Is The Tesla Model 3 Extended Warranty Worth The Cost?

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I wrote about the Tesla Extended Warranty for Model 3 and Model Y vehicles in March when it was introduced. At the time, I had a hard time deciding if it was worth the cost or not. Now, I’ve got less than two weeks to decide whether to get the extended warranty on my Model 3 or not, and I still can’t decide. So, I’m looking for help.

There are a few issues here that form the basis of my problem deciding. One is that it’s hard to tell what would actually be covered (I’ll get back to that in a moment). Another is that when notable things do break and need repair with a Tesla, word is that they tend to be quite expensive. Reasons for that include lack of competition (not many mechanics can work on Teslas or get supplies), being a young company means many things are new and novel and expensive, Tesla’s parts are always changing — something it gets a lot of props for due to rapid innovation, but which I also assume means lack of economies of scale on many components and expensive repair or replacement. A third issue is: is a Tesla reliable and unlikely to need many fixes because it’s an EV, or is it going to have several problems (or even just one expensive one) because of the company’s well known problems with quality control, rushed early production, and the fact that the Model 3 is a very young model and may have various issues pop up in this first generation.

Before I get back to what would actually be covered, I’ll highlight a few comments from my March article that seem worth pulling out as good arguments on different sides of the debate.

First of all, Recovering Drillaholic writes, “Seems like another way of getting easy money out of people for something that should be included upfront anyway. Like if ICEVs can have 7year/100,000 mile warranties then why does something that is proven to be more reliable and also inherently less complex also not offer something similar?”

Also, Mathew2312 notes: “This should be a nice boost to Tesla’s Gross Margin. The terms and cost match the GM terms and MSRP (+/-) but legacy dealerships get 30%-50% of the sale price.”

On the other hand, Michael Weidler wrote: “Considering that most of the parts which can actually go bad on an EV are really expensive, I would say this is a good deal. I just purchased an additional extended warranty on our 2010 Town & Country, which cost about the same. Definitely worth it for peace of mind, since I rarely have the odd several hundred dollars necessary for the repair just laying around. My original extended warranty (we bought used) provided a new fuel injector, water pump, and timing belt. That is well over $1000 in repairs.”

Now, on to the extended warranty info from Tesla. Here’s the path to finding it on the Tesla app:

 

 

So, those last two screenshots tell us what the extended warranty is and what it covers. The key summary point is that this is for “Repair or replacement necessary to correct defects in the materials or workmanship of most parts manufactured or supplied by Tesla during the coverage period.” The battery and drive unit have a separate warranty and aren’t included here. If you click on the “Extended Service Agreement” link at the very bottom, you can also find a bunch of other things not covered, but it seems to be expected stuff like paint, bumpers, carpet, glass, brake pads and rotors, etc. Actually, the list is quite long, but nothing jumps out at me as “Hey, why isn’t that covered?” The problem I get to, though, is: What is actually covered?

What is left to cover? And how likely is it to actually break? Naturally, the touchscreen comes to mind, but then I even wonder if that isn’t somehow excluded in the agreement fine print somewhere. Beyond that, though, what is possibly included in this extended warranty? The steering wheel? (Maybe, maybe not.) The turn signals?

So, I’m going to you all — always intelligent and knowledgeable CleanTechnica readers. First of all, what is included in the extended warranty that’s noteworthy. Secondly, does the extended service agreement seem worth the cost to you? (I have a feeling I’m going to get differing opinions, but I want to read them all!)


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Zachary Shahan

Zach is tryin' to help society help itself one word at a time. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director, chief editor, and CEO. Zach is recognized globally as an electric vehicle, solar energy, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, Canada, and Curaçao. Zach has long-term investments in Tesla [TSLA], NIO [NIO], Xpeng [XPEV], Ford [F], ChargePoint [CHPT], Amazon [AMZN], Piedmont Lithium [PLL], Lithium Americas [LAC], Albemarle Corporation [ALB], Nouveau Monde Graphite [NMGRF], Talon Metals [TLOFF], Arclight Clean Transition Corp [ACTC], and Starbucks [SBUX]. But he does not offer (explicitly or implicitly) investment advice of any sort.

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