​Edmunds Had A Lot Of Problems With Its Long-Term Tesla

Illustration for article titled ​Edmunds Had A Lot Of Problems With Its Long-Term Tesla

After nearly a year and a half of dutiful service, Edmunds has sold its long-term Model S, and the postmortem on their time with the Tesla proves, once again, that building a car from scratch is hard.

Edmunds' wrap up includes the list below, with details of 28 "service campaigns" that were not part of the regularly scheduled maintenance. Their 2013 Model S went through four drive units, a battery replacement and at least one screen replacement, along with replacing all 20 lug nuts when the dealer noticed they "were beginning to swell". That's a new one on us.

Suspicious noiseReplace first drive unitWarranty
Car died roadsideReplace second drive unitWarranty
Suspicious noiseReplace third drive unit and ride height sensorWarranty
Car died roadsideReplace main batteryWarranty
Touchscreen frozeReplace main display screenWarranty
Optional 21-inch rear tires worn to cords prematurelyReplace rear tires and fix alignmentWarranty
Car died roadsideReplace 12-volt battery and cablesWarranty
Steering wheel creakShim and torque sub-frame boltsWarranty
Odd noise from undercarriageRerouted logic harnesses per TSBWarranty
Sunroof will not workReplace broken sunroof deflectorWarranty
Driver door opens automaticallyReplace driver door handle mechanismWarranty
Recall issuedBattery shield kit installedWarranty
TSB issuedInspect joints for all lower control arm washersWarranty
TSB issuedUpdate firmware to version 5.8.4Warranty
TSB issuedUpdate firmware to version 5.11Warranty
TSB issuedReplace front bumper carrier boltsWarranty
TSB issuedInstall rear upper camber boltsWarranty
TSB issuedReplace side motor mountWarranty
TSB issuedReplace front floor mats, install rear floor matsWarranty
Left radiator shutter faultyReplace center louversWarranty
Lug nuts beginning to swellReplace all 20 lug nutsWarranty
Cracked vanity mirror hingeReplace cracked vanity mirror hingeGoodwill
Humming noise at start-upInstall AC compressor NVH coverGoodwill
Vanity mirror hinge crackedReplace missing charge cord trim pieceGoodwill
Touchscreen frozeManual reset (required 9 times during test)None
Windows lowered automaticallyUnresolved, happened twiceNone
TPMS confusedUnresolved, happened onceNone
Condensation in taillightUnresolved prior to saleNone

Edmunds points out that its 2013 example was an early production model, so several of the fixes were made as running changes on later models, and that most of the repairs were made during the same dealer visit, with only two of those requiring the car to be left overnight. But for a scant 17 months, that's a laundry list of repairs, and Edmunds sums it up thusly:

Bottom Line: The Model S is a fast, comfortable and technologically brilliant luxury sedan, but numerous problems with its touchscreen, tires and drivetrain make it hard to recommend.

Photo: Edmunds

Share This Story

Get our `newsletter`



Bottom Line: The Model T is a fast, comfortable and technologically brilliant luxury sedan, but numerous problems with its explosion engine, tires and drivetrain make it hard to recommend.

Edmunds, circa 1908