Hopefully enough of the current Tesla models will end up on the road to make it profitable for aftermarket suppliers to make some parts. So far it doesn't seem like that is happening at very much scale.
Still I am hoping that by 2021 or at worst 2022 there is a viable alternative to look at. I will be really loathe to give up OTA let alone the simplicity of the interior. Do not under estimate the game changer that OTA is, it is completely contrary to how all other automobile manufacturers operate; one of my peeves that helped convince me to trade my Volt.
Working for the major automotive replacement parts company I am always expecting all manufacturers, from automobiles down to phones, make parts available for third party repair facilities and owners.
It’ll be particularly interesting to see what happens when Tesla starts leasing as luxury cars tend to offer very good leasing terms when compared to the MSRP.
Do you already have an answer in mind?
On mobile and I can’t work out the math right now.
I've done 3 projects on my 2004 BMW post 2012 (where as time passed, more parts become available); one of the last years before everything became more computer integrated, where there weren't significant, cheap, readily available parts
- Xenon Headlight Baskets; factory headlights only sold as a sealed unit (that would likely suffer the same burn issue), aftermarket whole units don't have self leveling to be road legal; Had to find from a crashed 2006 on eBay and modify.
- Windshield washer pump. This simple pump didn't become readily available in parts stores until about 2013. The factory unit costs 10x what it should cost.
- Valve cover gasket; the best one is the OEM bmw, brand, any aftermarket part is likely to leak sooner rather than later.
I would’ve changed the gasket but I “totaled” it. A cheap gasket is going to cause problems.
BMWs are expensive and you have to be very careful of aftermarket parts or you’ll cause more issues.
Much of this is probably because of the 100k mile warranties common on cars today, autoparts stores are less likely to stock parts until each model has the majority of owners outside of the factory warranty coverage.
This is a far cry from there being no parts, cheap or otherwise. And even if there aren't OEM parts I'm betting there are tons of knockoff and third party/performance/budget parts you can get too, which these Tesla owners also cannot.
Because of programs like the 100k mile warranty; there is limited after market support for most mainstream automobiles until the majority of the owners no longer fall in that category.
If your car never breaks down, why fix it when it does. There are already plenty of sealed units in a car. If your 2nd gear went, you'd replace the whole box.
Id be interested to know what proportion of phones actually break (except user imposed damage) before they reach the end of their useful lives, I would guess very few.
These cars are too expensive to be disposable, but that's where they are headed because parts are difficult or impossible to obtain out of warranty.
Re price, an interesting point.
Do I not repair my TV because its so reliable, or because the replacement is cheap?
As a happy car DIYer I really appreciate when parts come in small replaceable units that I can swap out.
My 14inch CRT broke, but then I had given it to my parents because I had a flat screen. I replaced the flat screen because the hdmi was out of date, it didn't have digital, etc, etc, etc. So I'm on my third tv in 25(?) years and none of them have broken (for me). I could see a nes being different as that's attached to a library of games and aren't made anymore. I would guess if they were still being made, and there was competition, a nes would be very cheap, and not worth repairing.
You only appreciate the easily replaceable units because you have to replace them
EVs already are, they’re just not made by Tesla.
Happy Leaf Owner for Eight Trouble-Free Years
I'm not sure that distinction into those three categories is actually useful. Almost nothing breaks within normal use in a few years. "User damage" through cracked screens is a major factor in phone end of life. And the other determinant of "useful life" is either the battery or the operating system, both of which are under the control of the manufacturer.
One of the promises of EVs is vastly improved reliability. Isnt it plausible if motors reliably last 500k miles that the infrastructure will never be built to replace them, and instead you'll just replace the car. Its plausible we're already at that stage with engines? If garages just become glorified body (phone repair) shops, aren't we at the scenario to gp described?
YMMV but I replaced the battery on my Samsung Note with two off eBay and in both cases the life was similar to the original that already had 2 years worth of wear.
I see you forgot to clear the old battery information from your phone before installing the new one - the phone is still assuming you've got the old battery in and measuring as such. batterystats.bin (Android) needs to be cleared before installing a new battery, so that it is forced to get fresh information on the installed battery.
Take a lesson and buy more wisely next time?
It's less that they fail often, in the traditional sense. The problem is that they are poorly manufactured, and the flaws manifest themselves as major issues for owners eventually.
