2020 Tesla Model S Reliability - Consumer Reports
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GREEN CHOICE

Tesla Model S

The Tesla Model S rewrites the rulebook for cars, as it's a different kind of car from a different kind of company, a Silicon Valley startup. The fully electric Model S is a remarkable car that combines performance, agility, styling, high-tech, no emissions and low operating costs. It's one of the best cars we've ever tested.
Alerts
There are 2 recalls on this vehicle. Learn More.

Reliability

We expect the 2022 Model S will be much less reliable than the average new car. This prediction is based on data from 2019 and 2020 models. Select the used car model year to see reported issues with those similar past models.

Overall Reliability
Most Common Trouble Spots
Common Trouble Spot
Common Trouble Spot
The 2020 Tesla Model S has been recalled 2 times by NHTSA. View Recalls
Research Years * Redesign year
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Overall Reliability Verdict
NA
NA
POTENTIAL TROUBLE SPOTS
Engine Major
NA
NA
Engine Minor
NA
NA
Engine Cooling
NA
NA
Transmission Major
NA
NA
Transmission Minor
NA
NA
Drive System
NA
NA
Fuel System
NA
NA
Electric System
NA
NA
Climate System
NA
NA
Suspension
NA
NA
Brakes
NA
NA
Exhaust
NA
NA
Paint/Trim
NA
NA
Body Integrity
NA
NA
Body Hardware
NA
NA
Power Equipment
NA
NA
In-car Electronics
NA
NA
Reliability indicates how models have performed in the past, providing the basis for predicting how the vehicles will hold up in the year ahead. These charts provide the most comprehensive reliability information available to consumers. Based on information received from our latest subscriber survey for over 300,000 vehicles, our reliability history charts give you a rundown on how 2000 through 2021 vehicles are holding up in 17 potential trouble spots, ranging from the engine, transmission, and brakes to power equipment and the electrical system. NA indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.

Learn more about car Reliability.

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2020 Tesla Model S owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

Suspension

Shocks or struts, ball joints, tie rods, wheel bearings, alignment, steering linkage (includes rack and pinion), power steering (pumps and hoses, leaks), wheel balance, springs or torsion bars, bushings, electronic or air suspension.

What Owners Say

Electronic or air suspension

"The air suspension did not work when we took delivery. The problem was a kinked hose. Once repaired the car vibrates noticeably when we are in a "raised" suspension mode. It is supposedly the CV joints. They are under warranty, but this has been a real hassle."

Anonymous, (2020 Tesla Model S Long Range Electric)

"oil was leaking from the air suspension"

Anonymous, CA (2020 Tesla Model S Performance Electric)

Power Equipment

Cruise control, clock, warning lights, body control module, keyless entry, wiper motor or washer, tire pressure monitor, interior or exterior lights, horn, gauges, 12V power plug, remote engine start, alarm or security system

What Owners Say

Heated steering wheel

"Intermittently stopped working."

Anonymous, MN (2020 Tesla Model S Long Range Electric)

In-car Electronics

CD or DVD players, radio, speakers, GPS, communication system (e.g., OnStar), display screen freezes or goes blank, phone pairing (e.g. Bluetooth), voice control commands, steering wheel controls, portable music device interface (e.g., iPod/MP3 player), backup or other camera/sensors.

What Owners Say

Voice control commands

"Voice command didn't work. Tesla told me it was a software problem but the updates didn't fix the problem. Finally after 3 months Tesla allowed a mobil tech to service the vehicle, it was a faulty switch in the steering wheel. If Tesla would have allowed the mobil tech to inspect the car instead of canceling the appointments I made it would have been fixed 3 months sooner."

Anonymous, NM (2020 Tesla Model S Long Range Electric)

Engine Cooling

Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.

Body Integrity

Squeaks, rattles, wind noises, loose or cracked seals and/or weather-stripping, air and water leaks.

Drive System

Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.

Brakes

Antilock system (ABS), parking brake, master cylinder, calipers, rotors, pulsation or vibration, squeaking, brake failure or wear.

Paint/Trim

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling), loose interior and exterior trim or moldings, rust.

Body Hardware

Power or manual windows, locks and latches, tailgate, hatch or trunk, doors or sliding doors, mirrors, seat controls, safety belts, sunroof, convertible top.

Transmission Minor

Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.

Engine Major

Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.

Engine Minor

Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.

Fuel System

Check engine light, sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor), emission control devices (includes EGR), engine computer, engine computer, fuel cap, fuel gauge/sender, fuel injection system, fuel pump, fuel leaks, stalling or hesitation.

Climate System

Blower (fan) motor, A/C compressor, condenser, evaporator, heater system, automatic climate control, refrigerant leakage, electrical failure.

Electric System

Alternator, starter, hybrid battery and related systems, regular battery, battery cables, engine harness, coil, ignition switch, electronic ignition, distributor or rotor failure, spark plugs and wires failure.

Exhaust

Muffler, pipes, catalytic converter, exhaust manifold, leaks.

Compare 2020 Models

No Data Available
Recalls
PROVIDED BY
LATCHES/LOCKS/LINKAGES
Dec 21, 2021
If the primary latch is inadvertently released and the secondary latch is not engaged, the hood could open unexpectedly, obstructing the driver's view and increasing the risk of a crash.
Summary:
Tesla, Inc. (Tesla) is recalling certain 2014-2021 Model S vehicles. The front trunk latch assembly may be misaligned, preventing the secondary hood latch from engaging. As such, these vehicles fail to comply with the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard number 113, "Hood Latch System."
What should you do:
Tesla Service will inspect and reposition the latch assembly as necessary, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed February 18, 2022. Owners may contact Tesla customer service at 1-877-798-3752. Tesla's number for this recall is SB-21-11-003.
For more information:
Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.nhtsa.gov.
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 21V00B000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 119009
FORWARD COLLISION AVOIDANCE
Oct 29, 2021
Unexpected activation of the AEB system may cause the car to stop suddenly, increasing the risk of a crash.
Summary:
Tesla, Inc. (Tesla) is recalling certain 2017-2021 Model S, Model 3, Model X, and 2020-2021 Model Y vehicles operating software version 2021.36.5.2. A communication error may cause false forward-collision warning (FCW) or unexpected activation of the automatic emergency brake (AEB) system.
What should you do:
Tesla Service has released an over the air (OTA) software update, free of charge. The recall began October 25, 2021. Owners may contact Tesla customer service at 1-877-798-3752. Tesla's number for this recall is SB-21-00-004.
For more information:
Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.nhtsa.gov.
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 21V846000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 11728
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