The Tesla Model S May Not Be As Badass As You Might Think


No, it's MUCH worse than that.

Some will think that the Tesla Model S is just too good; it looks great, it's quiet and luxurious and has enough power and torque to scare anyone. Not to mention that it can drive itself. All looks rather brilliant for the Model S but even the mightiest have its flaws. For the Tesla Model S, it's not something small like seatbelts but something much more important. A new data analysis provided to Plug-In America by 327 early Tesla Model S owners suggest that up to two-thirds of early Model S drivetrains will need to be replaced within 60,000 miles.

Green Car Reports say that calculations on early Teslas consisted of 77 failures and 250 suspends out of the 327 total cars. At $21,995, even the much cheaper and much less refined Chrysler 200 doesn't have any drivetrain issues. The 2.4-liter four-cylinder and 3.6-liter V6 engines producing from 18 -hp to just shy of 300 horses have no drivetrain issues. This issue is so bad that Consumer Reports even removed the Model S from its list of recommended vehicles. Green Car Reports asked Tesla many questions regarding this reliability issue such as "How many motors has Tesla repaired or replaced in 2012 and 2013 Model S cars to date?"

It also asked "What percentage of total cars does that represent?" and "What would Tesla Motors say to owners (and future used-car buyers) of the early cars regarding the reliability of the motors?" Even though Tesla offers an eight-year warranty that will cover these issues but we don't know how the owners will react to hear that their early Model Ss are much more likely to fail than later models.

A.J. Mueller, FCA US
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