Tesla has announced the details of what it claims is the "world's best service and warranty program" for its Model S electric sedan in the US.
Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk says the program is designed to provide peace of mind to Model S owners even if they “never read or followed the instructions in the manual”.
With the exception of a collision, opening of the battery pack by a non-Tesla employee or intentional abuse – the eccentric Musk emphasises “lighting the pack on fire with a blowtorch is not covered!” – Tesla says all damage to the battery is covered by warranty, including improper maintenance and unintentionally leaving the pack at a low state of charge.
Tesla will replace the batteries with a factory-reconditioned unit with an energy capacity equal to or better than the original pack before the failure occurred.
When service time rolls around, Tesla will loan customers either a top-spec Model S Performance or a Tesla Roadster while their car is out of action. A valet service will see owners’ vehicles picked up, replaced with a loaner and returned once the service is complete, meaning owners never have to visit a service shop.
In another unique twist, owners will have the opportunity to purchase their loan car if they like it more than their actual vehicle, with the price calculated by taking the original list price and deducting one per cent per month of age and $1 per mile.
And while Tesla encourages annual check-ups, the vehicle’s warranty remains valid even if owners never organise a service. While the Model S does not require oil, fuel filter, spark plug and brake pad changes, Musk says there is plenty of value in having the vehicles looked over regularly for things like wheel alignments and hardware upgrades.
Australian deliveries of the Tesla Model S are set to commence in around nine months’ time this coming summer.