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Article: How Tesla Keeps a Monopoly on Fixing it's Cars.

Discussion in 'Model S' started by aus, Oct 16, 2015.

  1. aus

    aus Member

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    If it's a repost, my apologies. Please lock it up and delete.
    I guess this is the consequence of not having a dealer franchise. Tesla should do the right thing and come out with a manual to purchase on most repairs.

    How Tesla Keeps A Monopoly On Fixing Its Cars

    For years now Tesla Motors has been fighting an extensive legal battle for the right to sell their cars throughout the United States. It’s a struggle that pits the young David of auto manufacturing upstarts against a Goliath of politically savvy new-car dealers and automakers. But Tesla is now pursuing its own barriers to other players when it comes to who can service or repair a Tesla.
    As Bozi Tatarevic wrote on Thursday at The Truth About Cars, Tesla is neither required by law nor bound by auto-industry agreements to share repair data with independent mechanics, since it doesn’t rely on franchised dealerships.
    Repair shop, service center—doesn’t matter. Even if you own your car outright, Tesla will not give you the tools or data to fix your car, and there’s nothing you can do about it.
    This may not be a big deal now, since Tesla’s share of the entire 230-million plus American car market is less than a twentieth of 1 percent, and the company has been generous with free repairs or upgrades. But as Tesla continues to pursue its ambitious goal of selling 500,000 cars by 2020, and its older cars accumulate more miles, the economics of eliminating competition on the repair side of the ledger could make the company incredibly wealthy—and the owners of those vehicles will pay for that lack of competition.

    How wealthy? Right now Tesla charges the following service costs for their vehicles:
    $600 — Annual Inspection (Every Year or 12,500 miles)
    $1,900 — Four Years Of Prepaid Service (One Inspection Every Year or 50,000 miles)
    $3,800 - Eight Years Of Prepaid Service (One Inspection Every Year or 100,000 miles)
     
  2. TexasEV

    TexasEV Active Member

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    Because if a Tesla repair goes wrong, the headline will say "Tesla", not Joe Mechanic. There are too many strong established forces out to get Tesla, from dealers to traditional car manufacturers to oil companies and everyone who depends on them for their livelihood, for Tesla to take any chances.
     
  3. Hank42

    Hank42 Member

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    That's an old tired excuse - we're over 100K cars produced. All the more reason to properly document repair procedures and certify mechanics.
    I think the new excuse should be that Tesla changes it's specs so often, they'd be in a constant reboot cycle of updating their certified repair documentation. And that slows down innovation.
     
  4. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney Active Member

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    Move to MA. Problem solved.
     
  5. S'toon

    S'toon Knows where his towel is

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  6. TexasEV

    TexasEV Active Member

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    Nothing old and tired about that excuse. It's as true today as it was two years ago. There is nothing the traditional auto makers or dealers would like more than for Tesla to take a major hit.
     
  7. roblab

    roblab Active Member

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    Firstly, this is talking about service visits, not repairs, as he states, "You can't get your car fixed." Yes you can. Tesla sells parts, repair shops repair. Tesla also has "Certified Repair Shops", but you don't have to use them, and you may pay a lot less if you don't. I had NO problem getting my car repaired, for about half, after a fairly decent dent.

    Secondly, SERVICE is not required. There is no maintenance, either. If you elect to take your car to a service center, they will charge you. But you don't have to, and the only service they do is to check your data files and tires, and refill your windshield wiper fluid. The factory can download your files, and will at any time, to research any error messages you may get. You can check your own tires and fluid.

    If you have errors that you can't account for, you may need to have a Service Center do repairs. I had a bad sensor antenna on my tire pressure readings. The Service Center replaced all senders and the antenna. For NO cost. They figured it was Tesla's fault. They also replaced a cracked wind shield, at NO cost. Also a known problem of Tesla wind shields. This was many miles beyond the 50,000 mile warranty.

