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abasile
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Re: Official Tesla Model S thread

Tue Jul 08, 2014 8:56 pm

LTLFTcomposite wrote:Let's hope all that taking good care of customers isn't hitting the bottom line too hard. It's important to do it when needed but equally important to see that it isn't needed too often.
This has concerned me as well. Hopefully Tesla's vehicle reliability and component design are improving quickly enough that big repairs like drive unit replacements (seems to be a design flaw somewhere) won't bleed them dry. Edmunds' blog, and some TMC posts, make me glad that I didn't jump in and finance the purchase of an early Tesla S. Taking chances on a $25K LEAF (after incentives) is one thing, but at $75K or more, I'd prefer to have a vehicle that's rock solid for the long haul. That said, other expensive cars often aren't known for their reliability, and of course they also suck down lots of fuel. And it is possible to purchase an extended warranty on a Tesla S (something I normally never do).

Aside from battery degradation, I would say that our LEAF has been rock solid.
2011 LEAF at 71K miles, pre-owned 2012 Tesla S 85 at 98K miles
LEAF battery: 9/12 bars and < 49 Ah (-28% vs. new)
Tesla battery: 250+ miles of range (-5% vs. new)

cwerdna
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Re: Official Tesla Model S thread

Tue Jul 08, 2014 9:14 pm

And, thanks to some comments I skimmed from the Edmunds piece, I became aware of Motortrend's long-term Model S drive unit replacement: http://www.motortrend.com/roadtests/one ... _update_3/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; at 5 months ~13K miles.

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DaveEV
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Re: Official Tesla Model S thread

Tue Jul 08, 2014 9:57 pm

The number of drive units and battery packs Tesla is replacing is worrisome. I'm actually amazed at how many owners have reported multiple drive unit replacements as that indicates a very high failure rate overall. There are even a decent number of people who have had multiple battery pack failures.

It's very rare to hear about drive unit or battery pack failures on the LEAF, despite many more vehicles on the road. The biggest issue with the LEAF appears to be the PDU issues on '13 LEAFs which is correctable with a firmware update if caught early enough - and of course premature capacity loss - but that doesn't cause the car to stop working all of a sudden.

Tesla definitely has a QA or design issue there that needs to be resolved.

cwerdna
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Re: Official Tesla Model S thread

Tue Jul 08, 2014 10:54 pm

^^^
Yep. One has to wonder about the durability/long-term reliability tests that Tesla's doing. And, assuming they actually last in their internal testing for a long time (whatever that is), how consistently are they and their suppliers able to produce drive units and battery packs that don't deviate from whatever passed.

And, if they keep changing things w/o fully validating and testing those changes...

I'm going to start a separate thread about automotive durability and reliability testing, along w/figures, if available. I recall this article for ICEVs: http://blog.caranddriver.com/how-powert ... f-engines/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_yrw5fXMa78" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; that I posted in another thread mentions how Nissan loaned this AZ company the NV 3500 van and they were putting on 7500 miles/week, 80K miles in 3 months. They showed a van w/557K miles.

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LTLFTcomposite
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Re: Official Tesla Model S thread

Wed Jul 09, 2014 6:44 am

abasile wrote:Edmunds' blog, and some TMC posts, make me glad that I didn't jump in and finance the purchase of an early Tesla S. Taking chances on a $25K LEAF (after incentives) is one thing, but at $75K or more, I'd prefer to have a vehicle that's rock solid for the long haul.
My sentiments exactly. I'm not a $75k car kind of guy but could swing it if I really put my mind to it...and I've been tempted... but boy it would really stink to part with that kind of dough and have the car turn out to be problematic in the long run. I tip my hat to those who have taken that risk.
LTL
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Re: Official Tesla Model S thread

Wed Jul 09, 2014 12:44 pm

Zythryn wrote:Edmunds still seems to enjoy the car quite a bit. A quote from the above linked article:
Driving around the past few days with this car has reminded me of how good it is. People often ask me what I think of it, and I tell them this is an awesome car, with a huge caveat: Be prepared for things to go wrong. The Model S is a highly advanced car from a company that is just learning the ups and downs of manufacturing vehicles on a large scale.
I know you're not disputing it, but I just wanted to say that I agree with this quote 100%. It's not a perfect car, things happen. If you're patient and polite, Tesla will go out of their way to make it right. But the fact that it is STILL head and shoulders above everything else REALLY says something!

I don't mind one bit when something happens. My local service center will usually pick the car up from me in the morning at work and return it in the afternoon. It was just sitting in the parking lot anyway. Or, if they have a Model S loaner available I can swing by on my way to work, swap cars and off I go. No biggie. The rest of the time with the car more than makes up for its quirks.

