Tesla Answers Critics With New 8-Year Warranty

(Los Angeles Times/MCT) —

Tesla Motors Inc., perhaps responding to less-than-stellar reviews of its Model S electric car, is offering a new eight-year, unlimited-mileage warranty for its drive unit and battery pack.

The generous warranty will cover all Model S cars already on the road, and will extend to new owners when the cars change hands.

It extends the previous warranty, which was for four years or 50,000 miles.

The company may have issued the warranty announcement in response to mixed long-term-use reviews from the car website Edmunds.com and by Consumer Reports. Both publications drove the Model S for extended periods – Edmunds for 18 months, Consumer Reports for 15,000 miles – and both experienced multiple difficulties with the car, including roadside breakdowns.

Tesla chief executive and co-founder Elon Musk, making the announcement on the company’s website, said the new warranty will extend retroactively to “all Model S vehicles ever produced,” and admitted that the company should have offered a better warranty from the start.

“If we truly believe that electric motors are fundamentally more reliable than gasoline engines, with far fewer moving parts and no oily residue or combustion byproducts to gum up the works, then our warranty policy should reflect that,” Musk wrote.

He also told Tesla investors that the new policy will have “a moderately negative effect on Tesla earnings in the short term, as our warranty reserves will necessarily have to increase above current levels.”


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