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Drive Unit Replacement Poll

Discussion in 'Model S: Driving Dynamics' started by nleggatt, Apr 11, 2014.

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Drive Units Replaced

  1. 1 Units

    272 vote(s)
    79.8%
  2. 2 Units

    50 vote(s)
    14.7%
  3. 3 Units

    10 vote(s)
    2.9%
  4. 4 Units

    4 vote(s)
    1.2%
  5. 5+ Units

    5 vote(s)
    1.5%
  1. Martini

    Martini Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Paris, France, France
    Having a "0" response in the poll doesn't matter because samples taken from voluntary internet polls are useless for deriving inferences about the total population in any case. But having an absolute count of the number of drive units replaced (and the poll shows the very lower bound of the actual number) is helpful in determining the rarity of the fault. That is, if the number of replacements reported in the poll exceeds your own expectation of "rare", then you've learned something.

    Right now, the replacement of drive units isn't an issue because it is under warranty. But once cars start to exit warranty coverage, the cost and likelihood of such a repair becomes very interesting. The key unknown variable is the "core charge"--how much Tesla credits you for your old drive unit when it is replaced. The labour cost of the repair does not seem excessive.

    If out-of-warranty replacement is very expensive, expect people to become more tolerant of drive unit noise then they were when the car was under warranty.
     
  2. KOL2000

    KOL2000 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2013
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    Location:
    San Diego
    Well add me to the list as well. When I drove the loaner P85 I was struck by the absolute silence at 75+ mph. It's incredible. My car has never been so quiet. Literally like a gliding magic carpet. I informed my SC while they were attending to the tires and they confirmed that my car is droning like a semi-truck by comparison.

    New drivetrain for me too. SA mentioned that the sound will come back eventually (!!!). I guess I'll have to get a super extended warranty.

    TESLA PLEASE FIX THIS BEFORE THE MX LAUNCH!!!

    p.s. I wonder how many people were like me, completely oblivious that their drone was not normal, until driving a loaner car and hearing the difference.
     
  3. AmpedRealtor

    AmpedRealtor Well-Known Member

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    I hate to say it, but Tesla needs to sort this out ASAP. I can see a bunch of lawsuits over these drive units once the warranty expires. I read that replacing a drive unit would cost $15,000 out of warranty. I've already received two replacements in just over 8,000 miles. There is clearly a design flaw because you don't expect your car's motor to get noisier over time. We're not talking minor and occasional weird noises like the balloon squeal. This droning noise is significant and annoying. It was so loud in my car that it drowned out the radio except at very high volume levels.

    I do not think Model S owners will become more tolerant of the noise if out of warranty repair is expensive. I believe you will see a class action lawsuit. I'm certainly not advocating that, but clearly there is a design flaw that should not be acceptable and should be addressed by Tesla in a more or less permanent fashion.
     
  4. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2011
    Messages:
    15,812
    I've received two in 27k miles. I was quoted a ballpark of $15k for the parts (+ labor) out of warranty. I suspect it'll be something like $25k in reality. :(

    I really REALLY want the extended warranty (that I wanted to buy back when it was initially) offered in my state. :( I wonder if I could live in OR for a month or whatever and buy the warranty there.
     
  5. petero

    petero Member

    Joined:
    May 22, 2012
    Messages:
    88
    Why does it matter? Your warranty expires at 48/50K. If you did/do not pony up $2,500-$5K for an extended warranty you might feel differently when your out of warranty MS needs a $15-20K drive train replacement and it comes out of your pocket.
     
  6. gmalpass

    gmalpass New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2014
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    Location:
    Vancouver
    I unit replaced - got the pull over message. It was totally silent. Got the replacement and I have the hum. It makes my Tesla as loud as our TDI touareg at 110km/hr. Went to SC and they submitted to HQ. Said it was not enough to justify replacement. I think Tesla is getting a bit tougher on the requirements. Had I had a loud one in the beginning I wouldn't have known the difference. A bit disappointed that they are not doing anything, I was told to wait until end of warranty.
     
  7. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2011
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    15,812
    I'm confused by this. How does waiting 'til the end of warranty help you? Odd advice.
     
  8. yobigd20

    yobigd20 Well-Known Member

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    Skaneateles, NY
    So they'll swap it once instead of 3 times and then you're on your own??
     
