Re-Thinking the Service Plan

Re-Thinking the Service Plan

In light of today's announcement, I'm rethinking the service plan. I just bought the 4+4 plan, but the announcement strongly implies that there really won't be much need for service for at least the first couple of years, and now that a full menu of annual service isn't required to maintain warranty protection, the economics seem to favor wait and see (at least for those that don't put on obscene mileage). What do my far more brilliant fellow owners think?

MandL | 2013年4月26日

I think you and I got suckered into buying an expensive service plan we didn't need. I can't think of anywhere near $450/year worth on non-warranty service I could possibly need on this car once tires are excluded.

alfafoxtrot1 | 2013年4月26日

I just posted a question to the bulletin board, asking if we can get a refund for the service plans. I'll be very surprised if they refuse to do so. Otherwise, we get penalized for acting too quickly in response to TM's offers and next time around, everyone will freeze until we're sure we've heard the final word from Elon. Certainly, they don't intend to further spank the early adopters by denying us the same flexibility that the latest and future owners will enjoy.

stevenmaifert | 2013年4月26日

We got suckered big time. $3,800 for a prepaid 4+4 plan to maintain a warranty that we now don't need to maintain. WTF Tesla? I could give a flying rip about getting to drive a fully loaded P85 for the few hours they will have my car for the annual checkup.

tsx_5 | 2013年4月26日


I just pressed the purchase button this morning. Yes, this morning (didn't read about the upcoming announcement until a bit later). I could have held off for just a few more hours...

Velo1 | 2013年4月26日

Same boat as @tsx_5, but I did this last night. I am trying to convince myself the 4+4 is for my piece of mind, but it's not working right now. Did I make a mistake? Did I drink the coolaid too soon? talk to me.

sergiyz | 2013年4月26日

already commented on the blog post, I hope they'll do the right thing and refund it.

DTsea | 2013年4月26日

I think 'suckered' is a ridiculously negative attribution to a company that just made the announcement they did.

bp | 2013年4月26日

I just got off the phone with Owner Assistance - and then pushed the button and purchased the 4+4 service plan and the 4 year extended warranty.

While the combination of the warranty and the pre-paid plan covers everything except the tire replacement (and that's covered under the now discontinued tire & wheel plan, if the tire is damaged), the $600 annual inspection may not cover all of the costs, for items such as tire rotation/balance (every 6000 miles) or brake fluid replacement.

Before making a decision on purchasing or requesting a refund for the service plan, you may want to call Owner Assistance or talk to someone in a Service Center.

Velo1 | 2013年4月26日

I think for piece of mind I am fine with keeping the 4+4 as I see the announcement talks about upgrades to hardware, inspection, wheel alignments, and good preventative maintenance. My game plan has always been to keep the Model S for 8-10 years, so routine service was always in the cards. The 4+4 averages $450 per year or every 12500 miles, and even though those without the plan will pay $600, who's to say in a few years $600 might not go up to $750 or more, as that may be what it costs for TM to break even on service costs.

I am comfortable with the decision, just needed reassurance, which comes with more knowledge on the plans and services.

stevenmaifert | 2013年4月26日

I just read the cancellation clause in both service plans, regular and extended. We have between 30-60 days to cancel depending on which state we live in. We get a full refund as long as we haven't had a claim or one in the works. I bought a 4+4 on 3/27, live in CA and have 60 days to cancel. I'm seriously thinking about doing that. I will wait a few days to see if TM puts out anything for those who have already purchased a service plan. I'm a low mileage driver. If TM were to drop the every 12 months requirement, I would keep the plans and take the car in every 12.5K miles. Alternatively, I have paid for 8 service visits. If TM were to say bring it in 8 times when you feel the need for service, I would keep the plans under that circumstance too.

alfafoxtrot1 | 2013年4月26日

@stevenmaifert - you proved me right - my fellow owners are indeed more brilliant than I. Reading the agreement - what a concept! Thank you.

negarholger | 2013年4月26日

DTsea +1.

models60 | 2013年4月26日

I bought 4+4 plan and plan to keep it. At $450/service in prepaid option, i think it will be nice to get it checked and get some hardware upgrades even if it amounts to one brakepad change in 8yrs.

kashiraja | 2013年4月26日

There was no mention about the sw upgrades in the announcement. Wonder if you will still get that without annual service.

+1 stevenmaifert: 8x visits if mileage is < 12k mi.

