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Thoughts about Tesla Warranty, CPO, Service, and Other Policies

This is why I went with a higher mileage (31k) car. My thought process was that in the first 31k miles, hopefully the prior owner knocked out all the original teething issues. And other than the glaring issues that I outlined in my car's thread, this was the case. I don't have misaligned panels, I don't have poor alignment, I don't some of the original issues. I did have the clunk and milling sound, but the 4 miles I've driving on my replacement drive unit didn't exhibit this problem. As to MsElectric's point, this is also why I wanted to see the cars prior service history so I can be on the lookout for any of the original issues that may not have been addressed yet.

Have you tried again to get your car's service records? :) Good point with the service records being an indicator for which known issues have been addressed. Personally if I were buying an early Model S, seeing a service entry where I see an "A" battery pack was replaced with a later revision would be good news...

Has anyone who is about to buy a CPO Model S asked to see the service records?
 

Max*

Charging
Apr 8, 2015
6,672
3,838
NoVa
For all the people who are complaining, how many of you have actually emailed Tesla and directly told them you think their ESA sucks?



Also, I read through the ESA, because there seems to be a lot of info floating around now, and I wanted to post the exact wording for some of things being discussed (in case anyone actually wants to read it).

Once a part is repaired or replaced under the terms and conditions of this Vehicle ESA , and the Deductible is paid, any Deductible for a future repair or replacement of that part will be waived for the term of this Vehicle ESA

To maintain the validity of this Vehicle ESA, You must follow correct operations procedures and have Your Vehicle serviced as recommended by Tesla. If requested, proof of required service, including receipts showing date and mileage of the Vehicle at the time of service, must be
presented before any repairs under this Vehicle ESA commence. Service within 1,000 miles and/or 30 days of Tesla’s recommended intervals shall be considered compliant with the terms of this Vehicle ESA

Exclusions: (does that mean I can't take my car to Mexico and back? Canada is part of the NA region)
Vehicles that have been transported or driven outside the Tesla North America Warranty Region;

Exclusion:
Adjustments necessary to correct squeaks, rattles, water leaks or wind noise;

Exclusion (So the ESA does not cover anything that annual service should fix...)
Maintenance/Parts, including but not limited to the following:
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;
 
Thanks for sharing these details, Max!

So basically if your door handle stops working that is $200 to fix after paying for the $4,000 warranty. I guess if that same door handle stops working again they won't charge $200 to fix that but if another door handle malfunctions, is that another $200 again?

Water leaks are excluded? Yikes so if your sunroof starts leaking, that $4,000 Extended Warranty you paid for, and maintained by paying $600 a year for getting the car serviced as required, is worthless in getting that fixed even with the $200 deductible?!

I hope the ESA covers the air suspension. Mercedes does under their Extended and CPO warranties.

I realize most of the cars are under warranty now and these issues don't apply to a lot of owners -- yet. But if some of these policies are left as they are, Tesla will find themselves with some really upset customers who are bitter with how these policies are structured.
 
  • The $600 service fee regardless of whether it is a minor service or major service is absurd. Charge for annual services based on the actual work done like a car dealer would.
  • For minor services our Mercedes dealer charges right around $200. On years when no fluid changes are required a Tesla, an EV, should not cost $600 a year to maintain. This is all the more important considering annual service is a requirement for not voiding the Extended Warranty.


  • 3 years/30k miles with the Chevy Volt = 1 oil change and 3 tire rotations = $120.00 Just saying.
 

