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How expensive has maintenance been for people who have let their maintenance plans expire?

Discussion in 'Model S' started by kjl, May 11, 2017.

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  1. kjl

    kjl Member

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    So my model S is nearing its 4 year birthday and I'm trying to decide whether or not I should renew my maintenance plan with the 4 year extension.

    I was wondering if people who have opted not to purchase the plans have generally found the maintenance on their cars to be pretty low, or if they wish they had purchased the extension.

    Normally this would be kind of a no-brainer (just buy it), but iirc one of the main draws of the Tesla model was that they were charging a lot to make it so that they didn't have to make money off the maintenance of the car (unlike traditional car companies). Indeed, over the last 4 years, I've had a few issues which were not covered under the warranty, but were then marked as "good will" on the invoice, and I believe I haven't been charged for anything at all except for a new nosecone to replace the one that I stupidly broke. So I guess I'm wondering if Tesla service will continue to be as generous after my service plan runs out.
     
  2. Tam

    Tam Active Member

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    If you want to pay for a Maintenance Plan, you must pay up within the first 12 months or 12,500 miles (whichever occurs first).

    That sounds like you are not talking about it since you are on 4th year.

    I think you are talking about Extended Service Agreement (layman term "extended warranty").

    Like an insurance, it is a bet.

    If you are sure your house don't burn down, flooded, got robbed... then why pay for an insurance to cover for events that you know will never happen?

    Looks like you didn't have to pay for Tesla repair but if you do, it can be very expensive: a 17" display with bubbles will set you back a few thousands of dollars. If you need to fix your air conditioner, it will also cost you a few thousand dollars!
     
  3. KidDoc

    KidDoc Supporting Member

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    I didn't get the extended maintenance due to the high cost and $100 copay per repair on top of that so at least $4,500 no matter what happens over the next several years. So I opted to gamble on just paying cash. I'm at 55,000 miles now and just had to shell out about $950 for a leaky seal causing headliner staining on one of the rear doors.

    Only time will tell but I think you can argue both ways honestly. I'm just hoping I don't end up paying > $4,500 in repairs over the next 3 years.
     
  4. John5396

    John5396 Member

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    I just used my ESA for a door handle, a roof leak, and a leak into the rear hatch.

    They recorded it as goodwill, so didn't charge me the $200 copay, but I expect that if I didn't have the coverage this would have set me back 1/2 or more of the 4 year price.

    I think it was insurance well spent.
     
  5. bishoppeak

    bishoppeak Member

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    You should only insure against losses you can't afford to cover yourself. No Tesla owner cannot afford these repairs, therefore you are gambling. You bet that your car will require more repairs than the cost of the coverage, they bet that it won't. Who do you think is better at calculating these odds?
     
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  6. KidDoc

    KidDoc Supporting Member

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    Also if you happen to have an accident that totals the vehicle then that $4500 is lost no matter what. To me it just isn't worth the guaranteed loss vs the potential larger loss.
     
  7. tpham07

    tpham07 Member

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    A lot of people have said the maintenance plans are not even necessary (at least once a year). Hell, even the warranty says maintenance is not required to maintain the warranty which would be a first.
     
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  8. riemannh

    riemannh Member

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    #8 riemannh, May 11, 2017
    Last edited: May 11, 2017
    If the insurance is properly priced, then the best estimate of costs to you is less than the ESA price (as the cost of the ESA needs to cover pure premium, admin, and gain of the *likely* TPA). As bishopspeak says, this is really more about the variance and good sleep. If you can comfortably afford the ESA and think it will help you sleep at night, do it. If you can comfortably afford the potential (albeit less than ESA on average) costs of a very costly repair, don't purchase the ESA and self-insure.

    I self-insure my other vehicle (obviously, I have appropriate liability insurance) because if I lose it I can afford to purchase a like-replacement. I do not self insure the Tesla because I would be uncomfortable covering the costs associated with replacing it. I consider an at-fault significant or total loss to be extremely unlikely in either vehicle (i.e. not nearly on par with the costs of collision coverage).

    EDIT: I suspect, although have no proof, that Tesla may be under-pricing insurance contracts (e.g. ESA or the auto insurance in some APAC countries) to increase their current liquidity. This would allow them to take a lump-sum premium and pay out a long-term loss on the insurance contracts with losses taken against expected future profits. I note that, to my knowledge, these are not actuarially sound insurance products and not subject to the regulation of a state insurance commissioner (akin to those in the US, anyway). If this is the case, then my above hypothesis "If the insurance is properly priced..." is null and the ESA may actually be profitable (on average) for the consumer - contrary to my above statements.
     
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  9. wcolyer

    wcolyer Member

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    I just had my first service on the extended warranty (and last service on service plan). I have a $200 deductible and the charge was going to be around $250 so the $4500 is down to $4450 if I don't count the time cost of money.
     
  10. Knightowl

    Knightowl Whovian

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    in the last year of ownership my out of pocket expenses have been $155 for 12v battery, $950 for the driver door handle, and what would have been $600 for a new tpms sys but they met me half way on that one since it had been in before for that issue and was not fixed the first time. I'm over 65k mi. now as well.
     
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  11. Discoducky

    Discoducky Active Member

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    I opted to not get it and am at 77K miles. I've had one issue with my 1st gen door handle, but thankfully the handle is working normally now (kids aren't yanking on it).

    I've been out of warranty for about 1.5 years due to higher mileage and have not had any cost associated opting out.
     
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  12. sorka

    sorka Active Member

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    I would probably get it but as soon as I hit 50K miles I plan to drive the car every day to work which will rack up about 40K miles / year over the remaining 5 years of the DU and battery warranty, so the ESA would barely last me a year.
     
  13. ChadS

    ChadS Petroleum is for sissies

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    Didn't get the 3-year extended warranty on my Roadster. I then went 4 years without any expenses that the warranty would have covered, so it was a good bet to not buy it.

    Did get the $2500 (well, it used to be) 4-year extended warranty on my Model S. So far, I think it has saved me $200, but even that wasn't really a necessary expense (TPMS upgrade; I could have just replaced the battery on the old system). We have 18k miles left to spend the other $2300. So far, it is not looking like it was a good bet to buy it.

    Remember that in addition to the $200 deductible, there are an awful lot of exclusions. Like, door seals - I am surprised to hear that some were covered. (Though covering under goodwill is different than covering under ESA).
     

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