You might want to avoid buying a used Tesla….
This isn’t to say that buying a used Tesla is a bad thing either.
Tesla used to be the innovator in the automaker game, with every aspect of their high-range electric vehicles coming with guarantees above and beyond those found on its gas-guzzling brethren. Now it seems that some of those protections are being walked back, perhaps to soften the upcoming Q3 earnings report’s impact.
The first to get the chopshop treatment was the “seven days, no questions asked” return policy, which disappeared at some point last week. That might just mean that consumer confidence in the Tesla name is strong enough that the automaker doesn’t have to rely on telesales hooks to get purchases, but it’s a backward move from the class leader. Now another protection has bit the dust, with Tesla slashing the terms of its used car warranties.
The carmaker used to have a generous warranty on used vehicles, with the Model S and Model X getting a warranty of four years or 50,000 miles from the date of delivery, assuming they were under four years old. If they were over four years or 50,000 miles, but younger than six years, Tesla gave a two year, up to 100,000 miles warranty. That’s impressive, with the industry often selling used vehicles “as-is,” that is, without any warranty at all. That would make a battery replacement on an EV pretty expensive.
Maybe this is just a readjustment based on years of data on warranty replacements and not an indicator of Tesla having difficulty offering terms that beat the competition while still turning a profit. Will this reduce the desire for used Teslas? Maybe, pushing consumers to either buy new or look for third-party used sales. Then again, maybe Tesla is gearing up to turn all of its used inventory into robotaxis, something CEO Elon Musk has often mentioned.
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