David Trushin | 2013年4月26日

Why on earth would anyone spend 85k+ on a car and not be willing to spend 450 bucks a year to keep it top operating condition.

Schlermie | 2013年4月26日

Is annual service required to continue getting software updates pushed to the car? Any hardware updates in the works that might come as part of annual service?

dtesla | 2013年4月26日

I asked about a loaner car and I was told you only get one if the anticipated time for repair is > 4 hours. I asked about the anticipated time for the annual service and I was told it should take 3.5 hours... so no loaner for the annual service.

DTsea | 2013年4月26日

David Trushin +1

shop | 2013年4月26日

I'm happy paying the $600/yr for the regular 4 year service plan. Tesla really does do hardware upgrades. And the car is a little bit more complicated that people think. There are three cooling radiators in the front, a mission critical AC compressor, complicated fluidic valves and sensors, a 12V battery and charging system that must run correctly or else the car can't turn on. Then you have all the mechanical suspension and sensors. And the motor/inverter which should be reliable but is also brand new, and then the battery itself.

gan1812 | 2013年4月26日

Update on refund from Tesla

Hello there again, I received a little more information about refunding your service plan you purchased. In the state of California, you can ask for refund within 60 days of purchase and refund will depreciate 10% every month beyond 60 days. I hope this answers your question, the gentleman I was in contact with while I was speaking to you did say he could clarify if need be, also he can process the refund if you so choose. If that be the case please let me know what the best number is which I can send to him and he would be able to call you directly.

Velo1 | 2013年4月26日

A little perspective: I visit the dentist twice a year for cleaning, x-rays, and a "free" toothbrush. Cleaning by the hygienist takes about an hour, the dentist pops in for 5 minutes to check gums and overall health of my teeth. I haven't had a cavity for 45 years, so this is just biennial maintenance and oral health checkup. Cost per year about $500.

I'm going to call the dentist to see if they will service the Model S (smile)

David Trushin | 2013年4月26日

Dtesla, I would wait a bit to let the policies settle in. My guess is that if you called 4 service people about the loaner, you would get 5 different answers.

Velo1 | 2013年4月26日

@shop - you are only paying $450 per year for the service plan. It's $600 per year, assuming you bring the car in every year for service without a plan.

jdesmo | 2013年4月26日

If recurring service is not required to maintain warranty, than it becomes a recommendation only.
If and when we can truly lease the MS for 3-4 years, as typical of other cars, I for one would take advantage of not having to pay for any service during the lease period, since non is mandatory anymore, and I don't own the car. Better still, all the hassle of going for service every year, getting a loaner/rental/ride, etc. goes away.

tsx_5 | 2013年4月26日

I was reading the agreement again, cause I didn't remember anything about a 30/60 refund period... And I found it to say this (section J Cancellation)

This Agreement may not be cancelled by You or Tesla and no return of the purchase price or any other fees or taxes will be provided by Tesla to You. This Agreement is not being sold in any jurisdiction in which the sale or performance of this Agreement is not permitted pursuant to applicable law at the time of purchase. Any such sale is void ab initio and of no force and effect and will not be deemed a cancellation. You will receive a full refund provided no services have been provided by Tesla.

I'm wondering if Tesla is getting better at making agreements specific to applicable states.

AlMc | 2013年4月26日

FYI...I stopped by and talked with my local service person today.
They are approximately an hour plus away. My biggest concern was not necessarily the cost of the plans but the time involved with bringing the car in, getting a loaner or waiting for the service...Basically blow the day....IF you get Ranger service with the service plan they will come and pick your car up, leave you a roadster or another S and take the car up to service center and return when they have completed the work.
This is an expensive car that is relatively new. It might go thru brakes every 12K miles..who knows...service plan seems like a good plan

tsx_5 | 2013年4月26日


I've been low-key on this one... just because the car is *new* doesn't mean it wasn't designed for reliability. And if it was designed, then they have a number assigned to it -- ie they know (to a high level of confidence) what the reliability of thier product is. I doubt Elon launched a rocket with people on it without knowing it's reliability -- and that was *new* too. To answer your impied question -- "who knows" -- Tesla does. Elon's statement today reflects his expectation that the cars coming out of his company will have reliability as a critical part of the design. That's something I would expect from a car costing 3x my Honda Accord, and was the main reason I was previously disappointed with the whole Service Plan issue/pricing.

ddruz | 2013年4月26日

Minor point: lots of references to $450 / yr prepaid service plans above. Isn't it actually $475 / yr?

gasnomo | 2013年4月26日

yes, 1900 is the prepaid 4 year price, thus 475 per year.