Zaxxon

Active Member
Supporting Member
Dec 11, 2012
4,716
22,288
Colorado
FWIW, I sent an email to [email protected] to express my concerns (formatting slightly borked by the quote function of the forum):

I am a Model X reservation holder (excited that launch is finally almost here!), and have some questions regarding the new vehicle warranty & service policy after reading this thread on the Tesla Motors Club forum. Specifically, the following:
  • I did not realize that the extended warranty included a $200 deductible per incident. As detailed in this post within that thread, this deductible is not competitive with Tesla's luxury peers. Are there any plans to modify the ESA to bring it in line with BMW/Mercedes/Audi/Volvo/Jaguar?
  • Regarding annual service, both the base warranty and the ESA mention a requirement of 'observing scheduled inspections and making all services and repairs.' The Model S owner's manual maintenance schedule lists regularly-scheduled $600 maintenance as every 12 months or 12,500 miles (whichever comes first), however Elon's service/warranty blog post states that 'even if you never bring in the car, your warranty is still valid.' These seem to contradict one another. What is the official level of required service? If scheduled service is not required, when will the warranty/ESA documents be updated to reflect this? Are there any plans to reduce the $600 scheduled maintenance fee to something more in line with competitors?

I have seen Tesla representatives (from gallery-level up to Elon) make comments about the vehicles' much-reduced need for service compared to internal-combustion engine competitors, but the ESA terms and $600/year service cost do not reflect these comments. I'm excited for the X release and have high hopes for Tesla's future expansion. However, these issues give me some pause as my purchase time frame approaches.

Alas, the response I received glossed over the meat of my letter and simply reiterated that maintenance is optional, and said
Our maintenance requirements are far less frequent and costly than what you could expect from gas-powered vehicles. We don’t need to replace things like: oil, sparkplugs, fuel pumps, transmission fluid, radiator fluid, etc. Because of this advantage, our owners experience significantly reduced maintenance costs than you could expect from say BMW, Mercedes, or any of our competitors.

I won't post the full reply out of respect for the Tesla employee's privacy.

I recognize that the sales organization might not be the most empowered place to direct these concerns, but as a non-owner, I'm not comfortable going directly any higher. I would encourage those of you who actually own the car and would like to see improvements to the wording of the official policies to consider sending in these concerns via whatever contacts you feel appropriate.
 

Max*

Charging
Apr 8, 2015
6,672
3,838
NoVa
FWIW, I sent an email to [email protected] to express my concerns (formatting slightly borked by the quote function of the forum):



Alas, the response I received glossed over the meat of my letter and simply reiterated that maintenance is optional, and said

I won't post the full reply out of respect for the Tesla employee's privacy.

I recognize that the sales organization might not be the most empowered place to direct these concerns, but as a non-owner, I'm not comfortable going directly any higher. I would encourage those of you who actually own the car and would like to see improvements to the wording of the official policies to consider sending in these concerns via whatever contacts you feel appropriate.

That's the most BS answer I've heard from Tesla. I'll play though.

Synthetic oil - 15k miles, once a year.
Sparkplugs? Really? 100k miles. Next.
Fuel pumps -- I sure hope they meant fuel FILTERS! 2 years, every 30k miles
Transmission fluid - Many cars have sealed transmission where you no longer need to replace the fluids for the life of the car. Even if you don't have one of those, it's every 2 years/30k miles
Radiator fluid? FL22 used to last 5 years/60k miles. Newer vehicles I've read 10 years/120k miles.

So in the first year of ownership, I'd need to do an oil change. $600 from Tesla
In the second year of ownership, I'd need to do an oil change and fuel filter. $600 from Tesla
Maybe if I combine all the fluid costs, THEN Tesla service will be cheaper that particular year.


I was in the process of writing them an email, but work got in the way. I will also be emailing them tonight.
 

AmpedRealtor

Well-Known Member
Jun 30, 2013
6,453
4,225
Phoenix, AZ
but as a non-owner, I'm not comfortable going directly any higher.

As a non-owner, I emailed Elon Musk in 2013 asking questions about the car as I was making my purchase decision. He replied, and we exchanged emails a few times regarding my questions. He was wonderful and was the reason I ordered the car. So I say... why not go higher? :)
 

Zaxxon

Active Member
Supporting Member
Dec 11, 2012
4,716
22,288
Colorado
Wow, nice. I did ask for a referral to a more appropriate contact in my reply to the email I mentioned up thread.

