So I have a 2013 Model S P85. I purchased it in 8/2013 and it has been a great car. I drive a lot, and it was getting expensive to lease. Suffice it to say I was a little leary of purchasing a car because it would have over 50k miles in less than 2 years, yet still would owe a lot of money on an expensive car which would likely be upside down at that point in its life. Nevertheless, after listening to how inexpensive the maintenance would be and how bulletproof these cars are because of so few moving parts, I took the plunge.
My Model S now has almost 75K miles and is 2 1/2 years old. It is of course out of warranty. I started noticing a "clunk" noise when I accelerate at times. Also, the windshield wipers would stop working on high, manually or when the rain sensitive mode switched automatically to high, the wipers would stop. Pretty dangerous in Florida pouring rain. So I bring it in about 3 weeks ago and they tell me that the wiper motor is broken and the drive unit is also broken. The drive unit is under warranty for 8 years/unlimited miles, but I am out of warranty for the wiper motor. So I reluctantly shell out over 500$ for the wiper motor and get my car back.
It seemed fine initially but within 10 days the clunk had returned, but this time worse, clunking almost all the time with acceleration and deceleration as well. So I make another appointment, have to wait almost 2 weeks for them to pick up may car, but I had a trip planned and coordinated the two.
They pick up the car yesterday and take it to the dealer. I am on vacation and just as I am finishing my second margarita, I get a call that the problem is in both rear axles. This is not a warranty issue they say and they have to replace both rear axles. It will be about 1200$ for each axle and there is a lot of labor involved, so it will be about 3400$!
So I almost lose it. I ask to speak to the service manager, he gets on and listens to me rant for 5-10 minutes. I probably threw in a few "F" words, and he wasn't happy with that, but I am pissed. I took a leap of faith on a new car that supposedly has very few moving parts, something happened to BOTH axles at the same time, and they are blaming it on "wear and tear". In fact the service manager told me this happened on a Mercedes of his.
So I tell him I never heard of axles going bad, especially 2 at the same time, and the whole reason I bought this car is because it was sold to me as pretty much bulletproof for these types of things, and now you are telling me that you misdiagnosed my problem as a drive unit issue but now it is really BOTH axles? I'm not buying this. He told me the car wasn't misdiagnosed. I'm not sure what you call it when you are told there is a problem, apply a fix, and the problem is still there and then you are told it is really something else. In my world, that is called a misdiagnosis. They keep blaming it on so many miles, but one of their major selling points continues to be that miles really shouldn't matter in these types of cars because there are so few moving parts. I can assure you that the 2 Suburbans I have had each went into the mid-100K mile range with nothing like this.
So all this happened yesterday, and to his credit, he is going back to Tesla to see what he "can do", but nevertheless, at this point I feel frustrated and exposed. I was considering trading up, but my 2 1/2 year old car, purchased for over 100K, was valued at only 41K. I know that is not much different than if I purchased an S class or BMW, which has been my habit in the past. Nevertheless I have leased the past 3 or 4, and even with paying for the extra miles, after 3 years I was done with no long term exposure. Now I am stuck with an almost 3 year old upside down car that has already had major issues with the drivetrain. Not really sure what my options are, but to be told that I have to spend more than 4K on a less than 3 year old car seems very frustrating. If this is going to happen to their cars as they get to "middle age" it does not portend well for Tesla's future...