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Tesla reliability reputation

Discussion in 'Model S' started by Kensiko, Apr 5, 2016.

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  1. Hengist

    Hengist Member

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    True. But the main charger module, and the propulsion unit are the equivalent of engine failure and transmission failure.
     
  2. DJung

    DJung Member

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    The drive unit replacement was due to a milling noise, which isn't like an engine failure because the car works fine. It just makes an odd but annoying sound. They just go ahead and replace the drive unit to get you in and out of the service center quickly instead of removing the drive unit and opening it up. They just swap it out and then refurbish the drive units. I replaced mine for the same reason.

    The charger replacement is pretty big, but I think it's not very common. I haven't heard that many people having issues with their onboard chargers.
     
  3. jbcarioca

    jbcarioca Active Member

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    In addition to the typical things mentioned tesla is dinged for having a "High Number of Software Faults" in another survey. Sure.

    Reconciling high customer satisfaction with high frequency of repairs might give one pause. Not too long ago Porsche was often in that category. Clearly Tesla can do better; clearly Tesla already is doing better. All current owners knowingly bought an expensive car from a manufacturer whose existence as such dates barely a decade ago. We mostly tolerate the very steep learning curve and mostly applaud it.

    Now Tesla is going mainstream in volume and target audience. Thus the standards are changing, and must. Tesla and everyone there seem to understand that pretty well.

    That said, in my 25,000 miles of P85D my car is simply the best car I have ever owned. I still have trouble believing that. My TrueDelta or CR reports cannot capture the impact of OTA updates and data links, among other things.
     
  4. XXSLAMXX

    XXSLAMXX Member

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    IMHO
    Past performance normally dictates future results... usually.

    To me,
    Initial quality and overall reliability trump all other benefits.

    I don't care how good your service
    Is.. I don't want to see or experience
    It. Unless it's a scheduled prophylactic need, the car should run as designed.
    Tricky words there...

    Love the Tesla model S... think it has tremendous potential... but, there are too many issues, for me, to feel comfortable having this car in my garage at this point.

    I plan to continue to cheer from the stands and hope the company's future is stellar...

    Best to all,
    Mn
     
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  5. thegruf

    thegruf Active Member

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    three ears ago?
    wow that must be loud
    sorry couldn't resist :D
     
  6. Hengist

    Hengist Member

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    Not exactly. The milling indicates that the bearing is in the process of grinding itself into oblivion. Yes, it's not like an inverter failure.
     
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  7. Kensiko

    Kensiko Member

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    Interesting discussion, keep going on ;)
     
  8. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    @artsci thank you for posting what a should be obvious to everyone but in fact is almost universally ignored.

    Only a statistically valid random sample of Tesla owners (or owners of any car) would produce accurate vehicle reliability data. While there is no denying that, looked at collectively, cars do not operate with 100% reliability, only the vehicle manufacturers have the data (if they bother to collect it in an accurate manner, and I'm sure Tesla does) that shows the failure rates for the parts they use in their cars. That data likely shows very different failure rates compared to what many perceive based on anecdotal evidence and deeply flawed "quality ratings".

    Because vehicles are a highly regulated product, as they should be since human safety is involved and they are used on public roads, I would advocate for laws requiring vehicle manufacturers to disclose reliability data for all the major systems in their cars. They have the data, and the public has a right to know.

    Of course vehicle manufacturers would call that a terrible idea, and come up with all sorts of absurd rationales for not disclosing the data they have. And there would be intense arguments over what constitutes a "failure" (arguments that have already occurred on TMC, nothing new there) vs. normal wear and tear. But such disputes could be resolved through discussion and negotiation and compromise. That is the way civilized societies do things.

    And by the way, all the thread "polls" posted on TMC are fatally flawed due to selection bias such that they produce no meaningful data. But carry on...
     
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  9. jbcarioca

    jbcarioca Active Member

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    Just for context, back in 1998 the Chevrolet Prizm and Toyota Corolla were identical cars but for badge and dealers, built at NUMMI (now Tesla plant). The JD Power rankings showed huge differences in initial quality and reliability favoring the Corolla. Hard reality suggests there should not be the differences but there were. Were they due to brand expectations? ...dealers? ...buyers? ...discounting? Nobody knows exactly, but my firm was paid a ridiculous sum to investigate, which we did with surveys, direct owner interviews and direct vehicle evaluation. In the end we all concluded that owner expectations drove the results. People expected Chevrolet to be mediocre and Toyota to be excellent, resale values confirmed the market reality.

    Moral: Tesla evaluations have similar bias. Those who expect problems find squeaks, noises etc more than those who do not expect them. Nobody is lying. Reality is that our own expectations really do alter our xperiences. So it goes with all of life, including almost everything.