    So, this appears to me to be someone who doesn't know, trying to make an invalid point. But I could be wrong.

    Rob
     
  8. eloder

    eloder Member

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    No, you're 100% right.

    This is anti-Tesla FUD, plain and simple. What other automaker allows you to keep your warranty active, if you don't do recommended maintenance? No one except Tesla. What other car of that price range has such low maintenance costs over 8 years? No one.

    Just another effort to kill Tesla. Every single EV manufacturer out there right now, requires you to come into the dealership for something that no one else can do. I can't service my battery at my local mechanic in my Leaf.
     
  9. rjcbox

    rjcbox Member

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    "Tesla will not give you the tools or data to fix your car, and there’s nothing you can do about it."

    Nothing you can do about it? Sure you can, don't but a Tesla if you're not happy with this situation. Free market. Tesla has 98-99% customer satisfaction, highest ever as rated by Consumer Reports
     
  10. skboston

    skboston Member

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    Not unless Tesla release software for 3rd parties... those manuals look quite useless without it :)
     
  11. aus

    aus Member

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    So there's no fluid changes ever on a Tesla?

    What's the point of the annual service?
    .
     
  12. Cosmacelf

    Cosmacelf Active Member

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    There are indeed fluids to check. Brake fluid, refrigerant, coolant. Like most high end cars, there are also quite a few "replacement campaigns" that the service center will do. On my car, they did something the the pano roof, and other items I don't recall. They also did tire rotations, and will do an alignment if needed. Their installed tire prices are quite good too, especially compared to any normal dealership.
     
  13. aus

    aus Member

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    I would say you're very wrong if you think there is NEVER any service needed on your car. You're also not getting the point of the article. It relates to SERVICE. Not body work. It's not talking about warranty repairs or defective parts either.

    For every other manufacturer, there are manuals out there that tell you step by step (provided you have some skill and the right tools) how to change your fluids, change your brakes and much more complicated things like how to take the engine or suspension apart. This allows independent service facilities to do the work, or a weekend mechanic to change some simple fluids out as needed. There are no such manuals for Tesla cars.

    And FYI for others here, EVERY other manufacture lets you keep your warranty if you do the work outside the dealer network.
    .
     
  14. Atebit

    Atebit Member

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    I don't know...is it short-sightedness, or hubris?

    Fear of FUD: as was pointed out, Tesla has over 100K cars on the road now. If you count the roadster (and you should) with the X they now have three different models to maintain. While that might be considered "pre-teen" compared to the big auto makers, it's still big-boy pants territory. At this point, Tesla should be able to stand and shed FUD. So far Tesla has always risen to the occasion. So no pass there.

    Tesla changes too often/will stifle innovation: innovation is great, but if you get too far ahead of your supply lines you will eventually bog down or worse, come under extreme pressure while you're vulnerable. What I mean to say is that the innovation you project towards your customers has to be scalable and sustainable. Yes, software is a big part of the car and OTA updates are proving to handle many issues while you're asleep. But the car is not all software. Clearly, the notion that "I make an expensive, durable product that's changing so rapidly that only I can fix it" does not scale to the point of having hundreds of thousands of such products in service. Nor does it apply to every component of the car. Are the wheel bearings "rapidly changing" for instance?

    Tesla "standing behind"/service center freebies: sure, it's great to bring your car in today and have problems fixed under warranty for free or even free "proactive" fixes without having to play the TSB game at a dealership. It's even better when they fix something for free that's not covered by warranty as goodwill. While they may be required to fix warranty items, based on my experience on this forum the other perks appear to be at the whim of the individual service center or service advisor. As the Model X debuts, service centers are going to be faced with even more "fix for free" and "goodwill" scenarios then ever before. Past performance does not an eternal gravy train make. How much would that cracked windshield have cost to fix at the SC, vs what you could've (theoretically) paid say SafeLite to fix? Or, do you want to have to wait 3+ weeks to get it fixed because your local SC is your only choice?

