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Tesla Removes Mileage Limits On Drive Unit Warranty Program 174

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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  • To make it clear (Score:4, Informative)

    by Ecuador ( 740021 ) on Friday August 15, 2014 @08:34PM (#47682497) Homepage
    Because the summary sort of makes it sound like a lot of people had to pay for a $15000 replacement: The article says that many people have had to change their drive unit. It does not say specifically that they had to change it out of warranty and out of pocket. Given how new the Model S is and that the existing policy was for 125,000 miles anyway, I suspect it would be very few if any that were adversely affected by the old policy. Musk says they have to stand by the word that electric motors are fundamentally more reliable and the cost to the company is the increase in reserves for dry units that they will need to cover the new warranty since it is applied retroactively.
  • Re:Battery (Score:4, Informative)

    by FuzzMaster ( 596994 ) on Friday August 15, 2014 @08:58PM (#47682577)

    If it included the battery then that might mean something.

    The 85 kWh battery is already warranted for 8 years and unlimited miles.

  • by Zachariah Day ( 2882443 ) on Friday August 15, 2014 @09:14PM (#47682637)
    You read wrong; the service is not necessary to keep the warranty.
  • by Ted Cabeen ( 4119 ) on Friday August 15, 2014 @11:18PM (#47683017) Homepage

    The -22F is not a problem, as long as the car is plugged in when left for prolonged periods. At well above that temperature, the battery management system will kick in and heat the battery to keep it within safe temperatures. Now, technically, they could probably disclaim coverage for that, but it seems unlikely if the battery management system does what it's supposed to do.

  • Re:To make it clear (Score:5, Informative)

    by AaronW ( 33736 ) on Saturday August 16, 2014 @03:29AM (#47683533) Homepage

    The drive unit is a combination of the single electric motor, gear reduction, differential and inverter and axles. It's all a single unit that can be quickly replaced. As Elon stated in his last earnings call, most of the problems were due to some cables that were tucked up in there coming loose and making noise. Before finding out that that was the root cause they just replaced the drive unit because it could be done quickly. Now it turns out all they do is apply some zip ties to fix the problem. The car is fairly modular and should be fairly easy to work on, especially since there's no engine in the way of everything. Things like power steering, coolant pumps, AC, etc. are all easily accessible after removing the frunk plastic tub or the plastic panel under the front of the car.

    When I have taken my Tesla in for a problem they don't fool around but try to address it as quickly as possible. All of the issues I've had with my car, an early model S, have been addressed by later versions of the car.

    Here's a picture of the drive unit: []

  • by Ol Olsoc ( 1175323 ) on Sunday August 17, 2014 @12:53PM (#47689539)

    Tesla also uses waste heat from the inverter and electric motor. A gasoline powered car also gets less milage in very cold weather. Tesla loses 15-20% of the range in very cold climates which is not all that significant.

    Glad you brough that up. Cold weather plays havoc with gasoline, forcing the manufacturers to reformulate. The biggest change is addition of butanol, which will allow the engine to start in very cold weather. But butanol really wants to be in the gaseous state in warmer weather, and evaporates out of gasoline in the summer really quickly - a plastic gas can of winter grade gasoline gets rather "bulgy" in the summer. The butanol is a large part of why cars get less gas milage in the winter, often mistakenly totally attributed to ethanol. Ethanol has a gas milage penalty, also, before that gets added to the topic.

    See, this is why I get really weary of all the hate bestowed on the Teslas. Any issue at all is amplified into ridiculous heights, in order to discredit them. We have a huge amount of infrastructure in place, and many accomodations made for internal combustion engines, including different fuel configurations just to keep the damn things running. At all, and the configurations are not terribly compatible. That winter gas will evaporate on you in the summer, and starting in -30 with a tankful of summer gas will have you running for the ether as your fingers get frostbit. Does the Tesla perhaps use a different form of electricity in different seasons?

    But keeping that Tesla plugged in when it's really cold is just too damned inconvenient even when it's supposed to be plugged in to recharge anyway. When they need to plug in their internal combustion engine heaters also. Umm, the problem here? It's not the Tesla, it's people that hate them grasping at straws for talking points, and forgetting that their own favorite propulsion mechanism requires a whole lot of tweaking to keep running.

Top Ten Things Overheard At The ANSI C Draft Committee Meetings: (9) Dammit, little-endian systems *are* more consistent!