GettingOldFast | 2013年4月26日

Just to clarify: $1900 / 4 = $475.

Brian H | 2013年4月26日

Elon/SpaceX has never launched a rocket with people on it, except for the Grasshopper test with the cowboy mannequin perched on the rocket walkway. He says the Dragon is capable of doing so right now, but hasn't actually tested that yet.

dtesla | 2013年4月26日

The original battery warranty did not cover lose of range over time. Has anybody heard that has changed?

Robert22 | 2013年4月26日

A fairly strong case has been made for the 4+4 service plan, if nothing else for "unknown" protection. What about the extended warranty?

info | 2013年4月26日

I've just cancelled my service plan. I've used my car for 2 1/2 months and have 6,000 miles. I would expect to hit 12,000 in 5 months. This means that even with the $475 I would be paying over $1,000/year in service. This is service that I hopefully won't need. I have client's who can do tire rotation and brake jobs. I obviously will need Tesla's specialized service. When there is a problem, I can pay for it, or get a "service" for $600. I think that once a year would be more than adequate. I may be wrong but that's what I did. I think I'm going to use the money I saved to buy the extended warranty for $2,500 which I was going to buy anyway.

jamestily | 2013年4月26日

I just paid for 4+4 service for $3800.00 to be sure of warranty protection. I drive about 30,000 miles per year, so for me that is $475 times 2.5 or $1188 per year. I am now thinking of trying to cancel the service plan, but would keep it if I could use the inspections once a year instead of having to use every 12,500 miles. I believe that once a year should be adequate and better than no service plan at all. In Pa, where I live,I need to get a state inspection every year for safety items, regardless of the miles driven. I wonder if Tesla would allow this?

Rumbles | 2013年4月26日

I bought 4+4 and am sticking with it. I had my car in service last week for a fix for damage (another story). They fixed a number of service bulletin items under warrantee. I like that they are constantly learning the lessons of the fleet and applying that knowledge. Well worth the $' to me. Besides. does anyone doubt that they want to deliver value for the $'s?

bfranks273 | 2013年4月26日

I am glad to see the discussion in this thread veer back toward reality. This is a brand new factory, as well as a brand new car. Now the idea about the long mileage but getting a check once a year, that sounds fairly smart vs the 4 yr pkg cost. But the one point I have not seen yet: You are going to get warranty fix items during the annual check, and you are not going to get those updates otherwise. Sure, a major safety item will result in a recall, but all the little things they learn and make fixes for are kept on a secret list and you wont get them normally.

I went in for a warranty repair recently, and I did get a service patch applied. Thats nice but I did not get any notice about that patch and would not have received it if I had not showed up. This is also based on my experience with the Roadster. Mine is a very late model and yet when I went in for the $600 annual maintenance it took 8 hours and included a lot of work and even warranty parts replacements. For the first year or two at least, The maint seems like a really good idea.

djm12 | 2013年4月26日

This announcement is great news for high mileage drivers. Basically, nobody is forced to buy the service plan to maintain the warranty. Very nice.

solarpowered | 2013年4月26日

Would it make sense for low mileage drivers, say 5-6,000 miles per year, to have a $600 inspection every other year?

tsx_5 | 2013年4月26日


I am totally with you... I am in exactly the same situation. Hopefully Tesla will clarify this point for us in the next couple of days.

RD7 | 2013年4月26日

Just bought the 4 year anywhere plan today, AFTER reading the announcement and talking to OE. I am ~ 130 mi from a service center, so the unlimited Ranger service is for peace of mind for a brand new design. $600 bucks a year for everything except tires is still less than what I typically pay for my other cars, and no Rangers.

