Rear drive unit failure (Model S)

SoFlaModel3

@Teslatunity
Moderator
TOO Supporting Member
Joined
Apr 15, 2017
Messages
9,783
Location
Florida
Tesla Owner
Model 3
Country
Country
#1
My dad’s Model S 75 is just 17 months old when last Friday it stopped taking a charge. After running diagnostics for a few days they determined the car has a total failure of the rear drive unit which now has to be replaced.

I feel like this is the EV equivalent of an ICE car getting a full engine replacement. My dad’s odometer starts over :)

He says the loaner drives better than his car — combo of dual motor + smaller wheels. Also on the plus side, check out his loaner...

c4514eae-9b96-4cb0-a7bf-23ad297e946d-jpeg.9776
 
Last edited:

Brokedoc

Kick-Gas Contributor
Joined
May 28, 2017
Messages
1,715
Location
New York
Tesla Owner
Model X
Country
Country
#2
That’s disappointing to hear. There’s so much tech in these cars, something like the drive unit or MCU going out of warranty would totally kill the bank. If I keep my Teslas past the warranty period, I will definitely buy the extended warranty.
 

Maevra

Top-Contributor
Joined
Oct 24, 2017
Messages
908
Location
Austin, TX
Tesla Owner
Model 3
Country
Country
#4
Aww sorry to hear about your Dad's car's drive unit failure! Good thing though he wasn't driving when it gave out so you were all relatively safe and not in need of a roadside rescue. Definitely cool to be getting a new drive unit though. :)
 

SoFlaModel3

@Teslatunity
Moderator
TOO Supporting Member
Joined
Apr 15, 2017
Messages
9,783
Location
Florida
Tesla Owner
Model 3
Country
Country
#5
That’s disappointing to hear. There’s so much tech in these cars, something like the drive unit or MCU going out of warranty would totally kill the bank. If I keep my Teslas past the warranty period, I will definitely buy the extended warranty.
It definitely concerns me a bit with my mileage. Expensive parts to replace if you have certain issues with your Tesla after the warranty ends.

Aww sorry to hear about your Dad's car's drive unit failure! Good thing though he wasn't driving when it gave out so you were all relatively safe and not in need of a roadside rescue. Definitely cool to be getting a new drive unit though. :)
Thanks and yes you’re right. They indicated this would have been really bad if he was driving when it failed. Especially given that he doesn’t have dual motor.
 

GDN

Moderator
Moderator
TOO Supporting Member
Joined
Oct 30, 2017
Messages
3,501
Location
Far North Dallas, TX
Tesla Owner
Model 3
Country
Country
#6
Sucks to see a complete failure, will we see the day when there are enough cars similar to a Tesla on the road that when you need a motor overhaul it's like the alternator of old days when every small town had a guy that would rebuild them? I know these units are probably a tad bit more complicated than then old alternator, but they are just electric motors. I also have concern about cost of maintenance. There aren't just a ton of wear parts, but the motor and or battery are probably more than enough to break the bank.
 

SoFlaModel3

@Teslatunity
Moderator
TOO Supporting Member
Joined
Apr 15, 2017
Messages
9,783
Location
Florida
Tesla Owner
Model 3
Country
Country
#7
Here’s the grand conclusion. They promised my dad his car would be ready by Friday and over-delivered with the car being ready today though he can’t get it until tomorrow.

Here is the final repair description...

850a1a48-e2c5-4bab-8025-3a55c875f73e-jpeg.9794
 

GDN

Moderator
Moderator
TOO Supporting Member
Joined
Oct 30, 2017
Messages
3,501
Location
Far North Dallas, TX
Tesla Owner
Model 3
Country
Country
#9
I wish they would list how much it would cost if the vehicle was out of warranty.
These things are interesting - old time car dealers always had prices whether warranty or not, you'd know. You'd see what they were billing back to the mfr for the work. This is kind of like doctors - you used to always get a statement of what they were charging for your visit and tests and were submitting to insurance, notice you don't get those any more - they don't want you to see it. They want to bill as much as possible and see what your insurance will pay.

This might be a bit different with Tesla since they own it all top to bottom, sales, service, factory too, but would still be nice to see what they charge for that. I have to assume that some day there will be rebuilt units as well as new and there will be options.
 

SoFlaModel3

@Teslatunity
Moderator
TOO Supporting Member
Joined
Apr 15, 2017
Messages
9,783
Location
Florida
Tesla Owner
Model 3
Country
Country
#10
I wish they would list how much it would cost if the vehicle was out of warranty.
I agree although that can only really scare the customer. I didn’t show the column to the right which of course just says $0.00.
 

Quicksilver

Top-Contributor
TOO Supporting Member
Joined
Dec 29, 2016
Messages
1,524
Location
Dallas, Texas
Tesla Owner
Model 3
Country
Country
#11
Dude, you scared me for a second there! Oh, it’s just a Model S, phew! But what a pain for your dad.
Dude! yes, I was scared there for a second.