I imagine Elon would want to hear from customers pointing out that his service blog post is incompatible with the current wording of the warranty/ESA, but figured I'd try climbing the ladder from ground level first. Maybe that's not the best approach.
 
In my mind I plan on getting annual service, no big deal to me for the $600 to make sure everything is going well. But then I was also planning on the $4k ESA as well before original 4 year warranty is up... but, after really reading Section E, or all the Exclusions - what is the benefit here? It seems to exclude just about everything that could go wrong - seals, battery, glass, cosmetic parts, etc. Seems like everything but some core electronics perhaps or hard core axels/interior parts.

Any further thoughts on the ESA value for $4k?

-T
 
I'd share some thoughts about what I think would be helpful for customers as well as Tesla in the long-term.


  • Be particular about which cars qualify for CPO. If a car is not in perfect condition, auction it off. It seems the vast majority of the CPO cars are in great condition so I don't think this is an endemic issue but news about Cyclone's car and what he's going through is distressing.

Disagree completely.

We deliberately bought a 2013 CPO S85 that had been driven 150km+ on a daily commute for two years and 57000 km. This car is an outstanding value, and we are enjoying a Tesla a full year earlier than we budgeted/expected. The key here was that we needed the 4 year warranty coverage to feel comfortable with a Tesla, we just would not have bought used and out of warranty, regardless of cost.

But to your point, the original owner had left the car in absolutely filthy condition. However, we were fine with that, that's what the Tesla detailers get paid $$ to fix prior to delivery. Let the purchaser decide what they are willing to live with, dings, swirls, etc.

The car we have is so brilliant to drive, you'd never guess the age of the car from the cockpit, it's an absolute tank, in a good way!

My experience is a good one, and might just balance out some of the unfortunately less than good experiences of others here. Believe me, Tesla has done well in our case, so count that as a +1 to all the -1's posted here.
 
With regards to Tesla refusing to disclose the service and maintenance history for CPO cars, I just looked up the competing EVs offered by other manufacturers including the Nissan Leaf, BMW i3, and the Mercedes B Class. All these vehicles have CPO programs and the manufacturer lists photos of the actual car along with the CarFax for the cars on their CPO Web site. All the service records and maintenance records are reported to CarFax so when you are looking at a CPO car, in addition to ownership and prior accident data, you also get a listing of all service and maintenance performed on the car.

Compare that to the Tesla CPO Web site where customers putting down a deposit for a car are completely left in the dark about what it is they are buying other than the list of options and color of the car. Tesla CPO customers have access to no service records, maintenance records, CarFax, or even actual photos of the car. I feel it is wrong for Tesla to have the least transparent CPO program in the entire industry where the entire history of the car is withheld from the buyer.

In addition to the details in the CarFax, at least with Mercedes, I know you can contact the dealer and they will give you even more detailed service history for the car in form of a Mercedes VMI (Vehicle Master Index) printout.

I guess you could make the argument that the Tesla drivetrain is so sophisticated that a customer may not understand the service history but then look at the Mercedes B Class, that is based on a Tesla drivetrain. Mercedes has no issues with disclosing the entire service history of a B Class, including the Tesla drivetrain. It is ironic that Mercedes is more forthcoming about the history of their EVs, including the Tesla drivetrain than Tesla is with their own cars...

The other part of Tesla's policy of refusing the disclose the car's service records that is really unreasonable and puzzling is how they refuse to share this data even with the actual owner of the car as well. Cyclone has been trying to get the service records for the car that he owns for months and each of his requests have not been honored. This is going to be important to a Tesla owner when they sell a car. When most people buy an expensive premium car that is offered used, comprehensive service records are everything. Most buyers will not just accept a few invoices you have but instead they might want to see the full service history from the dealer. This is why you can walk up to a car dealer and the owner can ask for the full service history of the car and they will print it out and give it to you. What is a Tesla owner supposed to do when they sell the car private party and the person interested in buying the car is requesting the full service history of the car from Tesla and that request is denied by Tesla?

