Advice for buyers
What should I look for in a used Tesla Model S hatchback?
Owners have told us about broken exterior door handles and other bodywork problems, as well as some faults with exterior lights. This is a large car that will have been used in tight urban car parks, so check the bodywork carefully for dents and scuffs; Teslas are expensive to repair. Check the alloy wheels for kerb damage, too.
At present, fully autonomous driving isn't allowed, despite the system being called 'Autopilot', and you'll need to pay attention and be in control of the vehicle at all times.
What are the most common problems with a used Tesla Model S hatchback?
Loss of power steering
A problem with corroded bolts snapping on the power steering motor of some Model Ss built between 31 May 2012 and 9 April 2016 could lead to a loss of power steering. You might notice the steering becoming heavier than normal, alongside a warning message on the dashboard. Find out from a Tesla agent if your car is affected, because it will need to be inspected and either have the aluminium bolts holding the motor in place replaced with stainless steel ones, or have the whole steering rack replaced.
Tesla as a brand didn't feature in this survey, but hasn't done well in previous years when it has.
A four-year/50,000-mile warranty is standard from new, with the battery covered for eight years, no matter how many miles you do. Tesla’s over-the-air wi-fi software updates fix glitches and add features, rather than requiring you to book your car in to a dealer.
If you would like to see the full reliability list, head to the What Car? Reliability Survey pages for more information.
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