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RegGuheert
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Re: Official Tesla Model S thread

Thu Jul 10, 2014 2:43 am

OT:
cwerdna wrote:I'm going to start a separate thread about automotive durability and reliability testing, along w/figures, if available. I recall this article for ICEVs: http://blog.caranddriver.com/how-powert ... f-engines/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_yrw5fXMa78" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; that I posted in another thread mentions how Nissan loaned this AZ company the NV 3500 van and they were putting on 7500 miles/week, 80K miles in 3 months. They showed a van w/557K miles.
Thanks for that! I just watched that video and I'm blown away! Here are a few quotes from the video:
Nissan Newsroom Commentator wrote:Nissan loaned "Above and Beyond" an NV-3500 High Roof that would be put to the test on the company's most severe delivery route. In the heat of Arizona, the NV-3500 went into service traveling to a copper mine twice daily, 365 days a year.
Jim Bowman: President of Above and Beyond Delivery wrote:We put it on the longest-mileage route we had. The mines are dirt inside. They're haul roads, so dirt roads, so these things get caked with dirt every day that we wash constantly. Uh, they're rough. Uh. It's a, it's a very high stress environment. If a vehicle's down, it's not making money, so the reliability was, uh, just a massive advantage.
Nissan Newsroom Commentator wrote:During the test, the NV-3500 traveled more than half a million miles in 32 months. There was only one unscheduled service downtime: to replace an alternator at 382,000 miles.
Jorge Aguirre: Operations Manager of Above and Beyond Delivery wrote:The other vehicles we used, we knew that at 100,000 miles we had to replace three certain things. It was the engine, the transmission or the, uh, throttle body on that vehicle.
Nissan Newsroom Commentator wrote:"Above and Beyond" measured the operating cost of the NV and concluded that the vehicle delivers. So much so that they are transitioning to an all-Nissan cargo van fleet.
The takeaway here is that at least Nissan is able to build an unbelievably reliable ICEV today that can last for an incredibly long time. With the notable exception of battery capacity, EVs really should have an advantage when it comes to long-term reliability, as both three-phase induction machines and synchronous machines and their drive electronics have been proven in factories around the word for many, many decades.

If you compare the LEAF to the Tesla, there is a big difference in the reliability and durability of the drivetrain. It seems that Tesla is running everything right on the ragged edge of what is achievable and the components simply are not holding up. Nissan, on the other hand, has been quite conservative with their design and the reliability of the major drivetrain components has been quite phenomenal. We'll see how long it takes them to get the durability of the battery to a more-acceptable level.
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Re: Official Tesla Model S thread

Thu Jul 10, 2014 5:41 am

RegGuheert wrote: If you compare the LEAF to the Tesla, there is a big difference in the reliability and durability of the drivetrain. It seems that Tesla is running everything right on the ragged edge of what is achievable and the components simply are not holding up. Nissan, on the other hand, has been quite conservative with their design and the reliability of the major drivetrain components has been quite phenomenal. We'll see how long it takes them to get the durability of the battery to a more-acceptable level.
for the typical end user, the major differences between the Tesla and the LEAF are RANGE and level of interior appointments. for me the limited range of the LEAF makes it a poor choice because of the driving distances where I live. as for interior the TESLA isn't up to the levels it pretends to be, MB, BMW but it is far and away better equipped than the LEAF. as for mechanical components I have less than 5k miles on the Tesla so I cannot comment other than to say that I've had no issues, I only have 9k miles on the LEAF and there have been no problems as well.
The LEAF is a fine car for some applications, however it cannot do what it isn't designed to do, ie: long distance cruising
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Re: Official Tesla Model S thread

Thu Jul 10, 2014 8:14 am

drees wrote:The number of drive units and battery packs Tesla is replacing is worrisome. I'm actually amazed at how many owners have reported multiple drive unit replacements as that indicates a very high failure rate overall. There are even a decent number of people who have had multiple battery pack failures.
.........Tesla definitely has a QA or design issue there that needs to be resolved.
We have no idea.
It's all anecdotal info perhaps driven by the early production units that had some issues, owned by early adopters that post on forums. Might already be resolved. I've been to the Van Nuys service center a couple of times. You can bet they see a lot of vehicles and I always ask them what sorts of problems they see most often. Nothing about drive-trains or batteries. Tire wear, alignment stuff, noises were mentioned. One service person commented that they feel a bit like the Maytag repairman; mostly just doing annual maintenance; which, is what he said all the cars currently in the bays were there for.
I'm sure the Model S has design weaknesses. But, after a flawless 2000 mi trip through Calif, Ariz & Utah with one stretch through Monument Valley of 245 mi between charges, I'm not seeing one with mine.
(knock on lacewood)

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abasile
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Re: Official Tesla Model S thread

Thu Jul 10, 2014 8:53 am

sparky wrote:One service person commented that they feel a bit like the Maytag repairman; mostly just doing annual maintenance; which, is what he said all the cars currently in the bays were there for.
Again, anecdotal, but really great to hear!

Hopefully any remaining, significant bugs will have been worked out in the Model S cars shipped in 2012/2013 before many of them end up in the secondhand market, where most buyers will not be as patient as the early adopters.
sparky wrote:I'm sure the Model S has design weaknesses. But, after a flawless 2000 mi trip through Calif, Ariz & Utah with one stretch through Monument Valley of 245 mi between charges, I'm not seeing one with mine. (knock on lacewood)
It is truly an amazing car. Redefines what an EV is! I really am rooting for Tesla.
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LEAF battery: 9/12 bars and < 49 Ah (-28% vs. new)
Tesla battery: 250+ miles of range (-5% vs. new)

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