In theory, the cars should fail less than ICE, by virtue of having fewer mechanical parts.
What do owners do? Complain on Twitter and hope for the best.
Source: I am one, as are many of my friends in Seattle.
I had been driving BMWs for the last 10 years and while it hasn’t always been trouble free, they’ve treated me very well and either given me loaners or paid for a not cheap Uber to work.
The two biggest problems are no superchargers where I vacation in Florida and parts issues which include fixing manufacturer defects.
Everyone wants to buy that replacement part, leading to a shortage. At the same time, Tesla doesn't want to increase production of the faulty parts - in fact, they want to reduce production so they can redirect machines to making the new, better part. But it takes time to understand what was wrong and to design and test.
Overall, I think the key to solving it is latency - within days of seeing a part fail, they need to get the redesign out to the factory, so at least new cars with the faulty part aren't still being produced.
These seem like obvious problems to anyone in manufacturing, especially in the auto world. The fact that Tesla didn't foresee them is scary.
Other times I've had to order a similar part off of Mouser and hack it to make it fit, with varying levels of success.
I have had a surprising amount of luck with some items though. Managed to replace the shoulder buttons on my 3ds by finding a replica of the button + ribbon cable + connector used.
As frustrating as this is, it's a natural consequence of the monolithic system integration which means that the whole device now costs barely more than the mainboard. Repair hasn't become more expensive, new things have just become unbelievably cheap.
You don't think it's both?
I can't do that for everything, but I will for washers and dryers. My "new" dryer has already failed once and I repaired it in 20 minutes with a $4 part.
It is not likely to break because there is no PCB with bad capacitors. It does not have a clock that I would need to adjust at every DST change, and it does not have an array of confusing buttons and controls.
Everyone can use it, without reading the manual.
And it cost me €39, including 24 % VAT.
It has three controls on the front: stop/clear, start/+30sec, and a touch slider that lets you accurately set any time from 10 seconds to an hour. The slider actually works very well, and is super kid-friendly. Here's an image: https://www.lg.com/ca_en/images/microwave-ovens/MD05821693/g...
If you open the door, there are 11 more buttons for setting the power level or starting a timer, etc. The only preset button it has is popcorn, which is the only useful one. Notably, it does not have a number pad, only plus/minus buttons. Image: https://www.lg.com/ca_en/images/microwave-ovens/MD05821693/g...
It also has an internal LED light that shines down from above instead of a crappy incandescent light that shines from the side (and is inevitably burnt out).
Oh, and it doesn't have loud, irritating beeps from a piezoelectric beeper that wakes up the entire house when you're reheating your 2am snack. It has an actual speaker instead, and the touch tones are soft and the "done" alert is melodious and stops when you open the door (there's an actual handle, instead of a spring-loaded button).
Aren't you commenting on a guy claiming to love his two dial microwave oven?
It could be improved by making the design smoother so that it would be easier to clean the inside when my microwave meal happens to explode.
The good thing is also that it's still on the market, so if this unit breaks, I'll just buy another one. (Perhaps I should buy one to storage, just in case they stop making/selling this thing).
Quality is of course always also subjective and dependent on needs. For instance, this cheap and nice microwave that I have is also very light. That's good because no material is wasted in manufacture, and it is easier to transport and install, but it means that if I slam the door, the unit will actually move on the kitchen desk. I'd like it to stay put.
My parents bought new kitchen appliances from Bosch and I was shocked how bad the UX was with the combination of touch buttons, rotating dial and full color LCD display.
I just want to roast this chicken FFS! Why does it have to be a 12 step process?!
And it did, in the 1970s
Still running as my only microwave although I don't use it for much, other than warming the occasional cup of water for a tea.
Last Christmas I rented a cabin for vacation. The MW had more buttons than my TV remote control. Icons and button placement were completely not intuitive. I am convinced that this is done just because more buttons suggests more functions and more advanced product. Everyone else is doing it so they all slap them on to compete. You get 4 buttons and an LCD to do what a rotary dial did.
On the other hand, it's a $60 tablet so it's not like I can bring it to someone to have it fixed professionally and not end up paying more than it would cost to just buy a new one. I figure I can't break it any worse than it already is (impossible to charge, impossible to use), so it's a gamble that I'll be able to fix it cheaply.
