Tesla gains four spots in Consumer Reports' reliability survey

By Kevin Armstrong
Tesla moves up five ranks in CR's reliability survey
Tesla moves up five ranks in CR's reliability survey
ConsumerReports

Consumer Reports released its annual reliability report, placing Tesla 19th out of 24 car brands. The publication continues to offer harsh reviews for Electric Vehicles placing the entire sector as the second least reliable choice for a vehicle, just ahead of full-size pickups. While this review certainly generated a lot of attention, it is entirely predictable.

Until recently, Tesla was practically the lone player in the EV space, and now automakers are rushing to get an electric car with their brand on the road as quickly as possible. But, of course, any product rushed to market will have issues, and a vehicle is a complex piece of technology and machinery that will show those issues 10-fold.

Big Drops By New EV Manufacturers

For example, Hyundai and Chevrolet, which have significantly pushed into the EV marketplace, dropped in year-over-year rankings. Chevrolet dropped ten spots, and its Volt is listed as the fifth least reliable car. At the same time, Hyundai's Kona comes in ninth. Mercedes Benz dropped to last place in reliability. Consumer Reports blames its drop on EV production as well. Ford is now ranked 18th, as many consumers reported issues with the Mustang Mach-E.

Jake Fisher, a senior director at Consumer Reports, told CNBC, "The automakers are using EVs as a technological testbed for whatever new technology they want to try out. By having all this new technology, there's a lot of potential problems with them."

Tesla Takes Unnecessary Criticism

Fisher's comment begs the question, why are full-size pickup trucks so unreliable? They've been around for a long time. However, the majority of media outlets are aimed at Tesla. Take Bloomberg as an example; it used Tesla in its headline despite their ranking actually improving and the company being ahead of five other brands when it comes to reliability, including Chevrolet (20), GMC (21), Volkswagen (22), Jeep (23), Mercedes-Benz (24).

Consumer Report collects data from consumers of more than 300,000 vehicles. There were 2,000 owners of Teslas included in the survey. Model 3 received an average reliability ranking, but Models S, X and Y ranked below average.

Hybrids Are Not the Answer

On the flip side, Fisher then promotes hybrids as the most reliable vehicles, "Today's hybrids are just as quiet and just as quick and nice to drive as the normal versions. The reliability of electric vehicles is not great. In fact, the majority are actually below average."

This comment is perplexing. EVs removed all of the components that can go wrong with ICE cars. Over the summer, Elon Musk tweeted, Time to move on from hybrid cars. That was a phase. That's a nicer way of saying what he's reportedly called hybrids in the past, "an amphibian in a transition from dinosaurs to mammals." Consumer Reports says that 1 in 3 consumers want a hybrid as their next vehicle.

More About Tesla’s WiFi Garage Door Support, Its Cost and Features

By Nuno Cristovao
How MyQ will be integrated in Tesla vehicles
How MyQ will be integrated in Tesla vehicles
MyQ

Tesla is getting ready to introduce WiFi garage door support to their vehicles through MyQ.

Since our article yesterday additional details have emerged about how MyQ will operate, which vehicles will be supported and whether there will be a cost to use the service. This information is based on a page that appeared briefly on MyQ's website but has since been removed.

Vehicles Supported

MyQ's website stated that support for their garage door openers would be coming to the Model 3 and Model Y. While this makes a lot of sense because those vehicles don't include a HomeLink module, we'd be surprised if Tesla didn't also add support for the Model S and Model X.

Cost

Let's get cost out of the way. Although MyQ does not charge a fee today to remotely open and close their garage doors, they do plan on charging a fee to use their devices in vehicles. This could be looked at similarly to how some services are free to use on a PC but require a subscription to use on your mobile phone.

The price posted on MyQ's website was a five-year plan for $179, which is still cheaper than Tesla's $350 installation cost for HomeLink.

Unfortunately, this removes a big benefit we thought MyQ would have over buying a HomeLink module for the Model 3 or Model Y. For Model S and Model X owners who already have HomeLink included in their vehicles, it may not make as much sense.

