Skip to comments.Edmunds.com Tested The Tesla Model S For Over A Year And Found A Lot Of Problems
Posted on 08/02/2014 8:24:47 PM PDT by Citizen Zed
The Edmunds Model S experienced a total of 28 repairs. While some were minor, others were more serious. Several involved the cars drive system, which during the test period was replaced three times: twice due to suspicious noises and once when the car died on the side of the road.
The car also had to have its main battery pack and its 12-volt battery replaced. And according to Edmunds, the Model S suffered numerous failures of its revolutionary 17-inch touchscreen display. Edmunds noted that the main screen had to be replaced, and the infotainment system had to be manually rebooted after freezing on nine occasions.
Other repairs including a tire alignment, a cracked vanity mirror, and a broken door handle were less serious. Edmunds also pointed out that their 2013 Model S, purchased for $US103,770, was an early production model that hadnt had all the kinks worked out. Tesla fixed multiple faults at the same time, so over the 30,000 miles the Model S was driven, it made a total of nine trips to the service center, two of them for overnight stays.
(Excerpt) Read more at businessinsider.com.au ...
Having to replace the drive system multiple times might be an issue for some.
Oh well, what do you expect for 100 grand?
They were Beta testers?
Nice looking load. Stick a nice IC engine in there and they would have something.
One trip to the factory every 6 weeks. Guess you get to know the mechanics real well for $100k
They tried to sue Jeremy Clarkson and Top Gear for giving them a bad review.
He actually liked the car but it had one major flaw. Its electric.
LOL. ya think?
But, Tesla says, this car doesn't cost $25K, it costs $100K! Well, we have a disconnect here. All these luxuries are, in the end, useful to me only if the car hauls my $behind to where I need to be. The value of the car is limited by the value of the service. (Sure, some people have other system of values, but I am talking about a common man who, don't forget, needs a loan to buy a car. He doesn't just tear a few leaves off of a nearest money tree.)
In this aspect, the market of these super-luxury cars (that aren't even luxurious, as this review points out) is limited strictly to people who have more money than brains. Everyone else would do just great if he buys as much car as he needs (and can afford.) Lexus, BMW and other decent manufacturers make cars that may work better than Tesla and at the same time may cost less. They are a known quantity, they and their spare parts exist in large quantity, and there are many dealers and mechanics who can help you if need be.
But, Tesla points out, this car is so FAST!!! Eh, it is fast, you say? But we are not on a racetrack, and most sane drivers do not do racing on city streets. The only common example of legitimate fast acceleration I can imagine is merging onto a freeway; and all cars are capable of that feat. Perhaps some drivers experience an unusual exhilaration from being in command of those kilowatts. I, personally, enjoy the scenery - I am not a racing type. There are millions more that think the same way; they just need to get to work, or to stores, or to pick up kids. The rest buys real sports cars. Tesla is not a sports car, it's just some of its systems perform at that level - but, considering that it can't handle side wind, it has a long way to go before anyone dares to drive it like a sports car is driven (brakes, suspension, steering, etc.)
I cannot say how reliable the latest modifications of Tesla might be. It's not that important anyway if you are buying an experimental vehicle. It's far more important that the car, at this price, is not a reasonable purchase. It does not deliver you anywhere faster, smoother, or even cheaper than the competition. (I made a calculation once that shows that with these costs a Tesla will never be a financially wise purchase, unless used as a taxicab.) Yes, you can spend $80-100K and have one; but the only thing it buys you is range anxiety. This car has lots of batteries; but still it has to be carefully charged every night - and if you forget, or are unable to charge (like at the airport's parking lot, for a week; or after being hospitalized for several days; or after power fails at your house) you may return and find your car dead as a brick. And Tesla will say that it's all your fault, and you have to pay for the new battery. (They have said that before, when Roadsters got bricked.) This rarely happens with gas cars - but if you are that unlucky a gas car is usually repairable with as little as a phone call and half an hour of wait. A Tesla requires a flatbed to factory (or to whoever services these things, as Tesla doesn't value dealers.) As it stands today, a Tesla is a neat toy for someone who can afford it. Everyone else will be better served by a standard, reliable workhorse that can be fed and cared for nearly anywhere, and that can take you from San Diego to NYC non-stop, if necessary. Is Tesla willing to drop the price to $15-20K? That would be a fair price of this vehicle, considering its drawbacks.
