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Hot Cars Article - Let's Break It Down

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Here is a recent article released about Tesla from Hot Cars:

11 Problems With Tesla Nobody Talks About​

There are quite a few reasons why people tend to gravitate toward big names like Tesla. For one, the more popularized something is, the more that consumers seem to trust the quality of said product. However, time has taught us that this is obviously not always a good assumption to make.

Updated November 2022: In recent times Tesla have been in the headlines for all the wrong reasons. Fans stand firmly behind the brand and there is little doubt their future is secure. Unfortunately, they seem to be repeating the same mistakes of their established automotive competitors, rather than learning from them.

Then there are those buyers that don’t even consider quality when shopping around for a vehicle, instead looking for what would project their desired image. Tesla fits nicely into most people’s minds because their cars are state-of-the-art, trendy, and expensive. Anyone who is image-obsessed will get drawn to products like this.

But there are also plenty of consumers who genuinely prefer clean energy alternatives. For environmentally-conscious gearheads, these cars are the ultimate choice. However, while all these make so many gravitate towards Tesla, there's a lot more to this manufacturer than meets the eye.

11/11Poor Build Quality​

If you have ever experienced difficulties with a Tesla, firsthand, then you probably know better than anyone how pricey repairs can become if they’re not covered by a warranty or insurance.

This explains why insurance premiums are so high for these vehicles. However, the truth of the matter is that even if you’re not paying to replace those parts, they are all too often much poorer quality than we’re all led to believe.

This is something Tesla has been working on for years - there used to be check lists when taking delivery because of poor build quality. It's gotten better, but still not as high quality as other luxury brands and something Tesla needs to work on.

10/11Expensive Maintenance​

Part of the appeal of buying an EV is the expectation that it will save you money in the future. Even though Teslas don’t need oil changes, spark plug replacements, or oil filters, Tesla recommends drivers invest in their maintenance plans that include a thorough inspection of the vehicle every 12,000 miles.

The prices vary based on the year and model of the car, as well as which specific plan the driver chooses, but standalone inspections range anywhere from $475 to $750 per visit (not including repairs). A four-year maintenance plan is around $2,500. Needless to say, you’ll need to have a good chunk of change set aside for these evaluations. Tires need to be replaced more often, thanks to the weight of the vehicle, and that big battery won't last forever.

This program was cancelled years ago because the car doesn't need much maintenance and not many people were buying it.

9/11Power Steering Failure​

A few new Tesla owners experienced problems with the steering wheel locking up while turning. Not only will you see your life flash before your eyes, but you will also get left without a vehicle for some time while they fix the issue.

Tesla were forced to recall over 40,000 vehicles which were affected by this problem, and it can be genuinely life-threatening if it were to happen at the wrong moment.

Yes, this was a recall due to a bad firmware update that went out recently. However, let's not tell the readers that the fix was another firmware update that came out soon afterwards.

8/11Privacy May Be An Issue​

Teslas are incredibly connected... to the point that they're able to (potentially) predict when you plan to drive them and what routes. Elon Musk hasn't been known for respecting privacy and his first company, PayPal, has even been in lawsuits for it. All respect to his technological advancement, but consider what a man creating a chip for your brain is trying to do with your car!

Face recognition, video sharing with or without consent, and Tesla monitoring your driving history and patterns are all open for discussion and unless you dig really deep or have a law degree, you might not be safe. If you're a criminal or just worry about being watched, this is one of the last bit of tech pieces you would want. Some have even raised red flags over issues of hacking Teslas for a new world of issues.

I don't know how to even address this. The recent tin-foil hat mentality is just a little off the rails. I don't think people realize the sheer number of cameras on them at all times while in public. It's a fact of our society. You can scream all you want about it, but the truth is if you don't want to be on camera, then stay home. There's a good chance that even just leaving your front door you're on a neighbor's Ring camera.

7/11Blind Spot Detection​

Another feature that is seen on many modern-day vehicles (electric or not) is blind-spot detection. This is a nice touch to have and is practically expected on a high-end vehicle these days. The only thing that separates Tesla from other manufacturers that are employing blind-spot detection is the placement of the detector.

The blind-spot detection doesn’t alert drivers of a threat on the side-view mirrors like most vehicles do. Instead, a notice pops up on the touchscreen. This seems counterintuitive because at the very moment you need to look at your mirrors the car is actively taking your eyes away from them and asking you to look at a screen.

Would be nice to have a little icon in the side mirror. However, the article makes it seem like the only way to be warned is to look at the touchscreen. There is a very loud alarm that happens when you turn on your signal to change lanes and there is a car in your blind spot.

