Despite Battery Fires, Tesla's Model S Lands the No. 1 Spot for Owner Satisfaction
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Despite being in the spotlight over recent battery fires, Tesla's Model S electric car received the highest owner-satisfaction score in Consumer Reports' annual survey.
"Owners of the Tesla Model S gave it the highest owner-satisfaction score Consumer Reports has seen in years: 99 out of 100," the magazine said in statement.
Rounding out the top three were the Porsche Boxster with a score of 95, followed by the Chevrolet Volt and the Porsche 911, which both received a 91.
This is hardly the first time the Model S has won rave reviews. The electronic car set a new record in August when it was awarded the best safety rating of any car ever tested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). In May, Consumer Reports also acknowledged it was the best car ever tested, again getting a score of 99 out of 100. The Model S was also named car of the year by Motor Trend and Automobile magazine.
The latest award is a bit of good news for Elon Musk's company, which has been under scrutiny after three Model S cars caught on fire in the last six weeks. On Tuesday, the NHTSA launched an investigation into the matter.
Musk is not standing on the sidelines over these allegations. In a lengthy blog post, the CEO rebuffs safety concerns, stating drivers should be much more wary driving a car run on gasoline, as opposed to a battery.
"Those metrics tell only part of the story. The far more deadly nature of a gasoline car fire deserves to be re-emphasized," Musk writes. "Since the Model S went into production mid last year, there have been over 400 deaths and 1,200 serious injuries in the United States alone due to gasoline car fires, compared to zero deaths and zero injuries due to Tesla fires anywhere in the world."
While Musk's blog defends Tesla's track record, it does provide an outline of how the company plans on addressing safety issues. Tesla will roll out a suspension-adjustment software update, so there will be more room between the road and the car's undercarriage. Musk also wrote Tesla requested the investigation probe mentioned above (NHTSA stated the inspection was independent), to quell consumer fears. If the agency recommends changes to improve safety standards, the electric company will act to implement these recommendations in all Tesla vehicles affected. Lastly, Musk stated Tesla will be changing its warranty to cover fire damage, even if it the driver's fault.