I love Tesla as a company but i can't believe we are even discussing the topic of how reasonable it is for a car's service history to be disclosed. I don't know of another carmaker that refuses to disclose the car's history to a potential buyer or even the owner of a car... It is wrong and just plan bad policy.

BMW CPO Web Site:
BMWi3CPO.JPG

Nissan CPO Web site:
NissanLeafCPO.JPG

Mercedes B Class CPO Web Site:
BClass.JPG
 

AmpedRealtor

Well-Known Member
Jun 30, 2013
6,453
4,225
Phoenix, AZ
Given the high amount of service many Model S vehicles have needed, maybe Tesla doesn't want to scare people. For instance, if I stack all of my service paperwork for my two-year old Model S, that stack measures almost one inch thick. And I've had relatively few issues compared with others. That's hardly an endorsement of your product, especially when you are trying to sell someone on a used car with a one inch thick stack (or more) of service history.
 
Given the high amount of service many Model S vehicles have needed, maybe Tesla doesn't want to scare people. For instance, if I stack all of my service paperwork for my two-year old Model S, that stack measures almost one inch thick. And I've had relatively few issues compared with others. That's hardly an endorsement of your product, especially when you are trying to sell someone on a used car with a one inch thick stack (or more) of service history.

The service records for a Mercedes we owned was 21 pages :) When we sold it private party, I took the buyer to the Mercedes dealer, asked them to print the service history and gave it to the buyer. He was happy to have such detailed service records and I told him the service records show that the car was well cared for and any and all issues with the car have been thoroughly addressed. He bought a well maintained car with all the service records knowing exactly what it is that he was buying.

The point being the service history is what it is and this is what you are buying. If some of the early service records are teething issues then you should be able to see that as the car ages there are fewer issues. And if the occurrence of issues with the car remain about the same, shouldn't someone know about the rate of issues with a car BEFORE they buy it than after? :)

Also what's the point in withholding service records from the actual owner of the car? If you own the car, you should be able to ask for a printout of the car's service records and maintenance history. No car dealer would refuse to print the car's service and maintenance history for the owner of the car...
 

Cyclone

Cyclonic Member ((.oO))
Jan 12, 2015
5,151
1,253
Charlotte, NC
If some of the early service records are teething issues then you should be able to see that as the car ages there are fewer issues. And if the occurrence of issues with the car remain about the same, shouldn't someone know about the rate of issues with a car BEFORE they buy it than after? :)

This is my biggest fear with my own car. I pray the number of issues I had addressed are simply teething problems that weren't addressed in reconditioning and its not a sign of how the next couple years of ownership will be like.
 

qwk

P130DL
Dec 19, 2008
3,024
857
Given the high amount of service many Model S vehicles have needed, maybe Tesla doesn't want to scare people. For instance, if I stack all of my service paperwork for my two-year old Model S, that stack measures almost one inch thick. And I've had relatively few issues compared with others. That's hardly an endorsement of your product, especially when you are trying to sell someone on a used car with a one inch thick stack (or more) of service history.
The problem is that Tesla wants to turn every trade-in into a CPO, but a lot of those cars need a ton of work in order to be certified. Since losing a ton of money on a used car program is not their goal, we end up with this mess. Tesla seems to have hired management in quantity not quality, and I really don't see it getting better. In fact, it's getting worse, and fast.

- - - Updated - - -

This is my biggest fear with my own car. I pray the number of issues I had addressed are simply teething problems that weren't addressed in reconditioning and its not a sign of how the next couple years of ownership will be like.
I hate to tell you this, but it probably will not get better. After owning the car myself for almost three years, things at the SC have gotten worse, not better.
 

AmpedRealtor

Well-Known Member
Jun 30, 2013
6,453
4,225
Phoenix, AZ
The service records for a Mercedes we owned was 21 pages :) When we sold it private party, I took the buyer to the Mercedes dealer, asked them to print the service history and gave it to the buyer. He was happy to have such detailed service records and I told him the service records show that the car was well cared for and any and all issues with the car have been thoroughly addressed. He bought a well maintained car with all the service records knowing exactly what it is that he was buying.

