Tesla Offers an Infinite-Mile Warranty for the Model S

While buying a Tesla Model S requires customers to fork out at least $69,000, owning one is more than affordable, given the fact that you don’t have to visit the gas station unless you need a sandwich and a soda. As of August 2014, current and future owners have one more reason to be happy with their all-electric sedan , as Tesla has extended the drive unit warranty for the 85 kWh sedan to match that of the battery back. Specifically, both the battery and the drivetrain now benefit from an eight-year, infinite-mile warranty.

The good news expands even further, as the rule doesn’t apply only to newly purchased vehicles. The warranty extension will apply retroactively to all 85 kWh Model S sedans ever produced. What’s more, the new warranty extends upon resale of the Tesla S too, no matter the number of owners, meaning the used-car market benefit from Tesla Motors’ gesture of generosity.

"If we truly believe that electric motors are fundamentally more reliable than gasoline engines, with far fewer moving parts and no oily residue or combustion byproducts to gum up the works, then our warranty policy should reflect that," Elon Musk explained in a statement.

The new warranty only applies to 85 kWh and 85 kWh Performance models. The former comes with 362 horsepower and costs from $79,900, while the latter carries a $93,400 sticker and cranks out 416 ponies. The entry-level 60 kWh version benefits from the same four-year, 50,000-mile warranty as before.

Click past the jump to read more about the Tesla Model S.

Why It Matters

Although the Model S has been reported to suffer from very little reliability issues, Tesla is obviously aiming at assuring its future customers that any drivetrain and battery repairs or replacements will be taken care of at no cost. It’s also a big blow to the conventional, gasoline/diesel vehicle market, which only offers three- to four-year warranties and require additional fees for extended them to cover up to seven years.

Tesla Model S

Tesla Model S

Introduced for the 2012 model year, the Tesla Model S is already regarded as the best electric vehicle ever built in terms of performance and range. Available in three guises, the Model S benefits from between 302 and 416 horsepower and returns between 208 and 265 miles on a single charge.

Motivated by 302 ponies, the entry-level 60 kWh sedan needs only 5.9 seconds to sprint from 0 to 60 mph. The mid-range 85 kWh version, meanwhile, is able to achieve the same benchmark in 5.4 seconds with help from 362 horses. The range-topping 85 kWh Performance is even more impressive, as output increases to 416 horsepower, while the 0-to-60 mph sprint drop to only 4.2 seconds.

The all-electric sedan is priced from $69,900 before the $7,500 federal tax credit and any other state incentives. Pricing for the 85 kWh start from $79,900, while the range-topping version fetches at least $93,400.

Press Release

Today, Tesla announced that the Model S drive unit warranty has been increased to match that of the battery pack. That means the 85 kWh Model S now has an 8 year, infinite mile warranty on both the battery pack and drive unit. Moreover, the warranty extension will apply retroactively to all 85 kWh Model S vehicles ever produced.

No other changes have been made to the warranty.

Here’s what CEO Elon Musk wrote about the new policy in a blog post today:

Infinite Mile Warranty

The Tesla Model S drive unit warranty has been increased to match that of the battery pack. That means the 85 kWh Model S, our most popular model by far, now has an 8 year, infinite mile warranty on both the battery pack and drive unit. There is also no limit on the number of owners during the warranty period.

Moreover, the warranty extension will apply retroactively to all Model S vehicles ever produced. In hindsight, this should have been our policy from the beginning of the Model S program. If we truly believe that electric motors are fundamentally more reliable than gasoline engines, with far fewer moving parts and no oily residue or combustion byproducts to gum up the works, then our warranty policy should reflect that.

To investors in Tesla, I must acknowledge that this will have a moderately negative effect on Tesla earnings in the short term, as our warranty reserves will necessarily have to increase above current levels. This is amplified by the fact that we are doing so retroactively, not just for new customers. However, by doing the right thing for Tesla vehicle owners at this early stage of our company, I am confident that it will work out well in the long term.


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