You All Have Already Seen it on the Drudge Report...

...I post it again here anyway.  Why?  Because Tesla cars suck.

source: Consumer Reports

Consumer Reports' Tesla Model S P85D breaks—before testing begins

A broken power door handle is one of the most common Tesla problems

Last updated: May 18, 2015 02:15 PM
Help, help, my baby is in my burning Tesla and I can't open the door!

Well, I guess you shoulda bought a '69 Camaro.

A new car shouldn't have problems when you’ve owned it for less than a month. Yet Consumer Reports' brand-new $127,000 Tesla Model S P85 D, with the fancy retractable door handles refused to let us in, effectively rendering the car undriveable. (Read "Why We Bought a Tesla Model S.")
After we’d owned the P85 D for a mere 27 days, with just over 2,300 miles on the odometer, the driver-side door handle failed. The door handles in the Model S retract electrically so they rest flush with the sides of the car when they’re not in use. Walk up to the car with the key fob in your pocket, and the handles move out to allow you to grip them.
Driver's door handle is stuck.
Except this time, the one on the driver’s door of our P85D didn’t pop out, leaving us no way to open the door from the outside. And significantly, the car wouldn't stay in Drive, perhaps misinterpreting that the door was open due to the issue with the door handle. We have observed other vehicles likewise prohibiting driving with a door open.
We’re far from the first Tesla owners to experience this problem. Our car reliability survey shows that doors, locks, and latches are the biggest trouble areas with Teslas and that the Model S has far higher than average rates of such problems.
“Model S’ connectivity paired with over-the-air software updates allow Tesla to diagnose and fix most problems in Model S without the owner ever coming in for service,” said a Tesla Motors spokesperson via e-mail. “In instances when hardware, like the door handle, need to be replaced, we strive to make it painless for a customer to get their Model S serviced. ”
The good news: Getting our Tesla fixed could hardly have been more convenient. We called our local Tesla service center to have the car picked up and hauled 60 miles away to the service center for repair. But instead, the company sent a local technician to our Auto Test Center the next morning. Tesla maintains a fleet of repair vans with technicians to provide on-site service for minor problems. Such house calls are part of the Tesla ownership experience, available to all customers.
The technician diagnosed and repaired the problem quickly. Our car needed a new door-handle control module—the part inside the door itself that includes the electronic sensors and motors to operate the door handle and open the door. The whole repair took about two hours and was covered under the warranty.
Now that we can open the driver’s door and slide behind the wheel, our P85D is ready to start our formal test regimen. We’ll keep you posted on how it performs and let you know whether we have any more problems with it.
—Eric Evarts


  1. Yeah. They need to add some key based mechanical linkage as a back up.

    1. So far, we haven't seen much negative press coverage on the Tesla, but I assure you it's coming. The first round of Tesla buyers were people in love with the idea of them. These people were willing to overlook any flaws and shortcomings. The second round of buyers has more people who just want a dependable car that's free of bugs and problems. These folks will be much less forgiving. The government cannot subsidize these things forever, and when the subsidies die, so does the Tesla.

  2. Now Musk is pushing his Powerwall batteries to power a home during outages. Very expensive way to get a few hours of juice. I wonder how long it will be before they start causing house fires.......................................

    1. I swear, none of these electric car fanatics must have ever had any battery operated toys when they were kids, or any cordless power tools as adults. If they did, they would know that batteries don't last very long, are often dead when you need them the most, and take forever to recharge.

      Batteries are a terrific source of intermittent power (car starters and flashlights) but a terrible source of continuous power (lawn mowers, leaf blowers). Lithium ion batteries are somewhat better than Ni Cads, but not enough to make battery operated tools perform any near as well as their 120 V or gas powered counterparts.

      There will be some improvements in battery technology in the near future, but don't expect anything radical. It will be like Lithium Ion replacing Ni-Cad - Ho hum, big deal, I'm not giving up my gas powered weed whacker.

    2. The battery powered toys of our youth are no measure of the battery technologies available today, Neil. For example - I just scratch built a quad rotor drone that runs off a LiPo battery. These are the toys that you need to reference for an objective evaluation of the state of battery technology today.

      My drone is a true VTOL RC aircraft. It will fly for about 12 minutes on one charge. The onboard flight computer is capable of GPS, altitude hold, self levelling and autonomous 'return-to-station' functions if it loses contact with its radio. It will do this in -20C (haven't had it out in colder temps yet). It will do this in gusty winds.

      Contrast and compare with the RC aircraft of your youth: the old nitro powered fixed wing aircraft could stay in the air for 10~15 minutes. Their glow plug motors are cranky, and downright wretched at cold temps. Multirotor aircraft like my drone are impossible with combustion engines, or so expensive that guys like you and I could never afford them - much less maintain them. Speaking of batteries and aviation, other visionaries have leapt into the breech!