The point being the service history is what it is and this is what you are buying. If some of the early service records are teething issues then you should be able to see that as the car ages there are fewer issues. And if the occurrence of issues with the car remain about the same, shouldn't someone know about the rate of issues with a car BEFORE they buy it than after? :)

Also what's the point in withholding service records from the actual owner of the car? If you own the car, you should be able to ask for a printout of the car's service records and maintenance history. No car dealer would refuse to print the car's service and maintenance history for the owner of the car...

I don't disagree with you. I was simply commenting on why Tesla may be doing what it's doing.

- - - Updated - - -

I hate to tell you this, but it probably will not get better. After owning the car myself for almost three years, things at the SC have gotten worse, not better.

My experience with Tesla Service has been exemplary to this day, but I am also served by one of the country's best service centers in Scottsdale, AZ. I just got an annual service appointment one week out, with a Model S loaner reserved for me. The loaner situation has improved tremendously in the last year, since the launch of the CPO program. There are a lot more Model S cars available as loaners than ever before. I've only seen an improvement in service, not what you describe. I also understand that there could be a certain variability depending upon which service center you use.
 

brianman

Burrito Founder
Nov 10, 2011
17,618
3,224
Given the high amount of service many Model S vehicles have needed, maybe Tesla doesn't want to scare people. For instance, if I stack all of my service paperwork for my two-year old Model S, that stack measures almost one inch thick. And I've had relatively few issues compared with others. That's hardly an endorsement of your product, especially when you are trying to sell someone on a used car with a one inch thick stack (or more) of service history.
I read it differently. When I'm buying a car, I'm in part buying into a company (design, manufacturing, service, etc.). When I'm buying a CPO car directly from the manufacturer, even more so. Trust is important. "Hiding" service history for a vehicle erodes confidence, and pushes me away as a buyer.

The more service the car needed the greater the need for transparency and openness about the history of the vehicle, not lesser need.

- - - Updated - - -

The service records for a Mercedes we owned was 21 pages :) When we sold it private party, I took the buyer to the Mercedes dealer, asked them to print the service history and gave it to the buyer. He was happy to have such detailed service records and I told him the service records show that the car was well cared for and any and all issues with the car have been thoroughly addressed. He bought a well maintained car with all the service records knowing exactly what it is that he was buying.

The point being the service history is what it is and this is what you are buying. If some of the early service records are teething issues then you should be able to see that as the car ages there are fewer issues. And if the occurrence of issues with the car remain about the same, shouldn't someone know about the rate of issues with a car BEFORE they buy it than after? :)

Also what's the point in withholding service records from the actual owner of the car? If you own the car, you should be able to ask for a printout of the car's service records and maintenance history. No car dealer would refuse to print the car's service and maintenance history for the owner of the car...
+ 1
 
++1

We wanted to add a second Tesla via the CPO program, but now we will not. If/when Tesla fixes the CPO program we will consider it again.

I read it differently. When I'm buying a car, I'm in part buying into a company (design, manufacturing, service, etc.). When I'm buying a CPO car directly from the manufacturer, even more so. Trust is important. "Hiding" service history for a vehicle erodes confidence, and pushes me away as a buyer.

The more service the car needed the greater the need for transparency and openness about the history of the vehicle, not lesser need.

- - - Updated - - -


+ 1
 

AmpedRealtor

Well-Known Member
Jun 30, 2013
6,453
4,225
Phoenix, AZ
I read it differently. When I'm buying a car, I'm in part buying into a company (design, manufacturing, service, etc.). When I'm buying a CPO car directly from the manufacturer, even more so. Trust is important. "Hiding" service history for a vehicle erodes confidence, and pushes me away as a buyer.

The more service the car needed the greater the need for transparency and openness about the history of the vehicle, not lesser need.


I agree with you. While I'm trying to understand Tesla's side of this, as a consumer I want the disclosures.
 

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