TMC is an independent, primarily volunteer organization that relies on ad revenue to cover its operating costs. Please consider whitelisting TMC on your ad blocker or making a Paypal contribution here: paypal.me/SupportTMC

100% drive unit failure rate??

Discussion in 'Model S: Driving Dynamics' started by yobigd20, Oct 21, 2015.

  1. yobigd20

    yobigd20 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2012
    Messages:
    5,793
    Location:
    Skaneateles, NY
    given all the attention to the Model S reliability recently (thanks CR), I thought it might be interesting to point this out:

    take a look at the data here Plug In America if you click on the top 25 highest mileage drivers, ALL of them have had drive unit swaps, and almost every one of them have had multiple swaps. this surely seems to indicate a 100% failure rate. that is VERY BAD. is it biased based on the sample group? owners voluntarily posting reports? maybe. BUT, you'd think even in an enthusiast group, there should be more than zero good motors out there.

    also, personally, when i do hear someone say 'i haven't had a drive unit swap yet', my next immediate question is 'how many miles do you have?' and the answer is usually pretty low. the drive unit issues appear over time. given the data points that all high mileage units seem to fail, its just a matter of time until that unit will fail too.

    I have no idea how Tesla is able to keep in business. I know they use remanufactured units in most swaps to keep those costs down, but even those fail, and of course there's the cost of shipping them around to service centers and the time it takes to do the swaps, etc etc. seems like Tesla has a very very serious issue on their hands.

    and FWIW, i'm on my 4th DU and the milling noise is getting louder. so i'll need a 5th drive unit probably within the next few months (whenever it gets loud enough to annoy other people that's usually when I bring it in, lol).
     
  2. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2012
    Messages:
    4,496
    Location:
    Maine
    It's a serious problem, but we don't know:
    - how much the process costs per swap
    - how many miles per car
    - any differences with new cars and units
     
  3. Max*

    Max* Autopilot != Autonomous

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2015
    Messages:
    4,866
    Location:
    NoVa
    I've stated this in numerous threads: Tesla's approach to the DU issue is to patch the problem; not engineer a solution.

    I hope I'm wrong.
     
  4. Twiddler

    Twiddler Member

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2012
    Messages:
    545
    Location:
    Central TX
    Would be nice to start a tally for those with drive line unit failures that gives a range of mileage to first failure versus a range and no failure yet. I have 35K miles and no problems yet on my 60, but I would assume that 35K constitutes relatively low miles
     
  5. electracity

    electracity Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2015
    Messages:
    1,797
    Location:
    60606
    Are the 2015 cars believed to have improved drive units?
     
  6. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2012
    Messages:
    12,752
    Location:
    Texas
    Over 59K miles and no problems.
     
  7. mibaro2

    mibaro2 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2012
    Messages:
    958
    Location:
    Georgetown, ON
    With the drive unit swaps, I think Tesla many times swaps them out when not necessary. It doesn't take too long to do, and keeps the customer happy. It's very easy to hear any noise from the DU since the car is so quiet.
    When I had my car in for its annual service, the DU was swapped even though I had no complaints with it.
    -- I agree with ItsNotAboutTheMoney . Those issues need to be known. It would be nice to see a chart of DU replacements per month over the course of the last 3 years. Is it increasing, or decreasing?
     
  8. Krugerrand

    Krugerrand Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2012
    Messages:
    4,259
    Location:
    California
    While on the surface it may appear that way, none of us have any idea what's going on behind the scenes. They may in fact be doing engineering/design changes, and indeed that seems to be the Tesla way. That they aren't announcing those changes (other than Elon specifically and publically saying that there are multiple weekly changes being made to the car) doesn't mean they aren't happening.

    Also of note is that many DUs have been changed proactively and some people seem to be lumping those in with the DUs that are being requested by owners.

    To answer the OP's titled question: No. (And there's been plenty of proof of that on the forum for quite some time, as there is not proof in this thread.)
     
  9. supratachophobia

    supratachophobia Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2014
    Messages:
    1,968
    Location:
    Columbus, Ohio
    Again, I think AWD is there engineering solution. It either reduces strain on a single DU to the point it won't fail or it pushes the problem back until way later when you don't own the car anymore.
     
  10. Duckjybe

    Duckjybe S P232

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2012
    Messages:
    689
    Location:
    Oakville, Canada
    Elon stated in his "3 Dog Day" blog post last July (Three Dog Day | Tesla Motors) that they were working on a million mile drive unit. Someone reported in the 7.0 Classic thread that they were possibly getting a newly designed drive unit. Given the fact that the drive units aren't outright failing but just getting noisy, it is perhaps a more difficult fix? The new motor would require much long term testing, possibly in the real world to make sure it lasts the million miles. I am confident they will fix this issue soon.
     
