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Question about Purchasing Extended Warranty

Discussion in 'Model S' started by Tribaltech, Jun 13, 2019.

  1. Tribaltech

    Tribaltech Member

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    Hey all,

    Hope you are all having a fine week. My Model S is coming close to the 50,000 miles mark and given that a myriad of things have broken down in the car in the past 3 years, purchasing an extended warranty for 2 or 4 years seems like the obvious thing to do. Therefore, related to that here are my questions:

    1) I swear, I feel, a few months ago the price of extended warranty was more in the range of $1,800 to $2,400 or something like that. Checking the same today there seems to be two, much more expensive options --> one is a 2-year warranty for $2,100 and a 4-year option for $4,250. Holy moly!!

    2) For those who did purchase a 2-year or a 4-year extended warranty, was it worth it? Did Tesla offer the same type of service, car loaner, ranger, roadside assistance type of deal the way they do over the 50,000 mile original warranty? Or was your experience different? Would you recommend it?

    3) For those who decided not to go ahead with purchasing extended warranty, what were your reasons? And do you feel this was the wise decision given Tesla's reliability issues?

    In the end, if Tesla had been a reliable car with not so many door handle, MCUs, vibrations, and this and that breaking down issues every few months, I'd have never thought about an extended warranty. Prior to my Tesla I never purchased one. But this it seems to be the obvious way forward but the pricing is excruciatingly expensive.

    Would love your perspective on the above. Thanks
     
  2. Ostrichsak

    Ostrichsak Active Member

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    Personally, I don't buy extended warranties. Never have, never will. I'm up thousands as a result. Self-insuring is the way to go IMO.

    I know that's not popular but insurance companies don't exist to help you. They exist to profit off of you. Full stop.
     
    • Like x 1
  3. Flyguy

    Flyguy Member

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    First, if you’re coming up on 50,000 miles, I assume you have had your car more than 180 days so the warranty is available to you are $2,600 or $4,750.

    Second, while I don’t disagree with Ostrichsak at all, I did purchase the extended warranty on my 2017 model S shortly after I bought the car. Too many unknowns for me, and I plan on keeping this car for at least six or seven years, If not longer.

    Last thing, if I sell it before the eight year mark, I will be able to sell it with transferable Bumper to bumper warranty, which is a factor I think a lot of people look at when looking at used teslas. I know I did before I decided to buy new.
     
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  4. ruby110

    ruby110 Member

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    I bought my 4 year extended warranty about 3 years ago. So far in terms of dollars it wasn’t worth it but I bought it for peace of mind. For that it has been worth it.

    I haven’t noticed any service difference once the extended warranty kicked in.

    Side affect. It keeps me from upgrading until the warranty expires!
     
  5. Rockster

    Rockster Active Member

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    I didn’t buy the extended warranty. We now have close to 100k miles on our 2015 S. We didn’t buy the extended warranty because we don’t typically do so and because we put miles on the car so quickly.

    Our out of pocket repairs have included two DIY door handle repairs ($150 each), and an onboard charger ($2000). The MCU died out of warranty but they replaced it as a courtesy. Overall, we’ve come out ahead over paying for the extended warranty but that’s only because the MCU replacement was free.
     
    • Like x 1
  6. Tribaltech

    Tribaltech Member

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    I appreciate all the good perspective. It is very helpful.

    I’m so torn. On one hand I get the whole peace of mind thing and Tesla’s reliability certainly exacerbated the stress. On the other hand I’m like @Rockster above in that we put a ton of miles on our car and this might not be money well spent.

    I just feel scared when I hear of motors failing in the Tesla and those type of replacement. Is the motor and drivetrain and battery type of big stuff covered under the 8 year warranty or would a extended warranty cover those type of failures.

    It is very tempting to save $2100-$4200 bucks for sure.
     
  7. Rockster

    Rockster Active Member

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    The motor and battery are covered under the eight year, infinite mile warranty.* Right now, my biggest concerns are the air suspension and the AC. Either would cost a good amount to fix.

    *I forgot to mention that we had a main battery failure just a few weeks ago and Tesla gave us a "new" battery (probably a refurb) that restored us to factory new rated range.
     
  8. PDFS

    PDFS PDF's tesla

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    I had the 8 year service plan on my 2016. When it was totaled last November TESLA reimbursed me for the unused portion.
     
