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Charge for Warranty Claim?!

WASD

Member
Apr 11, 2019
187
121
Mission Hills
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…)

I understand what you're saying, but if you look at the linked thread (the title is misleading), there is an excerpt from the warranty exclusions list, which states exactly that: They are not covered.

upload_2020-7-23_10-58-4.png

They charge the fee up front, and then waive it if the noise is a result of a failed part that is covered. It's pretty standard. I had the same thing with my BMW when I brought it in for service.
 

whitex

Well-Known Member
Sep 30, 2015
6,553
7,877
Seattle area, WA
I understand what you're saying, but if you look at the linked thread (the title is misleading), there is an excerpt from the warranty exclusions list, which states exactly that: They are not covered.

View attachment 568064

They charge the fee up front, and then waive it if the noise is a result of a failed part that is covered. It's pretty standard. I had the same thing with my BMW when I brought it in for service.
Do you know when this excerpt was added?
 

WASD

Member
Apr 11, 2019
187
121
Mission Hills
Do you know when this excerpt was added?

Without seeing the original warranty paperwork that the OP was given, we can only assume based on the information available.

If they did change it, and they have the "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" clause, that would be grounds for a lawsuit, would it not? So logically I would assume that they didn't change it, and they were only fixing these rattles and noises on good faith before.
 

AlexF1

Member
Mar 1, 2020
29
34
San Francisco
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.

I got the looking fee for my BMW 5 series as well while under warranty. Had some low coolant warning message that appeared on the console intermittently and I suspected leak somewhere. Brought it in for service, they told me it's 200+ just for inspection which is outside of warranty and I'll be charged this amount regardless if there's an issue. Had been a BMW customer for a long time, dumped the car and no more BMWs for me right after this experience.
 
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Reactions: sorka

whitex

Well-Known Member
Sep 30, 2015
6,553
7,877
Seattle area, WA
Without seeing the original warranty paperwork that the OP was given, we can only assume based on the information available.

If they did change it, and they have the "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" clause, that would be grounds for a lawsuit, would it not? So logically I would assume that they didn't change it, and they were only fixing these rattles and noises on good faith before.
Ah, here is where Tesla is very "crafty".

First, they officially do not "change" the terms, they "clarify". For example, when they decided that yellowing screens are not covered, that was just a clarification of warranty rather than a change (even though they did originally decide that it was covered, until it became too expensive to cover of course because too many units failed). When they decided that your 400 mile rated range raven dropping to 280 rated miles of range is not covered under the battery warranty, that was also just a "clarification" since they never did have an official percentage (they used to say 80% but it was never written in the official warranty terms). When they sold me a 691hp car, they clarified only 2 years later that that meant "if you replace the battery with a better one (90KWh v3 or 100KWh)" - an option that was never offered to P85D owners. The reality was that the car would have needed to generate 50% more power than the number Tesla "clarified" later in order to reach the advertised spec.

Second, they don't version things externally, so when talking to customer service, the message is exactly as you say "without seeing the original paperwork...", because Tesla does not make the original paperwork available to customers - all documentation is electronic and changes online to the latest every time they "clarify". So, unless the customer has saved documents and screenshots, they are out of luck, and sometimes even if they do have them, Tesla stance is "that is not what is showing online now".

Welcome to Elon taking the car salesman stereotype into the 21st century.
 

WASD

Member
Apr 11, 2019
187
121
Mission Hills
Yes. It sucks. Seeing as the information about the noise exclusions has been available for AT least since 2019 (as shown in the thread I linked) then I don't really think the OP has much to fight back on it. Unless they can find their original documents showing otherwise.
 

D.E.

Uncorked
Oct 12, 2016
732
957
Ann Arbor, MI
Ah, here is where Tesla is very "crafty".

So, unless the customer has saved documents and screenshots, they are out of luck, and sometimes even if they do have them, Tesla stance is "that is not what is showing online now".

Perhaps not. Are you familiar with the “Wayback Machine”? It’s an attempt to archive the entire Internet through time. Often you can go back to a previous time, say Oct 31, 2015, for example, then see a website as it appeared then. I don’t know if Tesla’s site is archived for the time you purchased your car but if it is and if the warranty was published on line, you may be able to retrieve that version of the warranty.

If that fails, you may be able to find someone that printed or saved a copy of their warranty at the time they purchased their car. If you can find someone that saved a copy of that document, you should be good to go.

That said, the only way to enforce these things is by going to court. Every time I’ve been to court, attorney’s fees have been $30,000 so forcing a company to comply with a contract or warranty won’t be trivial. Tesla will have in house lawyers and virtually limitless resources. Don’t get me wrong, I’m on your side all the way, I think a company should honor its word. Most companies try to force arbitration and that also comes with it’s own big can of juicy worms. Finally if you do prevail, you may become blacklisted and so may never again be able to buy a Tesla. That may or may not be a consideration.
 
Last edited:

ucmndd

Well-Known Member
Mar 10, 2016
6,530
12,239
California
That said, the only way to enforce these things is by going to court. Every time I’ve been to court, attorney’s fees have been $30,000 so forcing a company to comply with a contract or warranty won’t be trivial. Tesla will have in house lawyers and virtually limitless resources. Don’t get me wrong, I’m on your side all the way, I think a company should honor its word. Most companies try to force arbitration and that also comes with it’s own big can of juicy worms. Finally if you do prevail, you may become blacklisted and so may never again be able to buy a Tesla.

Tesla indeed requires arbitration first unless you opted out - binding for them, non-binding for you, and the process is relatively simple.

If arbitration doesn’t go your way small claims court would be suitable for a great many of these issues and would cost far less than $30k to litigate.

And you’re right, there are several documented cases on here of people going this route, ultimately winning, and then getting blacklisted by Tesla.
 
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Reactions: croman

D.E.

Uncorked
Oct 12, 2016
732
957
Ann Arbor, MI
Tesla indeed requires arbitration first unless you opted out - binding for them, non-binding for you, and the process is relatively simple.

If arbitration doesn’t go your way small claims court would be suitable for a great many of these issues and would cost far less than $30k to litigate.

And you’re right, there are several documented cases on here of people going this route, ultimately winning, and then getting blacklisted by Tesla.

Here you have it, far better information than I provided. Thanks UCMNDD.
 

brkaus

Well-Known Member
Jul 8, 2014
7,739
6,273
Austin, TX
I’ve observed a-hole customers chewing out service reps saying tires should be covered under the warranty. And the warranty was unlimited bumper to bumper for 8 years unlimited miles.
 

whitex

Well-Known Member
Sep 30, 2015
6,553
7,877
Seattle area, WA
Perhaps not. Are you familiar with the “Wayback Machine”? It’s an attempt to archive the entire Internet through time. Often you can go back to a previous time, say Oct 31, 2015, for example, then see a website as it appeared then. I don’t know if Tesla’s site is archived for the time you purchased your car but if it is and if the warranty was published on line, you may be able to retrieve that version of the warranty.

If that fails, you may be able to find someone that printed or saved a copy of their warranty at the time they purchased their car. If you can find someone that saved a copy of that document, you should be good to go.

That said, the only way to enforce these things is by going to court. Every time I’ve been to court, attorney’s fees have been $30,000 so forcing a company to comply with a contract or warranty won’t be trivial. Tesla will have in house lawyers and virtually limitless resources. Don’t get me wrong, I’m on your side all the way, I think a company should honor its word. Most companies try to force arbitration and that also comes with it’s own big can of juicy worms. Finally if you do prevail, you may become blacklisted and so may never again be able to buy a Tesla. That may or may not be a consideration.
And that is precisely why I didn't bother to sue them over the 691hp P85D they sold me, only to later admit the car was never going to produce it with the battery it was sold with. I have had the displeasure of lawsuits in the past, and even thought I won or settled all of them, it wasn't fun, and usually not worth it financially. I even spoke with my attorney about the horsepower issue and he told me more than likely I would win, but I would spend $25K+ to win $5-$10K, then I would have to go back and sue for cotst, etc. Life is too short to spend time on thing like this, I just accepted Tesla screwed me over, bad guys win sometimes. Instead, I just stopped buying new Teslas and an now warning people about Tesla to the same extent I used to try to convince everyone to buy one. Word of mouth marketing is a double edged sword.
 

whitex

Well-Known Member
Sep 30, 2015
6,553
7,877
Seattle area, WA
Your P85D is still an awesome car.
P85DL is a great car to drive. Of course I still got ripped off when I bought it, and it's still a major pain and expensive to fix, though much cheaper if you can do things yourself, like swap out the MCU emmc on your own. Given its current depreciated value and the fact that I can fix a bunch of things myself, it is the car I choose best to drive today. So I guess we are in agreement. :)

PS> the above doesn't mean I would recommend it for everyone.
 

Gumball

Member
Mar 9, 2020
211
233
Yes
They not charging anything. They just let you know the cost of the diagnose when not covered under warranty. Don’t have to pay up front.
 

d.c.palmer

8 years of EV driving
Feb 17, 2017
154
147
Oxford, England
I understand what you're saying, but if you look at the linked thread (the title is misleading), there is an excerpt from the warranty exclusions list, which states exactly that: They are not covered.

This matches the wording in my own warranty agreement, which I finally located in my car's glovebox (where else?).

I think the important point - at least in my case - is the reference to "normal noises and vibrations". My contention is that an irritating rattling noise from the dashboard is not normal; the car didn't rattle like this when new, but over time the poor fit and finish has meant that the edge of the dashboard rubs against the base of the A pillar and the door frame, causing the rattling. This isn't fair wear and tear either - it's poor fit and finish - a manufacturing defect, if you like.
 

ucmndd

Well-Known Member
Mar 10, 2016
6,530
12,239
California
I think the important point - at least in my case - is the reference to "normal noises and vibrations". My contention is that an irritating rattling noise from the dashboard is not normal; the car didn't rattle like this when new, but over time the poor fit and finish has meant that the edge of the dashboard rubs against the base of the A pillar and the door frame, causing the rattling. This isn't fair wear and tear either - it's poor fit and finish - a manufacturing defect, if you like.
An interesting assertion, but one I think you will find gets you nowhere.

There’s no reasonable claim to be had that parts vibrating or rattling after many years/miles of motion over varying surfaces is a “manufacturing defect” - rather a reality of physics, which is why manufacturers increasingly don’t cover them after some brief fit/finish period.

If you’re truly bugged by this, I suggest your energy would be better spent buying a $5 roll of felt tape and fixing it yourself vs. fighting Tesla for something they explicitly state they don’t cover.
 

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