service.
"In addition, we are constantly upgrading the functionality,
features and quality of every Model S through the free over the
air updates we provide to every owner," it said.
Tesla has been one of the hottest U.S. stocks this year,
more than doubling its value. It closed on Monday at $259.32 per
share, up 4.5 percent.
Tesla's only production model is the Model S, but next
spring it plans to introduce a crossover electric car, the Model
(Reporting by Bernie Woodall. Editing by Andre Grenon)