  9. David29

    David29 Supporting Member

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    #9 David29, Jun 14, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2019
    Just to be clear, though, I think what is available for people in the OP's situation (which my car is in as well) is the "Extended Service Agreement," for 2 years or 4 years, not a "warranty." I am not sure what the practical difference is, except that the deductible on the ESP appears to be $200 per visit so I have read suggestions that it is best to "bundle" your service needs if you can. There may well be other differences between the ESP and a true warranty.
    The price for my 2015 Model S 70D would be $2100 or $4250 as of today.
    I am also rather torn about this choice and have so far procrastinated about making a decision.

    By the way, there is a "Sticky" thread about this topic at
    Official: Model S Service Plans
     
  10. Tribaltech

    Tribaltech Member

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    Thank you. This is helpful. I wasn’t aware that there was a $200/visit fee over the extended warranty. Because currently with my factory warranty I don’t pay anything for warranty repairs or service.
     
  11. Snowstorm

    Snowstorm Active Member

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    As a general rule, I don’t buy extended warranties. And that is because I assume Tesla staff are doing their job thus know they failure rate and repair cost of the car better than I do. It doesn’t do any good for Tesla to loose money on extended warranty so they must sell it at a cost higher than the expected repair cost. Therefor, if potential repair cost will seriously impact your life, then buy it. But if you can afford the repairs, then do not.

    A general rule that I go by is to only buy insurance or warranty if the potential incident will bankrupt me.
     
  12. Chopr147

    Chopr147 Active Member

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    In my experience that is asking A LOT! :)

    I NEVER buy extended warranties or service agreements yet, with my S I am seriously considering it for 2 years $2600
    Tesla repairs just scare me. :eek: though I have had very few issues in 3 years 45k miles.
     
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  13. drklain

    drklain Active Member

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    Agree. First extended warranty I ever bought was for my S. Bought it at the 179 days after delivery point before the price kicks up. My feeling was that if I get one MCU failure or other big-ticket component, it paid for itself and it certainly does appear that things like that do tend to happen over the later years. To date, many people have had those failures covered by Tesla (even after the warranty expired) as "goodwill" but my prediction was that that will come to an end as Tesla strives for profitability and has increasing pressures to cut costs (what we're seeing right now).
     
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  14. Ostrichsak

    Ostrichsak Active Member

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    While it's true they do happen the portion in question is: do they happen to everyone? The answer is, of course, no. They don't happen to everyone. I can happen but the odds that you will receive $2,600 worth of repairs during the life of that warranty period is slim. This is why insurance companies make money. They prey on those who are paranoid that everything is going to happen to them always because they heard of it once even if that likelihood is less than 1%.

    If you can afford $2,600 today take that same $2,600 and buy TSLA stock at today's price. If you have any repairs cash a little bit in to cover it. At the end of the warranty period you will likely be up thousands. I've been doing this for decades now and while I do have to come out of pocket occasionally I 1) tend to find better deals than just taking it to the dealerships and 2) I'm still up SO much money from going this over the years that I couldn't even quantify the amount of money I've saved.

    Warranty sales people will tell you that a simple door handle is $1,000 to fix and you have four. What they won't tell you is that in most cases your handle still functions and the replacement part is $3 if you invest the hour or two to just fix it yourself. This can be extrapolated across most all of your potential failure points as very few will actually require a dealer new part installed by said dealer. Of course you do that if under warranty (or don't care about finances) but if you're paying out of pocket you tend to rationalize how badly you need the fix and find cheaper ways to fix it.

    This is also why health care is so friggin' expensive and insurance alone isn't the solution but that's an entirely separate topic.
     
  15. drklain

    drklain Active Member

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    I don't disagree with what you are saying, but at least for now, the Tesla is a different beast. With any other car, you can buy parts from a dealership and do the repairs yourself...or take it to another mechanic and have them buy the parts and do the repairs. That is simply not possible with Tesla. Bodyshops that are certified can buy Tesla parts, but no one else can (unless you buy used/salvage parts). And repair manuals and the software tools to access most of a Tesla's systems are not available (unless you live in Massachusetts, but even there you don't get access to everything).

    From my perspective, on MCU or autopilot failure and you're at the break even point (between parts and labor). I don't disagree that in most cases, warranties and insurance for something like this don't make sense, but the truth is no one knows how long these parts will last or what their failure rates will be. We still don't have any Model Ss that are even 8 years old, let alone 10 or 15, so we don't know what the true part failure issues are or will be. One thing I am certain of is that Teslas were not MBTF tested to anywhere near the level that other auto manufacturers use just as the software released isn't tested for bugs issues or recursions to any great extent. Tesla is using its customer base to generate the usage, wear and test data. I willingly accepted that was the case when I bought my car, but I felt a bit of insurance was prudent in this case because I did not have confidence that the car would be bulletproof (from a maintenance/failure perspective) for 4,6, 8, 10 or more years).

