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Tesla slides as Consumer Reports ends Model S recommendation

Consumer Reports has pulled its recommendation of the

Consumer Reports has pulled its recommendation of the Tesla Model S after below-average reliability ratings. However, the magazine reports, consumer satisfaction remains high. This Model S was displayed Sept. 15, 2015, at the auto show in Frankfurt, Germany. Photo Credit: AP / Michael Probst

Tesla Motors Inc. fell the most in eight weeks Tuesday after Consumer Reports  said the Model S luxury electric car fell from its recommended list because of below-average reliability.

On Wednesday morning, shares were down $2.47, about 1.2 percent, at $210.54. The stock slid 6.9 percent to $212.30 at 3:39 p.m. Eastern Day Light Time Tuesday after declining as much as 11 percent for the steepest intraday drop since Aug. 24.

Owners of the sedan, introduced in 2012, reported “an array of detailed and complicated maladies,” Consumer Reports said in a statement. Adding features like a sun roof led to reliability issues, and Model S owners also complained about having to replace the electric motor, said Jake Fisher, director of automotive testing.

The magazine recommends only models with above-average reliability.

“This year, with a below-average rating, we are no longer recommending the Model S,” he said. “In terms of owner satisfaction, customers would buy it again -- they love it.”

The magazine in August lauded the car’s combination of performance, luxury and efficiency when its tests resulted in a score of 103 on Consumer Reports’s 100-point scale.

The publication didn’t rank Tesla among 28 other brands because that required enough responses for at least two models.

The Palo Alto, California-based company began deliveries of its Model X sport utility vehicle last month, too late for the April survey. Consumer Reports said it received about 1,400 survey responses from Model S owners.

Consumer Reports said that even with the concerns, Tesla owner satisfaction remains very high, with 97 percent of owners saying they would definitely buy their car again.

"Consumer Reports also found that customers rate Tesla service and loyalty as the best in the world," the company said in an emailed statement. "Close communication with our customers enables Tesla to receive input, proactively address issues and quickly fix problems. Over-the-air software updates allow Tesla to diagnose and fix most bugs without the need to come in for service. In instances when hardware needs to be fixed, we strive to make it painless."

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