Consumer Reports dropped $127,000 on a new Tesla Model S P85D – the most it’s ever spent on a vehicle – but before it could get deep into its extensive testing regime, it was already broken, and for something Tesla owners are all too familiar with.

The trick automatic door handles that auto-extend when the driver approaches the car have been a pain point for some owners. Sometimes the proximity sensor doesn’t work. Other times it’s the motor. This time it was a control module that would kept just the driver’s side door handle stuck closed.

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Not only is this a regular topic that comes up at the Tesla Motors Club forum, CR says it’s the most common complaint with the Model S in the owners it’s polled.

On the plus side, the fix was apparently easy. The onboard modem and diagnosis system allowed Tesla to identify the problem remotely, and Tesla sent out a tech to CR HQ to fix it. But at a certain point, you have to ask: is a slightly lower coefficient of drag and the gee-whiz frippery that goes along with it really worth the trouble?


Contact the author at damon@jalopnik.com.
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