Depends on your soldering iron handiwork. If we're talking something large like a switch or a power socket it's usually pretty easy to replace it as it's still through-hole. Fixed some blown caps on an old LCD monitor earlier this year doing exactly that. It's not that hard if it's big.
And as 'jdnenej points out, and the thing that "right to repair" movement is all about: nobody says you have to do the repair yourself. Having serviceable devices means your technically skilled friend, or your local repair shop, can do the repair. Possibly charging you money from it. As a side effect, this strengthens local economies.
Better access to replacement parts is another demand you often hear around the "right to repair" movement.
So not shady then...
Backlight burnout on your LCD TV? No problem.
You can buy brand new NES controllers today. (!).
Toyota says a replacement is 6 months out and there are 800 on backorder in North America right now.
So, it’s not just Tesla. Can happen to any manufacturer.
Just out of curiosity I checked safelite.com and they don’t even offer a replace option on this year/make/model. Only repair, and this crack is well beyond the repair limit.
If you need to wait 6 months, you might want to investigate doing that.
TBH, this kind of thing happens pretty regularly with various parts. Usually the delay doesn't end up being 6 months, but often those kinds of estimates are on the pessimistic side.
It isn't unusual for places like Safelite to be dependent upon the manufacturer's glass, especially on newer cars.
Figuring that stuff out is the glass manufacturer's job. The dealer doesn't have some glass guy who's magically better than the glass shop's glass guy. Many smaller dealers actually sub out glass (along with body work, frame pulling and other things they aren't big enough for it to be worth the overhead to do in house).
Windshields are the exception for car repair and you shouldn't have been going to toyota.
Unless the law varies hugely where you live compared to the rest of the Western countries, that's just simply 100000% not true. You can do almost any modification to your car and it doesn't void the warranty, unless the manufacturer can show that the fault occured due to the modification being fitted(so no, a manufacturer cannot refuse engine repair because you used a 3rd party windscreen or fitted custom rims on the car, unless they can prove that either of those caused the engine damage).
In much of the West (including the US, even though it has generally weak consumer protections), there is a statutory restriction with regard to when the manufacturer can and can not void a warranty.
Unless it can be proven by the warrantor that the 3rd party labor or parts caused the fault, the use of 3rd party labor or parts does not void the warranty.
Insurance is usually paying for it, might as well go OEM.
My impression is that they do not limit distribution: if you have the part code they will sell it to you (for an exorbitant price).
I wonder what happened to their whole Kaizen philosophy?
How many Corollas are on the road? How many Teslas?
With regards to Tesla, it is always interesting to me to see how as companies grow, they become more political, less effective and generally suck more. All the good people, like this guy, get pushed out or leave on their own.
Makes me generally not want to build or work for a large company ever again.
The skillsets required for a $100k company, and $1M one, and $100M one and a >$1B one are very different.
It's not even surprising when a CEO who launched a company gets replaced once the company goes big (oh hey speaking of which).
I agree that the skill sets change as companies add zeroes to their value, but I couldn’t help but wonder if there’s a way to determine the optimal size of a company from a productivity standpoint.
Sure, it would likely be super subjective and not necessarily repeatable, but I noticed how much worse we were as a software team shipping a product under the guidance of our corporate overlords compared to our days as a startup.
In our case after the acquisition, our product features were essentially cut in into two halves and sold as separate bundles, so customers all of a sudden had to pay twice as much for the same product. Then they laid off the bespoke support team from our startup days and handed that responsibility to people who didn’t know our product.
Our customers were once so happy that we existed, and our new overlords trampled over that goodwill in an instant to boost their stock price.
It’s really hard to believe that big companies truly have a positive and productive role in our system after that experience.
A) the US military has dragged its feet to become audit-compliant many years after it was mandated to do so, and there’s been a lot of reporting on corruption among military leaders and defense contractors. It seems like one side only cares about government spending when it applies to social programs like Medicare. Just look at the deficit increase in the current administration. They don’t actually care about balancing the budget. It’s just a political hit when the dems are in office.
B) the government never gets credit for projects that are completed early and under budget, which does happen. Michael Lewis of Moneyball game wrote a whole book about this titled The Fifth Risk. How are we ever going to be happy with how the government uses our taxes if we don’t recognize the wins they do accomplish? All we hear about are the screwups, and we don’t hold private industry to that standard because they have a clear goal: to make profit. Turns out that trying to keep a society functioning is expensive and not sexy work. Big surprise.