    Recommendation: If you want a Tesla and believe it will be good for you, buy it! If you think it will be troublesome, sequaky or otherwise displeasing, please do not buy it! NEVER, ever let your opinion be overly influenced by anybody else. ( sorry for shouting)

    Personal note: on more than one occasion I have not taken my own advice and allowed myself to buy a product that had excellent reviews but had a maker about whom I was prejudiced. Those never worked well for me. I persist in feeling it was pure fact, but I know it was my attitude that made the difference. I know rationally allow myself to make non-rational choices from time to time and I'm more satisfied as a result.

    YMMV this is obviously my personal view. Nobody need agree if they choose not to. I will not be offended. Amused maybe, but not offended.
     
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  10. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    This has been my experience too. With tires, if you think a tire is going to be good, you tend to drive to make it seem good. If you think it's going to be bad, it will be. That said:

    I don't hear any squeaks or rattles--well once there was a loose object in the centre space that made noise but removing the object fixed it.

    There's no mention on any of the service invoices that the pano roof had any service done to it other than lubrication, no drive train or battery replacements (other than the 12V battery early on).

    There have been alignments, but they seem to be getting better though they're still not perfect.

    There was wind noise from the triangle window originally, but that was fixed and never came back.

    There are the software issues for the audio system.

    This compares with the Prius that shut down once while driving, had 12V battery replacements, had audio system failures (and ate several CDs that I can't replace). I'd call it about equal in problems.

    On the other hand, the VW TDI's engine blew up at 80K miles (replaced under warranty but afterwords VW reduced the warranty from 100K to 36K miles). Didn't go a month without a headlight replacement. Had all the weatherstripping melt. Had three CD player replacements. The list goes on, but it ended up costing 22 cents per mile for maintenance (not including fuel) over 95K miles--and the first three years were bumper to bumper covered. I had high expectations but was very disappointed. It's the only new car I've ever kept for such a short time. Never again.
     
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  11. AB4EJ

    AB4EJ Member

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    I was going to suggest the same thing. These high end & leading edge cars simply have more things to go wrong. If reliability is your top priority, you need to buy a Toyota Camry.
     
  12. McRat

    McRat Well-Known Member

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    #32 McRat, Jun 5, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2016
    That is a common urban legend that is not supported by data. Today there are more reliable luxury cars than the Toyota Group cars, and the Camry is not even the quality champ of the cheap midsized market. Plus, it's Toyota's anemic Corolla that is better rated in quality than the Camry is.

    So how does that happen? By the public assuming a lack of bias of "trusted" media groups:

    Consumer Reports is just one classic example of a "trusted" source that is biased even when using their own reported data. They rate Toyota products higher than their data supports, which is in line with that common myth. For 2016, CR measured reliability of Lexus/Toyota as #3, Toyota as #8, and Scion/Toyota as #18. However, Toyota is far and away the manufacturer with the highest "predicted" reliability according to CR; nobody else comes even close. Only Lexus/Toyota and Toyota have the highest CR "predicted" rating, and Scion is just a hair lower. Not supported by CR data though, or even CR's own opinion of competing cars.

    CR only gave 100% recommended buy rating to Audi, Suburu, and Mazda models. Yet, roughly 1/3 of Toyota Group models are "not recommend" by CR. And this is how the general public sees it also. Even a car with lower reliability data and not recommended for purchase is the highest quality if it's Toyota Group..

    If you feel more comfy with data instead of the lemming method of car selection:

    You might be better off selecting the 2016 Chevrolet Malibu which currently has a higher reliability rating than the 2016 Camry does in the mid-sized sector. In fact the Malibu is #1 rated in mid-sized reliability.

    The 2016 Malibu also has a higher safety rating than the 2016 Camry. The Malibu Hybrid is cheaper than the Camry Hybrid while being 23% more fuel efficient, and is a higher rated driver's car.

    In fact, even though the Malibu Hybrid is a significantly larger and quicker car than any version of the Toyota Prius, it's fuel economy is very close to some Prius models at 47/46/46. The larger Malibu is on par with the sub-compact 2016 Prius C on highway mileage, and 10% better than the Prius V (still smaller than Malibu) in all conditions.
     
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  13. Hengist

    Hengist Member

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    All interesting points. The forums get lots of complaints, especially when a model is new, about alignment of body panels, for example. Lots of talk about the paint. These are things only a subset of car enthusiasts key on for quality.

    Then there are design flaws: sometimes they get improved, like the 12 volt battery location, or windshields that don't work with RFID transponders, badly designed contactors that would unexpectedly bork the car. Sometimes they don't, like the lack of access to the car when the 12 volt is dead.