I am, however, pissed about them cancelling the Tire & Wheel protection package. That was a great deal and not happy it was canceled without notice with no replacement planned. The Continentals on the 21s are $$$ not to mention replacing a wheel (although I don't think curbing was covered anyway ...)

yodasminion | 2013年4月26日

@solarpowered: The plan says every year or 12K miles; I imagine with this new announcement that means you can easily go every 2 years without a problem. Be careful though, I've heard a lot of people on here say they drive their MS more than they've ever driven before because it's so much fun:D

negarholger | 2013年4月26日

Very smart improvement to the service - here is why...
(a) Tesla as a company is evolving
(b) listen to customers ( e.g. reading the boards )
(c) too few service centers ( valet takes the customer burden away )
(d) service overwhelmed and long wait for spare parts ( MS loaners takes the pressure off the service centers - my only issue when my MS was in service for 21 days was to have to drive the old ICE rattle box - now that issue is gone. And Tesla has bought itself time to make its service more effective )
(e) battery warranty clarified

Tesla Bravo !

Service plans I think are a steal. Keeping mine.

For Don Cheepo and Mr Tardy... picture Southwest Airlines discontinues all preventive maintenance and service on their planes so you could save $5 on an airplane ticket. Do you think that is a good deal and you would take advantage? Please have a professional look over your car at least once a year or don't share the road with me.

village33 | 2013年4月26日

I think there may be a certain factor ignored here: there were several states where service plans were not allowed and this may be the fix. That being said, I don't get it from the press release, what exactly does it say? It seems to say I get all service, in my driveway, for anything, for the full warranty period with a loaner for free without a service plan and the right to keep the loaner (a fully loaded newish P85) in exchange for whatever I put in for service (even a basic 60). That's exactly what the words of the press release say, but what is the actual deal?

Brian H | 2013年4月27日

The T&W package turned out in practice to be a bad deal from a 3rd party supplier. TMC cut the problem at the roots before it turned into a real source of upset, IMO.

Ven Rala | 2013年4月27日

$475-600/yr to make sure a $70-100K car is in good condition, especially one that has plenty of new technology that has not been out in the real world very long. I think it is a no-bainer. I love the new announcement.

Also to guarantee the car and battery even without a service agreement, that is bold. Ay other manufacturer would clearly state somewhere in their fine print that the warranty may be invalid without proper/regular maintenance. Car companies are always afraid of being sued (ie, toyota with unintended acceleration, Ford explorer roll over), so for Elon to say they will take all the risk- very unconventional. That is one of the many reasons I am buying this car, a new business model:taking care of customers. Also doesnt hurt: awesome car, no emissions, no foreign oil, and supports jobs in the US. That is why I own TSLA stock too.

bp | 2013年4月27日

I had the T&W package - and asked for a refund. Even though Tesla was going to continue to support my purchase of the plan, it was still going through the 3rd party - and that's where they were having problems.

If they offer an improved T&W package, I'll reconsider. However, in talking with someone at Tesla, his advice was that it was more important for people with 21s to have the policy - because of the higher probability of damage to the T&W than with the 19s.

I ordered the 4+4 and extended warranty. Right now, I'm putting about 2000 miles per month on the car - so this isn't really for 8 years - but for 100K miles. I agree with Ven's point - this is a $100K car and spending $6300 for 100K miles of service for everything except for tire replacement - seems reasonable.

alfafoxtrot1 | 2013年4月27日

I'll probably just keep the 4+4, but for those interested, here's what my agreement says (Illinois version?)

J. Cancellation by Customer
To cancel this Agreement, You must mail it to Tesla, along with a notarized affidavit that states the mileage on Your Vehicle at the date of Your cancellation request. The right to cancel this Agreement is not transferrable by You and shall apply only to the original Agreement purchaser. The amount of Your refund is subject to the following:
(a) Within First 31 Days4 – Without Claim: You may cancel Your Agreement within the first 31 days4 of the Agreement Purchase Date and receive a full refund provided that You are the original Agreement purchaser and have not filed a claim.
(b) A ten percent penalty5 per month shall be added to any applicable refund that is not made within 466 days of return of the Agreement and notarized affidavit to Tesla.

tsx_5 | 2013年4月27日


While the chart only uses the "or" language, a little further down it states this:

Tesla agrees to provide four regularly scheduled maintenance inspections at a Tesla Authorized Service Center or by a Tesla Ranger (subject to certain exceptions, including, without limitation, that Tesla Ranger service
may not be immediately available in Your area) at the intervals (whichever occurs first) specified in the “Service” column of the Selection of Plan section of this Agreement.
(note the *whichever occurs first* statement)

So as I read it, it's not an "or" but "whichever occurs first" -- which isn't what I would like given the recent statement.

tsx_5 | 2013年4月27日


Thanks for the correction... I was thinking about the space station docking the SpaceX accomplished back on the 3rd of March.