C) government takes on projects essential to society that private industry is unwilling to take on, which often come with price tags that the public loves to balk at. Take the Hanford nuclear site (also featured in the Fifth Risk). The US nuclear program failed to properly dispose of nuclear waste after WWII, and it was discovered to be leaking a few years back. This waste zone threatens the water supply for millions of Americans and is costing many billions to clean up. If there’s no competition to perform this work, how do we expect it to cost any less than it does?
Government waste is constantly berated as this existential issue in our society, but government waste didn’t cause the Great Recession, nor is it driving what’s looking more like another recession here in 2019.
Sure, I have no doubt there are ways to improve the efficiency and reduce wasteful spending, and I’d love to see better financial reporting around government spending like USAfacts.org. I think technology will play a major role in informing citizens on how tax dollars are spent, but I can’t just jump on the “government is wasteful” train because I’ve been deeply unimpressed with most of the alternatives provided those people.
Yes, in the real world it's a loose not very well coordinated association of bureaucratic organizations (i.e large enterprises - Dilbert is less comedy and more journalism), monopolies, advertisers, clueless consumers, media and politicians paid by corporate interests (or pursuing their own over their duties), financial schemers, speculators, and rent-seekers...
More money, more problems (my apologies to Mr B.I.G.)
Wow. This is exactly what I'm doing!
It's sad to see that the Roadster community was left behind so quickly. For better or for worse, Tesla plays cars like the startup game. Pivot, deploy, traction?, repeat. As terrible as that sounds, I do hope Tesla is here to stay. Even in its current form, the world is better with Tesla than without.
$10,000 and 4 weeks labor (but waited months to get it fixed), because they had to disassemble the whole damn car. I was livid at what should have been maybe a $200 part required practically the entire car to be disassembled. One front seat and the back seats were both removed as were the entire side panel of the car.
Until Tesla solves the maintenance and replaceability of parts, I'm never getting another Tesla again. It's simply bad design. It's like an iPhone where you can't just replace the battery, you need to disassemble the entire thing just to get to the battery.
With no commitment to their Roadster customers, it makes me wonder how long they will be committed to their Model 3 customers in providing parts? Already the parts market takes months to get parts, how will it be 6 years from now?
The horror stories were a catalyst for a lot of changes, I believe... the reality may be not as bad as you fear.
On the plus side, it really drives up re-sale values and part-out values when you don't have the manufacturer undercutting you.
Source: I parted out my old Macbook and ended up with a pretty good downpayment on my next done. Got new mid-2015 Macbook Air new by parting my mid-2011 and ~CAD$300 by selling the promo "free" Beats headphones.
Some references, for the disbelievers:
If you're willing to search around on Ebay/AliExpress, you usually can get individual parts: either gray market from a service centre, 2nd shift or overruns. The big exception's for Apple parts.
Contrast with Sears: Here's 250+ parts available for each fridge they distribute, shipped to you direct, with manuals:
I bought repair parts for my parents' 20 year old garage door opener from them. PSA: open it up and grease the nylon gears every decade so they don't turn into a snowmaker.
The other thing is making a small-run weird and pricey car and then mostly ditching it as a supported product. Putting aside any value judgements about the practice of making and selling products in either of those ways, I still don't see any 'philosophical' connection to Apple or really, you know, anyone else not-making bespoke custom products.
"A lot of early adopters were probably worried that Tesla would go out of business and they wouldn't be able to get parts. Tesla is still in business and there still aren't parts."
I guess that could be interpreted as though Tesla would eventually support the early models, but it's clear that they're not providing parts for any model in small or large production.
The comment you quoted says that buyers were concerned about parts from the get go, presumably as most buyers of nigh-bespoke custom sports cars are and as most buyers of anything Apple makes aren't.
The EV conversion made the car a lot heavier and was a pretty complex conversion
Didn't expect to see circuit board rebuilding until ~2023 (15y is my recollection for MTBF curves starting to climb).
Am I mistaken or did Tesla manufacture these under some low-volume exception?
CIVIL CODE SECTION 1792-1795.8
(b) Every manufacturer making an express warranty with respect to an electronic or appliance product described in subdivision (h), (i), (j), or (k) of Section 9801 of the Business and Professions Code, with a wholesale price to the retailer of one hundred dollars ($100) or more, shall make available to service and repair facilities sufficient service literature and functional parts to effect the repair of a product for at least seven years after the date a product model or type was manufactured, regardless of whether the seven-year period exceeds the warranty period for the product
Someone elsewhere suggested only 2500 of them were made.
