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Is the Model S a "real" car yet?

Discussion in 'Model S' started by ElectricMonkey, Feb 24, 2015.

  1. ElectricMonkey

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    I'm sure my title is going to make waves here, but keep in mind that I'm posting because I'm considering purchasing a Model S at some point down the road.

    I'm a very busy man, and simply don't have time in my life to visit a repair shop every other month. I have a lease on a Nissan LEAF, and the car has had exactly 0 issues in 8 months and 8K miles. Nothing breaks on these. That said, I'm used to driving a more luxurious car. I'd like town own a Tesla. The LEAF was nothing more than an experiment to see if I could go electric.

    So, my question is very simple. Are we past the "early adopter" stage with Tesla yet? Are these real cars, in the sense that most owners only have to bring them in once a year, like you would with an ordinary car from one of the more established car companies? If not, what are your thoughts on how long before we get there?
     
  2. Zextraterrestrial

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    #2 Zextraterrestrial, Feb 24, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2015
    my car is real. maybe it wasn't at first... but it sure is rock solid now!

    to be fair, any other car would have broken by now.

    It sounds like new cars are much tighter but seems that there are still some issues. my car has none now but has seen the groomer a few times


    The BMW that we have has more issues than the S and BMW doesn't know how to fix them. this car has been in more than 4 times in 1 year w/ partial resolution
    Tesla at least can and does fix problems and even some non problems.
     
  3. ElectricMonkey

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    How many miles? How many months of ownership? How many service visits?
     
  4. Bham

    Bham Member

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    Hey man, I don't own a Model S yet and I know you're a busy man, so how about you buy one for me, let me put it to the tests for you, and I'll report back and let you know if it's real enough? Do we have a deal? :)
     
  5. AnOutsider

    AnOutsider S532 # XS27

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    I think we may still be in the 2-3 times per year range for service visits (at least I am), but to be honest, the SCs usually make the process so painless that it's hardly a bother. They'll come pick the car up or drop it off wherever. I even forgot they were coming once and went into work. When the driver called, I told him and he rerouted to my office for the pickup.
     
  6. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    I've had mine for over 2 years but only 27,000 miles. Never had the car become non drivable but mine is such an early model that has been in a few times for minor issues. I've driven a new loaner recently and much better build quality. I wouldn't wait until things are 'perfect' as then you'd never order. There is always the chance something can go wrong but think they are past the early adopter phase. It's not a seasoned Model like the S class Mercedes however. There still is plenty of growing room but much of that is in software.
     
  7. EarlyAdopter

    EarlyAdopter Active Member

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    It's been my only car for over two years now, and I too am very busy between my wife and I both working in demanding careers and us having two young kids. About as busy as one can get in life. It's been working great and absolutely the best vehicle decisions I've ever made.

    Here's why - Tesla Service is absolutely far and away the best in the industry, I've only had a few minor issues at they were all in the early days, and I can fill up at home every night saving me 10-15 minutes every week (that's 8-12 _hours_ every year). Having to take 10-15 minutes out of my day each week previously to go get gas was a _huge_ inconvenience when my schedule is packed to the gills every day.

    Specifically about servicing, my first Model S had a few minor early design issues - a rev1 door handle went out, the pano roof made a creaking sound, one of my dome lights went out, and my first 12v battery was part of a bad batch. For each of these, Tesla either came to my office to fix it or offered to bring me a loaner and take my car in for service. Simply incredible. 0 time out of my day.

    Since those minor issues were fixed, that car was rock solid for over a year and never saw a service center. I recently sold it to trade up to a P85D, which I've had for 2 months now and likewise it hasn't needed to go in for anything. And should it ever, I know Tesla will come take care of it for me.

    So, I'd say "yes!" the "early adopter" phase (ahem :smile:) is past, and yes it absolutely is a real car.
     
  8. Gizmotoy

    Gizmotoy Active Member

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    Hard to say. My ~25k VIN from the very end of 2013 has spent a lot of time in the shop and everyone here expected I'd be safe. You just never know. My last two cars (a Honda and a Mitsubishi) were kept 6 years each, and the Tesla has spent more time in the shop in a year than they did over 6 years, combined. I'd like to say it was all minor stuff too, but I just had my drivetrain replaced and they pulled and opened up the battery to change the power switch (contactors) as well. Tesla's been definitively excellent about all of this: I don't mind taking the Tesla in even the slightest bit, but HATED taking in the Honda and Mitsubishi.

    So that's the bad. The good news is that build quality has improved substantially. I think the learning period on the body, common components, and RWD drivetrain is over, and I strongly suspect a 60 or 85 purchased today would be quite reliable. If it were me in your place I'd consider waiting a little while if you're thinking about a D given all the changes that brought.

