Whether you love or hate Consumer Reports, the fact of the matter is that it can be an automaker’s best advocate or worst nightmare. It used to be that Tesla enjoy a good relationship with Consumer Reports, but now the respected product review organization has come out with a scathing review that trashes the Model S P85D.
The big problem has to do with the retractable door handles Tesla uses to help with vehicle aerodynamics. They’re supposed to detect when you reach for them, popping out automatically so you can open the doors. In the past, people have complained that the handles sometimes will start to close as they’re being used, which risks a finger injury, or that they won’t respond at all. Until now, such claims have been pretty much dismissed. Now, Consumer Reports is saying it experienced problems as well.
After only 27 days of testing the Tesla Model S P85D, the staff from Consumer Reports was locked out of the car. It had only 2,300 miles on it.
While it’s true that the smartphone app allows Tesla owners to unlock the doors remotely, that didn’t solve the problem. Consumer Reports says that the trick only allowed for two minutes of driving time, which was enough to go only a short distance.
Fixing the problem required Tesla to send a tech. It took until the following morning to get things squared away. For whatever it’s worth, Consumer Reports did say that the service was excellent, considering the situation.
It should be noted that in the fall of 2014, Consumer Reports gave the Model S only an “average” reliability rating. Back then, the organization noted that many consumers had complaints about the door handles not working, plus windshields creaking.
Hopefully, Tesla finally does something about its door handles. While Consumer Reports didn’t have anything else damning to say about the car, being stranded outside of one’s car in certain conditions could make life a little interesting.