  9. yobigd20

    yobigd20 Well-Known Member

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    Btw mine was replaced yesterday. They attempted a repair first unsuccessfully and then replaced the whole unit. The car is completely silent now. I am a very happy camper :)
     
  10. Jhall118

    Jhall118 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2012
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    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    I had the loud "thunk" and a jolt I could feel at low speeds. It happened when transitioning from acceleration to regen. It started off soft and got worse over time. Inverter was replaced, no issues for a few weeks. It started to develop again, as well as an odd rattle from the rear (it sounded different with the sunroof open vs closed) upon taking off at normal speed. It would be most noticeable going uphill, especially in reverse. Took it in, and the technician tried telling me it was normal. I insisted it wasn't, and he "made sure everything was torqued down". When I saw my receipt, I was a little upset, and kind of complained to the guy at the front desk (even though it wasn't his fault at all). To my surprise, it was all quiet when I drove off. I sent an email saying everything was great, and thanking him.

    Then it came back two days later. Took it in again. Technician confirmed the noises. Sent a recording in to engineering. Then my entire rear end was replaced. NEW Inverter and motor, Both rear half shafts, and both hubs/bearings. The rattling is gone. The clunking at very low speeds (stop and go traffic) sort of happens. It's not nearly as severe, but I can feel the car "slip" a bit when I go from acceleration to regen at slow speed.

    I'm not going to take it in unless it starts getting worse. It's clearly a common issue, and I want to give engineering time to figure it all out so that if I DO get another replacement, the issue is gone forever.

    I bought an inventory car with ~4000 miles on the odometer in April. I am at ~15000, because I have been driving a LOT (took some long road trips, commute to work, and have been driving for Uber/Lyft). I am now a little worried about this 100k cars longevity, but I am hoping that Tesla will make it right if it comes to that. I literally will have to sell the car if I have to pay for a 20k drive train replacement outside of warranty. I am visiting family in UT, and am going to fly to avoid putting miles on the car. That makes me a little sad, but whatever.

    Unfortunately I live in a state where an extended warranty isn't offered, and I doubt it will be soon.
     
  11. Cliff Hannel

    Cliff Hannel Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2012
    Messages:
    88
    Location:
    Thousand Oaks, CA
    Add me to the list. Twice.

    P85 (#P02364) with 29,xxx miles. Took delivery Dec 2012.

    July 11 2014: Heading from SoCal to Las Vegas. Accelerating from stop light in Vegas, loud CLUNK...then whirring sound but no torque to wheels. Las Vegas service center arrived in about 50 minutes with loaner (tow truck was there first).
    July 12 2014: LV SC replaces entire drivetrain (had in stock). Says this is only the second they've done. Car is returned and seems to be running smoothly again.

    Awful failure, incredible response/fix (couldn't do that with ICE blown engine...but how often does an ICE with 30k miles blow an engine???).

    July 13 2014: after waiting 40 minutes for slot at Barstow Supercharger and then charging in 109F heat, get message that cooling is being diverted to "systems" (so there is NO CABIN A/C). Even after unplugging from supercharger (which pushes much more current through the system than normal driving) and driving for an hour, NO CABIN A/C. While I suppose this could have been a problem with the coolant flush/replace/bleed that was done with the drivetrain swap, it just seems like not enough output from the A/C, which is screamingly loud.

    Now the car is at the Van Nuys SC getting A/C fixed and sound insulation kit installed (standard with current shipments)...and what do they say? There is an unspecified (or at least undisclosed) "fault" in the drivetrain and they need to replace the drivetrain AGAIN.

    And what have the issues causing drivetrain failures done to my battery? If it has been a cooling issue, couldn't the battery overheat also? Even if not to the point of generating an alarm and shutting down, it can't be good.

    I've been a real supporter of Tesla and, like many others, have forgiven non-critical part failures (door handles, window, seat - see my full review, not including incidents of last few days, at http://evtripplanner.com/review.php). This drivetrain and A/C combo is shaking me...can I trust the car for road trips? what if the failure happened at high speed in the middle of the desert? what if I couldn't get safely out of traffic?

    These types of failures would NOT be accepted in a $30k ICE vehicle. The reasons I think these issues have not hurt Tesla too much are:
    * Incredible driving experience (when everything is working)
    * Early adopters are very forgiving, keeping the "big picture" in mind
    * Over-the-top service response and valet pick-up with loaners
    * Quality issues aren't well-publicized (to new buyers)

    If new units being shipped have the kind of issues the first few thousand seem to have had, it will be hard for Tesla to sustain their sales and reputation. Also of concern are warranty reserves, which seem low if these issues are happening as frequently as it seemed to in early cars. I sure want Tesla to succeed, so I hope current buyers don't have this experience!
     
