What Model Year is my Tesla?

What Model Year is my Tesla?

Whereas every other car manufacturer uses Model year to distinguish their cars, Tesla does not really. At the same time Tesla lists their CPO cars under model year. Do they use calendar year? From most other manufacturers my car bought in Sept. 2015 would be a 2016 Model. Indeed it was one of the very first 90D's delivered while 85D's were still available for configuration.

The importance of this is a possible private sale as the general public wants to know what model year a car is.

EVRider | 12/08/2018

The model year is the calendar year in which your Tesla was built, and is encoded in the VIN. However, they start changing the VIN over to the next year during the last couple of weeks in December, so cars built in late December might have the following model year.

ATCRomes | 12/08/2018

Go with what Tesla will call it (by manufacture date). You dont want someone contacting you after the sale complaining you told them it was a 2016 when Tesla is telling them it's a 2015. For example, mine is a Dec 2013 model, and my year on all the paperwork states 2013 not 14. Hope this helps.

RandallKeith | 12/08/2018

Manufacturing date. Look at the sticker inside the drivers door.

DermMD | 12/08/2018

Thanks much all

akikiki | 12/08/2018

Actually, Tesla is one of the few if only one that follow true "call it the year it was built" theory.
Who said, where's it written that the manufacturers rolling out new models in Sep, March/April are doing it right?

Where's Mcclary?

p.c.mcavoy | 12/08/2018

Sorry, I’m going to go full geek/nerd on you with the topic of model year definitions.

Date when the vehicle is built is not a reliable indicator. I agree for the vast majority of MS build it probably matches, but the real determinate is the vehicle certification year, which you will find encoded in the VIN. Even if there are no changes from one year to another the manufacturer still must go through a legal certification process in the US.

The rules for when the model year starts and end essentially can be summarized by there can only be one January 1 in the model year and the model year cannot extend beyond Dec 31. For example, that would mean that a manufacturer could start the 2019 model year say the second week of Jan 2018 and extend it through the end of Dec 2019, in which case the model “year” actually encompasses 23.5 months of production. Some manufacturers will consciously do this, although generally not to that extreme, if they chose to introduce a brand new vehicle in the first half of the year. While not common, I know of a few cases where this has happened. The benefit for the manufacturer is they can essentially ‘skip’ a model year certification. An example would be introducing a new model in April 2018, certifying as a MY2019 vehicle, then not needing to recertify to be a MY20 vehicle until late 2019. The alternative would be to certify initially as a 2018, produce it for about 7 months, then certify again as a 2019 in late calendar year 2018.

The US agencies may push back if they sense a manufacturer is doing this solely to skip a certification year. Example would be someone building 2018’s through Dec 2018, shut the plant down for a couple week holiday break over the new year, then want to restart production second week in January 2019 producing MY20’s such that they never need to do a 2019 certification. That would likely raise questions, especially if it was not a brand new model.

So, the best bet if you really want to know what model year to refer to your vehicle is to use the VIN decoder (@TT has one on his site), and refer to the vehicle by what it shows. That’s what insurance company and vehicle registration departments will reference for the car.

I return you back to your regularly scheduled forum banter....

EVRider | 12/08/2018

@RandallKeith: I've seen other references to the manufacturing date sticker in the driver's door, but my 2016 Model S doesn't have one (other than the one with tire information). Maybe they started doing that later?

RandallKeith | 12/08/2018

Upper left-hand corner above gross vehicle weight it shows month and year It was built.

Yodrak. | 12/08/2018

"The importance of this is a possible private sale as the general public wants to know what model year a car is."

The problem is that the "general public" one is selling their car to better understand that with Tesla things can change significantly during a model year. Someone looking for a refresh version might be in for a big surprise if they get an early 2016. Seller needs to educate a potential buyer about the car's features when buyer asks what the model year is.