EM's tweet re: Early Production Modesl

EM's tweet re: Early Production Modesl

I am sure many of you read his tweet re: CR survey

"Consumer Reports reliability survey includes a lot of early production cars. Already addressed in new cars."

We will have the early production Model X. Does this concern you in anyway?

Thanks for your feedback.

kittylitter | 22 October 2015

Not at all! Early S sig owners all report that any problems were taken care of promptly and most say they would be 1st in line again. A lot of the 1st X people were early S people, also.

eric.zucker | 22 October 2015

Tesla has delivered top notch service to its customers, read the forums- they really want you to love the experience.

Early cars were imperfect, Tesla is learning fast, and lessons from Model S are sure to have been applied to Model X.

Totally confident MX will be out of this world.

sbeggs | 22 October 2015


Sounds like a name my sister would choose! Care to elaborate on your distinctive forum name?

AlMc | 22 October 2015

It is a valid concern. The X shares very few parts with the S, so there is *potential* reliability issues. IMO the most likely source of issues: Falcon Wing Doors, all glass top and the sliding mechanism for the second row seats.

*However*, if the X was able to replace the utility of my current ICE SUV I would not hesitate to buy one. The *potential@ issues would not be a negative impact on my decision.

I do agree that IF there are problems TM will quickly resolve them
as they have done in the past with the S.

Batman | 22 October 2015

Tesla learned a lot from the early Model S production. Those lessons will be applied to all future cars, not just Model Ss. Even if something goes wrong, I have no doubt Tesla will fix it quickly. I am waiting for my Model X. Never worried about issues for one second.

Ankit Mishra | 22 October 2015


Claudedohrn | 22 October 2015

Wah wah. Is CR still recommending any cars by GM, who made it clear that they'd let their customers die rather than pay another buck or two for a well-functioning ignition switch?

I will pay attention when CR finds instances of Tesla's lack of "reliability" extending to danger (GM), willful deception (VW et. al.), etc.

AlMc | 22 October 2015

@Claudedohrn: Agree that the CR issue is overblown vis-à-vis other very dangerous situations with some other cars. The threads point though is should the OP have concerns about reliability based
on the CR reliability information about the S.

From a safety issue, which appears to be the thrust of your comment, the X represents the safest SUV on the road.

Reliability? We don't know. This CR report would not deter me from buying the X from a reliability standpoint.

ian | 22 October 2015

Considering the "big" issues reported were with the drivetrain and retractable door handles and the same drivetrain is going in the X but without the door handles, nope, not concerned one bit. ;-)

In case something does happen it's good to know they have excellent service!


AlMc | 22 October 2015

@ian: correct: DU/door handles/12 volt battery issues should not be an issue based on TM experience with those items. I doubt they will be issues for the S or X moving forward.

New to X: Falcon Doors, all glass roof, second row tracks for pedestal seats. These *might* be the site(s) of some reliability issues. They might not.

aaquino22 | 22 October 2015

The shorts are so damn sensitive.

AlMc | 22 October 2015

@aswuino22: it would be helpful for me to understand your post better if you defined who here you think is a 'short'. I try not to label forum participants although I know we all have different frames of reference.

Thanks Al

Ankit Mishra | 22 October 2015

Those Falcon Wing Doors, Windshield, seamless nose, auto doors, second row pedestal seats are going to make Tesla an overwhelming force in auto industry. Stagnant ICE industry is for a rude awakening. (my opinion)

Iowa92x | 22 October 2015

I do not understand how Tesla is able to solve the complex issues like an electro drivetrain but struggles with simple things like leaky sunroofs and not enough cup holders. I would be worried, the simple things confound Tesla engineers.

AlMc | 22 October 2015

@Ankit: I agree. Problem: Discussion is will the X be reliable right from the 'get go'. The OP is wondering IF he/she needs to be worried about reliability based on what just happened with the S
and CR.

No doubt in my mind that X is/will be a great vehicle and the FWDs, glass roof and auto door will be brand defining.

