Cars 20160226_154944

Published on February 28th, 2016 | by Kyle Field

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Tesla Increases Warranty Towing Distance To 500 Miles

February 28th, 2016 by  

20160226_154944

I’m fully charged, no tow needed, thanks!

Tesla is working to find the perfect balance between customer service, price, and value, with the latest iteration in the journey being an increase in towing range to 500 miles. This is exceptional and likely related to the relatively poor coverage Tesla Service Centers provide in most regions, leaving gaps of hundreds of miles between customers and their nearest Service Centers.

This new burst of towing range exceeds the maximum range of a Tesla at ~290 miles, so would presumably allow the customer to get the car home or, more likely, to the nearest Tesla center for some TLC. It is worth noting that this increase is for warranty work, not for normal service appointments, which is where pain related to distance from a service center would cause the most pain.

I have had to utilize the Tesla warranty on my CPO Tesla once so far and went with a “Ranger” — where a Tesla service technician actually comes to wherever I am — at home, work, or Barnes & Noble — with everything required for a diagnosis and repair. While the service technician was working on the problem door handle, he recommended that I have the other door handle mechanisms replaced, which I will be doing next week with the Tesla Valet Service — where Tesla will come pick up my car and drop off a loaner until my car is ready to go.

Back to the towing, the increased free towing mileage solidifies yet another option for Tesla owners to utilize to get warranty work done and, possibly more importantly, gives regulators extra confidence that Tesla is not leaving buyers out in the cold when it comes to broken down Teslas post-purchase. Consumer protection was one of the arguments used in Indiana where legislators (with significant prodding by General Motors, which was represented by a FUD-slinging lawyer at the hearing) were looking to shut down the Tesla direct-to-consumer sales model this week.

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Images by Kyle Field


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About the Author

I'm a tech geek passionately in search of actionable ways to reduce the negative impact my life has on the planet, save money and reduce stress. Live intentionally, make conscious decisions, love more, act responsibly, play. The more you know, the less you need.



  • David MacGillis

    Why would it cost the customer anything to have a vehicle under warranty towed any distance to be repaired? Why limit it to 500 miles? If it’s under warranty all towing for repairs should be free to the nearest service center. For that matter, many dealers offer a pickup loaner service even for non-warranty repairs and maintenance.

    • Dragon

      Most auto makers have so many dealerships and qualified repair shops that you would never need to tow a car anywhere close to 500 miles to repair it. So it costs them nothing to say “unlimited towing” because there is no where they would need to tow all that far (or if there is, it would only happen in 0.01% of cases so it hardly matters).

      Tesla is still a niche product and in many areas of the country it’s quite a distance to a service center. I don’t think anyone should have to pay a shipping charge for warranty service but until they open up more service centers due to more vehicles on the road, they do need to have some limit to keep costs down. As long as they make the limits explicit, people who buy a car and live 1000 miles away from a service center can make an informed choice as to whether it’s the right car for them.

      At the same, there are increasingly few areas of the US that are farther than 500 miles from a service center anyway. Once the “coming soon” centers are open on the service center map, it looks like the only places over 500 miles will be the northern edge of Montana and part of North Dakota.

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  • Ed

    In the current “Death to Tesla” environment being created by dealers and automakers, this towing range increase is a very wise move. Hope I never need it, but nice to have.

    • Kyle Field

      Glad Tesla won in Indiana 🙂 I watched the full testimonies on YouTube within hours of them happening (which is crazy that we can do that)

      • Ed

        I watched also (yes, crazy, but that is the kind of thing many of us worked on for decades) and found it to be a wonderful example of Luddites On Parade. (It should be a reality show!) Ultimately, the auto business must change. I marvel at how simple an electric car is compared to, say, a VW diesel. To wit:

        • Kyle Field

          Totally! Those senators reminded me of the slackers at many jobs I’ve worked at. Only one or two seemed like they actually cared and could pose intelligent questions.

          • Ed

            Someone else pointed out that Tesla has tricked us all by creating a business model that started by listing all of the things that car buyers hate about the traditional car dealer experience…then making sure to avoid those aspects. Anyone out there miss dealing with a car salesman?!

          • Kyle Field

            ooh ooh!! Pick…up a Tesla for me when you go get yours 😀

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