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Is service plan necessary?

Elon declared in his 4/26/13 tweet: ---$600 annual service plan is optional with no effect on warranty---. Why does one pay extra minimum of $1900 for a 4y service plan? I'm getting my red ms in about 10 days, and my service center is going to be about 50 miles away from me and is "coming soon".

So, gentlemen (and ladies ), please advise! Do I really need to buy ANY service plan at all? What does the basic warranty do?

Ps: when requested, Porsche dealership sends guys to my house pickup-service-return my car with no extra charge beyond the routine costs for annual maintenance ($350ish).

Paying one service at a time is not buying a plan. No need to buy a plan when you can just buy a service.

We can do this all day.

Actually jtodtman, yes, it is, and its made ridiculously clear that the $600 one-time is a service plan option...simply goto:

and note the options under "Service Plans"

1) Annual
2) 4 Year
3) 4 Year + Extension
4) 4 Year Anywhere
4) 4 Year Anywhere + Extension

It's not its

IMO you can do three things:

1) No regular maintenance; just wait till something breaks and call the service centre to replace/repair it.
2) Ad hoc regular maintenance; choose your own interval (e.g. 17.000 miles or 14 months), go to the service centre and pay for x hours and x materials.
3) Buy a service plan for 1, 4 or 8 years and all the maintenance and repairs (except tires) are included.

The last one is certainly the most convenient. Which one will be the least expensive is difficult to predict at the moment.

@cfriedberg -

You are correct, the warranty does not equal service. In fact, the language of the warranty expressly excludes coverage for:

"Maintenance services, including, but not limited to, the following:
· Standard 12 month or 12,500 mile service and diagnostics checks;
· Wheel alignment or balancing;
· Appearance care (such as cleaning and polishing); and
· Expendable maintenance items (such as wiper blades/inserts,
brake pads/linings, filters, etc.)."

However, failure to service and maintain your car can result in excluding warranty coverage for problems that the service would have addressed. Likewise, service includes an inspection. If you have a problem that an inspection would have detected, and a subsequent repair would have corrected, you may not be covered for any resulting damage. So there is definitely a connection between service and your warranty.

I think not having the service plan or not having the vehicle serviced will affect the resale value. That's a good enough reason for me.

What is your point Douglas. Other than a) correctly pointing out that service and warranty are two different things b) incorrectly pointing out that not getting service could lead to warranty being voided (or so you imply, this has been specifically changed), c) that everyone should get service.

I can't believe you two are still arguing this point. If cfriedberg wants to run the car into the ground, that's cfriedberg's choice. I think most people who care for the equipment they own will chose to do regular maintenance.

@cfriedberg - Yes, I was agreeing with you that service and warranty are two different things.

However, you are wrong if you think that not getting service has no affect on your warranty coverage. Surely you don't think Elon's announcement to the press has modified your rights pursuant to an express, written warranty, do you? I would hate to defend that position in court. No, the language of the warranty, and hence its legal import, has not been changed.

When Elon announced that failing to get service would not void the warranty, he was not changing anything. That is because the warranty has never provided that failure to get service SHALL void the warranty. It provides that failure to service the car MAY void the warranty, or more precisely, may affect coverage under the warranty. This statement ties in with other language that excludes coverage for defects that are not reported and brought in for correction, as well as language that requires you to have an inspection. My point is that this was the case before Elon made his announcement, and nothing in his announcement has changed that. George Blankenship had previously made some statements implying that the warranty would automatically be void if you failed to obtain regular service, but he was simply wrong in his reading of the document (and his interpretation would probably have been unenforceable in any event).

The warranty will cover defects in materials or workmanship of any parts that are manufactured or supplied by Tesla. But it will also exclude or limit coverage under certain circumstances. This exclusion is not, and never has been, automatic. TM would have to show that your negligent failure to have the car inspected and serviced directly led to the problem for which you are claiming coverage. And even though TM CAN exclude coverage under these circumstances, this doesn't necessarily mean that they will do so. TM may decide to provide coverage simply to protect its reputation, even in instances where it is not legally obligated to do so.

Your last question: should everyone get service? I can't answer that. It depends on your tolerance for risk, your confidence in your own ability to spot and repair problems, your belief that TM would never let you down, the value to you of $600, etc. Certainly, some low-mileage drivers may reasonably choose to take their car in for service a little less frequently than once a year. To me, I'm happy to pay a few extra dollars not to have to think about it. But I think it is bad advice to tell people that they never need to bring their car in for inspection or service based solely on the argument that, whatever happens, the warranty has them covered.

