Published on August 16th, 2014 | by Zachary Shahan


Elon Musk Announces Infinite Mile Warranty For Tesla Model S

August 16th, 2014 by  

tesla model s

Elon Musk and the Tesla crew made a huge announcement last night (well, late at night my time, but I guess daytime in California). Addressing some concerns of Tesla Model S owners, Elon titled his blog post, “Infinite Mile Warranty.” The infinite mile warranty is for the drive units of 85 kWh Model S’s, and it isn’t just for the first owner, but for anyone a Model S might be sold to. It also applies retroactively.

After seeing the news and before we got our piece up, one of our readers, Steve Grinwis, sent along his thoughts for a short piece here on CleanTechnica. It includes some good context and insights, so I’m republishing it below, but first, I thought these closing lines from Elon in his post were the most important, and is one critical reason why Tesla is going to have more fanboys and fangirls in 10 years than an other automaker out there (if it doesn’t already):

To investors in Tesla, I must acknowledge that this 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. This is amplified by the fact that we are doing so retroactively, not just for new customers. However, by doing the right thing for Tesla vehicle owners at this early stage of our company, I am confident that it will work out well in the long term.

The long term — ah, yes, that thing that so many company CEOs don’t think much about. How refreshing.

Here’s the piece from Steve:

By Steve Grinwis

Elon Musk did what he always does: He nailed it.

He announced today that the 85 kWh version of the Model S will now come with an 8 year unlimited mile warranty in a blog post.

Recently the media has been abuzz with issues experienced by both Edmunds and Consumer Reports which had the worrying detail of a number of complete drivetrain units replaced. These turned out to be minor issues, and the drivetrain units were replaced out of convenience to the customer rather than because the driveunits were seriously damaged, or beyond repair.

This should help accomplish a few things for Tesla Motors:

1) It will help assuage the fears of potential customers like myself.
2) It will help show that there are no serious design flaws, and that Tesla Motors will stand behind their product.
3) It will get them another round of amazing media attention!

Way to go Elon! You’ve made my purchase of a Model III that much more a sure thing.

–Steve Grinwis

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About the Author

is tryin' to help society help itself (and other species) with the power of the typed word. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director and chief editor, but he's also the president of Important Media and the director/founder of EV Obsession, Solar Love, and Bikocity. Zach is recognized globally as a solar energy, electric car, and energy storage expert. Zach has long-term investments in TSLA, FSLR, SPWR, SEDG, & ABB — after years of covering solar and EVs, he simply has a lot of faith in these particular companies and feels like they are good cleantech companies to invest in.

  • Rafe Husain

    Elon Musk for governor (or president )

  • joseph biden

    this is another example of how elon chooses to let his actions do the talking for him, which is quite refreshing, considering most companies chooses to do the reverse.

  • GCO


    [Sigh] Yet another totally-hyped-up Tesla announcement, repeated verbatim by this author even though it’s obviously a lie.

    First, only the warranty on the drive unit has been extended. Yes that’s quickly apparent, but the headline alone gives a very different impression.

    Second, it’s to match the warranty on the battery, which does have a mileage limit on the 60 kW⋅h version.

    Third, it’s 8 years, pretty typical for a drivetrain, except it usually comes with something like “or 120’000 miles”; so yes, Tesla’s warranty on the S-85 is now superior, for someone who drives a lot.
    Ok, so for some it’ll be 150’000 miles. Maybe 180’000 miles.

    Sorry Elon, unless this vehicle can reach infinite speed (tough; not even light can), it can’t travel infinite miles (or even just 0.0001% of it) within the totally ordinary and very much finite warranty period.

    • Joshua Burstyn

      I put 167,000km on a Hyundai Accent in less than six years. Even with the extended warranty I am now out of luck if the tranny or engine breaks.
      I welcome the new Tesla warranty; I won’t have the same worry as with the Accent, and Hyundai/Kia’s warranties are some of the longest in the business. I don’t know why you need to nitpick the language although I agree the article’s headline should be corrected.

    • mk1313

      Anyone just reading the headline gets what they deserve. The use of the word here simply means “no matter how many miles you put on in the 8 years”. It is a definite upgrade to anything else out there so stop picking nits!

      • Bob_Wallace

        You are covered for an infinite number of miles during the 8 year window.
        You can drive a googolplex of miles if you wish. You will be covered.

    • Joshua 33

      If you can figure out a way to drive faster than the speed of light in your Tesla Model S, then you’ll still be covered. Reckon Elon’s counting on you not being able to do that, though.

  • Bob_Wallace

    I’d love to see some numbers. I’d like to know how much this cost the bottom line and how much value it will create in free advertising.

    Seems like Tesla’s approach is not to try to sell you a car but to build a car you really want to own.

  • jeffhre

    Insanely great! Oh wait, that was somebody else.

  • Brandsoftheday
  • wattleberry

    Great, so the owners of the humbler versions can go hang?

    • Steve Grinwis

      The announcement takes the battery warranty and applies it to the drive train. This means the 60 kWh version will now has an 8 year, 125k mile warranty. Hardly hung out to dry, IMHO.

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