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Charge for Warranty Claim?!

d.c.palmer

8 years of EV driving
Feb 17, 2017
154
147
Oxford, England
My P100D is nearing the end of its four-year warranty, so I compiled a list of ongoing issues and booked a service appointment. I duly received a text acknowledging the booking and stating that there would be a charge of £72.50 + VAT (that's approx. US $109) to "diagnose" each "noise".

Anyone else been charged up-front for Tesla to investigate something that should be covered by the vehicle's existing warranty?

Tesla do say that "if the concern is covered by warranty, the charge will be waived", but that's not the point. I have NEVER in some 25 years of car ownership been asked for payment during the warranty period - until now. How much lower can Tesla customer service go?

(The joke is on Tesla though: they've chosen to text me and I'm one of the customers whose replies get lost in Tesla's system, which means that communication is very one-sided.)
 

sorka

Well-Known Member
Feb 28, 2015
8,024
5,861
Merced, CA
This is new for Tesla and standard fair for lower tier brand car companies. If they find the problem, then the diagnostic fee is waved. If they don't find the problem, they charge you. Typical on non luxury brands including Toyota. Luxury brands never do this so my Infiniti's and Lexus vehicles that are under warranty never have a charge to look fee.

But Tesla is NOT a luxury brand and they don't claim to be. They like to use the new term Premium but aside from in vehicle entertainment and driver assist features, they are on par feature wise with standard tier brands.
 

d.c.palmer

8 years of EV driving
Feb 17, 2017
154
147
Oxford, England
Interesting - but can they do this retrospectively?

I bought this vehicle nearly 4 years ago. Surely they can't change my warranty policy without my agreement?
 

sorka

Well-Known Member
Feb 28, 2015
8,024
5,861
Merced, CA
Interesting - but can they do this retrospectively?

I bought this vehicle nearly 4 years ago. Surely they can't change my warranty policy without my agreement?

Did their warranty policy say the wouldn't charge you for diagnosis 4 years ago or was that simply their standard practice?
 

sorka

Well-Known Member
Feb 28, 2015
8,024
5,861
Merced, CA
Agreed, Tesla service is now 100% why I don't suggest them to anyone. Chevy never did this to me. Neither did Jeep or Mazda... not sure I'd classify any of those as luxury.

I've had Dodge, Toyota, Nissan, Toyota, Mazda, and Mitsubishi place provisional diagnostic fees for in warranty cars. Can't speak to Chevrolet.
 

d.c.palmer

8 years of EV driving
Feb 17, 2017
154
147
Oxford, England
Did their warranty policy say the wouldn't charge you for diagnosis 4 years ago or was that simply their standard practice?

I'm not sure anyone knew what their warranty policy was four years ago - I certainly didn't read the fine print. The thing is, if things are changed "on the hoof" so to speak, it catches customers unawares, and that's alarming. I'm not a lawyer, but I suspect a lawyer might argue that one has a reasonable set of expectations based on previous experience of the brand, and for this to suddenly change constitutes a material change.

Anyway, it's all very disappointing. And to reply to @SabrToothSqrl, I took have owned now premium brands, including Vauxhall (GM in the UK) and received far better service with no charges.
 

craigger

Member
May 28, 2020
57
91
San Diego
My P100D is nearing the end of its four-year warranty, so I compiled a list of ongoing issues and booked a service appointment. I duly received a text acknowledging the booking and stating that there would be a charge of £72.50 + VAT (that's approx. US $109) to "diagnose" each "noise".

Anyone else been charged up-front for Tesla to investigate something that should be covered by the vehicle's existing warranty?

Tesla do say that "if the concern is covered by warranty, the charge will be waived", but that's not the point. I have NEVER in some 25 years of car ownership been asked for payment during the warranty period - until now. How much lower can Tesla customer service go?

(The joke is on Tesla though: they've chosen to text me and I'm one of the customers whose replies get lost in Tesla's system, which means that communication is very one-sided.)

I have a 2020 MSP and this has been the case for the 2 trips to the SC. End of the day everything was covered under warranty.

-craigger.
 

d.c.palmer

8 years of EV driving
Feb 17, 2017
154
147
Oxford, England
I have a 2020 MSP and this has been the case for the 2 trips to the SC. End of the day everything was covered under warranty.

That's good - and bad - cragger. Good that you weren't charged, but bad that they should feel the need to threaten you with the prospect of charges. It shows a profound disrespect for customers and all adds to a growing sense of disillusion with the brand. Having spent over £200K on Tesla (that's $250,000), I really would have expected better.
 
