';

Warranty

  • 2013 Tesla Model S, in July 2017   [photo: David Noland]

    A couple of years ago, as my 2013 Tesla Model S approached the end of its 50,000-mile warranty, I debated long and hard whether to opt for Tesla’s extended warranty, which they call an Extended Service Agreement (ESA). At $4,000, it wasn’t cheap. It provided four years and an additional 50,000 miles of coverage, up to a total of 100,000 miles. There was a $200 deductible for each service visit. The problem was the length of the agreement: I wasn’t sure I’d be keeping the car for another four years. DON'T MISS: Life with Tesla Model S: the challenges of selling her at...

  • 2016 Tesla Model S
    Tesla changes warranty, cuts used Model S prices, to lure Model 3 buyers

    Tesla has given its used electric-car sales a jolt and sweetened the deals for potential buyers. CEO Elon Musk announced changes to the Tesla Model S sedan's warranty structure and major price cuts on used examples during the annual shareholder meeting held June 6. "Maybe somebody wants to buy a...

  • 2013 Tesla Model S owned by David Noland, Catskill Mountains, NY, Oct 2015
    Life with Tesla Model S: replacing the drive unit (aka 'the funny noise')

    Back in 2014, Tesla had a spate of problems with the drive units in early-production versions of its Model S electric sedan. (The drive unit is essentially the car’s power train: electric motor, inverter, and gear box.) High-profile multiple failures occurred in long-term test cars driven by...

  • 2011 Nissan Leaf electric car after battery-pack replacement  [by owner Tim Jacobsen, Concord, CA]
    How to negotiate for a new Nissan Leaf battery pack: electric-car owner advises

    In designing, testing, and producing the Nissan Leaf, the first modern electric car sold in volume, Nissan made a design decision that some other companies didn't. It chose not to build an active thermal-conditioning system (otherwise known as cooling) into its battery pack. Instead, it relies on...

  • 2011 Nissan Leaf
    Lessons learned from early electric car: 2011 Nissan Leaf at 90,000 miles

    Being a pioneer isn't easy. When you're pioneering new automotive technology, it can be challenging and sometimes costly. Just ask anyone who owned an early turbocharged sport sedan, for instance. That also applies, in some cases, to some of the first modern electric cars, and in particular the...

  • 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV
    Electric car battery warranties compared

    It's one of the most frequently asked questions by anyone hearing about a modern electric car: do I have to replace the battery? With 15 years of experience in mobile phones and more than that with laptop computers, most buyers know that lithium-ion batteries lose capacity over time. Replacing...

  • 2009 Toyota Prius

    "Sure, but what do the batteries cost to replace?" is a question frequently posed to hybrid and electric vehicle owners. It's true that batteries aren't cheap, and at some point down the line they'll have expended their useful life and require replacement. But what do these packs actually cost, if and when that replacement date comes? We've previously looked at the cost of replacing battery packs in the first-generation 2001-2003 Toyota Prius, but with several other hybrids on the market from Toyota alone, we wanted to investigate further. [NOTE: This article was first published in August...

  • 2015 Tesla Model S 70D, Apr 2015  [photo: David Noland]
    High Tesla warranty costs show learning to make cars is hard

    Tesla spends more on warranty costs than larger established carmakers.

  • 2013 Tesla Model S owned by David Noland, Catskill Mountains, NY, Oct 2015
    Tesla Freakonomics: Why Fans Should Hope Early Drivetrain Data Was Correct

    Our recent article on the reliability implications of a Plug-In America survey of early Tesla Model S owners was met with skepticism from the company's supporters, and support from its skeptics. But in a counter-intuitive Freakonomics-style twist, it's the firm's fans who should hope the results...

  • Tesla Model S lithium-ion battery pack in rolling chassis   [photo: Martin Gillet via Flickr]
    Two-Thirds of Earliest Tesla Drivetrains To Need Replacement In 60,000 Miles, Owner Data Suggests

    With almost 100,000 on the world's roads, the Tesla Model S electric car is a remarkable achievement. It remains the longest-range electric car in volume production more than three years after it launched. But reliability issues with electric traction motors in early cars--those from the 2012 and...

  • Onsite service by Tesla Motor technicians on 2013 Tesla Model S, upstate NY [photo: David Noland]
    Life With Tesla Model S: Service Centers Get Crowded, Cost More

    One of the coolest things about owning a Tesla Model S for almost three years now has been the service. When first revealed back in the spring of 2013—a few months after I had taken delivery of my car—the Tesla service model sounded almost too good to be true. If a problem occurred, CEO...

  • Tesla Model S electric-car road trip, Route 66 Museum, Elk City, Oklahoma  [photo: David Noland]
    Life With Tesla Model S: Extended Warranty, 'Tricky' Owners & More Updates

    I've had my 2013 Tesla Model S for two and a half years now, and I've reported on the entire process, from ordering through delivery. After an update on my battery capacity--which lost slightly more than average, but not worrisomely so--it's time for a roundup of other items I've faced as I reach...

