2013 Tesla Model S Long-Term Road Test

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2013 Tesla Model S: Ominous Noise Fixed

November 4, 2013

2013 Tesla Model S

"Our 2013 Tesla Model S is making an ominous noise under acceleration and deceleration. It originates from the rear of the car and seems to be getting worse." That was our last post addressing this mystery.

Here is how it was fixed...

"We replaced the entire drive unit," began our service advisor. "Tesla doesn't want us diagnosing the problem here, so I can't answer your question of exactly what happened. It gets put into a box and shipped off. Sorry I don't have any more information."

If you like to say, "I don't care how you fix it. Just fix it." Then you'll be completely satisfied with this solution. We don't say that. So at this point we have messages out to contacts at Tesla directly to see if we can learn anything more. We'll keep you posted when (if?) we learn something.

While it was at the dealer we also asked to have the magic driver door looked over. The fix here was to replace the driver door handle mechanism.

We're not sure what to think about the fact that both of these repairs were completed with just one overnight stay. Maybe the dealer is really on the ball. Maybe the supply chain is short. Or maybe the parts are readily available because they've seen these before. The car is back on the road again, regardless.

Mike Schmidt, Vehicle Testing Manager @ 10,773 miles

Most Recommended Comments

By c5thunder
on 11/04/13
2:11 PM PST

You should keep this car beyond your normal long-term car test period. This is a rare opportunity to evaluate not just a new car but a new manufacturer and new technology. It would be like a long-term test of the Ford Model A.

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By fordson1
on 11/04/13
11:49 AM PST

Wow. So much wrong with that answer. So them replacing stuff under warranty buys them the right not to tell you what went wrong with your $100k car. And so in my service log I keep on all my cars from Day 1 it says - what? And I have heard they won't sell you a service manual. So you are buying a black box. A fast black box.

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By gslippy
on 11/04/13
12:02 PM PST

Agreed with fordson1. This isn't satisfactory in the least. Just because this massive repair didn't cost you anything doesn't mean it's OK. If you kept the car longer, would the ominous sound return at the same interval? Oh, Tesla - get rid of those wonky door handles; the cool factor disappears when they break. Just don't use the Dodge Dart design, either.

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