Reliability of those items is the question.

I would buy one of the first ones because I know TM will fix it swiftly and efficiently.

Red Sage ca us | 22 October 2015

Everything I've seen from Consumer Reports said that they could not recommend the Tesla Model S. So how did they rescind a recommendation they never gave to begin with?

adamgreen | 22 October 2015

I agree it's a valid concern.
Buying an early production car is surely going to swing the pendulum towards "instant gratification" and away from "quality, maturity and features."
This is as true for software or other car makers or life in general.
Personally, I'm more sensitive to the "end of model" compromises. I'd rather wait for the updated Model S than get a car now and find it's "the old model" in a matter of the next month or three.
Personally, I'm more interested in getting the AWD SUV for its AWD-i-ness and its SUV-i-ness than waiting a year for upgrades and whatever comes of Falcon doors or seating options. But when I replace my 2016 X with a 2018 X, I will have swung the pendulum the other way and be insistent upon 360 cameras and 130 kWh "next gen" batteries and off-road drive-train programs, head-up display, night-vision thermal, and who knows what else will be on the radar by then ... yes! radar! I want radar! ...

My only concern for the X as a market success is that Mercedes will be driving a GLE550e into my driveway in the next few weeks and then my appetite for the X shifts towards less urgency and more maturity ("let the early adopters sort out the autopilot head-on collisions") etc. Not that I don't want the X instead of the next plug-in ML, but we're within a few weeks of ski season and I don't have the option to say "okay, let's not ski till I get my electric car, okay?" Yes, "first world problems" and I can easily keep grunting up the hill in our 15 mpg GL550, but at some point, you have to say that Tesla might be not so close as one might hope. Speaking as someone that ordered an "autopilot" car in December, 11 months ago and it just arrived in software today ... it's not a sign of "loyalty" to say that the Model will be built soon, it's to ignore the practical realities of a (very) small company bringing a marvelously advanced product to market. I can wait. Terrible if I "have" to drive a Mercedes for another few months this winter ...

kittylitter | 22 October 2015

I've been 'kittylitter' for 35 years, back in the CB days (Ch17 up & dn i5). I used to raise a particular breed of cat (Devon Rex) back in the late 70's, early 80's and the nickname just stuck.

Ross1 | 23 October 2015

They solved the door handle issues.

Who needs door handles, auto presenting doors (joke)

Roamer@AZ USA | 23 October 2015

Got my VIN on Sig 309. Not worried about CR at all. My wife's 9XXX vin S85 has been a workhorse. The old S will get retired to a second home and the new X put right to work.

Tesla Motors is the only car company on the planet that I would be willing to buy a first year new model release from. I expect a few problems. Probably impossible on a new build to not have problems. The difference is a company that is interested in fixing the problems, not a lack of problems.

Roamer@AZ USA | 23 October 2015

@kittylitter, Hey good buddy you got the sinner here running hammer down on the five. My dogs not barking and it's all good.

MyXinTx | 23 October 2015

It is definitely "bad" PR, especially from a trusted source like Consumer Reports.

However the comments about the feedback relating to early S's is probably correct, so reasonable to consider not applicable to newer models or the X.

Time will tell, but the real PR issue is production. If the numbers slow below expectations or more importantly don't increase above expectations, the share value will be challenged to increase, at least in the short term.

As we all know, outside critics not wanting to be kind will not be, and will jump on the bandwagon to bash and downgrade.

In the end most loyal Tesla followers would rather wait than receive a vehicle that was sub-optimal due to being rushed.

Tâm | 23 October 2015


Even with the latest report, Consumer Reports has always said that Tesla has a great performance car and excellent service despite of no-dealership model.

When it bought its 2015 Tesla Model S a few months ago with a broken door handle that refused to extend out, it praised Tesla quick service as it reported on the video clip:

kittylitter | 23 October 2015

@Roamer. Hey, friend, don't let those 'skateboards' slow you down and I hope you're not haulin' 'sailboat fuel' or 'dispatcher's brains'.

ram1901 | 23 October 2015

@kitty & @roamer.. need to locate my CB dictionary to translate.. :)

Wish the production of the X would have remained on schedule. Unfortunately my reservation would have put me sometime at the end of 2016 and my lease runs out on my current car in March 2016 so I'm gonna lease another PHEV for a short term to hold me until the X is available on a 2 or 3 month queue..probably by end of 2017 or early 2018. Maybe by then they'll have that infamous fold down rear seat others whined about.

Thinking about a Volt or Hyundai Sonata PHEV coming out later this year.

@roamer .. keep us posted on when you get your X and the first month of ownership..

carlk | 23 October 2015

If you read the initial Roadster production story you'll know how bad quality control was at that time. Tesla learned the lessen and the S introduction was a huge improvement. Three years and 100K cars later I expect the X introduction to be even better. The most likely reason that Tesla is slow to release the car to production despite all the impatient reservation holders is they want to make sure everything is done right. One can always play it safe and wait for a year or two but you then will miss the chance of enjoying the early adoptor fun. The only regret I have of getting my early 14' S is I could have had it sooner.

MyXinTx | 23 October 2015

@Tam I am sorry for not including the article in the NY Times which prompted my comment...

While it's just a single article, it may have impact given the large readership.

True it may be based on older models and outdated issues, but it is a current article.

I still maintain the the CR organization is well respected, so this 180 is noticed.

carlk | 24 October 2015

Talk about CR reliability rating Lexus is the perennial top brand and Mercedes is always low down on the list. Guess which brand sells more cars year after year and even command higher price at that? So much for that CR ranking. There are much more than it what consumers want. OK there maybe some value of CR ranking for appliances and perhaps even basic transportation type economy cars but definitely not high end performance cars where money is not that much an object for buyers. The only value of that CR Model S report, if you can say it's a value, is to short term stock manipulators, or to long term investors that it gives them an opportunity to buy low.

AlMc | 24 October 2015

To many people that unconditionally support TM, the CR article has little, if any, value and it is dismissed. We are all entitled to our opinion.

Problem: Many people give at least some weight to CR when it comes to choosing a vehicle. While the impact will not be catastrophic, it will have impact, it won't be of the nature we want and it won't go away completely until CR does next year's poll and finds that reliability has improved.

I believe that TM has made, and will continue to make improvements
that will affect reliability of the S in a positive way.

As for the X: No one knows. We are all speculating. The brand (and the X) is defined as having some cutting edge technology and having several new items that were not in either the Roadster or the S. We will have to wait and see if those new items prove to be reliable in every day use after hundreds/thousands of the Xs are on the road.

Since TM has proven to be very reliable about fixing any issues with the S, I think it is fair to say that they will fix any issues with the X promptly.

I would not allow the CR article to stop me from buying the first or 101st X off the production line. But I am willing to accept that it may prove to have more things to adjust/fix than the 10,001st vehicle produced.

To the OP: Buy the X, even after the CR article, but accept we do not know about reliability until many miles have been put on many Xs.

Jacqueline.gerhart | 24 October 2015

Is anyone concerned about a potential autopilot hardware upgrade that might miss the early production model X vehicles? Or do you think the current autopilot hardware will be around for a few years? I own a P85D and am holding off reserving an X for my wife because of this. I know this is the risk of being on the cutting edge, but I do think there will be better autopilot hardware that may be rolled out in 1-2 years in the midst of X deliveries, leaving some early reservation holders upset if they missed out.

carlk | 24 October 2015

I was just pointing out that cars that have high reliability rating, especially cars in the high end markets, does not mean it's going to be an attractive car. The opposite is also true. BMW, Mercedes or even the very unreliable Ferrari will always be more desirable than Toyota or Honda's similar offerings other than for those who are only interested in a basic transportation.

I have absolutely no problem of buying the X now because I'm sure I will have a great owner experience regardless. Others could buy the S, I think many are doing just that now, but you'll miss the opportunity to be among those first ones to explore the new experience, a little like wearing hand me down clothes. That's why regardless of the first year quality concern that pretty much every car model faces, the first year of introduction is always the year they sell most of it. There will always be people who are willing to buy first year model, and many people especially want to buy the first year model. Again one can be in either camps I'm only talking about the general trend. There is no right or wrong there.

Farmer Dave | 24 October 2015

I'm taking the reliability risk on my X.

I always have the Lexus to fall back on if there's an issue.(grin)

AlMc | 24 October 2015

@carlk: agree with everything in your last post except the 'hand me down' cloths analogy . People buying an X in a year are not getting a 'hand me down', and in fact, if the S is used as an example, they may be getting an improved X with additional features that has any'kinks' worked out.

carlk | 24 October 2015

@Farmer Dave Tesla service is so good sometimes you even want to find a reason to go there. That's probably part of the reason even those who report issues are still satified and will buy again. You will always have a loaner to fall back to too.

@AlMc What I meant hand me down is the freshness is lost. Everything is known when you got it. The feeling is not exactly the same even if it's still as good as when it's new.

AlMc | 24 October 2015

@CarlK: You are correct in that it is nice to have something 'special', as with some of the first Xs off the production line. But, my P85D is superior to my P85+. It has AWD, folding mirrors, heated steering wheel and sensors for park assist/auto pilot.

It is very possible that the Xs delivered in mid to late 2016 and beyond will have improvements in existing hardware and firmware that one won't be able to retrofit into earlier deliveries.

EM indicated that if one was to wait for the 'latest and greatest' S (my paraphrase of his intent) then one would never buy a TM vehicle. They will evolve.

I would have no problem taking an early delivery X but I would be under no illusion that I might miss out on a future improvement. These improvements do not come with model year changes but randomly as TM makes improvements.

AlMc | 24 October 2015

@mastaace: To answer your question about AP. TM products are constantly evolving as new technologies and hardware becomes available...or they create it.

Mobeleye, the camera part of AP, is said to have developed a 3 camera system and is testing an 8 camera system. TM knows this and hopefully has placed the necessary wiring harnesses in place to accommodate these future improvements. I would be surprised if retrofitting the cameras would be that difficult as long as the wiring is in place. The cameras are small and inexpensive.

Worrying about future enhancements in the AP would not be a determining factor in my purchase of an X but we each make our own decisions on what to purchase, and when.

Tâm | 24 October 2015


All current Model X, from Founders Series and later should have the same Autopilot hardware and function as Model S should.

They are capable of Auto-lane, Auto-Steer, TACC from freeway on-ramp to off-ramp. They are also capable of auto-parallel-parking.

There is no need for further hardware upgrade for the next 5 years as additional functions will be activated: auto-garage, auto-summon...

Tesla Autopilot only covers freeway and very low speed private road.

To cover medium speed city roads, you might need additional hardware and you might want to trade your car in at that time (2020 is the projection.)

carlk | 24 October 2015

@AlMc If you look at Model S Tesla did not start any new major hardware update until the second year or later. They were too busy to ramp up production to do any changes. I would think it would be less likely so for the X since they have added most what was missing already. A new seat configuration is a possibility though.

Like you AP would not be a factor for me. Driving the car is still the primary purpose that I buy the car. What is offered now is good enough for me already. Decades later when I'm not interested, or too old, to drive I can always buy an autonomous car by then.

AlMc | 24 October 2015

IIRC: The P85+ and folding mirrors were out fairly quickly (within 12-18 months) of the SigS. There were many people here pretty upset they had just gotten a 'P' delivered and then there was the '+'.

Some thoughts...that may not happen: in late 2016 TM has a 110 battery with advanced cells coming out of the GF? They introduce the 8 camera Mobileye system and it is not retrofittable.

giving up on my 'sig' reservation may have a positive result then.

