Submitted by scourge on November 24, 2013
With two days to go to finalize my order I’m finding myself experiencing a case of “tesla anxiety”. After spending several hours each day last week reading the forums and Tesla blogs I started getting worried about the seemingly large number of owners experiencing all sorts of mechanical failures. At this point I’m in need of some reassurance (and hopefully this is just the place to get it ). The main reason for my anxiety is simple -- my primary justification for purchasing a MS is the fact that this car should be significantly more reliable and cheaper to own then a traditional ICE car. I drive roughly 25,000 miles per year and for me to justify the purchase of this car the plan is to keep it for 8-10 years. With that said:
1. Do we know specifically how common it is for a MS to need a replacement drive unit similar to the experience of the Edmunds.com long term test car (and a number of folks from the Mechanical Issues thread here)? I realize this is not a problem while most of us are under warranty but my guess is that a “replacement” drive unit out of warranty is going to set the owner back anywhere between 5K and 10K for parts and labor (if anyone here has specific pricing on this I would love to know what it is). Given the number of failures we’re seeing in relatively new cars I can’t help but wonder what this means for those of us who plan to keep this car long term past the warranty of the car. By contrast, motor failures are extremely rare for ICE cars nowadays and even when things go wrong it’s very rare to see the whole motor replaced.
2. There seems to be a large number of cars experiencing a problem with the 12v battery not charging. While this does not seem like a huge deal on the surface, it does not look like this has been fully addressed by Tesla yet and experiencing this problem leaves the MS owner essentially stranded by the side of the road in need of a tow.
3. It seems that there is some defect causing the rear wheel alignment to eventually creep way out of spec. I have a friend who bought a P85 in the spring of 2013 and by the time he hit 8K miles his rear tires were down to the threads. His experience was pretty much identical to that of the Edmunds.com long term test car. Tesla did re-align his car for free but they refused to pay for the replacement tires.
4. There seems to be a large number of misc. failures around the door handles and power window mechanisms.
In the end my main question is whether these are problems that a large number of owners encounter? I realize that we’re all much more likely to find people posting of things going wrong so I’d love to hear from folks who have a relatively trouble free ownership experience.