Vehicles powered by electricity are great on golf courses and the surface of the moon.
I hate batteries!
I hate cars that depend on dozens of sensors and a computer or two or three.
Combine it all, and you have a electric high tech golf cart that you can’t play 18 holes without taking it back to the shop.
My ‘86.5 Nissan D21 went to the mechanic once in 1987 — hasn’t been back since (other than for brake replacement).
“Having to replace the drive system multiple times might be an issue for some.”
But Elon said production models won’t have as many problems. Does that mean the drive system would only need to be replaced once or twice during the first 10,000 miles?
“CEO Elon Musk said that the Tesla service team was being ultra-proactive to make Edmunds happy.”
And I’m sorta thinking that this implies a non-Edmunds customer is probably NOT going to receive ultra-proactive service in order to make them “happy”.
Bottom line is that Elon Musk has repeatedly demonstrated that he is nothing but a carnival barker style huckster, and dollars to donuts says Tesla won’t be around five years from now.
As a platform for learning about electric cars, Tesla is a great option. Just like Duesenbergs had dual overhead cam, 4 valve engines in the 1920s, with oil change indicators and other technology that didn’t become mainstream for years, Teslas push the envelope for electric cars in very pricey luxury models.
They may pave the way for future mainstream electric cars, or not...
But, for $60k, you get a really nice Lexus and $40k to pay for gas.
If you want to be mathematically correct, those $40K are an investment into future purchases of gas. This money, if invested, earns interest. Depending on how much you drive, this money can last a long time. If you pick a Lexus GS (a $60K hybrid,) it has fuel efficiency of 30 mpg. Today $40K buys you 10K gallons, or 300K miles. Hey, even if you buy all your fuel up front it still pays for all the useful life of the vehicle and then some :-) But if you drive 30K miles per year then the $40K investment over 10 years will earn you a few extra dollars. In case of Tesla you pay $100K up front, and then you have to pay for the electric power. However small, it is not free, and a car needs a lot of juice. And don't forget the flatbed fees a few times per year :-)
On that subject of luxuries, an expensive car shouldn't constrain the owner in use of A/C (cooling or heating.) People with enough cash to buy a luxury car expect luxury performance; in fact, any beaten up, old Toyota has a working heater and, sometimes, a working A/C. But pure EVs, unsurprisingly, restrict you in use of those energy-sucking conveniences, as that seriously reduces the range. In a gas car it's a barely noticeable need to stop at a corner gas station for a few minutes to fill up. In an EV it is a serious problem, as there are few charging facilities in cities, and nearly none that can charge the car quickly. It's a dark and snowy night, and the freeway is blocked by an accident, and the battery runs low? Watch that needle like a hawk, owner of the "luxury" car.
Start your search in Elmore, Ohio...
I have to hand it to Edmunds for having the COURAGE to give an UNBIASED report on the car. It seems that just about everyone else drives it 50 miles and concludes it’s the best thing since sliced bread. It was a neat report and if you read through the entire blog (as I did), you’ll see the drivers were not interested in tearing down the car - they just reported what they dealt with.
Many of the “little problems” don’t exist in today’s cars (other than UAW-built ones, due to labor costs and attitude issues) because the car makers have billions to spend on R&D and a huge database of past issues - so the know the correct chemicals to use in making plastic that will not crack under worst-case conditions for 20 years. They also know how to engineer-out the weak points of drive trains - maybe use a stronger steel in key places, maybe beef up the diameter of a certain shaft, or the thickness of a gear. Yes, Tesla could go worst case on the entire car, but then 95% of the car would be over designed and people would be paying $150,000 and carrying around another 500 lbs...and then the extra weight might mean even having to beef up some more stuff.