      I understand the attachment to the internal combustion engine. When I fly my electric drone, the thing sounds like a sinister monster and some people react with disgust and even fear and hate (The Drones are watching you!!!! Your right to privacy is being violated!!!!!). These same people will react with smiles of delight to see an nitro powered RC F4U Corsair doing a low pass at the RC park. I myself am a slave to the radial and V Twin engines. I adore my two cycle weed whacking death machine!

      The Tesla is a noble effort to get the concept off the bench, out of the R&D lab - and into the hands of the consumer. While you laugh with derision over the burning Teslas and proclaim them to be junk...just humour me: do a web search on the Ford Pinto! My father - a master mechanic that has worked on everything from jet engines on down - bought one when they first came out! Of course he hated it and wrote off all small cars as a failed concept. At the time he had a valid point - there were enough econo/shit boxes coming out of Honda, Datsun and domestic makers to sink an aircraft carrier! The in-line four cylinder engine had a deserved reputation for being gutless and unreliable. We called them 'four-bangers and loathed even the sound of them.

      Today a lot of those little cars run like Swiss watches, some are downright snappy with their performance, and they can be had at prices even young families can afford.

      Can viable electric cars be made? I will sit on the fence - for now. For me, it is far too early to write this concept off. I can just SMELL the spin-off technologies too. You may be right about all this Neil...but I hope not. :)

    3. 12 minutes? 12 minutes? I rest my case. I gonna keep sticking my neck out here and maintain my position, saying that battery powered cars will never, never, never replace any significant percentage of gasoline powered cars.

      Even if you improve battery powered cars in every important criteria, by a factor of two, they sill cannot compete with gas powered cars. Consumers are going to be the ones to tell everyone this with their purchase decisions, and the engineers at the battery R&D centers will be the last ones to get the message, right after those who had been supplying the funds finally ask themselves, "What are we doing this for?"

    4. 12 minute fight time is right on par with nitro powered RC, Neil. You cannot rest your case on that! My bud flies a tricopter (one less motor) and he is up at about 17 minutes. 15 minutes would be about the average flight time for conventional RC.

      Similarly, electric golf carts and forklifts are displacing those powered by the combustion engine.

      I will admit and concede - if you are looking for the absolute worst way to invest your money, R&D is it. The vast majority of R&D is a waste of time and money. I'm not disagreeing with you, all I'm saying is that it is way too early to write these concepts off. The market does strange things. The Ford Edsel was a great car for its time - but got bad press from the cool kids and that was that for that. One of the biggest lemons in history was the overpriced Jaguar - it WAS a piece of shit...and it sold like hot cakes. People STILL buy them and think they have some sort of status symbol.

      I can see these cars being viable in warmer climates. Would I invest in them and the R&D? Not at this point, I only gamble when forced to it ... but I am watching the developments with great interest. There is great potential here.

    5. Glen,

      I realize that 12 minutes for a drone, is pretty good. After all, that is an application where keeping weight to a minimum is a priority. A drone with a battery powerful enough to spin the rotors for an hour, would be too heavy to take off.

      However, a car is a totally different matter altogether. You mention forklifts and golf carts. The very reasons that they are largely battery powered, are the same reasons why battery power is such a terrible choice for an automobile.

      Golf carts and forklifts are usually used during business hours and than can spend the entire night recharging. The perfect situation for an electric vehicle. Now, take the family car. It is used all day long for commuting and running errands. Then, in the evening, it may be used to take the family out to dinner or to the movies. With a gas powered car, this is not a problem. With a battery powered car, it is not even possible, because the car's battery must be recharged. What if a child in the family comes down with an illness in the middle of the night? Call the rescue squad? He's sure not going to the doctor in an electric powered car with a dead battery.

      People mistakenly define reliability as freedom from malfunction. Reliability is more correctly defined as "Being ready to go, at any time, at a moment's notice." No battery powered car will ever be able to do that, no matter how much we improve battery technology. Battery powered cars are essentially broke down one third to one half of a day, EVERYDAY! No one would be willing to accept even ONE PERCENT of this type of inconvenience from a traditional gas powered car, and this is just one of the reasons why battery powered cars are never, never, going to replace any but a very very small percentage of gas powered cars.

      Finally, check out where the vast majority of battery powered cars are sold. It is in warm climates. Not only is a battery's effectiveness greatly reduced in cold weather, but you also have the increased demands from producing heat, running wipers, and running headlights more often, due to the shorter winter days. It's only going to take a few battery powered cars in gridlock traffic, during a winter storm to shut down major thoroughfares due to dead batteries.

      This is just the tip of the iceberg. I have many, many more reasons why battery powered cars are a terrible idea.

      P.S. Every car movie every made, would have sucked if they used battery powered cars in them. Mad Max would have never given up his V8 interceptor for a Nissan Leaf, and who would have ever watched any movie where he did?