Model S 85 delivered 12/21/13.
This is a spectacular car and incredible driving experience. In fact, it seems inadequate to even call it a "car". Think of it as a Disruptive New Paradigm. However it is new technology, very early in its life cycle, and the purpose of this post is just to give one owner's experience. It is not to suggest that all Tesla's have issues. I'm sure mine is a glaring exception and that all other S's are flawless. The dozens who will rush to post a response will attest to that! These DO NOT diminish in any way my love of this car or make me regret that I bought it. I cannot imagine ever driving a gas car again. This car is heavily cannibalizing sales of the big Lexus, the 7 Series, and the S Class. [Someone told me it is outselling them 3-1 COMBINED. May be apocryphal so don't quote me] But these are also great rides. While these are very expensive to operate compared to the Tesla, many of the people who buy these cars do not care about that [was it JP Morgan, when asked how much his Yacht cost, replied "if you have to ask you can't afford it"?]. I have owned these cars, and, in my experience, while they always perform armed robbery when you go in for service [all "service Advisors" at auto dealers are paid partially on commission and so are alwasy trying to sell you things/stuff you do not need] , they are also remarkably trouble free. Many high-end buyers will not want to buy a new technology which MAY have one small issue after another. Be an informed buyer.
Only two issues were really scary, as they occurred far from home and, at the time that is -AT THE TIME - potentially marooned the vehicle with no power. Fortunately both resolved and with minor inconvenience. Hindsight is 20-20!
The condenser fan fortunately acted up and was replaced the day before a 1000 mile trip, so this could have been far worse, assuming a condenser fan is important. I have no idea!
I also am lucky to live 12 miles from the Scottsdale SC, staffed by the best AND most responsive I have ever seen. They have never tried to sell me a fuel system flush or PS fluid change, or, as a Camelback Toyota service guy once did, new tires based on the car's mileage. I had had them all replaced a week before ... he hadn't even looked!
Issues to date:
1/2/14, mileage ~ 500? [Didn't record, so this is a guess Had the car for 11 days ...]. Drive to Oceanside, CA from Phoenix. [An adventure in itself; we have to travel 480 miles between Superchargers]. Stay at the Sheraton Carlsbad because it has two BLINK chargers. Tesla will not establish a handshake to either. Call Blink. They tell me to call Tesla. 10 PM: Tesla checks its logs and sees some glitch. They have me reset the entire system and it all works, eliminating the stress of being marooned with 20 miles in the tank. Wake up at 2am and something tells me to check charge status on my iPhone [great feature]: good thing, as it had shut off at 12:10 am! I go down to the garage and re-start it. Have to hang around till noon to get a full tank - necessary because it as 240 miles back to Quartzite. Call Blink for a shut down explanation. They - of course - blame the car. Call Tesla - they have no explanation but, god bless them, don't blame anybody. Add this to the list of range anxiety issues. Note: to go from 20 miles to a full tank with Blink Level 2 takes 12 hours [10 pm - midnight; 2 am to noon]. We are visiting a close friend who is a Google Maps Software exec vacationing in Oceanside and VERY anxious to see/experience the car [don't get started, guys; they are working hard with Tesla to add the elevation info to range calculation for trips]. But now he has to come get me in his rent a van to spend the morning with them. Bummer.
Sometime in January: Audio system freezes entirely. I call Tesla, and they have me do the double wheel reset and it restores. Since then I have had this happen three or four times. I was able to re-set myself until the 3/25 incident. After the Service Mgr's explanation for that, I wonder if any of the other freezes were concurrent with software updates?
1/29/14, 1467 m: Right side condenser fan is very noisy. SC takes the car for a day and replaces it.
1/30/14, 1689 miles: Drive to vacation home,190 miles away in Eastern AZ: Electrician will install the NEMA 14-50 and 240m service on 1/31. Plug the car into 110 for an overnight trickle charge [we are at 7400 feet and it is cold outside]. Nothing but a red ring, and a message: "Contact Service". To make a long story short, SC sends a Tech who arrives 4.5 hours later. He finds the Cable is dead and he replaces it. Tesla Service ROCKS: he brings a replacement vehicle on a flatbed "just in case".
3/25/14, 3193 miles: Communication error: touchscreen and all audio functions frozen. Bluetooth also frozen. Solution: reset parent module and MCU, update firmware. Car in the service center for a day and forced to suffer the humiliation of driving a horrible Nissan Xterra supplied by Enterprise.
3/26/14: Sirius/XM connection has disappeared. Called Sirius/XM to reestablish. They are unable to do so as the radio ID does not appear on channel 0, and a check of my VIN indicates that, according to their records no radio has ever been installed in my car (!) [yes, we double checked the VIN]. Over the next three hours, I check the car constantly to see if the radio ID returns. It does not. Call to Sirius XM again and they say that this must mean the radio module has failed. I call the service center who is completely perplexed by this and offers to send a ranger to get the car and to try to find the radio ID. I check channel 0 one more time and, wonders of wonders, the radio ID magically appears! I cancel Ranger and call Sirius XM and get service reestablished. No one can explain why the radio ID disappeared but the service manager tells me that he suspects it was caused by the software upgrade. He explains, after every software upgrade "a number of cars [not all!] have issues caused by the upgrade". [Tesla is not afraid to admit that there are problems]. The whole affair is a giant time four hour time suck.
4/9/14: Condenser fan singing like a bird. SC picked the car up to diagnose - have to order parts to repair it. 250 mile RT road trip tomorrow, which they say is OK. Forgot to ask if it is the fan already replaced or the other one. There are two. They are fitting the shield and returning the car tonight.
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