  11. Max*

    Max* Autopilot != Autonomous

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2015
    Messages:
    4,866
    Location:
    NoVa
    That's not an engineered solution. That's a kludge/patch to the problem.

    If I have a leaky pipe, the solution is to weld or replace the broken part of the pipe; the kludge/patch is to stick some duct tape on it and hope it doesn't leak for the next 6 months.
     
  12. efusco

    efusco Moderator - Model S & X forums

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2009
    Messages:
    4,589
    Location:
    Nixa, Missouri, United States
    I'm not sure why you say this, there are multiple revisions/versions of the DU out there..sometimes people know what revision they have (maybe on the paperwork?). I think they're at revision O or something now.
     
  13. Max*

    Max* Autopilot != Autonomous

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2015
    Messages:
    4,866
    Location:
    NoVa
    You're right, for all I know they fixed it. But so far, based on everything I read here, the DU issue is not fixed. And lots of people are getting swapped DU's even in newer cars.

    Proactive replacement = something isn't wrong yet, but we think it will go wrong. Which still implies a design flaw.

    Going from Gen 1 go Gen 2 door handles was more or less a fix for the broken door handle problem. Even though in some cases the Gen 2 handles still break (like my case, when my car was 1 month old car, rear door wouldn't open); the majority of owners do not experience a problem. Once the DU solution makes it so that the majority of owners do not experience a problem, then I'll agree that they engineered a solution.

    - - - Updated - - -

    If you're telling me that revision O was the latest one, and it works, and only a very small percentage of owners are requiring it to be swapped (nothing is 100%. 98% reliability is good enough, right?), then they engineered a solution.

    But I'm sure people thought the same thing from revision A - N. Until I see it, I wont believe it.


    <--- does not have a DU issue, but I only have 10k miles, but I've had my share of other issues.
     
  14. Duckjybe

    Duckjybe S P232

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2012
    Messages:
    689
    Location:
    Oakville, Canada
    Anybody know what the newest car is that had a drive unit swapped because of noise?
     
  15. efusco

    efusco Moderator - Model S & X forums

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2009
    Messages:
    4,589
    Location:
    Nixa, Missouri, United States
    I'm not telling you "O" is the latest, only the latest I've heard of. And I'm not telling you it works, I have no idea though I think I've seen at least one report of an "O" failing. What I am saying is that is emperical evidence that they are working on engineering solutions to fix the DU problem, not just patching up broken ones. What evidence do you have that they're not working on an engineering solution? the fact that they haven't found a "million mile" DU yet doesn't mean they're not working on it.
     
  16. Max*

    Max* Autopilot != Autonomous

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2015
    Messages:
    4,866
    Location:
    NoVa
    I agree with you here - I have no knowledge. But I guess my mentality/POV is a lot more pessimistic.

    As an engineer, if I have a flawed design, I might try to patch it a few times to see it I can get an easy fix, once I see that everything I'm throwing at it doesn't work, I'd try and go out and start from scratch and design a new unit that wont have the underlying problems. And before you say it -- that's exactly what Tesla might be doing, but from the outside it seems like they're stuck on the "maybe one of these patches will work".

    And until I see evidence otherwise, I'll stick with my pessimistic views.
     
  17. Krugerrand

    Krugerrand Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2012
    Messages:
    4,259
    Location:
    California
    We're reading a different everything then.

    Means something different to me as well. It's not an automatic admission of a design flaw or that the thing being replaced will break/have an issue.
     
  18. mspohr

    mspohr Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2014
    Messages:
    1,791
    Location:
    California
    This poll seems to show a surge of problems late 2013 to early 2014.
    Drive unit replacement - getting better? - View Poll Results
     
  19. Max*

    Max* Autopilot != Autonomous

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2015
    Messages:
    4,866
    Location:
    NoVa
    Then how would you define proactive replacement?
     
  20. Electricfan

    Electricfan Member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2013
    Messages:
    969
    Location:
    Houston
    They (guy at the service center) told me it is less common in the newer cars. But my car was built in May 2015 and its in the shop as I type this getting its DU replaced. It was making a funny noise and I took it in just to let them hear it. I wasn't that concerned about it, but my last car (2013 model) didn't have this noise (had 18k miles when I traded it with no problems - but I wanted auto pilot) so I was curious what it was. They instantly scheduled me to have the DU replaced.

    I'm driving a P85 loaner with auto-pilot (a very rare breed), so I hope they take their time with mine! I love my car, but I really love the power of this P85!
     

Share This Page