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craigger

Member
May 28, 2020
57
91
San Diego
That's good - and bad - cragger. Good that you weren't charged, but bad that they should feel the need to threaten you with the prospect of charges. It shows a profound disrespect for customers and all adds to a growing sense of disillusion with the brand. Having spent over £200K on Tesla (that's $250,000), I really would have expected better.

Totally agree and I'm in no way defending Tesla. I was taken aback when I first saw it. For how much the car cost, the customer service sucks but right now this is the best e-car available right now.

As others have stated - love the car, hate the service.
 

d.c.palmer

8 years of EV driving
Feb 17, 2017
154
147
Oxford, England
OK, I've tried - and failed - to locate the original Warranty Agreement that, according to my original purchase agreement was to have been sent to me "prior to delivery". However, I have located the latest warranty agreement online at-

https://www.tesla.com/sites/default/files/downloads/tesla-new-vehicle-limited-warranty-en-us.pdf

I couldn't find any mention of charges to investigate warranty items. I did, however, find an explicit clause guaranteeing that the warranty could not be retrospectively changed, e.g.,

"No person or entity, including, but not limited to, a Tesla employee or authorized representative, can modify or waive any part of this New Vehicle Limited Warranty"

So are Tesla being a bit naughty by attempting to slap on charges for investigating warranty claims?
 

sorka

Well-Known Member
Feb 28, 2015
8,024
5,861
Merced, CA
I'm not a lawyer, but I suspect a lawyer might argue that one has a reasonable set of expectations based on previous experience of the brand, and for this to suddenly change constitutes a material change.

That would apply to dozens or perhaps many dozens of policy changes Tesla has made in the last few years to cut costs. For instance, I have a "battery needs service. Avoid hard acceleration" message that I've had fo the last 15K miles. When I brought it into Tesla they said it was "error 159 max wide open throttle count exceeded".

Before V10, this was fixed by replacing the battery. I've watched over and over again as this happened to others resulting in a free upgrade to a P90DL battery...usually a V3 battery. I knew I'd eventually hit the counter and get my V3 90 battery. But that didn't happen. They eventually decided that batteries that hit this counter don't need to be replaced and that if I upgrade to V10, my error will disappear.

I'm pretty sure that if I do upgrade to V10 (I'm still on V8.1) that they will cripple my battery as bad or even worse than the typical battery gate victim.
 

craigger

Member
May 28, 2020
57
91
San Diego
what baffles me is your 2020 model already taken 2 trips to SC is normal...

Yup - that along with the trim that I had to get readjusted when I picked up. And the MCU rebooting multiple times during a long drive up to Northern CA (500+ miles each way). I have a mobile tech coming out on Monday for this last one but it really seems to be a SW issue that may or may not be fixed in some future update.

It's a new enough car and has enough performance and tech that I'm not totally turned off yet but I can totally understand where some of the disgruntled owners are coming from.

-craigger.
 

d.c.palmer

8 years of EV driving
Feb 17, 2017
154
147
Oxford, England
Rattles are not covered by warranty any more

That may be true now, but Tesla cannot - repeat, Cannot - retrospectively change their warranty for an existing owner. As I quoted from their warranty agreement above (and reproduce again, in case this helps other members):-

"No person or entity, including, but not limited to, a Tesla employee or authorized representative, can modify or waive any part of this New Vehicle Limited Warranty"

So, if you are an existing owner, and there was no mention of rattles, creaks or other symptoms of shoddy build quality NOT being covered by the warranty, then you should be fine. (Personally, I'll find out on Wednesday next week…)
 

whitex

Well-Known Member
Sep 30, 2015
6,560
7,887
Seattle area, WA
Tesla needs ways to stay profitable. Service is a money sink for them, especially with production quality inconsistencies. Charging high prices helps the costs and discourages customers from coming in with hard to diagnose problems - all wins for the bottom line, short term at least, but until they run out of people wanting to give Elon their money for a new car, customer satisfaction is not high priority - they already got your money.
 
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beatle

Active Member
Aug 31, 2019
1,098
555
Springfield, VA
When I had my car serviced back in December for the shudder of death and a popping sound from the steering rack, the tech told me to be careful when reporting "noises" as they carry this diagnostic baggage. Like craigger, the work was performed under warranty, but there was always that chance it wouldn't. Like the OP, I found this unsettling.

I actually have not owned a car with a warranty before as I prefer to do most work myself, but I can't imagine

I know there are some real a-hole Tesla customers out there that will bug Tesla for any tiny rattle they hear (faulty or not) and they have probably helped contribute to this new policy. Sad.
 
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