    Others have chosen to roll the dice and been happy with their results. I'm certainly not saying one HAS to buy the extended warranty. Everyone has their own tolerance for risk. Could I easily stomach a 2 or 3 thousand dollar repair? Of course! Otherwise I wouldn't have bought at $100K car. That wasn't my fear. My fear was a 5 or 10 thousand dollar repair for something like a drive train or computer/autopilot failure that required dismantling most of the car to fix (meaning high labor dollars plus potentially expensive parts)

    I just answered the thread on what my thought process was in buying it...
     
  16. Ostrichsak

    Ostrichsak Active Member

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    Oh, so companies who offer insurance on Teslas aren't trying to make a profit?
     
  17. drklain

    drklain Active Member

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    I never said that companies that offer insurance aren't trying to make a profit. I never said that Tesla isn't trying to make a profit. This was about purchasing the extended warranty that Tesla offers (and yes, clearly they believe they are making a profit at the price point they offer it). My point was simply that my decision calculus was based on the fact I don't think anyone (including Tesla) really understands what the 8 or 10 year ownership costs and wear and tear/failures will be because they didn't develop these cars with the traditional testing that allows an accurate prediction as to costs. As a result (and knowing that there are some big ticket items that might fail) I made the decision to purchase the extended warranty. I also said I understand why some people buy it for a Tesla and some people do not, but that I do think the extended warranty calculus for a Tesla (at least right now and certainly a couple of years ago when I bought mine) is different than an extended warranty for a another car manufacturer due to the uncertainty factor...
     
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  18. phaduman

    phaduman Supporting Member

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    I had previously purchased the ESA for my MS 1.0AP Facelist 75D and I am approaching the 50K miles (in 2.6yrs) and almost finalizing asking for full refund...

    Here is the "exclusion" list as stated in the contact, just FYI in case you haven't read it earlier. And yes, there is a $200


    Exclusions (What Is Not Covered) - this is a 2017 contract. Things might have changed....
    This Vehicle ESA does not cover certain parts or any Vehicle damage or malfunction directly or indirectly caused by, due to or resulting from normal wear or deterioration, abuse, misuse, negligence, accident, lack of or improper maintenance, operation, storage or transport, including, but not limited to, any of the following:

