Tesla Roadster Sport 2.0
Sticker price - around $148,000
I loved the concept of an electric vehicle that would perform like a regular car and use a fraction of the energy as that of a petroleum powered vehicle with none of the exhaust pollution. As soon as I saw the Tesla Roadster I was hooked and I started doing a significant amount of research into the vehicle. I was blown away by the performance and I became a huge supporter of Tesla and their technology. Tesla helped me to find a beautiful used 2010 Roadster Sport 2.0 with 7000 miles in February of 2013 from a private owner. The three year warranty was just ending by the 36 months cut-off but the vehicle had all of its service intervals and was in very good condition.
Other than some annoying issues which I accepted as a trade off for the performance and awesome factor, I had no over the top issues. Of course, I did the over $600 yearly maintenance and blew off the significant road noise, the lack of creature comforts, the every 5000 mile tire changes, the constant tire pressure monitoring system problems, the fogging headlights amongst other things because the car is just so much fun to drive. Whenever I needed something done by Tesla, the prices were way over what a regular car shop would charge for regular non-electronic items. I still loved the car....until...
In a period of a few weeks I watched the charge capacity drop from a 179 mile ideal range on a full charge to less than 75 miles. It was so bad that I could no longer get from point A to point B and back. While this was happening I was waiting for an appointment with Tesla for about two weeks. It took about one week for Tesla to diagnose the problem and send data back to California to figure it out. The best explanation I received was that a brick in one of the battery sheets was faulty.
The solution: Tesla's offer, "as a favor to me" would be to replace the entire battery pack with a refurbished battery pack for $10,971.96 plus tax and support this with a one year warranty. The other option would be to replace the battery pack with a new 3.0 battery pack for about $30,000 and a three year warranty.
Without the battery this vehicle is a paperweight. Has there ever been a modern day production vehicle that lasted 33,000 miles and then was useless unless one spent between $10000 and $30,000 (The cost of a new Tesla Model 3)? This makes every claim about the vehicle’s efficiency and fuel savings pointless, regardless of the warranty. So, it seems that Tesla would have a little better plan than an almost $11,000 service charge and a one year warranty to keep one's car running after such little mileage. This would not burn nearly as much if there was at least a reasonable life of the car. This is especially true for early adopters who believed in the company and would otherwise likely be a Tesla customer for years to come. A one year warranty on such an enormous charge does not leave a customer much confidence in the company's own confidence in their product. After a series of phone calls and concerns about this problem, getting absolutely nowhere with Tesla corporate other than telling me the only person I am able to speak to about this issue is my local service manager, Tesla offered me a $1500 discount with no change in the warranty period. One year only. This would reduce my bill to a low...$10,000 with tax.
I was actually starting to shop for a Model S before this happened. Knowing how Tesla is handling this issue, I am unlikely to pursue such an expensive purchase. C'mon Tesla, how are consumers, especially ones that believed in and supported the company in the beginning, going to have confidence in your company if this is what they can expect after 30,000 miles of driving without a decent plan for such a catastrophic failure on a perfectly maintained car regardless of the warranty time? What car is dead after such low milage