So, the X, as is, is good for you for years. However, you have been around on the forums long enough to know there will be some upset people in 6-12-18 months if they missed out on the newest tech/hardware.

It is something people should be aware of...not necessarily should it cause any changes in their plans. I am just saying the s evolved and continues to evolve. The x will do the same..maybe slower than the S, maybe faster.

It is just like the Falcon Doors...people may look back and say 'That was the defining moment in TM history'....but they be filling out a CR reliability profile saying negative things about them.

Like everything in life. One must weigh the risks to benefit and each person/family will come to their own decision....and that may not be the decision you or I would make.

aesculus | 24 October 2015

It may just be me but I figure the current X is a 2 to 3 year car from a feature standpoint. I am looking at all my options in terms of ownership to allow me to swap it for a new one within 3 years.

Normally I buy a car (purchase) for the long haul, but with this one, especially the battery (but other features too), I am going to look at future proofing my experience at bit.

carlk | 24 October 2015

@aesculus You're right. Tesla cars is in between the iPhone and a traditional automobilie. You can keep it for a long time like you would with traditional cars but it's not a total waste of money, if you could afford to, to trade for a new one every 2~3 years to get the new experience.

carlk | 24 October 2015

The "+" was actually already there in the begining. It was said that Elon's car when he loaned it to MT in 12' was a "+" version. There was just not enough time for it to be released to production. Good that you mentioned it because MT said again this time they did have their hands on a plus version of XP90D with super fat (295 front 345 rear?)tires. Few probably would need, or are willing to pay, for that but it's worth the wait if you do. It's going to be, as MT said, a Porsche turbo S killer.

BTW I can't imagine that if X gets it S will not too. That supports what mine and aesculus's point that you will never be able to buy a best Tesla ever.

AlMc | 25 October 2015

I believe this MF article captures the essence of the discussion quite well.

aesculus | 25 October 2015

The biggest question is not squeaks and rattles but the long term health of the motors. We will only know that when lots of the later cars have 60 or 70k on them without failures.

I had a Mazda with a rotary engine and they were great for the first 30k or so, and then the seals began to go out. Mazda fixed these issues later but by that time the damage was done and the naysayers (mostly the piston and valve manufactures) took the opportunity to drive a stake in the hearts of the cars. Plus the EPA (kind of like CR) came out with some disputable data about mileage. Mazda ended up only putting these engines in specialized cars sold to an small segment of the population mostly concerned with performance and novelty.

Result: You don't see to many Wankel rotary Mazda's around.

jacksiart | 26 October 2015

I'm surprised to not see mention of the surprise (to me) purchase of a 2nd Model S by CR because they really wanted to test the P85D. That is a very lot of money for a magazine that is not advertiser supported. They are obviously fans and I'm sure potential Tesla customers can see that especially given the stellar customer service reputation and the unbelievable repurchase intent (97%) for existing customers.

Remnant | 27 October 2015

@ AlMc (October 24, 2015)

<< ... in late 2016 TM has a 110 battery with advanced cells coming out of the GF? They introduce the 8 camera Mobileye system and it is not retrofittable. >>

Those features would be worth waiting for, if your current personal transportation contraption can take it.

Because of the eliminated rearview mirrors, range would immediately benefit, due to the X's low drag. Along with the 110 kWh battery, this should result in a 400 mile range (or thereabout).

Red Sage ca us | 5 November 2015

AlMc wrote, "I would not allow the CR article to stop me from buying the first or 101st X off the production line. But I am willing to accept that it may prove to have more things to adjust/fix than the 10,001st vehicle produced."

+42! Very well said. Thank you.

jacksiart: I think that like Edmunds, Motor Trend, Automobile, and Car and Driver, the guys at Consumer Reports are rather embarrassed by how much they really, truly, genuinely enjoy Tesla Motors products. So, they do their very best to separate their personal feelings from their reviews, to have at least the slightest bit of professional detachment. It isn't easy, I'm sure. But they don't want to be legitimately accused of being all-out fanboys... Even if they are.