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Tesla Removes Mileage Limits On Drive Unit Warranty Program 174

Posted by timothy
from the 90-percent-of-the-cost-of-my-entire-car dept.
Ars Technica reports that Elon Musk today wrote that Tesla will remove mileage limits on its warranty policy for all Tesla Model S drive units. The warranty, which will still span eight years, won't have a cap on the number of owners for each vehicle. People who purchased Teslas before today were told that the warranty period for the drive unit expired after eight years or once the car logged over 125,000 miles. The revised warranty applies to new vehicles and Model S cars that are already on the road. The article mentions that quite a few Tesla owners have had to have their drive units replaced; out of warranty, that runs about $15,000. Musk's announcement acknowledges that the change may cost the company some money, but says he's "confident it will work out well in the long run."
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Tesla Removes Mileage Limits On Drive Unit Warranty Program

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  • by cosmin_c (3381765) on Friday August 15, 2014 @07:29PM (#47682469)
    ... that can be given that Elon Musk isn't one of the best humans out there? Let me elaborate a bit. In an age of chasing profits and cut-throat competition and where the most ruthless are getting rich, there are some people chasing another type of enrichment. And this comes after giving up on patents. I don't know this man, but it'd be an honour to shake his hand. I simply got nothing that could do justice. Nikola Tesla would indeed be proud.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 15, 2014 @07:33PM (#47682489)

    You clearly have never had to deal with the Hell that is PayPal. He's still deep in the Karma hole for that one.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 15, 2014 @08:10PM (#47682621)

    I have enormous respect for Elon Musk, but don't mistake enlightened self interest for altruism.

    Musk is a very successful and brilliant business person. I just think he also understands that customers appreciate being treated with respect and integrity. It doesn't hurt that he clearly believes in building the best product(s) possible, relying on innovations to place him squarely ahead of the entrenched players (whether that's NASA/Boeing/ULA, or GM/Ford.) His particular brand of greed is good for nearly everyone, but don't mistake it for something other than greed.

  • by Sorny (521429) on Friday August 15, 2014 @09:22PM (#47682841) Homepage

    Tesla's Warranty is a bit better than what GM offers, true. However, it is not hugely better excepting the unlimited mileage for the powertrain, and 8 year battery warranty. That said, I've got some concerns with Tesla's battery warranty being that I live in MN.

    "In addition, damage resulting from the following activities are not covered under this Battery
    Limited Warranty:
    â Exposing the vehicle to ambient temperatures above 140ÂF (60ÂC) or below -22ÂF (-30ÂC) for
    more than 24 hours at a time;"

    That bit scares me. -22 F temps are normal for us in the winter, and I don't heat my garage. Thus, the car would be exposed to such temps for over 24hrs at least once a year. Kind of puts a crimp in my plans to buy a Tesla 3 when it comes out; I can already make the justification to buy a model S based on my driving needs, but I refuse to pay more in car payments than my mortgage.

    From Chevy's website:

    Warranty Coverage
    Bumper-to-Bumper (including tires):
    Coverage is for the first 3 years or 36,000 miles, whichever comes first.
    Powertrain:
    Coverage is for the first 5 years or 100,000 miles, whichever comes first.
    Sheet Metal:
    Corrosion coverage is for the first 3 years or 36,000 miles, whichever comes first.
    Rust-through coverage is for the first 6 years or 100,000 miles, whichever comes first.

    From Tesla:

    Subject to separate coverage for certain parts and the exclusions and limitations described in this
    New Vehicle Limited Warranty, the Basic Vehicle Limited Warranty covers the repair or
    replacement necessary to correct defects in the materials or workmanship of any parts
    manufactured or supplied by Tesla that occur under normal use for a period of 4 years or 50,000
    miles (80,000 km), whichever comes first.

    Supplemental Restraint System Limited Warranty
    Subject to the exclusions and limitations described in this New Vehicle Limited Warranty, the SRS
    Limited Warranty covers the repair or replacement necessary to correct defects in the materials or
    workmanship of the vehicleâ(TM)s seat belts or air bag system manufactured or supplied by Tesla that
    occur under normal use for a period of 5 years or 60,000 miles (100,000 km), whichever comes
    first.

  • by Ted Cabeen (4119) on Friday August 15, 2014 @10:03PM (#47682967) Homepage

    The $15k charge is a theoretical charge back-calculated from insurance settlements. It does not include any core rebate for returning the old drive train. Since no owner has owned the car for even the current 4 year warranty, we have no information on what Tesla would charge for a drive train replacement, swap or any other non-accident generated repair.

  • by pslytely psycho (1699190) on Friday August 15, 2014 @10:08PM (#47682983) Journal
    How difficult and expensive would it be to put rudimentary heating in your garage for just those (hopefully not too many) days per year that this would be a problem?

    Here in eastern Washington the temperature rarely gets that low (maybe once per decade) but I do a lot of work in my garage, fortunately as it is attached I just ran a four inch branch off the central heating and opened it about an hour before I wanted to work. It wasn't toasty, but it was bearable and added almost nothing to my heating bill.
  • by AaronW (33736) on Saturday August 16, 2014 @02:49AM (#47683559) Homepage

    I see superchargers popping up all over the place. They're becoming quite common along the east and west coasts. They're not needed for in-town driving since most people charge at home. The battery swap will cost about the same as a full tank of gas and includes swapping your original fully-charged battery back on the return trip. Using the supercharger is free forever.

    I've used the superchargers numerous times and they were not a major inconvenience. When I drove up to Lake Tahoe from the Bay Area I stopped at the one in Folsom. I went and grabbed a burger and by the time I was done eating and using the restroom the car was ready to go and it cost me nothing to use.

    Every morning I start out with a full battery. It takes me 5 seconds to plug in at night and 5 to unplug in the morning. I spend far less time charging than I ever did waiting in line to fill up with gas at Costco. Besides, I don't have to stay with the car while it's charging. Usually there's other stuff to do within easy walking distance. In 30 minutes I get 170 miles of range. They're generally only needed on long trips, not for everyday driving since it's more convenient to charge overnight at home. Even charging at home I average over 50 miles of range per hour of charging (with a dedicated 80A 240V charger).

    The chargers are popping up all over the place as can be seen on Tesla's interactive map: http://www.teslamotors.com/sup... [teslamotors.com]

    Better Place died because nobody wanted the EVs that they worked with. Their range was also quite limited and the Better Place setup was quite expensive. With the Tesla I have a choice. I can pay to fill up in 90 seconds or spend nothing and wait a while.

    My last electricity bill for around 1500 miles of driving was $62.57 for 39 days, and I'll admit I tend to exceed the speed limit and accelerate hard, so I'm not taking it easy either. Next month I'm driving up to Seattle and it will cost me $0 in electricity.

One possible reason that things aren't going according to plan is that there never was a plan in the first place.

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