Do you wanna play a game??
Ok, let's play. Guess from the partial list below of cars that I have owned which one is the only car to have left me stranded on the side of the road?
Full disclaimer: I have owned a lot more cars than on this list, but I chose these cars to keep the game as fair as possible since these are the least reliable cars that I have owned.
1965 Jaguar E-Type (owned 6 years, bought used)
1991 Lotus Esprit SE (owned 7 years, bought used)
1991 Lotus Elan M100 (owned 7 years, bought used)
1996 Chevrolet Impala SS (Owned 5 years, bought new)
1998 Lotus Esprit V8 (Owned 10 years, bought used)
1998 Jaguar XJ8 (Owned 4 years, bought used)
1999 Ferrari 355 F1 (Owned 3 years, bought used)
2000 Corvette C5 (Owned 2 years, bought new)
2001 Dodge Viper GTS (Owned 6 years, bought used)
2003 Porsche 911 (Owned 4 years, bought used)
2004 Lamborghini Murcielago V12 gated (Owned 7 years, bought used)
2008 Range Rover Sport V8 (Owned 3 years, bought used)
2011 Jaguar XF (Owned 7 years, bought used)
2014 Range Rover Sport Supercharged (Owned 5 years, bought used)
2023 Tesla Model S (Owned 9 months, bought new)
Bonus question: Which one is the only car that I wish that I had never ever bought?
While you try to figure out the answers to these stumpers, let me tell you a little story: Last week, I was driving my Model S through my neighbor around midnight and as I pulled away from a stop sign in a very relaxed way, I heard the infamous bang! and immediately heard the loud beeping warmings, red graphics on my dash, and lost all forward propulsion. To help describe it better, it felt like what I would image it would feel like if a driveshaft snapped in half on a car while accelerating. Or if you're into airplanes, probably what it feels like if your propeller flew off during your takeoff climb.
There's a lot to say about my experience, but let me just take the opportunity to warn you about one particularly bad Tesla design decision.
My failure is almost certainly a rear drive unit failure. That's what the tow truck drivers were certain it was when I barely mentioned the symptoms, and it's what all of the SC advisors thought without even looking at the car, and what the techs put in the work order, also without even looking at the car. Truth bomb: This happens a lot more than you think. A lot of people post on forums when something bad happens, but a lot more people don't bother to post on icky forums when something bad happens.
So, when the rear drive unit goes, all power from the HV battery is cut off. As you probably already know by now, having 2 or 3 motors doesn't give you redundancy, like Tesla originally claimed on their website, instead, having multiple motors massively increases your statistical possibility that you will be left stranded on the side of the road when one of those motors goes Bang!
Here's the kicker. We all learned to hate the lead acid batteries that Tesla managed to screw up the charging design so that it prematurely kill the batteries, so we all rejoiced when they changed to a Lithium LV battery. But some of us, me included, didn't realize that Tesla engineers/bean counters decided to the put the absolute tiny tiniest smallest capacity Lithium battery that you can imagine in place of that lead acid battery.
What does that mean? When the HV battery is disconnected for any reason, you have about 10 minutes before the car is completely dead, and there's nothing you can do to stop it from dying in 10 mins. And by dead, I mean dead. That includes even the hazard lights, not to mention the doors latches, the windows, the frunk, the trunk, the glovebox, the ability to read the manual on the screen, and ability to put the car in tow mode. EVERYTHING PITCH BLACK!
So keep that in mind when you make your plans for those 10 minutes after your drive unit goes bang! And like a good pilot, always be looking for where you are going to ditch the car when you lose all power. I was very lucky where it happened, but like for some I have read, it put them in an extremely dangerous situation (think fast moving freeway with no emergency shoulder).
I'll give more details of the whole nightmare that isn't even over yet because we are just starting with the incredible service of Tesla, but I wish that I had known what I just told you above. Have it your mind everything you need to do in those 10 minutes to survive wherever you happen to be left stranded.