6/11Replacing Old Batteries Is A Hassle​

While a charge may not be so pricey, the cost to replace any of the parts on a Tesla can really become a burden. For instance, if you had to buy a new battery for a Model 3, the base would cost around $9,500 (on the low end) and the extended-range battery would come close to $16k.

Sadly, that’s as much as a good used car. There’s a domino effect with these overpriced repairs as well, as the price to insure a Tesla tends to be more than the average vehicle. The high rate of accidents is partly to blame, but their expensive repairs are no help.

Yes, batteries are currently expensive as this is a new technology. Like all technology, as it ages it will get less expensive. The current batteries are legally required to be warrantied for 8 years. The vast majority also use 100,000 miles for their warranty. This is very similar to several car companies' 100K powertrain warranty. To replace an engine in a luxury car could cost upwards of $7500. So prices still need to come down, and they will.

5/11No Tesla Dealerships​

Tesla has just recently begun opening service centers in areas with a large amount of foot traffic, but the idea of dealerships is a concept from the past for Tesla. Following a completely different business model from the traditional car manufacturers, Tesla sells its cars directly to its customers through their own small, intimate stores.

This allows Tesla to educate the customers on what exactly they're getting into with an electric vehicle and to choose precisely how they’d like their car to look. Of course, it takes months for customers’ vehicles to be delivered, but this still allows them to get exactly what they want. It also means that Tesla makes money off of their cars, while traditional dealerships make money from their service departments. The drawback for a Tesla owner is that these are located, largely, in metropolitan areas and so are the service centers.

Here is where Tesla is really disrupting the market, and the dealerships are pissed. But it's a trend we may see with other car companies. Even Ford has recently decided they want to jump on the direct-to-consumer trend.

4/11Still No True Self-Driving​

Tesla's autopilot has been known to get people in trouble, napping, reading, and working on the freeway. Although Tesla gets close with tools like "tow mode," allowing for an empty car to follow another Tesla with some limitations. You still need to keep your hands on the wheels and be alert, despite the theoretically safer autopilot driving and advancements in technology.

While a truly autonomous car would open up a new world; safe transport for the elderly, fewer fatalities, easier commutes, and the like, we may still be a few major steps away from that world, and Tesla, no matter what they say, are nowhere near that yet.

This has everything to do with the naming convention Tesla chose, and I tend to agree. Tesla really should rename their product "Tesla Driver Assistance" and call it a day.

3/11Cold Weather Hurts The Battery​

There are so many common glitches that go on with a Tesla that drivers have become paranoid, especially anything involving that precious battery. If you haven’t tested one out in cold weather, don’t be alarmed at that slow acceleration, it’s normal.

Cold temperatures prevent the battery from regenerating as quickly as it typically would, which limits the driver’s ability to accelerate. It sounds simple, but it can be a frightening few minutes for a Tesla owner to discover their car is having trouble accelerating like it normally would.

Cold weather limits acceleration? There is a Chill Mode that helps conserve battery power in cold weather, as range is reduced. I have no idea where this item comes from - perhaps they got confused on limited regeneration?

2/11Awful Door Handles​

One of the most notable characteristics of every Tesla is their futuristic door handles that pop out. The higher-end models have nice, metal handles with chrome finishes. However, if you happen to compare, say, a Model S to a Model 3, you’ll immediately notice the lack of strength behind the latter's handles.

Not only are the door handles on the Model 3 thinner, but they seem to be made with inferior materials to the higher-tier models. There have even been several accounts of people who have had the door handles freeze to the car, leaving them unable to get inside.

Poor quality door handles on M3 and MY? They are quite solid and work quite well. And yes, they can freeze, which is why Tesla released their recent update that allows you to open the door from the app when it's frozen. Let's not mention that in the article.

1/11Generic Designs​

Although this isn’t much of a shock at all, most fail to recognize the total lack of variety that’s offered in the Tesla fleet. Of course, the higher-end models have prettier finishes and tend to look nice no matter what, but each and every Tesla is almost identical.

This is obviously the case with everyday run-of-the-mill vehicles as well, but that’s sort of the point, isn’t it? If you’re spending a good chunk of change to claim that over-hyped Tesla as your own, wouldn’t it be nice if you at least had a decent amount of options to truly make it feel like your own? For what you’re paying, it seems like there should already be a plethora of options.

Wow - really?

4/11Still No True Self-Driving​

Tesla's autopilot has been known to get people in trouble, napping, reading, and working on the freeway. Although Tesla gets close with tools like "tow mode," allowing for an empty car to follow another Tesla with some limitations. You still need to keep your hands on the wheels and be alert, despite the theoretically safer autopilot driving and advancements in technology.

Wait, what? Did this article say that "tow mode" allows an empty Tesla to autonomously follow another Tesla? WTF? Was this written by GPT chat or by an actual human being?