    Free Market: many folks seem to want to keep Tesla an "exclusive club". While it hasn't really been put to the test yet, we're doing a great job at doing just that. The world isn't made up of just software types, engineers or other professionals. The vast majority of people want to feel like they own their car. Many like to work on them themselves. Sure, there are those that only feel comfortable getting service at a dealer, but the flourishing indie mechanic trade shows there as just as many, if not more, that choose to go elsewhere. Tesla having a monopoly on service, real, implied or otherwise IMHO will be a significant barrier to adoption for the Model 3 for many. Yes, the car is low maintenance, but it's still a car, things will still go wrong or need periodic maintenance. Tires, wheels/balancing/alignment, brakes/brake fluid, minor leaks, etc. The notion that I have to go to an SC for an alignment, because a local shop might damage the battery if they lift it incorrectly, or Tesla may not subsequently service it if they learn it was serviced elsewhere is in and of itself FUD that Tesla isn't hurrying to dispel. So yes, the vast majority may still continue to vote with their wallets with regard to Tesla.

    Sorry for for the tl;dr post, but the crusader attitude gets old sometimes. I like my car, a lot. But back in the day I probably would've really liked a Tucker, too. We know where that went. Back then the good ole' boys could conspire to keep an upstart down without the people being wise to the scheme. Today it's just the opposite. Tesla does have barriers to 3d party service/repair that are becoming well known to people. IMHO whether or not it's "practical" for them to change their polices is quickly becoming immaterial.
     
  15. physicsfita

    physicsfita Member

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    I'm in a state where it's illegal for Tesla (or any manufacturer) to have a service center. I consider that to be wrong, but it's a reality that's not likely to change any time soon. I will be more than happy to have my local mechanics who have done such a great job servicing my Prius continue to do so with a Model 3. I could tolerate driving the car for 3 hours each way to Cleveland for warranty work, but I'm sure the mechanics at my local Belle Tire could do a fine job of changing my brake pads, if they had access to parts and manuals. A lack of a decent local service solution will almost certainly be a deal-breaker for me.
     
  16. JohnQ

    JohnQ Active Member

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    They'll have to release manuals and service software in the near future. No two ways about it. There's too much hay to be made by opposing parties complaining about Tesla doing wrong by it's customers, having a monopoly on service and overcharging customers for work that other mechanics can do. It's a no win situation. At the very least they should release the service information for everything but the battery pack.

    There's high voltage floating around this car, and much more risk simply because of the inexperience of most mechanics with the high voltages. Post an online training course. Offer classes. This problem will be significant in the future if it's not addressed.
     
  17. physicsfita

    physicsfita Member

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    Fortunately, that won't be too much of a hurdle -- a lot of the heavy lifting in this regard has already been done by the hybrid manufacturers. Plenty of high voltage there, too.
     
  18. JohnQ

    JohnQ Active Member

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    I think we're on the same page but, just to be sure, I meant the lack of independent service will be a problem. I agree the high voltage issue is a red herring provided there's proper training.
     
  19. physicsfita

    physicsfita Member

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    Yep, that sure is the same page, alright! :biggrin:
     
  20. ozweepay

    ozweepay Member

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    Tesla is following Apple's lead in so many ways. Tesla is charging a premium for a sleek, high-performing product that competes with similar products, but comes packaged as something more beautiful, reliable, and high-performing. It sells its product in a special store that looks strongly reminiscent of an Apple store. It does not allow third-party software and the after-market products are limited to external decorative products or minor functionality-enhancing products.

    Apple doesn't publish repair specs nor have expansion slots for non-Apple hardware to be added. They very tightly control what software can be added to their iOS devices via the App Store.

    But there is no NADA for smartphones that is trying to make claims about iPhones and Apple's exclusivity with respect to their service centers. I haven't read the press about Apple's monopoly on repairing there devices... is there a similar outcry?
     

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