  12. Canuck

    Canuck Active Member

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    Location:
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    Does anyone know the actual cost to Tesla of replacement? It seems safe to assume that the main cost is labour and only a minor amount for parts since the failed units are likely rebuilt and the replacements are with refurbished units. If this is, in fact, the case it seems warranty reserves are not a significant concern. Of course, the labour costs are what Tesla pays its employees and not what it bills out. Unless they have to hire additional staff to meet increased demand for these repairs, the costs may not be all that significant.
     
  13. davecolene0606

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2013
    Messages:
    236
    Location:
    Fort Pierce, FL
    While I've had the drivetrain replaced once (noise, milling noise) that I thought was minor, it seems odd to me that the discussion surrounding this seems to have increased markedly since the seeking alpha article was written.

    I too, really am wondering if the noise thing is cosmetic or material and whether the response (replacing for noise, milling) is more a cust service thing rather than required. This to me is a real question.

    I would like to know if we are talking cosmetics or substance as I'm getting close to the end of my warranty with no extended available in FL. But, the increase in this discussion following on a FUD article written by a short is just bothersome.

    Just saying...
     
  14. yobigd20

    yobigd20 Well-Known Member

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    As I've been following this closely the spike in messages about drive train failures started occurring several days before the seeking alpha article.
     
  15. Jhall118

    Jhall118 Member

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    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    Just because two things happen near the same time, doesn't mean they have anything to do with each other. Correlation doesn't imply causation! But I guess I lurked the forums, signed up, bought a Tesla, and waited my time to bring up my drivetrain problems right after some article (that I truthfully didn't know about until now, because I am too busy to read every SA article) was posted!

    A few people around here have said that a small thunk develops into a bigger thunk, and perhaps eventually drivetrain failure. That is the big worry. Personally, I am willing to put up with some noise. I don't want to, but I am even willing to put up with a non-smooth transition in stop and go traffic (which I spend a lot of time in). However, if my drive-train fails outside of warranty I want a nice paper trail showing that I had plenty of issues.


    It's 100k car. People want, at the least, the drive train to function the same way throughout the entire warranty period. I think we are seeing more, because Tesla is <Gasp> selling more cars, and as time goes by, more and more drive trains are getting replaced (perhaps the same percentage though?). Nobody really complains the first time, but the 2nd and 3rd time for a problem is troublesome, and in some states (mine included) getting close to grounds for a lemon.

    I haven't even heard a plausible reason for the noise yet, which makes me even more worried that engineering doesn't even know what causes it.

    Just saying...
     
  16. ThosEM

    ThosEM Space Weatherman

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    Location:
    Annapolis, MD
    Has anyone been broken down and towed (car inoperative) owing to a drive train failure? Or do they always get noisy enough to be replaced before that happens?
     
  17. astrotoy

    astrotoy Supporting Member

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    0, 17 months, 10K miles.
     
  18. davecolene0606

    Joined:
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    Fort Pierce, FL
    So yea, I'm dying to hear the explanation something like " AC induction motors aquire electrical noise as a result of thermal expansion and contraction of the windings, however, the life and functions are unaffected as the induced current divided by the square root of the rodanifan bearings are unaffected by the induction of 8.21 jigwatts.... so don't worry ur good to go for 300k and oh yea we decided to extend the drivetrain warranty to 100k"

    i await said said explanation, I can add that my 2 Toyota hybrids both acquired a similar sounding "milling" noise. Granted, they are of the per enact magnet type so maybe one has nothing to do with the other. Having said that, I sure would like to hear why cause I can deal with the noise (only apparent on smooth pavement low speeds in my case on the #2 drivetrain)

    i'm on the same page, Lookin for a plausible description of the condition and reassurance of longevity of my investment. It just seemed as though there is a pop in activity on the subject in the general neighborhood of outsides articles on the subject.

    Cheers... fire away!
     
  19. theheff

    theheff Member

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    Your VIN is 3 higher than mine... sounds like I should be expecting this.
     
  20. AmpedRealtor

    AmpedRealtor Well-Known Member

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    Unlike other car makers, Tesla offers no separate drivetrain warranty. Other manufacturers usually offer a 100,000 mile drivetrain warranty that covers such items. Tesla could settle all of the concerns very easily by adding a separate and robust drivetrain warranty. Elon did the same by amending the battery warranty after the fires, and so it could also be done with the drivetrain.
     

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