Douglas. Where exactly did I say everyone should get service??? Context is an important thing. Read my response in its entirety. Thanks.

cfriedberg, you asked me whether I thought everyone should get service. I was responding to your question.

"What is your point Douglas. Other than . . . c) that everyone should get service.(?)"

cfriedberg, it's your turn at bat.

Where does the statement, 'every car requires service' = 'run the car into the ground'?

The question that was asked was "Is the service plan necessary", the answer is very clearly NO. However:
1. As Douglas incorrectly points out, Tesla has come back to restate the warranty, changing the language to say that NOT getting service from Tesla DOES NOT void the warranty. Douglas, by all means call Tesla Ownership, they can direct you to this new language, clearly you have not downloaded the new warranty. (however this is not true for the financing, as for them to buyback the car servicing is required)
2. While the service is not required, (caveat above) the warranty does NOT cover everything in the service agreement. So someone who says, "service is not required bc warranty covers everything' is factually incorrect.
3. If you chose to get service - again, buyers choice, not a requirement (caveat above for financing through Tesla) - there are 4 options, three of which pre-pay and thus provide a small discount to no pre-paying.

That's all there is to it. Not so difficult.

And Douglas, you clearly won't take my word for it (rightly so, you should check for yourself) but its quite plainly written here:’s-best-service-and-warranty-program-0

"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."

Or feel free again to call of Tesla Ownership and have them email you copy of the new warranty

Please leave me out of this. I'm just trying to referee here. Eventually you two will get tired of this pointless argument. So it's DouglaR's turn.

Your last comment, and need to comment and referee, keeps you in it, silence keeps you out of it, as does not suggesting I implied that i was going to run my car into the ground.

Sorry, but you batted out of turn. You're disqualified.

methinks not Mr I Don't Want To Be Involved...facts are facts. Don't want to be involved, don't post. Want to be involved, keep posting.

Well, I am embarrassed to say that TM DID change the language, and you are correct, cfriedberg, I had not downloaded the newer version. Technically, the version that was in effect at the time I purchased my car is the one that still applies to me, although I doubt TM would insist on that. However, they should have expressly notified me that a new version was available. Nevertheless, I apologize for my oversight.

The language changes are interesting. I contend that even under the old version, TM could not have automatically voided the warranty simply because I did not bring my car in for inspection and service. That was something George Blankenship said, but it was not part of the language of the warranty. The warranty did provide, however, that coverage could be excluded for problems that resulted from negligently failing to inspect, maintain, and repair the car.

While the new version still excludes vehicle damage or malfunction caused by negligence or improper maintenance, it no longer lists "lack of maintenance" among the exclusions. It no longer states that the owner is responsible for regular maintenance, nor does it still state that the owner may void the warranty by failing to follow TM's recommendations regarding maintenance and scheduled inspections. So I was wrong; the warranty has definitely changed.

But the warranty does still list among its exclusions, "failure to take the vehicle to a Tesla Service Center or Tesla authorized repair facility upon discovery of a defect covered by this New Vehicle Limited Warranty." As noted above, it excludes coverage for damage or malfunction caused by negligence or improper maintenance. And it still states that the owner may void the warranty by failing to make all repairs.

So where does this leave an owner who goes several years without an inspection, and then finds a problem made much worse by failing to correct a defect that would have been caught in an inspection. Under the new warranty, the owner can argue that he did not discover the defect, and did not have it repaired, because it was not manifest. And under the new warranty, he would certainly be better off if the problem resulted from such a hidden defect. But what if a person exercising reasonable care would have found the problem, and could have had it corrected? I think in that case, warranty coverage could still be limited or excluded.

The changes in the document relate mostly to "maintenance" items, which in this context means wiper blades, brake pads, filters, wheel alignment, etc. I now agree that failure to perform regular maintenance will not affect warranty coverage. But other potential problems are not so clear. For example, what if my motor starts making an odd sound, and I let it go for a couple of years because I am not required to perform regular maintenance? If the motor burns out completely, but could easily have been repaired had it been taken care of earlier, is TM obligated under the warranty to replace it? What if I didn't hear the sound because my hearing is not so good? These are the kind of questions that end up getting resolved in court or through arbitration. I would really prefer to avoid that. Notwithstanding the change in the warranty, I'm still taking my car in for its regular checkup.

David, you are not doing your job. If you are going to call balls and strikes, you need to put on one of those chest protectors.