  • 2015 Tesla Model S P85D - 'Chiseled by man and nature'  [photo: George Parrott]

    Every honeymoon comes to an end sooner or later, and so it was with Consumer Reports and its former paramour, the Tesla Model S electric car. As part of its yearly reliability report on cars sold in the U.S. market, the respected consumer magazine said it could no longer recommend the Model S because the car's predicted reliability is below average. Specifically, CR said, "The main problem areas involved the drivetrain, power equipment, charging equipment, giant iPad-like center console, and body and sunroof squeaks, rattles, and leaks." DON'T MISS: Tesla Model S P85D Lauded By Consumer...

  • Tesla Model S in Albuquerque's 'snowstorm' during NY-to-California road trip  [photo: David Noland]
    Life With Tesla Model S: Should I Buy The Extended Warranty?

    The odometer on my 2013 Tesla Model S ticked over 49,000 miles yesterday. That means I’ll soon be facing a big financial decision: whether or not to buy Tesla’s extended warranty, or as they call it, extended service agreement (ESA). The car’s standard bumper-to-bumper warranty is...

  • 2011 Nissan Leaf SL
    Nissan Leaf Battery Capacity Lawsuit: Court Approves Settlement

    Nissan and Leaf owners appear to have reached a final settlement in a lawsuit filed almost three years ago.

  • 2014 Tesla Model S
    Tesla Model S Drive-Unit Replacements: How Big A Problem?

    It was a car company's worst public-relations nightmare. Edmunds.com, the widely-read automotive website, bought a Tesla Model S for long-term testing in February 2013. After nine months and 11,000 miles, the car developed an ominous grinding noise under acceleration and deceleration. Under...

  • 2011 Nissan Leaf prototype
    Nissan Leaf New Battery Cost: $5,500 For Replacement With Heat-Resistant Chemistry

    Three and a half years after the first Nissan Leaf went on sale, Nissan has announced the cost of a replacement lithium-ion battery pack for its electric car. It's a surprisingly low $5,499 (after a $1,000 credit for turning in the old pack, which is required), plus installation fees and tax. The...

  • 2011 Nissan Leaf
    Nissan Leaf Electric Car Added To Certified Used Program

    Electric cars have been on sale almost three years now, which means that some of them are starting to show up on used-car lots. To alleviate concern over the unknown future life of a used electric car, Nissan has now added its Leaf to the company's Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles program. Starting...

  • 2013 Nissan Leaf

    Nissan is testing a revised lithium-ion cell chemistry for its Leaf electric car that the company says appears to be as durable in sustained extreme heat as its current battery is under normal conditions. If tests confirm that the new cells degrade at no more than the standard rate, even at high temperatures, the company hopes to have battery packs using those cells available next April. Those packs would become the replacement for any current Leaf batteries replaced under warranty for loss of capacity. Nissan has not yet decided whether the new battery would be fitted to all new Leafs...

  • Lithium-ion battery pack of 2011 Nissan Leaf, showing cells assembled into modules
    Nissan To Offer Leaf Battery Replacement Plan: $100 A Month

    To allay fears about loss of capacity in its Leaf electric-car battery packs, Nissan announced today that it would offer what amounts to a battery leasing program after the pack goes out of warranty. The cost of ensuring minimum capacity will be $100 a month. The company now warranties the Leaf...

  • 2013 Tesla Model S before DC-to-Boston road trip, Feb 2013 [photo: Aaron Schildkraut]
    Tesla Tunes Up Model S Warranty, Loaner Cars, Service Plan

    On Friday, Tesla held a media call to reveal another in the series of announcements touted in tweets by CEO Elon Musk. This time, the news covered enhancements to the warranty and service experience on its Tesla Model S electric luxury sport sedan. Tesla Motors [NSDQ:TSLA] is now delivering several...

  • 2013 Nissan Leaf (Japanese trim)
    Nissan Leaf Battery Capacity Loss: Covered By Warranty, Now

    Nissan is becoming the first manufacturer to offer limited warranty on battery capacity loss, when it implements a new warranty in Spring 2013. Announced via the MyNissanLeaf.com forums, Nissan executive vice president, Andy Palmer, has confirmed that Nissan is to offer an updated New Electric...

  • 2013 Suzuki Kizashi
    Should I Buy A New Suzuki (Now That It's Leaving The U.S.)?

    There's nothing like a bargain price on a brand-new car. And since Suzuki has announced that it'll stop selling cars in the U.S., there are bargains galore on new Suzuki models. But is buying a brand-new car from a departing manufacturer a good deal? That depends on how the carmaker exits; unlike...

  • 2012 Tesla Model S beta vehicle, Fremont, CA, October 2011
    Tesla Model S Service Contract: $600/Year, Or Warranty Voided

    One big advantage of electric cars is reduced maintenance. With no internal combustion engine, there is no oil to change, no exhaust system, no transmission, no myriad of moving parts to break or wear out, and no air or fuel filters to clog up. With regenerative braking, brake pads last virtually...

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