However, MyQ does provide some advantages over HomeLink.

Integration

The good news is that MyQ integration will be very similar to HomeLink, and better in some ways. What appears to be a rendering of the feature working in a Tesla was also posted to their website which shows off a screen very similar to HomeLink.

On the MyQ settings screen, you'll have a list of supported devices on the left side, such as garage doors, gates and possibly lights, but we haven't see any evidence of the latter yet.

On the right side, you'll see options pertaining to the device selected, such as its current state, whether the garage door should auto-open or close and the distance when the device should be triggered.

You'll also be able to have the vehicle fold in its mirrors when reaching the target location.

If you've used HomeLink, this should all look very familiar since it's almost exactly the same. However, there are a couple of differences that give the advantage to MyQ.

The first is that MyQ is a smarter system and it knows the state of your garage door. So if you're arriving home and the garage door is already open, it won't try to close it on you.

The other advantage is distance. Since MyQ works over the internet you'll be able to trigger the garage door or gate from further down the driveway, giving the door plenty of time to fully open before you arrive.

MyQ supports an array of devices, but it waits to be seen whether there will be support for these additional devices such as lights and door locks.

Tesla expected to add HD radar to vehicles next month

By Kevin Armstrong
Tesla discloses new hardware, is it HD radar?
Tesla discloses new hardware, is it HD radar?
@Taka87

Tesla requested more time for details to be kept confidential, and in doing so, everyone now knows something is up. A document dated November 18, 2022, appeared on Twitter on December 6. It’s from Tesla Inc. and addressed to the Federal Communications Commission. In the brief letter, Certification Engineer Cindy Li requests a 60-day extension of a previous agreement to keep a device secret. This mysterious letter set the Tesla sphere on fire with speculation to find out what is the secret device.

All we know from the letter is that model number 1541584 includes a user manual, internal photos, external photos, and test setup photos. Whatever this device is, it was going to be made public by the FCC on December 7, 2022. Tesla asked for an extension because the device will not be ready until mid-January 2023. The company wants to “avoid any unnecessary disclosure and competitive harm before our product launch…”

The poster of the letter, Twitter user @Taka87 reached out to well-known Tesla hacker @greentheonly, for some insight. The response: … something potentially major planned for mid-January which is just a bit over a month away... Like something that coincides with a sensor suite change.

That opens the door for the return of radar, which was removed last year and/or ultrasonic sensors, which Tesla just scrapped in October when it made the call to go completely with Tesla Vision. At that time, Tesla said in a statement: With today's software, this approach gives Autopilot high-definition spatial positioning, longer range visibility and the ability to identify and differentiate between objects. As with many Tesla features, our occupancy network will continue to improve rapidly over time.

There has also been a lot of speculation about HW4, where a high-resolution radar is believed to be part of the full self-driving sensor suite. HW4 goes as far back as the 2021 A.I. Day when Elon Musk said a new FSD computer would come out with the Cybertruck. This upgrade is now reportedly being developed by the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Limited (TSMC). It is expected to be much more powerful than the current hardware by as much as four times.

Elon has also previously commented on HD radar, saying "A very high-resolution radar would be better than pure vision, but such a radar does not exist. I mean vision with high-res radar would be better than pure vision."

An unidentified part, closely resembling a new radar was found on Tesla's Parts Catalog back in September by @GreenTheOnly. This mysterious item was marked but suspiciously not given a name, a part number or a description. However, given Green's experience with the inner workings of these vehicles, Green believes it is a new Tesla radar. In a follow-up tweet, he doubled down on his stance, saying the part matches the high-resolution radar Tesla registered with the U.S. Federal Communications Commission in June.

Fans recently spotted multiple Model 3 vehicles that had parts of the front and rear of the vehicle covered up. If Tesla is planning to add HD radar or change some of the vehicle's sensor suite, these vehicles may be testing exactly this.

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