How long will you be protected by Tesla’s warranty?

 

Tesla models have emerged as some of the most sought-after cars on the market. Tesla enjoys high customer satisfaction and retention, while growing sales have helped the company become the most valuable automobile manufacturer in the United States, according to CNN Business. Needless to say, many Tesla owners love their cars.

That’s why some owners also look to protect their Teslas with extended vehicle warranties. Repair bills can quickly make the cost of ownership unsustainable. By purchasing an extended warranty for your Tesla, you may be able to avoid footing the bill for expensive repairs.

Not sure if you need an extended warranty? First, we’ll go over Tesla’s factory warranty, then explain why we think you should consider one. We’ve looked into the best extended car warranty companies to jump-start your research.

 

In this article:

Tesla Warranty: What Comes Standard

Fortunately for owners, Tesla does provide decent protection under its New Vehicle Limited Warranty. All new Teslas come with a 4-year/50,000 mile bumper-to-bumper Basic Vehicle Limited warranty. This warranty will cover most repairs during the covered time period, with only a few exclusions. 

Tesla’s Battery and Drive Units are covered by separate, more extensive warranties. They vary by model, with the premium Model S and Model X getting more miles of protection. The more budget-friendly Model 3 and Model Y are covered by shorter warranties.

Previously, Tesla had unlimited mileage warranties for the battery and drive unit. Now, however, there are mileage limits. Let’s take a look: 

  • Model S/Model X Warranty: These models are covered by an 8-year/150,000 mile warranty, whichever comes first.
  • Model Y/Model 3 Short Range Warranty: The short-range variants of these models are covered for 8 years/100,000 miles.
  • Model Y/Model 3 Long Range Warranty: The long-range variants are covered for 8 years/120,000 miles.

In addition, Tesla guarantees 70 percent battery retention during the covered period. If battery retention drops below this level, Tesla will replace your battery. This is something new for 2020.

Tesla provides separate warranty coverage terms for certain other parts and conditions. Let’s take a look:

  • Supplemental Restraint System (SRS) Warranty: This covers repairs or replacements to correct defects in seatbelts and airbags for up to 5 years/60,000 miles.
  • Body Rust Limited Warranty: This covers rust perforation, which occurs when a whole is formed inside outwards due to rusting for up to 12 years/unlimited miles.

The above warranties cover costs associated with the repairs to correct defects in any parts that were manufactured or supplied by Tesla, which occur under normal use. Craftsmanship defects are also covered.

These warranties are transferable at no additional cost. If you buy a used Tesla directly from the company, you’ll receive additional coverage, which we’ll cover shortly.

Things That Could Void Your Tesla Warranty

It’s possible for your Tesla warranty to be voided under some circumstances. Tesla states that your warranty may be voided if don’t follow specific recommendations and instructions, including but not limited to:

  • Adhering to a recall advisory
  • Exceeding load limits
  • Failing to properly install vehicle updates
  • Failing to make repairs

In addition, vehicles that have a damaged VIN (potentially indicating theft), have been designated as rebuilt or salvage, or have been written off as a total loss by an insurance company may be denied coverage. See your warranty booklet for the complete list. 

Tesla Warranty For Used Models Explained

When you buy a used Tesla directly from the company, you’re still covered by the balance of the original Battery and Drive Unit Limited Warranty. If you buy a used Model 3, you’ll also be covered by any remaining miles in the 4-year/50,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty.

If you buy a used Model X or Model S, and the vehicle is under the New Vehicle Limited Warranty, you may be eligible for the Used Vehicle Limited Warranty. This warranty will provide bumper-to-bumper coverage for up to 4 years/50,000 miles, whichever comes first. The difference is based on age and mileage.

There are a few requirements for your used Tesla to be eligible:

  • Must have less than 50,000 miles on it
  • Must be less than four years old
  • Must be purchased directly from Tesla

Unfortunately, cars bought from third parties, including private sellers, are not covered by the Used Vehicle Limited Warranty.

Tesla, An Unreliable Car?

Tesla has suffered from some reliability issues over the years that Tesla owners should be aware of. In many cases, the all-electric power train (called a drive unit) has proved to be reliable, but issues with the suspension, electronics, and more have plagued Tesla cars.

The Model 3, for example, was initially recommended by Consumer Reports. However, the organization removed its recommendation after various issues with the touchscreen, cracked glass, and other parts arose. The Model S has also seen its reliability score decrease over the years. Consumer Reports has never recommended the Model X due to reliability issues.

While you don’t have to worry about head gasket replacements and the like, since Tesla models do not have these components, repairs can still be expensive. Let’s look at some potential repairs for a Model S, according to YourMechanic.com:

  • Window Motor Regulator Replacement: $592.00 to $851.25
  • Brake Caliper Replacement: $357.83 to $593.82

In 2017, Tesla had to recall over 50,000 automobiles due to braking issues. While needed repairs were covered, the recall itself hints at potential quality control issues. Then there’s the battery. Research from Fossbytes suggests that replacing a Tesla Model S costs between $10,000 to $20,000.

Tesla claims the company is working hard to address reliability issues through manufacturing changes and other strategies.

Fortunately, you may be able to protect yourself from the above costs by purchasing an extended warranty.

Tesla Extended Service Agreement Explained

Besides the factory and pre-owned warranty, you can also purchase an Extended Service Agreement (ESA). If your Tesla is still under the New Vehicle Limited Warranty, or within 30 days of expiration, you can purchase the Extended Service Agreement at the prices listed below. 

2-Year ESA Within 180 Days of Purchase After 180 Days of Purchase

Model S

$2,100

$2,600

Model X

$2,400

$2,900

 
4-Year ESA Within 180 Days of Purchase After 180 Days of Purchase

Model S

$4,250

$4,750

Model X

$4,800

$5,300

 

The ESA functions similarly to the third-party warranties we are going to examine shortly. However, there are some important drawbacks. Our research has found that Tesla’s Extended Service Agreement features some important shortcomings that you won’t find with top-notch third party warranties. These include:

  • Only faulty craftsmanship, not wear and tear, is covered.
  • There’s a separate warranty for the lithium-ion battery and drive unit.
  • The deductible is up to $200 per visit.

Given these limitations, you might be better served by a third party warranty.

Should You Consider A Third-Party Extended Warranty?

Should you rely solely on Tesla to protect your car? While Tesla’s warranties are above average, compared to industry standards, you may be able to increase coverage and protection even more by selecting a third-party extended warranty.

There are tons of third-party extended warranty companies out there. However, while some warranty providers have earned a reputation for standing by customers through thick-and-thin, others are known for trying to deny coverage and providing poor customer support.

That’s why we researched the best extended auto warranty companies. When looking at extended warranties for Teslas, we examined three primary factors:

  • What do consumer reviews say about the warranty provider?
  • Does the warranty provider have experience with Tesla or electric automobiles specifically?
  • Do they offer a diverse range of plans and coverage options?

Not all third-party extended warranty companies cover Teslas, but one of our recommended providers, CarShield, does offer protection for all Tesla models.

CarShield has a diverse range of plans and coverage. While the company does provide plans for electric automobiles, including Teslas, they do not provide many details about term limits. If you want to learn more, you’ll need to call CarShield and talk to an agent. They’ll ask for details about your Tesla and let you know what coverage is available.

CarShield does fairly well in the customer review department. On Trustpilot, 68 percent of customers gave the company an excellent score, while another 11 percent gave them a great score. There are currently over 650 CarShield complaints on Better Business Bureau, but with CarShield providing over 500,000 warranties per year, that suggests a very small percentage of customers have filed complaints. 

 

Read our guides to other warranty providers: