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Clunking sound is costing me a bundle to fix out of warranty

evrevo

Member
Aug 1, 2016
9
54
Nj
Just received a repair bill of $3,480 + tax for my 2013 S 60 that has 38k miles on it. Unfortunately the car just went out of warranty and Tesla didn't find this issue during the 4th year inspection that happened last month. And unfortunately it looks like I just missed my opportunity to purchase the extend service agreement (ESA - extend warranty) by like 10 or so days so this will have to come out of pocket. Tried calling Tesla support and discussed with service center and they said there's nothing they can do.

Initially I thought the clunking sound (similar to this video here) may be the drive train problem coming up again as I has it replace in March of 17, but the service manager tells me that this is a different issue and will require the half shaft replacement.

1) If you plan to keep the car beyond your warranty period, make sure you purchase an ESA. Don't miss getting the ESA
2) For a car that has 38k miles, no matter how you cut and slice it, having this this type of repair cost to me is a defect, plus I paid 4 year service for the car and this wasn't detected.

It seems like this is actually a problem that a number of people have experienced.
Model S "Axle" problems | Tesla
Subtle "clunk" from rear when accelerating from a stop



car-halfshaft-repair-bill.jpg



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Electroman

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Aug 18, 2012
6,341
6,641
TX
Having an expensive drive train related service after only 38k miles, even after not missing one inspection or maintenance with Tesla service center , reflects very poorly on Tesla's engineering and manufacturing. Not to own it is rubbing salt on the wound. Had this been a conked out electronic item like the center display, thats a different thing because electronic items have the habit of running fine for a decade or dying abruptly. But for a core mechanical component developing a serious defect after only 38k miles is different.

My Lexus had a transmission issue that showed up several months after my warranty expired, but the dealer fixed it with no charge to me, because I had done every maintenance with them diligently and they didn't catch it. They owned the problem and they even gave me a free loaner.
 

evrevo

Member
Aug 1, 2016
9
54
Nj
So just so I understand, you gambled by not buying the ESA and lost, and now you want Tesla to take the loss instead of you? (Though actually at this point you are ahead as the ESA would have cost you $4,200 so far.)


I was planning to get the model 3 to replace the S, so paying 4k doesn't make sense to me since I'm planning to keep it for a year at most. Also since I've just literally gone through the 4th year inspection and the drive unit and battery is already covered under the 8 year warranty.

Not asking tesla to take the loss, was trying to see if I can get the ESA since I've just missed it by like 10 days or so, but if not, it's not tesla's fault for not doing this.

But, this doesn't change the fact the car is only $38k and requires this much cost to fix with a problem that I think should have been discovered in the 4th year maintenance that happened less than 1 month ago.


Also was looking at this from teslarati for the ESA, seems like lot of things won't be covered anyway, plus you have to pay $200 deductible per visit.

Should I Buy the Tesla Extended Service Agreement?

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  • 17″ screen reacting to static electricity (missing MCU ground) (7 months) (wouldn’t be covered by extended warranty)
  • Sunroof rattle on back roads (shims added) (7 months) (wouldn’t be covered by extended warranty)
  • UMC failure (8 months) (may be covered by extended warranty)
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  • Charge port rings discolored (12 months) (would be covered by extended warranty)
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  • Drive unit failure (15 months) (covered by infinite mile drive unit warranty)
 

zer0cool

Member
Apr 26, 2015
508
332
charlotte, nc
Early Teslas are well known to have reliability issues and top tier cars are well known to have very expensive repairs... This is unfortunate. From an expected value POV, I presume buying the extended warranty has negative value. But when an out-of-warranty repair occurs to an individual, it feels shitty.
 
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realvvk

Member
Feb 8, 2017
261
216
Philadelphia
My Lexus had a transmission issue that showed up several months after my warranty expired, but the dealer fixed it with no charge to me, because I had done every maintenance with them diligently and they didn't catch it. They owned the problem and they even gave me a free loaner.

Toyota is a huge company with very deep pockets. They can afford to grease their customers to gain their loyalty and to create a perception of superior reliability. Especially considering that they may otherwise be perceived as inferior and not competitive in the market segment they are in.

It may be a little early for this problem to occur but all mechanical devices wear out and will eventually fail. The real issue here is that Tesla is a monopoly on parts and service and these part prices are absolutely outrages. $900 for a half shaft?! A quality aftermarket half shaft should be $200, $100 for a rebuilt unit. Also, an aftermarket repair facility may have diagnosed the issue a little more precisely instead of throwing all new parts on both sides to address a noise concern.
 

evrevo

Member
Aug 1, 2016
9
54
Nj
Toyota is a huge company with very deep pockets. They can afford to grease their customers to gain their loyalty and to create a perception of superior reliability. Especially considering that they may otherwise be perceived as inferior and not competitive in the market segment they are in.

It may be a little early for this problem to occur but all mechanical devices wear out and will eventually fail. The real issue here is that Tesla is a monopoly on parts and service and these part prices are absolutely outrages. $900 for a half shaft?! A quality aftermarket half shaft should be $200, $100 for a rebuilt unit. Also, an aftermarket repair facility may have diagnosed the issue a little more precisely instead of throwing all new parts on both sides to address a noise concern.


^^This...

I feel like this needs a second opinion as but given tesla has monopoly on this it makes it hard. Tesla tend to over do things with replace, which is fine when in warrant, but outside of warranty this can't be the solution for every mechanical problem, electronics are a different problem.
 

brkaus

Well-Known Member
Jul 8, 2014
8,021
6,507
Austin, TX
Backing up a minute... what is a half shaft? I'm guessing it is the axle assemble on each side, likely including 2 CV joints each?
 

jaguar36

Active Member
Apr 10, 2014
2,079
1,613
NJ
. $900 for a half shaft?! A quality aftermarket half shaft should be $200, $100 for a rebuilt unit. Also, an aftermarket repair facility may have diagnosed the issue a little more precisely instead of throwing all new parts on both sides to address a noise concern.

Tesla's prices are inline with industry OEM prices. OEM BMW half shafts from a 5-series are $1200 or $1700 for the M5.

A third party shop could have looked at this anyway, there is nothing special Tesla about it, nor any reason (besides a lack of market) that a aftermarket manufacture couldn't make some.
 

LuPapa

Member
Oct 20, 2016
77
27
Houston
@evrevo You should at least ask to keep your old half shafts as someone may be interested in buying them to rebuild, or even us as-is. (To help offset your costs.)
Agree, considering they are not sure these parts are "broken" you should have them return the two half shafts they remove from the car since they are worth $1800 new. You might be able to sell them and recoup a little of that cost.
 

realvvk

Member
Feb 8, 2017
261
216
Philadelphia
Tesla's prices are inline with industry OEM prices. OEM BMW half shafts from a 5-series are $1200 or $1700 for the M5.

A third party shop could have looked at this anyway, there is nothing special Tesla about it, nor any reason (besides a lack of market) that a aftermarket manufacture couldn't make some.

I agree that a third party shop would look at it. However, I doubt they would take on this job. I could be wrong. Has anyone used a third party shop for Tesla repairs yet?

As far as part prices, I just looked up the price for my 550i. Geniune BMW part #33207572430 is $768.68 MSRP, $615 street price. Aftermarket units are not available for the 550i but I see prices as low as $40 for the 528i. Genuine part price is in the same ballpark, so I stand corrected.
 
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