    Then minor components: window regulators, sticky door handles.

    And, especially in the first year of production, small things with big impact: water leaks into the cabin were big deal in 2012-2013. Bad batches of 12 volt batteries. Windshields that cracked from stress.

    All that is included in surveys and usually not weighted for severity and importance.

    OP was interested in things after warranty period, and, by implication major costly stuff. You'd expect less of that in an EV, as the power train is inherently simpler. But the technology is relatively immature in comparison with the hundreds of millions of ICE vehicles on the road. Thus, we do have some possibly elevated risk.

    Extended warranties are not sold as a charitable endeavor. The seller expects to make money on the average. So the question in considering them is your risk tolerance.
     
  14. FlatSix911

    FlatSix911 Porsche 918 Hybrid

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    #34 FlatSix911, Jun 5, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2016
    Not the top five that I expected... the new EV technology must be a significant factor for the Model S and i3.

    upload_2016-6-5_11-7-53.png
     
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  15. Camera-Cruiser

    Camera-Cruiser Fully Charged

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    Confirmation bias 101!

    This is Mac vs PC all over again. In the old days Macs were toys, only used by "hippie" artist who couldn't type and needed pictures to help get things done. PC users were professionals, who could remember the command to make words bold or italic, even though their computers couldn't display it. If you dislike Macs you will hate gaming performance and the way it does things. If you hate PCs, remember they come with malware and viruses right out of the box etc.

    I grew up in a Ford family. I think my mom cried the day I drove up in a Dodge. She was later pleased when the transmission fell out of it 9 months later and stranded me on the freeway. So I started buying Toyotas. Fortunately, I get even every time her Ford Sync, stops syncing and I have to reset her Bluetooth connections.

    I love reading this forum, but I keep confirmation bias in mind constantly, because cheerleaders cheer and haters hate. I'm always happy to read well thought, informative, or outright funny posts too!
     
  16. Snerruc

    Snerruc Member

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    I don't know if it is still true, but Japan has had a strict inspection law that makes it very expensive toown an unreliable car.. They also published the data and shared it with the manufacturers. This is why Japanese cars tend to be highly reliable.
     
  17. cab

    cab Member

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    I've found forums to be my best source of info around issues. Enthusiasts tend to , as others have moted, not only identify issues but triage them as well. Ultimately, I use the information to determine if a given issue is a "big deal" to me. Part of that determination involves how signifcant the issue is, how much parts cost to fix it, liklihood of occurence, and whether or not I can fix it myself. As a comparison, before I bought my 8 year old BMW M5 I spent a lot of time on the M5 board. There were a number of issues, but I knew I could stomach the (somewhat pricey) parts costs and do almost all of the repairs (and there were several) myself. The one "oh crap" item that could impact those cars was transmission failure, but it was easy to see it was a very rare occurence.

    The Model S is actually a bit frustrating in this regard since, as other threads have noted. You can't get parts as an individual, there are no third party repair shops, and now the extended warranty can only be purchased by the original owner. The "exposure" with regard to issues could be much higher and that is probably the biggest factor with regard to quality.
     
  18. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    It's more about frequent car turnover. Few Japanese own cars older than five years due the the inspection law.
     
  19. wdolson

    wdolson Supporting Member

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    People always have biases and they really come out with cars. My SO is biased against American cars despite the fact I drive a 24 year old American car that has had fewer problems than her 1996 Suburu had. She has a newer Subaru now and the 96 was fairly reliable, but my Buick has spent less time in the shop since we met than her cars.

    Consumer Reports has one of the better rating systems, but it has bias too. From the 1970s on my father has ranted that Consumer Reports tended to be negatively biased against American cars and especially larger American cars. My family has universally had good experiences with American cars.

    Again personal experiences are all anecdotal. I've seen people sing the praises of Tesla here and people demonize them for getting a car with a lot of problems. Both experiences exist out there and only Tesla knows how many cars are perfect and how many are turkeys.

    Only the car makers know for sure what the reliability is for their own cars. They have complete data on every car they sold. It would be cool if the car makers had to make the aggregate data public.

    The UK has MOT which is a similar program. I've heard few people in the UK drive older cars too. I have a friend who likes older cars and he said he's rare driving a 20 year old car. He's also made a small side living buying older cars that didn't pass MOT, making the repairs to get them to pass, then reselling them with a valid MOT.
     
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  20. X Yes?

    X Yes? Member

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    Good point. Things change. Toyota does not have the reliability advantage they had in the eighties. All of the domestics have made great strides. JD Power reports GM had more first place segment wins than Toyota in the last reliability survey. There is hope for Tesla.
     

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