Welcome to Tesla Motors Club
Discuss Tesla's Model S, Model 3, Model X, Model Y, Cybertruck, Roadster and More.
  • The final cut of the 9th episode of the Tesla Motors Club Podcast, featuring Chad Schwitters, the former president of Plug In America, is now available. You can watch it now on YouTube or listen to it on all major podcast networks.

Did Elon's comments just hurt your "early production" car's resale value?

(See article below). In defense of the Consumer's report on reliability issues, Elon went on the say the problems reported by owners are associated with "a lot of early production cars". Whoa, that's gotta hurt!!! as a future buyer considering used or CPO over new, I'm now thinking it's wise to steer clear of earlier models (sub 60000 vins, pre 2014) and just go new or inventory so I'm in control of the warranty length. The CPO cars now scare me since I cannot extend the refreshed warranty and who will want to buy from me in the future if I have an early production model out of warranty. As always, I appreciate his honesty but I also feel that his comments just pulled the rug out of the folks trying to sell their non AP, low vin Model S's. Maybe, hopefully, Tesla will offer extendable warranties to anyone buying a used or CPO car for a fee and mitigate the risk and protect used valuations. Otherwise, I'm not interested in any of the used or CPOs vehicles I'm seeing at the current prices people are asking. The older models for sale will need to be reduced significantly (10-15-20%) to offset what I now see as an enhanced and acknowledged risk. Caveat Emptor friends....

Elon Musk responds to Consumer Reports Tesla Model S downgrade


Well-Known Member
Nov 27, 2012
Northern California
Why would the older models price need to be reduced? if it's still under warranty then there's no extra cost to the buyer.
Once the warranty runs out the I imagine the price of the car would drop, but even if the model s was "reliable" the price would still be reduced because it's out of warranty.


Still in love after all these miles
My 51xxx with 15.5K mi has been great. A few non-drivetrain issues that are more of an annoyance than anything else and they have been handled FLAWLESSLY by service. They pick it up and bring it back for free. So your concerns about sub 60000 cars may be too conservative. Though I will say that the sub 30K loaners I have had are not as well put together as mine. I do think the old rule applies, brand new models do have more problems than those that have had more time for the mfr to work out the kinks. But with service like Tesla's, they make it pretty painless.
My car was delivered in May 2013 and I now have almost 44,000 miles on it and have never had a problem. It is simply the best car I have ever owned and with software updates just keeps getting better. Based on my limited experience on this forum and at Tesla conferences Tesla owners tend to be a tough "audience". I am with Elon on this - 97% will buy again. I fully intend to order a Model III for my wife as soon as I am able.


Well-Known Member
Dec 8, 2007
Am I understanding the comments correctly (besides the terse ones), earlier models "had" more problems but those problems have been resolved through replacement with improved parts and therefore earlier cars are now on par with later cars in reliability?
That's not quite true. Tesla did not go around proactively replacing all the parts from the earlier cars with improved parts. So not all earlier cars will be on par with later cars in reliability. And while there were certain items that were replaced with improved parts, that will not apply to all items. As a buyer, I guess that involves looking at how many TSBs have been performed (you can find a list on the NHTSA website) as well as customer service campaigns (these are not published and I don't believe anyone has compiled a list unfortunately).

In general, early production products are always more likely to have more problems, so Tesla certainly isn't immune to that.


Active Member
Apr 5, 2012
One of the reasons why I purchased the 8 year, 100K mile, warranty with my late 2012 P85 was because the design and manufacturing process were relatively new, and it was highly likely that Tesla would be making improvements after my car was built. While I've had the battery pack swapped once and the motor swapped twice - that doesn't necessarily mean the car is unreliable - more likely that it was easier for Tesla to repair the components back at their factory, than to do those repairs in the local service centers (at least until they gain enough experience with the repairs to prepare the service centers to do more of the maintenance on the major components).

Since my car was built - they've gone through several revisions of the battery pack and motor - so it's very likely that the experience they've gained with the early models is helping to improve the reliability of the later production cars.

Now that Tesla has admitted the early cars may have more problems - which have been fixed in the later cars - a reasonable next step would be to offer extended warranty coverage to all 2012/2013 owners - not only for 8 years/100K miles - but possibly longer - and provide those early model owners assurance that Tesla will stand behind the quality of their vehicles.


Well-Known Member
Aug 7, 2012
Toronto, ON
My Feb 2013 (mfg date) car has only had the master charger and charge port replaced, and that was shortly after delivery. At ~60k miles no drivetrain replacements, pano squeaks, frunk dents, or rattles.

My car was delivered March 9, 2013 so it was likely built in Feb 2013 as well (never checked). I currently have about 61,000 miles. Basically the twin of yours. I also never had the pano squeak issue, no frunk dent (it closes with minimal pressure needed) and remains pretty much rattle free. I have, however, had numerous other issues. DU replacements, main contactor failure, door handles, UMC/Charge Port issues, TPMS problems and so forth. I have also had quite a few corrosion-related issues from trim pieces to suspension components that had to be replaced (some more than once). That is likely due to winter road salt issues that you wouldn't have in Texas. As I like to point out, Tesla has always been good at getting me fixed up.


Well-Known Member
Did Elon's comments just hurt your "early production" car's resale value?

I wonder what Tesla will do with traded-in MS' when they get to, say, 5 years old and 50k+ miles? By their own '$1/mile, $1k/month) residual value calculation they will effectively be worthless. Scrap 'em? MW
At some point I suppose it is possible that Tesla will not take S trade ins over a certain mileage figure. We just don't know. But I am confident that there will be a robust private market for old Teslas. All cars depreciate dramatically, and Teslas are no exception. But there will be eager buyers for old Teslas, at the right price. For someone who has never owned a Tesla before, a "classic" S with none of the latest fancy stuff is an amazing car! My late 2013 non-P car blows people's minds.

Products we're discussing on TMC...

About Us

Formed in 2006, Tesla Motors Club (TMC) was the first independent online Tesla community. Today it remains the largest and most dynamic community of Tesla enthusiasts. Learn more.

Do you value your experience at TMC? Consider becoming a Supporting Member of Tesla Motors Club. As a thank you for your contribution, you'll get nearly no ads in the Community and Groups sections. Additional perks are available depending on the level of contribution. Please visit the Account Upgrades page for more details.