Why thank you Douglas, mighty kind of you :)...that said, the new warranty usurps the one you (and I) received when we got our cars (I'm Vin 4xxx), but you shouldn't take my word for it, call Tesla. But I agree with you that yes, they should have notified us AND sent us a new copy.

Other than some of your (very) rational arguments (which actually are quite clearly answered, legally speaking of course :) ), any warranty, car, boat, etc, is voided when the owner knowingly fails to maintain the equipment with an understanding it will harm the, in this case, car. Its the "knowingly" that's the key, and for both parties to prove, should it come to that.

And like you Douglas, regular service will be part of my routine, my choice, but that's a choice i've made with every car I owned, bc all cars require service, and I am not skilled enough to do it myself (thus my choice to pre-pay to get the discount).

And scene...moving on.

"reasonable care" is a somewhat slippery phrase. There's not enough service (or case) history to define that for the MS. I long suspected, as it is turning out, that the car was so well engineered and built that most of this is moot. Tesla seems to be relaxing into a somewhat similar position and attitude.

I decided to not pre-pay...and perhaps not even get it after reading the menu of services performed. At 12k to me the most important thing done was a visual inspection of the battery enclosure and replacing the key fob battery. What am I missing?

Everything except the tires and windshield wipers. Unknown unknowns.

Sorry to revive the dead horse but there are a couple of points that I think have been overlooked. Do you take your ICE in for a $600 service every year? I don't. My 2002 VW has 130k on it and runs like a charm. Yes, of course I've done routine maintenance but not $600 a year worth. Why should I expect that a $75k car is going to need $1200 worth of service in the first two years?

Elon keeps saying that he's not building the best electric car, he's building the best car period. If that's the case we should not need this annual service.

The other issue is that if and when I do have to take the car in for non-warranted service am I to assume that the repairs will always be more than $600? There's a chance it could be less than $600 (OK, slim chance I know). As others have said, it's a personal choice.

I asked Tesla to refund my pre-paid service plan which they are doing.

@Kevjo, Our Mercedes receives maintenance on a yearly basis. After a set amount of miles, there is an alert on the dash to bring the vehicle in for an inspection. It's free for the first few years, and then it gets a bit pricey. If a component fails or needs replacing, we pay over $2000 to get the vehicle fixed. Brake pads, wipers, are not included and so it's the basic inspection fee + the cost of the new parts and labor. for $600 a year for the inspection, brake pads, wipers, fluids, etc included, it's a pretty good price.

What I dont get is if you bring it in for the $600 annual maintenance and they find a failed sensor, do they charge extra for the repair or is it included? (because isn't a replacement part, I assume it's not included?) And is it $600 per year for just four years or can I keep the car for 8 years and pay $600 annually for the entire life of the car?

I have two friends with Mercedes. One with an S-class (older, maybe 2006 or so) and one with a 2009 E-class. My friend with the S-class took it in for service due to a light on his dash telling him it was time. Total cost - $800. What'd they do? They "inspected" several items. It was all labor. He was furious. His wife told him that his car was now inspected and safe and it was worth it. Maybe.

The friend with the 2009 had an issue with his lights. They were dimming and then they'd come back on again. Then they'd go dark. He thought it was the battery. Then maybe the alternator. He took it in. There were electrical problems and his bill was almost $3000. He said it was literally three months out of warranty.

These are 100K cars. It's scary out there.


1) INSPECTION <> warranty:

Paid $600 annual inspection: a failed sensor is replaced for free for the first 4 years OR 50,000 miles with no extra charge.

If you want coverage for failed parts (tires excluded) for the years 5 to year 10 or 100,000 miles, then you need to buy a separate EXTENDED SERVICE AGREEMENT (currently $4,000)


$600 is current price for each inspection. If you have 4 inspections, then the current price would be:

$600 x 4 = $2,400.

3) Life after warranty:

If you want to keep your car for 8 years or 100,000 miles, you'd better a separate cost of $4,000 for EXTENDED SERVICE AGREEMENT, because the inspection after the first 4 years or 50,000 miles does NOT cover the repair/replace failed parts.

4) "Current" what?

By the way, the $600 and $4,000 prices are current prices. One morning, when you wake up and look up at the website, the current prices might change because some people refuse to lock in the prices timely.

Some just don't learn and prefer to lament and moan and write "To Whom It May Concern" public letter because of a change in pricing!

@Tam thanks for the clarification. One thing is for certain, Tesla service is WAY better than what I get from my Mercedes dealership!

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