2013 Tesla Model S Long-Term Road Test

Edmunds.comEdmunds.com Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 10,135
edited September 2014 in Tesla

image2013 Tesla Model S Long-Term Road Test

My daughter asked for a sunroof demonstration in our 2013 Tesla Model S, but it jammed at just 20 percent when I tried to open it for her.

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  • legacygtlegacygt Member Posts: 599
    I'm not going to defend Tesla here. The purpose of these blog posts is to point out strengths and weaknesses of these cars. But flaws like this aren't necessarily explained by Tesla's inexperience as a car manufacturer. Sometimes any company can design a part poorly. Mercedes has as much experience as anybody but that hasn't prevented the SLS from frequent service visits to fix problems with its roof.
  • fordson1fordson1 Unconfirmed Posts: 1,512
    Can't the Tesla Service Center just reflash your car remotely with the most recent rev of that pivot arm?
  • wdrauchwdrauch Member Posts: 22
    fordson1, maybe the could remotely mold a new piece from the 3D CAD data!
  • stovt001_stovt001_ Member Posts: 799
    I think this owes more to typical first model year bugs than Tesla being a small company or this being a technically innovative car. In fact, of all the issues this car has had this is probably the most typical of your average new car.
  • cjasiscjasis Member Posts: 274
    I'm not a big Tesla apologist but frankly, I think both stovt001 and LegacyGT are spot on.
  • cvilliancvillian Member Posts: 0
    I don't see how the Tesla sunroof fail is much different from the Mercedes convertible roof fail. Not that excuses help, but Tesla has a better excuse than Mercedes.
  • mercedesfanmercedesfan Member Posts: 365
    I don't find the comparisons between this and the SLS all that relevant. From an engineering standpoint, the difference between a lightly-loaded link in a simple pivoting assembly and the highly complex series of linkages in a modern convertible top is about as vast as it gets. The mechanisms operating the wind deflector on a sunroof are about as simple as things get on a modern car. The mechanisms on a power top are about as complicated as things get. I wouldn't be happy with either failure on cars this expensive, but Tesla's is particularly egregious. However, neither looks to be a common issue for either model line. Both probably need to be chalked up to s*%t happens.
  • tigerxmltigerxml Member Posts: 4
    I think it is ok for new company and build from ground car... Just few years later they will reach perfect quality of it's cars
  • mfennellmfennell Member Posts: 91
    "But I also see many signs of Tesla's inexperience as a carmaker" makes it sound like the car was designed by a bunch of silicon valley software developers handed a CAD package. It's more likely that everyone doing the hard parts came from elsewhere in the auto industry.
  • duck87duck87 Member Posts: 649
    What I really find odd is the brittle fracture on your car in the California heat. The cross sectional "I" didn't really help in this case either. What happens to the poor folks who you know, actually experience weather in other States with lower temps? Or is this a case of the material having bad resistance to UV light? Moulding defect? Would be curious as to what material they were using.

    @mfennell: They are some personnel from other auto companies.
  • mfennellmfennell Member Posts: 91
    @duck87: :) I thought that's what I just said. Maybe I would replace "some" with "lots", at least in the case of platform development.
  • nefariousnigelnefariousnigel Member Posts: 13
    This is one automobile company where I can easily forgive quality issues. They audaciously pushed the science of the automobile...the definition of the automobile, to unique heights. They deserve a little time and patience for bringing some needed American innovation to the road.
  • duck87duck87 Member Posts: 649
    @nefariousnigel: Uh... no. For $100K these kinds of things shouldn't happen, period. And please stop throwing "science" around, you make it sound like you know what you're talking about.
  • billinflorida_billinflorida_ Member Posts: 8
    Go to recalls.gov and check out the latest for Porsche, M-B, and other $100k automobiles. Here's a sampling: "Porsche is recalling certain model year 2012-2013 911 Carrera and Carrera 4 vehicles manufactured from March 7, 2012, through November 12, 2012, and equipped with a standard (not sport) exhaust system. The exhaust tail pipe may fracture and separate from the rear muffler. If the exhaust tail pipe separates from the muffler it may become a hazard for other vehicles on the road, increasing the risk of a crash."

    Sure, these kinds of things shouldn't happen. However, they do and are not isolated to just a few manufacturers, new or old.
  • duck87duck87 Member Posts: 649
    Nice try on copping out from another fanboy. The Porsche issue was found during durability testing and not in the real world, something that a company at Tesla's size isn't able to do. I have to wonder what would happen if the Model S was subjected to those same tests. In Edmund's time alone, we've seen consistent glitches with their software system, moisture in the rear lens, consistently late delivered components, faulty chargers, and their own recall for weak seat rails.
  • actualsizeactualsize Santa Ana, CaliforniaMember Posts: 451
    Yes, the sunroof failure could happen to any car company--if it's well designed and broke for some fluky reason. But the iPad screen failure and replacement? The constant screen resets (once a month)? The HPWC problem (months late, then they fail -we still don't have our replacement)? The missing cargo cover that wasn't ready when the car was delivered--we got it weeks later? JKavs cabin booming noise, which is to me a very basic NVH design screw faux pas? No iPod integration? No console storage? No door pockets? Taken together this seems like rookie stuff by a new company that hasn't broadened their focus enough. It's a very good body and powertrain and has amazing performance, but I don't think they are well-rounded yet. Experience isn't just about raw design and engineering, it's also about making sure your suppliers do their job right and deliver on time. Still, I'd buy one if I was in that tax bracket.

    Twitter: @Edmunds_Test

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