    Either way, it's a decidedly "real" car: Buying from even a major manufacturer in the first year or two of production after a major model revision carries similar risks.
     
  9. techmaven

    techmaven Active Member

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    It is useful to consider that the P85D and the S85D are brand new models and presumably everything that applies to brand new models in terms of teething pains do apply. Also, the autopilot features are very new and in some cases, are still in beta. A Model S built in the late summer of 2014 is likely a very well sorted car. A S85 today is probably just as well sorted. I think there are variations whenever there is a large change in production or, potentially, at the very end of a quarter's rush. Most of these issues are easily remedied. My Mercedes also had initial teething issues and was solid for many years after that.
     
  10. Zextraterrestrial

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    33333mi this weekend - 27 months

    after my 2 year service the car has been absolutely rock solid.

    I had quite a few early service visits and a new battery + drive unit(noisy ...but actually quieter than the Volt or civic hybrid Edrive)
    and the thing is that under warranty there isn't a 'service visit', my car was picked up and usually a loaner was dropped off & I live 250mi 1-way from service!
     
  11. mgboyes

    mgboyes Member

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    #11 mgboyes, Feb 24, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2015
    13k miles over 8 months (RHD, UK).

    It went back to the service centre about a month after delivery for a few minor snagging issues (lacquer peel on the rear spoiler, rattly sunroof when open, clicking noise from steering wheel at low speed, creaky dash) but has been 100% reliable since then.

    On this basis so far it's the most reliable car I've ever owned.

    It also has a load of features on it today that weren't there when it was new. No other car does that.
     
  12. EdA

    EdA Model S P-2540

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    My car has 41.5k+ miles in 25+ months and as an early adopter I had a few bumps along the way, never being stranded.
    My wife's car was delivered in September and it has about 5k miles on it and the only service visit was to replace a wiper blade
    as far as I remember.

    It is a real car, capable of 600+ miles in a single day winter and summer!
     
  13. Beckler

    Beckler Member

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  14. donv

    donv Member

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    I think I've had mine in for service twice in almost 2 years... I'll probably take it in again this summer. No different than any other cars-- heck, my wife has taken her Camry in far more than I've taken the Tesla in, over the last couple of years (the Camry is a few years older).
     
  15. artsci

    artsci Sponsor

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    Understand this: Even if the car needs service (in my case not often and even then for very minor things) getting my Tesla serviced has been a dream, far better than any other experience I've had with an ICE car. I have Ranger service, which means that Tesla comes to me when and where I want for service -- at my home, office, whatever. If the problem can't be addressed by a Ranger they flatbed the car to a Service Center, provide a loaner (usually another Model S), and then return my car to me when the work is done. Nothing could be more convenient.
     
  16. mkjayakumar

    mkjayakumar Active Member

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    My two Leaf leases have had ZERO issues over 38 months and 52K miles (combined). My maintenance expenses - ZERO.
     
  17. Six

    Six Member

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    When I need service Tesla drives to me, picks up my Model S and leaves me another Model S as a loaner. It is not serviced significantly more often then any previous car I have owned. With 30,000 miles on Tesla Model S, I feel it is reliable and mostly service free, but when it does need service it is no problem at all.
     
  18. iadbound

    iadbound Member

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    My impression is that Tesla is handling more service issues than it thought it might when it rolled out the Model S. There are various threads here about the service centers being busy etc. That said, Tesla service is, as everyone else here has pointed out, very responsive. They also try to make the process very easy. The one issue that they sometimes struggle with is that the service centers often have to communicate with engineering and parts supply in California, and this can sometimes slow things up.

    One other thing I really appreciate about the service center experience, versus my old Lexus dealership, is that I never feel like service folks are trying to blow smoke at me. They genuinely want to make you happy and give you the best experience possible.
     
  19. glhs272

    glhs272 Unnamed plug faced villian

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    In a word, yes.

    My car has over 40K miles on it. I have had few issues. Those were noticed and corrected by Tesla during it's annual. Rolling up to my second annual, but there is nothing wrong with the car and I am debating if I really need to take it in. I think I may, just as more of a preventative measure. Ideally I only want to have my car serviced for any reason annually or longer. Every car is different. I would still be prepared to take it in at least once a year. Also, consider staying away from certain models/features during their first few months (P85D, 85D, Model X) to give Tesla some time to perfect them. Keeping in mind that Tesla is constantly changing and improving the car. As always, YMMV.
     
  20. TexasEV

    TexasEV Active Member

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    @busy man-- Most problems I've had could be solved by rebooting the car. I doubt you could say that about your other cars. When the car did need service, either they brought me a loaner or they picked it up at work and returned it the same day. No need to go to the service center unless you want to.
     

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