    • The Battery and drive unit;
    • Repairs, modifications or alterations, or the installation or use of fluids, parts or accessories, performed by any service provider other than a Tesla Authorized Service Center without prior authorization from Tesla;
    • Failure to take the Vehicle to a Tesla Authorized Service Center upon discovery of a defect covered by this Vehicle ESA;
    • Negligence, misuse or abuse, such as carrying passengers and cargo exceeding specified load limits or otherwise overloading the Vehicle or using the Vehicle as a stationary power source, or a lack of or improper repair or maintenance, including not performing all vehicle maintenance and service requirements during the Agreement Period of this Vehicle ESA, including those indicated by the vehicle’s systems, observing scheduled inspections or making all services and repairs, non-compliance with any recall advisories, or use of fluids, parts or accessories other than those specified in your owner documentation (see maintenance requirements in Section C. Your Responsibilities);
    • Accidents, collision, objects striking the Vehicle, theft, vandalism, riots, or acts of God, including, but not limited to, exposure to sunlight, airborne chemicals, tree sap, animal or insect droppings, road debris (including stone chips), industry fallout, rail dust, salt, hail, floods, acid rain, fire, explosion, earthquake, windstorm, water, contamination, lightning and other environmental conditions;
    • Tires and wheels;
    • Vehicles used for commercial purposes, which includes but is not limited to government purposes, pick-up, and delivery service, company pool use, or for service or repair calls, route work, or hauling;
    • Racing on or off road, competition, speed contests or autocross or for any other purposes for which the Vehicle is not designed or driving the Vehicle off-road, over uneven, rough, damaged or hazardous surfaces, including but not limited to, curbs, potholes, unfinished roads, debris, or other obstacles;
    • Model S vehicles used for towing;
    • Where the odometer is inaccurate, inoperative or altered so that the Vehicle’s true mileage cannot be ascertained or verified;
    • Vehicles that have had the VIN defaced or altered so that it is difficult to determine the VIN or actual mileage;
    • Vehicles that have been labeled or branded as dismantled, fire-damaged, flood-damaged, junk, rebuilt, salvage, reconstructed, irreparable or a total loss;
    • Vehicles that have been determined to be a total loss by an insurance company;
    • Towing the Vehicle or improper winch procedures;
    • Continued operation and failure to protect the Vehicle from further damage caused by lack of necessary coolants or lubricants, sludge or lubricant contamination, rust or corrosion;
    • Corrosion or paint defects including, but not limited to, the following:
    o Corrosion from defects in non-Tesla manufactured or supplied materials or workmanship causing perforation (holes) in body panels or the chassis from the inside out;
    o Surface or cosmetic corrosion causing perforation in body panels or the chassis from the outside in, such as stone chips or scratches; and
    o Corrosion and paint defects caused by, due to or resulting from accidents, paint matching, abuse, neglect, improper maintenance or operation of the vehicle, installation of an accessory, exposure to chemical substances, or damages resulting from an act of God or nature, fire, or improper storage; ​
    * Tampering with the Vehicle and its systems, including installation of non-Tesla accessories or parts or their installation, or any damage directly or indirectly caused by, due to or resulting from the installation or use of non-Tesla parts or accessories;
    • Damage to a covered part that is damaged by a non-covered part;
    • Damage that occurs prior to this Vehicle ESA’s Effective Date or is reported after this Vehicle ESA’s expiration;
    • Any and all indirect, incidental, special and consequential damages arising out of or relating to Your Vehicle, including, but not limited to, those specified in Section I. Limits of Liability;
    • Storage and freight charges;
    • The cost of teardown, disassembly or assembly if coverage cannot be applied;
    • Adjustments necessary to correct squeaks, rattles, water leaks or wind noise;
    • Maintenance/Parts, including but not limited to the following:
    o Parts and normal or expendable maintenance items and procedures such as annual service and diagnostics checks, brake pads/linings, brake rotor, suspension alignment, wheel balancing, hoses, air conditioning lines, hoses or connections, Battery testing, fluid changes, appearance care (such as cleaning and polishing), filters and wiper blades/inserts; and
    o Other maintenance services and parts described in Tesla’s maintenance schedule for the covered Vehicle; ​
    • Other Parts not covered:
    o Bright metal, sheet metal, bumpers, ornamentation moldings, carpet, upholstery, paint, shock absorbers, 12V battery, battery cables, lenses, light bulbs, sealed beams, glass (e.g., windshield), wheels, interior trim, body seals and gaskets (e.g., weather stripping);
    o Removable soft tops, removable hard tops, glass, plastic, framing, cables, or seals; and
    o Certain individual items associated with the Vehicle, including, but not limited to the Mobile Connector, Wall Connector, any future connectors, and charging adapters; ​
    • Additional loss or damage due to failure to use reasonable precautions to protect the Vehicle from any further loss or damage after a Failure has occurred; and
    • Any costs if verifiable receipts as required in Section C. Your Responsibilities are not furnished on request.
     
    • Informative x 2
  19. Tribaltech

    Tribaltech Member

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    Holy smokes!!! This is very informative. Thank you so much!! So the ESA is pretty much useless given that everything under the sun is excluded from coverage. I guess I’ll just need to hope for the best in that the component breakdowns are at a minimum once the warranty runs out. Gulp.

    So for those on post who did not purchase the extended warranty. What kind of out of pocket costs have you had to incur? What were the typical things that went wrong with your model S after the 50K miles mark?

    Thank you for your response.
     
  20. drklain

    drklain Active Member

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    Actually, I don't think it is that bad. Note that the battery and drive train are covered by their own warranty, which runs longer than the regular warranty. It doesn't cover normal wear and tear items, but no one's does. What does it cover that might be an expensive repair?
    • MCU
    • Autopilot sensors
    • autopilot computer
    • steering
    • windows/doors/door handles/roof/rear hatch/frunk
    • air conditioning compressor
    • DC/DC converter
    Any one of those might be expensive due to labor required. At the end of the day (as others have said) this is effectively insurance. It hedges you against the potential cost of repairing one or more of those items. As we've seen, many of those run over $1,000 and the A/C compressor (and DC/DC converter) runs about $3K as I recall. If none of those fails on you, you did well. If one or more of them fail (and every one of those items has failed on multiple cars even BEFORE the original warranty expired, you might be happy you bought the ESA. The ESA is NOT coverage for anything that might possibly go wrong with the car (nor should it be viewed that way). It is coverage for potential big-ticket items whose actual working life we just aren't sure about these days...
     
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