Consumer Reports holds a lot of sway with American buyers; Tesla Motors was understandably proud when the Model S sedan was named the “Most Loved Car By Owners” by the magazine two years in a row, and when it later appeared first on Consumer Reports‘ list of Top Ten new car options for 2015.
More recently, Tesla Motors was presumably upset upon seeing the Model S P85D being criticized by the magazine for a faulty door handle issue.
The Detroit Free Press reports that the Tesla Model S P85D owned by Consumer Reports was called “undriveable,” due in-part to a driver’s side door handle which refused to open. The door handles on all Model S sedans automatically retract so that they are flush with the doors, until the car’s key fob is within a certain proximity.
Unfortunately, the issues didn’t stop at that. The folks at Consumer Reports were able to access their Model S through the passenger’s side door, but the car then politely refused to be shifted into Drive. CR Director of Automobile Testing Jake Fisher postulates that the two issues were connected, as most modern cars will not allow the driver to shift while a door is ajar.
The Free Press states that Tesla Motors has claimed no relation between the sedan’s door functions and the electric powertrain.
For Consumer Reports‘ part, Fisher has said that the publication refuses to walk back the claimed “undriveable” status of their car. Tesla Motors issued a statement in response, saying that customer service is a top priority, and that software patches and updates are an ever-evolving result of dialogue with owners, engineers, and technicians.