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The luxury electric car maker has announced that the Tesla Model S sedan’s drivetrain will now feature a warranty in line with that already in place for the car’s battery pack.

This means that the 85kWh version of all-electric sedan now has an eight-year unlimited kilometre warranty for both its lithium-ion battery pack, as well as its electric drivetrain. Meanwhile the drive unit of the cheaper 60kWh model is now backed by an eight-year/200,000km (125,000 mile) warranty.

The new drivetrain warranty is available on all new Model S sedans and will also be retroactively applied to all existing Model S cars already on the road. The uprated warranty is applicable to all current and future owners of the Model S.

Previously the drive unit of the 85kWh Model S had a four-year/80,000km (50,000 mile) warranty. Extending that out to an eight year/160,000km (100,000 miles) warranty formerly cost owners an additional US$4,000.

Announcement of Tesla’s upgraded warranty came just days after Consumer Reports detailed a series of on-going problems with its long-term test vehicle. At the 24,000km mark, the American publication’s long-termer has so far suffered from pop-out door handles that refused to pop out, and a central touchscreen that went completely blank, meaning that drivers couldn’t access most of the car’s functions.

Other failings included malfunctioning trunk latches, a broken third-row buckle and a damaged charging adapter. All the problems experienced by Consumer Reports was fixed under warranty.

In July, rival Edmunds detailed the problems it had experienced with its long-term Model S. During the publication’s 48,000-or-so kilometres with the car, the Model S had its drive unit replaced four times and had a new battery pack fitted once, all under warranty.

In announcing the policy change, CEO Elon Musk said, “In hindsight, this should have been our policy from the beginning of the Model S program. 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.”

He went on to say that, financially, the company will suffer a bit in the short term, as it has to set aside extra cash reserves for warranty claims.




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