Telsa Motors is making several changes to improve its service and warranty programs, it announced today.
Customers whose cars need to be repaired will have access to a fleet of Model S loaner vehicles in the meantime.
Those vehicles will be top of the line and fully-equipped, and available for purchase for a reduced price (it drops by 1% per month of age, and $1 per mile).
Customers who do purchase their loaner car will return their own vehicle to Tesla, which will then sell it as a used product. That will "help improve the affordability of the car," Musk said.
The Roadster, the sports car Tesla built before the Model S, will also be available for loans.
A new valet service will pick up and drop off cars that need to be repaired, for no additional charge.
Tesla is also making its $600 annual service plan optional, and offering an unconditional warranty for the battery of the Model S, even for user error.
"If something goes wrong, is Tesla's fault, not the customer's," Musk said, noting that does not hold true in the case of a collision.
The new service policies will definitely apply to the Model X, the SUV that is scheduled to enter production late next year.
It is less likely they will apply to the vehicle Tesla introduces after that. Because Tesla hopes to make that car especially affordable, it "may have to unbundle some of these things," Musk explained.
The CEO said Tesla has always focused on the "things that needed the most attention." Early on, that was making good cars, then it was increasing the rate of production.
Now, he explained, the company wants to offer "the world's best service and warranty program."
"I think that our service is okay but not great, and it needs to be great."
The full Tesla release is below.
Creating the World’s Best Service and Warranty Program
Making Service Better Than Invisible
The best way to experience service is, of course, not to experience service. If your car does need service, then it should be swapped with a car that is ideally better in some or many ways. To this end, Tesla is building a fleet of top of the line Model S loaners. These will not be our basic model – they will be state of the art with all the best features and options.
Nor will this eventually become an aging fleet of overused cars. The loaners will be available for immediate purchase at a price that is lower by 1% per month of age and $1 per mile. If you like the service loaner more than your other car, you can just keep it. This ensures that the service fleet is constantly refreshed and gives customers the best optionality.
For an added bit of fun, customers in most markets will have the choice of taking home one of our Tesla Roadster sports cars when their car is in for service. Few experiences are more sublime than driving a beautiful electric sports car on a road along the ocean or through a forest with the top down on a summer day and hearing only the sounds of nature.
Your time is valuable and should not be spent driving to or waiting at our service centers. Tesla is putting in place a valet service, so that your car is seamlessly picked up and replaced with a loaner and then returned as soon as we are done. There is no additional charge for this.
Annual Service Contract
Unlike gasoline cars, an electric car doesn’t need oil changes, fuel filters, spark plugs, smog checks, etc., which are only needed if the mode of locomotion involves burning oil derived products. For an electric car, you don’t even need to replace the brake pads, because most of the braking energy is regeneratively captured by the motor and returned to the battery.
As such, we are comfortable making the annual checkup entirely optional. There is still value to having Tesla look at the car once a year for things like tire alignment, to address a few things here & there and perform any hardware upgrades – our goal is not just to fix things, but to make the car better than it was. However, even if you never bring in the car, your warranty is still valid.
The battery pack in your car is obviously very important and expensive to replace. In developing the Model S, we took great care to ensure that the battery would protect itself, always retaining a few percent of energy. If something goes wrong, it is therefore our fault, not yours.
Except in the cases of a collision, opening of the battery pack by non-Tesla personnel or intentional abuse (lighting the pack on fire with a blowtorch is not covered!), all damage is covered by warranty, including improper maintenance or unintentionally leaving the pack at a low state of charge for years on end. The battery will be replaced at no cost by a factory reconditioned unit with an energy capacity equal to or better than the original pack before the failure occurred.
The intent is to provide complete peace of mind about owning your Model S even if you never read or followed the instructions in the manual.
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