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POLL: Has your drive unit failed?

Has your drive unit failed, and at how may miles (first failures only)?


  • Total voters
    136
  • Poll closed .

Twiddler

Member
Apr 19, 2012
552
57
DFW
I would like to initiate a poll, partly for my own sanity, to get a gauge of how prevalent at least initial drive unit failures are amongst our cohort. Of course, please comment only if you are an owner/operator

EDIT - valid point below. For the sake of argument (if you want to beat that horse, please see other thread), lets just say:

Has Tesla replaced or offered to replace your drive unit?
 
Last edited:

gavine

Petrol Head turned EV Enthusiast
Apr 1, 2014
2,576
2,109
Philadelphia, PA
I think you need to be more specific about what you mean by "failure". Is noise considered a failure, or completely broken motor (undriveable)?
 

Enadler

Member
Nov 29, 2012
406
95
Westchester, NY
I would vote twice but I can't. I traded in my 3-year-old 85 with over 40k miles and no problem with the drive unit. I now have a 2 month old 85D with about 1000 miles also with no problems!
 

mknox

Well-Known Member
Aug 7, 2012
10,103
1,866
Toronto, ON
I think you need to be more specific about what you mean by "failure". Is noise considered a failure, or completely broken motor (undriveable)?

I consider it a "failure" if Tesla had to replace it. Even if it is just noise. Tesla wouldn't be shelling out those kinds of dollars if they didn't think something was wrong.
 

Mark Z

Active Member
Mar 12, 2013
1,842
1,301
North Orange County
Since I occasionally take photos of the display and other Tesla activity, I was surprised that the failure was before bringing the vehicle in for motor drive replacement at 19,622 after 14 months. My emails give more specifics. Just wanted to suggest searching for accurate data to keep the poll numbers accurate. I could answer affirmative for windshield (due to crack), all door handles (open on their own), wheel sensor antenna (no data) and charge port (sudden inability to charge).
 

3mp_kwh

Active Member
Feb 13, 2013
1,115
263
Boston
I don't like this survey because you aren't controlling for older cars. It will lean toward (falsely) concluding "almost all cars will need a drive unit" as a function of miles, when only older cars have reached much above 25k.

This is another place where it would be useful to know whether the company has identified new part numbers, for drive unit internals. The parts manual identifies lots of items, but I don't remember it getting inside the DU. As it stands, there very well could be a fix that would reduce the pessimism.
 
Last edited:

Twiddler

Member
Apr 19, 2012
552
57
DFW
I don't like this survey because you aren't controlling for older cars. It will lean toward (falsely) concluding "almost all cars will need a drive unit" as a function of miles, when only older cars have reached much above 25k.

This is another place where it would be useful to know whether the company has identified new part numbers, for drive unit internals. The parts manual identifies lots of items, but I don't remember it getting inside the DU. As it stands, there very well could be a fix that would reduce the pessimism.

The polling options provided do not allow such variables - I would love to include model years, +/-P, 60, 85, etc, but still even with that data (which again the TMC polling system does not support), the poll will still possess a huge amount of selection bias from the TMC cohort. Let's just keep it simple and get an idea of how big this issue is first, regardless of build date.
 

mibaro2

Member
Dec 2, 2012
959
8
Georgetown, ON
I consider it a failure if I am stranded on the road or if the noise is very loud that I want it replaced.
If Tesla replaces it proactively, then the DU has not failed. Mine was replaced because Tesla said there was a new revision to the DU and they wanted me to have it. So do I vote that my DU failed? No. Do I vote that it was replaced? Yes. I don't see that option in this poll.
 

Twiddler

Member
Apr 19, 2012
552
57
DFW
I would think that if you don't feel comfortable with either of the options, then don't vote. Your situation is controversial (please see other thread to avoid rehashing all of that here) - basically there are those (myself included) that do not believe that Tesla would offer to replace your drive unit gratis unless either A) you have a build that has been flagged as at risk for failing and/or B) there have been more subtle signs of failure already. But again, let's just leave that for another thread.
 

FreeOfPge

Member
May 12, 2013
440
109
CA
Last edited:

Mark Z

Active Member
Mar 12, 2013
1,842
1,301
North Orange County
Is it a failure or not? I think the answer is simple. In my case, Tesla Motors service personnel heard the noise, considered it excessive and replaced the drive unit with a rebuilt one. That is "failure" to me. At the time it took place, my original drive unit was returned to Fremont for rebuild to install in another vehicle.

I know of one person who took delivery of a 85D in December 2014 and already has a noisy front drive unit. He has yet to have it replaced. If you consider less than one year as "recent", this is occurring with recent vehicles. Perhaps a future poll could be based on vehicle production year of those with a motor drive failure.
 

mknox

Well-Known Member
Aug 7, 2012
10,103
1,866
Toronto, ON
Mine was replaced because Tesla said there was a new revision to the DU and they wanted me to have it.

Interesting. One of the reasons they told me there might be a delay in getting mine done is that they were working through a list of proactive replacements first. (Sounds like a "recall" to me). They also told me it was affecting P cars and not standard 85's, but I believe yours is a regular 85 like mine.
 

AmpedRealtor

Well-Known Member
Jun 30, 2013
6,351
3,346
Phoenix, AZ
I've had 3 DU replacements but I am not responding to this pool because none of the DUs actually failed. They exhibited some noise and nothing more. I think you should re-think the wording of your poll.
 

kort677

Banned
Sep 17, 2015
4,801
2,242
florida.
I've had 3 DU replacements but I am not responding to this pool because none of the DUs actually failed. They exhibited some noise and nothing more. I think you should re-think the wording of your poll.
if the units are operating out of spec, they have failed. you can try to spin the problem it anyway you want to and at the end of the day the bottom line is they the drive units are not functioning as designed.
 

AmpedRealtor

Well-Known Member
Jun 30, 2013
6,351
3,346
Phoenix, AZ
if the units are operating out of spec, they have failed. you can try to spin the problem it anyway you want to and at the end of the day the bottom line is they the drive units are not functioning as designed.

I'm not spinning anything, I'm stating very clearly that I do not consider a hum to be a failure, and I'm not the only one who shares this view. A failure is something that breaks, not something that starts chirping or humming. That's my definition, you don't have to like it. :)
 

Twiddler

Member
Apr 19, 2012
552
57
DFW
I've had 3 DU replacements but I am not responding to this pool because none of the DUs actually failed. They exhibited some noise and nothing more. I think you should re-think the wording of your poll.

I already did - see my first post. I cannot edit the title itself. If you feel that the unit hums, but Tesla has not replaced (or offered to replace) the unit, then vote no. Simple.
 

David99

Active Member
Jan 31, 2014
4,850
7,021
Brea, Orange County
Interesting. One of the reasons they told me there might be a delay in getting mine done is that they were working through a list of proactive replacements first. (Sounds like a "recall" to me). They also told me it was affecting P cars and not standard 85's, but I believe yours is a regular 85 like mine.


Mine is a normal 85 and I just had my DU replaced for the 4th time. The noise came back every time and got to an annoying level after around 15k miles. So I had them replaced at 15k, 30k, 45, and now 60k.
 

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