That's what I always heard as well, but it doesn't apply to Tesla for some reason, which is not being discussed even though it should be.
According to the above link, parts for cars and other consumer products only need to be available in some form (and not from the manufacturer) for the stated warranty period, whatever it is. After that you have no protection. Seems the 10 yr thing is an urban legend widely promulgated to rubes like us.
The thread has evidence that laws are different overseas. In Israel it is claimed parts must be available for 7 years, as an example.
"The current location is 185,936,494 miles (299,235,874 km, 2.000 AU, 16.64 light minutes) from Earth, moving away from Earth at a speed of 2,944 mi/h (4,738 km/h, 1.32 km/s)."
I had a '91 Saturn sedan until 2015. Despite my model being out of production for decades, and Saturn having closed up shop for years, I could still find aftermarket auto parts.
How common of a problem is this?
Any other manufactures/models notorious for poor part availability?
With something like those early model Teslas there is a lot of custom one-off parts that are near impossible to find. The problem is a lot harder.
Auto manufacturers don't design a new pump/bearing/condenser/etc... for every make and model of their vehicles, they take one off of the shelf.
...unless it's a German car. Or so the stories go...
VW has extremely decent availability for spare parts, speaking from experience here. That, and I am not joking here, even extends to sausages - try ordering part # 199 398 500 A ;)
I guess the question becomes why did Tesla have so many one-off parts? Is it all attributable to being electric rather than gas?
Partly yes, but Tesla didn't have a shelf to go grab parts from in the first place, either. They didn't come out of an existing auto company with an existing parts inventory after all. And for the body & frame they also started with a Lotus which is itself not a mass-market car.
You'll probably find _some_ non-custom common parts in a Roadster, like maybe the A/C system. But the drive train makes up a pretty big chunk of the parts in a car.
I’ve got to think that the ratio skews heavily to the side of custom for any of the Tesla. This is where Tesla’s intense vertical integration starts to be a detriment. I was just reading an article about how the vertical integration of Tesla was amazing in that it made it possible for custom components to be used that saved space and weight by performing more than one job . This is great - until you need to replace that one specialized part and you can’t seem to find it.
I laughed when I was looking at the cup holder for my new car. It’s a 2018 Audi A3. The rear cup holder is the same junky design that I had to replace multiple times in an old 2000 Jetta. It’s not a great design, even-though it saves space. However, because of all of the available suppliers for that part, I know I’ll be able to find a replacement of this for years. This type of parts availability is a blessing (you can find one cheap) and a curse (you are limited in how you can design the car by the parts that are already available, thus you can only have a barely functional cup holder).
...or when that multifunction part fails and renders much of the car inoperable.
Odd that that article about the Superbottle mentions "increased modularity" as an advantage, when it clearly decreases modularity to integrate so many functions into one monolithic part.
BTW-- congrats on the Saturn! I had a '94 SC1, first car I ever bought brand new. Good car.
I wish I knew how many miles I had on it; the odometer broke at 186,000 in 2003.
This would significantly increase the UX of owning the car which would offset any risks of backlash from bad work. A car waiting 1.5yrs for a small component is a way worse outcome IMO.
I thought car markers provided parts for, like, 30 years.
We need legislative reform that requires any companies selling products in US jurisdiction put enough parts and cash in escrow to guarantee for a reasonable time period the ability to service anything that costs more than $500.
What is know is that distributing parts for warranty repairs is a cost to the company.
It seems their plan is to let warranty claims languish until at least the next financial period.
Are parts buyers struggling for some parts, or all parts equally? If it's the latter, Tesla is either really good, or really nasty.
If you're getting stamped steel body panels from a manufacturer that can't ramp up its supply, you're with the wrong manufacturer.
How about just putting the CAD data into escrow, and it all becomes public domain whenever (1) the manufacturer no longer makes replacement parts available, or (2) the price to replace all the parts of a vehicle exceeds three times the original purchase price.
The high price of car parts is the reason why we have so much car theft. Promoting the availability of car parts will save costs for car insurance, law enforcement, the prosecutors, judges, juries, and jails.
The situation is outrageous. There are parts for which a dealer pays around $10.00 that retail over $500.00.