I thought @SoFlaModel3 was already seeing drive unit failure!

That said, 17-months is too young to get a failure...I have not researched but what happens if I and driving down the road at 60 mph and there is a motor failure? Would I just coast until I apply the brakes?
 

Brokedoc

Kick-Gas Contributor
Joined
May 28, 2017
Messages
1,715
Location
New York
Tesla Owner
Model X
Country
Country
#12
FWIW - There is an old post from Nov 2015 on a different forum that the Tesla techs said it cost $6k for rear drive unit replacement and $40k for battery pack replacement non-warranty.

Also, the guy who posted the youtube vid of the Model 3 battery pack teardown sells salvaged/refurbed Tesla parts. His 350kW "Rear Drive Unit Kit" which includes a refurbished drive unit plus new bearings/seals and diff and software and controller and wiring harness - basically everything needed to drop it into a project except the battery....... $17k
http://store.evtv.me/products.php?cat=1
 

AEDennis

Top-Contributor
Joined
Apr 10, 2016
Messages
903
Location
Southern California, Most of the time...
Tesla Owner
Model 3
Country
Country
#13
That’s disappointing to hear. There’s so much tech in these cars, something like the drive unit or MCU going out of warranty would totally kill the bank. If I keep my Teslas past the warranty period, I will definitely buy the extended warranty.
We had MCU replaced a few years ago...

Almost at 100k miles and it's definitely wise to save up some cash for potential repairs.

On a Roadster, the PEM is a $10k repair...

As for the rear motor failure... It's better to find out sooner rather than later. As the owner of a 2013 Model S, the motor whine issue happened twice and required replacement (first time was because they have not engineered an issue and second time was because they decided to do it that way even though there was supposed to be a work-around...) That happened years ago too..

I'm over 99,000 miles on it now...
 

Jayc

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 19, 2016
Messages
369
Location
UK
Country
Country
#14
I hope Tesla will address reliability issues proactively rather than hiding behind the small print. Model S owners may be lenient in general but the Model 3 demography will be much less forgiving just because the lower we go in price point, the less willing and able they are likely to be.
 

AEDennis

Top-Contributor
Joined
Apr 10, 2016
Messages
903
Location
Southern California, Most of the time...
Tesla Owner
Model 3
Country
Country
#15
I hope Tesla will address reliability issues proactively rather than hiding behind the small print. Model S owners may be lenient in general but the Model 3 demography will be much less forgiving just because the lower we go in price point, the less willing and able they are likely to be.
To be fair, plenty of things are addressed proactively...
 

Janna

New Member
Joined
May 7, 2018
Messages
1
Location
Lakewood
Tesla Owner
Model 3
Country
Country
#18
My Tesla 3, with only 800 miles, seized up yesterday. Error message flashed "Car needs service" and "Car may not restart". The car was towed to the only service center in Colorado. Diagnosis is that Tesla is going to replace the drive unit and the 12 volt battery. Not fun!

Is drive unit failure a common problem? One post on the Tesla Motors Club stated that the majority of Model S owners have had the drive unit replaced. Be warned.

 

GDN

Moderator
Moderator
TOO Supporting Member
Joined
Oct 30, 2017
Messages
3,501
Location
Far North Dallas, TX
Tesla Owner
Model 3
Country
Country
#19
Answer is no. 8 years unlimited miles. Model S has only been out 6 years...And, knowing Tesla well, they will go out of their way to "goodwill" repairs out of warranty when there is any circumstance to allow it.
Thanks for posting, I thought on the Model 3 - the 8 years was only the battery, but a quick Google took me to Tesla's page where I found this and indeed it says Battery and Drive Unit, not just battery. I've been limiting that in my head.

New Vehicle Limited Warranty

Your Model 3 is protected by a New Vehicle Limited Warranty for 4 years or 50,000 miles (80,000 km), whichever comes first. The Battery and Drive Unit in your vehicle are covered for a period of:
  • Vehicles with Standard Range Battery - 8 years or 100,000 miles (160,000 km), whichever comes first, with minimum 70% retention of Battery capacity over the warranty period.
  • Vehicles with Long Range Battery - 8 years or 120,000 miles (192,000 km), whichever comes first, with minimum 70% retention of Battery capacity over the warranty period.
These warranties cover the repair or replacement necessary to correct defects in the materials or workmanship of any parts manufactured or supplied by Tesla that occur under normal use during the coverage period.
 

M3OC Rules

Top-Contributor
TOO Supporting Member
Joined
Nov 17, 2016
Messages
547
Location
Minneapolis, MN
Tesla Owner
Model 3
Country
Country
#20
I'm getting delivery soon and they had to delay it because they are replacing the drive unit. They said at the time, before it made it to the store, they would have to check the drive unit sensor. They said they aren't replacing all of the drive units but they are replacing mine.