The Tesla Model S has slipped back off Consumer Reports recommended list, due to a dip in reliability, as the consumer organization assesses it.
Suspension problems are to blame, reported CR. In 2017 Tesla made its air suspension standard on the Model S, and all versions were dual-motor (all-wheel drive).
Tesla told CR that the automaker has already remedied the issues, which were focused in 2017 and supplier-related, and that some of the accounts could have been an unrelated false suspension-service alert. The rate of suspension issues had increased by 65 percent versus last year, CR said.
The publication noted that the Model S still scores high. Its Overall Score isn’t based entirely on reliability but also owner satisfaction, safety ratings, and a comprehensive road- and track-testing program.
In 2013 CR pronounced the Model S “easily the most practical electric car we’ve tested,” and the normally rather clinical publication sounded seduced by the electric sedan, describing it as "brimming with innovation." They also called it the best car they’d tested in years.
This is the second time the Model S has dropped off the list. The reliability ratings look at vehicles from the 2000 to 2018 model years—with Annual Reliability Survey data from more than 500,000 vehicles—but focus on issues that owners have had in the past 12 months. The rating of each model and model year evolves over time to reflect those cumulative issues and trouble spots.
The Model S wasn’t the only ‘green’ car to lose its recommendation this year. The Honda Clarity lost its spot, for electric, climate control, and trunk-release issues.