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Reliability Survey of the 'Nose Cone Model S' (2012-2016)


New Member
Aug 27, 2020
Hi everyone,
I am Fabien and currently drive a 2020 VW E-UP (I live in France). It's a hell of a car but need something bigger and will use the E-UP as a second car. I drove a 2012 Model S last summer in California and it I have been obsessed with it every since.
However, reading forums and Facebook posts on a variety of Tesla related groups, it sounds like the reliability of the Nose Cone Model S is poor. But is it?
I have set up a short survey as an attempt at building non biased data on the reliability of the pre-facelifted Model S (2012-2016)
Would really appreciate if you could spare a minute and/or share it with a Nose Cone Model S owner you might know.
I will share the outcome of the survey here. Thanks a lot for your contribution. I think it might help other people in the market for a used Model S :) You'll also be able to see the results as you answer the questions.
Looking forward to hearing from you.
Here is the link to the questionnaire :
Tesla "Nose Cone Model S" Reliability Poll


Active Member
Oct 20, 2014
2015 D85S here, 60k miles.
1. Battery heater.
2. Door handles until new design.
3. Steering hardware, control arm.
4. Two windshields.
5. Trunk closure sensor.
Pre-emptive 12v battery replacement.
e-MMC ready to happen, MCU reboots weekly now.

Otherwise just joy and happiness.
Warranty until 2023, praying both DUs and MCU fail before then.

Service center excellent in my area, most repairs clustered around annual service,
truck with loaner in tow arrived at my workplace when car not driveable.

e-UP, ID.3 are toys compared to MS.

There are many 100k Model S driving around.

I would get a dual drive if you have winter.


Feb 27, 2015
Instead of conducting your own survey which is likely to be biased by who chooses to answer you, why not use the one done by True Delta which is conducted in a way that avoids that problem. See 2012 - 2018 Tesla Model S Reliability at TrueDelta: Real-world reliability data
Summary: they aren’t very reliable. My personal experience reflects that, but I love my Model S and while it has had many repairs, it has never really stranded me and the have mostly been covered under warranty.
Thanks! I will post some results next week. Is this your MS in the profile picture? It is Gorgeous! Are the rims Turbine replica in 20 inch? :)

yep its a old picture from when i purchased the car, with the original 19"cyclones . 2014 p85

here is the latest , 20" slipstreams from a model x wider rear tyre for more grip.
Your survey doesn’t list the issues I've had on March 2015 S85D with 86K miles:

1. high voltage junction box: supercharging failed to start sometimes. $1000

2. trunk latch failed. (Common failure with the mercedes sourced part, even on Mercedes). Under $100

3. 12v battery failed. It's sort of unfair to list this. I replace 12v batteries on my other cars, too. It's a wear item

4. Replaced eMMC chip after mcu started crashing and freezing. $635 From Tony.

Every model S with mcu 1 is going to need the eMMC issue fixed. Fortunately Tesla is now replacing just the nvidia card for about $500 rather than replacing the entire mcu.

Tesla should be ashamed for this disastrous choice of a cheap low lifetime part along with crappy software that beat the snot out of it 24x7 shortening its lifetime dramatically. I had the confidence to remove my mcu, disassemble it to remove the nvidia card and sent it to Tony to replace the emmc with a longer life part. Far too many others have had to spend $2500 to replace their mcu.
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2013 S85, bought it at 56k miles and it now has 86k miles.

I got the car with some flaws which were fixed under warranty right after I got it.
- DAB tuner
- Rear drive unit
- Parking brake

30k miles later and not a single issue other than the mobile charge cable failing. Seriously. It starts every morning, even in super cold temperatures parked outside without plugged in and has never let me down. I can drive it hard/abuse it and it doesn't mind.

Absolutely love this car, but be vary of common issues with the panorama roof, door handles, drive unit and AC.

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