Tesla Motors (TSLA) Tanks on Model S Below-Average Reliability Rating

The stock price of Tesla Motors (NASDAQ:TSLA) plummeted more than 6% to $213 per share after Consumer Reports decided to withdrew its recommendation for Model S and issued a below-average reliability rating on the luxury electric vehicle.

In August, Consumer Reports praised the Tesla Model S after its test resulted in a score of 103, above its 100-point scale as the vehicle offers a combination of efficiency, luxury and performance.  However, the consumer magazine was prompted to pull its recommendation after learning the complaints of Model S owners.

According to Jake Fisher, director of automotive testing at Consumer Reports, Model S owners reported an “array of detailed and complicated maladies” including having to replace the vehicles motor and sun roof not working properly.

Fisher said, Consumer Reports will no longer recommend the Model S since it has a below-average reliability rating. The influential consumer magazine only recommends vehicles with above-average reliability rating.

Model S reliability issues raise question about Tesla’s ability to maintain quality

Fisher emphasized that the complaints regarding the reliability of the Model S could result to problems for the Tesla brand in the future. It also raised questions on the ability of the electric car manufacturer to maintain or improve the quality of its vehicles.

“Going forward, this poses the question whether they will be able to keep quality up as they increase volume and add models to the mix,” according to Fisher.

Tesla already launched and started delivering its Model X sports utility vehicle (SUV) and it is planning to roll out its less expensive Model 3 vehicle in 2017. The electric car manufacture is also planning to almost double its production capacity next year.

Tesla Model S owners remained highly satisfied

Fisher also stated, “In terms of owner satisfaction, customers would buy it again — they love it.”  Consumer Reports noted that Model S owners (97%) remained highly satisfied with their vehicles and rated Tesla’s service and loyalty as the “best in the world.”

In a statement, Tesla spokesman said, “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.”