It’s not easy to play with the big boys. Tesla does have a market, the snobbish Republican Establishment types that want to look down on others that just drive around in a Lexus or Beamer (while insisting on Amnesty)...but bringing price down, while maintaining reliability is VERY DIFFICULT, as they will soon see.
Agree on the A/C and ESPECIALLY the heating.
If you plan a trip and intend to reach a charging station, and something unexpected happens (maybe you detour, or an accident), and you’re coming up short, you likely will not run out your charge, providing you’re not in the middle of nowhere. All you have to do is find a place with electricity and pay the person there enough to let you plug in and wait and wait and wait, since you’ll likely be plugging into 120V. I think the blog said that you’ll get about 3 miles of range per hour of charging, at that rate.
With a gasoline car, you simply have to find a gas station, or just wait for a tow truck (or anyone else) to bring you a few gallons.
So if you’re tight with regard to range, the first thing to go will be the A/C and Heater, you have NO CHOICE as the alternative is very ugly.
Regarding the heater - a gasoline or diesel engine produces a TON of waste heat (even when idling and stuck in traffic) and car heaters are designed to capture some of that heat and give it to the passengers. In other words, cabin use of the heater is free and actually (very) slightly increases fuel economy by reducing the need to run the electric radiator fan slightly, particularly in heavy traffic.
Electricity also produces a TON of waste heat. In fact, on a cold day, you can “see” it in the huge stacks when you drive by a power plant. Unfortunately not even Mr. Musk has figured out a way to “channel” that heat into the cabin of his cars, so you have to take the electricity and use it directly to heat the vehicle - not good, as you’re draining the batteries.
youll get about 3 miles of range per hour of charging
Now that’s funny ,, spend $100k and you could walk the distance before the charging is done. I can easily see you taking the Tesla out for dinner and not getting a full charge for the trip to the office the next morning simply because you came home late ... then you , Mr. CEO ,, have to borrow the maids Nissan Versa to get to the office...
Yes. Kudos to Edmunds.
There’s massive disinformation about the reality of dealing with a Tesla, including cost and range.
It’s nifty technology but just a rich man’s toy.
If you want a gorgeous, fast, status symbol that has problems, get a nice Jaguar. The look great on the back of a truck too. And a lot of owners consider their trouble-prone experience with them absolutely worth it.
“Now thats funny ,, spend $100k and you could walk the distance before the charging is done. I can easily see you taking the Tesla out for dinner and not getting a full charge for the trip to the office the next morning simply because you came home late ... then you , Mr. CEO ,, have to borrow the maids Nissan Versa to get to the office...”
LOL - good point. Now that would make a GREAT VIDEO - a person walking with a Tesla following him and its 120V power cord on a mast plugged into a fake outlet. Then the guy speeds up (just walks a bit faster) and the Tesla is left in the dust. By the way, a typical gasoline car fills up at about the speed of an SR71 (i.e., 300 miles in 5 minutes).
I remembered that number from the blog, and it does make sense. If you plug into a 120V receptacle the most you can draw is about 1500W. Then you have to convert that to how much energy is stored in the battery - you get about 1kW. An 85 kWH battery is good for 200 miles, although you probably only to use about 70 kWH from it, so about 3 miles per kWH.
By the way they could provide multiple 120V inputs, but you’d have to plug each into a different 120V circuit and doubt ANY Tesla owner has enough brains to figure out how to identify receptacles on different circuits...so they had to play it safe and only provide one input.
I wouldn't mind that if it was just the rich paying for it, but that "battery swap" scam let Tesla fraudulently collect millions in government subsidies. Why should the taxpayers be subsidizing toys for the rich?
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