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Tesla Motors is an automotive company that has been known to make waves in the industry. As a manufacturer of one of the first popular electric cars, the company is no stranger to putting untested technology out on the road to see what happens. As a result, the company's factory warranty is one that matches the industry standard its competitors often adopt in some ways and deviates drastically in others.
Fancy a new Tesla? If so, here's the information you need to know about the new vehicle limited warranty the company offers.
Tesla has taken a fairly conservative approach with its new vehicle limited warranty. It has both a bumper-to-bumper and powertrain coverage with scopes and lengths that match many of its competitors. The only thing that really stands out, given its electric vehicles, is the additional battery and drive unit warranty coverages that come with all new Tesla models.
The limited comprehensive warranty lasts four years or 50,000 miles, whichever comes first. This length is just a little longer than the industry standard of three years and 36,000 miles. As a result, you get a little bit of extra coverage on nearly everything in the vehicle.
Specifically, the warranty covers any parts that aren't considered to be normal wear items. Components not included are things that are designed or expected to wear over time, such as the tires and brakes. This means that nearly anything else if it breaks due to an issue or defect, will be replaced by Tesla-approved parts at the company's expense.
As a factory warranty, however, there is a notable limitation to this coverage. Essentially, the scope of the warranty is limited to factory-caused defects. In other words, if a mistake is made at the factory or poor materials are used that cause a problem after you purchased your vehicle, the warranty will kick in. Any other issues from weather, accidents, or normal wear and tear will not be covered.
Matching the comprehensive warranty, the powertrain coverage from Tesla lasts four years and 50,000 miles. This warranty coverage is focused on the essential parts of a vehicle, namely the ones that allow it to run in the first place. This means the coverage includes components like the engine, drivetrain, transmission, axles, and anything else that makes the wheels go.
Like the comprehensive warranty, the scope of this coverage is also limited to certain types of defects. Specifically, the warranty will not cover issues caused by weather, accidents, or normal usage. There also isn't any coverage for regular maintenance that is required to keep the vehicle running optimally as it ages.
As an electric vehicle manufacturer, Tesla has one type of warranty that most other manufacturers lack: battery warranty coverage. All Tesla vehicles have an array of batteries built into the frame, powering the vehicle without the use of any gasoline. The battery coverage varies from model to model but tends to be around eight years or 120,000 miles, whichever comes first.
The importance of a warranty like this is the fact that electric vehicle technology is somewhat untested. Since Tesla is a relatively new company, most vehicle owners don't know what to expect from the batteries as they age. All batteries degrade over time, so the main question is how quickly?
The battery coverage offers some peace of mind in this regard. In addition to lasting eight years, the coverage also will maintain a minimum of 70 percent energy retention and capacity during this time period, meaning you won't have to worry about the batteries degrading too quickly.
What We Like
The most attractive feature of Tesla's new vehicle limited warranty, hands down, has to be the battery coverage itself. Because Tesla is a relatively new company that is still proving itself and its technology to customers, this kind of coverage adds a little extra peace of mind that its competitors don't have to worry about. More importantly, it adds a lot of value to customers who actually want to keep a Tesla for a number of years before having to replace the batteries to keep the vehicle running. For an electric vehicle, battery coverage is a must.
Beyond the battery coverage, we appreciate the slight boost in length the bumper-to-bumper and powertrain warranties offer compared to the industry standard. Four years and 50,000 miles aren't the longest warranty terms you'll see from some automakers, but it's longer than the majority.
More importantly, this amount of time and distance covers the most likely times that a new vehicle will develop issues caused by factory defects. As vehicle ages, issues will more likely be caused by normal wear and tear or improper maintenance than things done by the manufacturer itself. As a result, Tesla remains competitive with its bumper-to-bumper and powertrain warranties.
What We Don’t Like
Although we appreciate the extra length and distance Tesla puts into its bumper-to-bumper and powertrain warranties, we would've liked to see longer terms given the nature of electric vehicles. In other words, when you’re a company that is introducing a new type of vehicle into the market to see how it performs over the years, extra warranty coverage never hurts.
While it does a good job of covering the most important systems of its vehicles, namely the batteries and drivetrain, a longer comprehensive warranty would give customers a little more value when purchasing the pricey vehicles. More importantly, some kind of free maintenance program tailored to the semi-unique requirements of an electric vehicle would also go a long way towards giving customers the foundation they need to keep their vehicles properly maintained during the first few years of service life.
More than anything we find questionable, however, is the matching bumper-to-bumper and powertrain warranties. Since there is a lot of overlap between the coverages, they are effectively more redundant than anything else. If the powertrain coverage lasted longer than the bumper-to-bumper, however, you'd get a little bit more value from the extra coverage once the bumper-to-bumper warranty expired.
Q. Is the Tesla warranty transferable to a new Tesla owner?
A. Yes. The standard factory warranty from Tesla is fully transferable to new owners if you decide to sell the vehicle. Certain older model S and X vehicles, however, require an extra fee to extend the warranty to the current limits the company offers on new vehicles.
Q. How long does the Tesla lithium-ion battery pack actually last?
A. This varies on the particular model and individual car, but Tesla batteries have been known to last more than 200,000 miles. Specifically, most batteries still have a 90 percent battery capacity after 160,000 miles.
Is the Tesla Warranty Worth It?
If you are looking at buying an electric vehicle or Tesla specifically, the company's new vehicle limited warranty does a pretty good job of keeping you covered for a good length of time and distance. The bumper-to-bumper and powertrain warranties aren't the longest you'll see in the industry, but they are certainly longer than a good majority of Tesla's competitors. More importantly, the battery coverage alone goes a long way toward giving you extra peace of mind if you are buying an electric vehicle for the first time.
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