Tesla Meets the Real World, and the Real World Wins

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OK, that’s enough about the poor. Let’s move on to stuff that upper-middle-class folks care about. Consumer Reports has been raving about Tesla electric cars for a while—so good it broke their rating system, scoring 103 out of 100!—and I’ve been wondering all that time what would happen after a couple of years when they started getting reliability data. Today I found out:

Consumer Reports withdrew its recommendation for the Tesla Model S — a car the magazine previously raved about — because of poor reliability for the sporty electric sedan….Consumer Reports surveyed 1,400 Model S owners “who chronicled an array of detailed and complicated maladies” with the drivetrain, power equipment, charging equipment and giant iPad-like center console. They also complained about body and sunroof squeaks, rattles and leaks.

“As the older vehicles are getting up on miles, we are seeing some where the electric motor needs to be replaced and the onboard charging system won’t charge the battery,” said Jake Fisher, Consumer Reports’ director of automotive testing. “On the newer vehicles, we are seeing problems such as the sunroof not operating properly. Door handles continue to be an issue.”

Ouch. Tesla stock, unsurprisingly, took a big tumble. But here’s an interesting question for you. I figure that there are probably fewer owners of the Tesla S who are moderately annoyed than there are people who are completely panicked because they rely on RushCard for all their money and can’t get to it. However, the former are rich and the latter are poor. Which story do you think will get faster and more sustained attention?

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TIME IS RUNNING OUT!

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and it's truly crunch time: About 15 percent of our yearly online giving usually comes in during the final week of the year, and in "No Cute Headlines or Manipulative BS," we explain why we simply can't afford to come up short right now.

The bottom line: Corporations and powerful people with deep pockets will never sustain the type of journalism Mother Jones exists to do. And advertising or profit-driven ownership groups will never make time-intensive, in-depth reporting viable.

That's why donations big and small make up 74 percent of our budget this year. There is no backup to keep us going, no alternate revenue source, no secret benefactor. If readers don’t donate, we won’t be here. It's that simple.

And if you can help us out with a donation right now, all online gifts will be matched thanks to an incredibly generous matching gift pledge.

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