Hybrids & Electrics

Tesla Updates Warranty For A Bad Reason: Owners Will Be Furious

Man, we hate it when we get info about the “bad Tesla.” Mostly, Tesla is all about the good. You know, good for the environment, great cars, increasing range, things like that. But occasionally, the bad Tesla pops up, and that’s when you start to wonder if they care about their customers after all? The latest bad Tesla is its decision to scale back the warranty for its media unit and touchscreen. There have been many problems and complaints about the unit. Now Tesla is doing something about it. But only for Tesla. It has shrunk the warranty for two years or 25,000 miles. So Tesla updates its warranty for a bad reason, and when owners find out they’ll be furious.

What started as a problem with the embedded Multi-Media-Card memory (eMMC) in the original MCU (central media unit with a touchscreen), has been overwritten to the extent it won’t function. The result of that is early Tesla owners have to replace it. The original warranty for the MCU was four-years or 50,000 miles. If at that time the unit failed Tesla would replace it at no charge.

This week Tesla cut the length of the warranty in half

Tesla Sets Authorized Service Centers In China
Tesla repair | Getty

This week it cut the length of the warranty in half. The change is now “two-years or 25,000 miles, whichever comes first.” According to electrek, the change has been announced after it was reported that the NHTSA opened an investigation into the MCU issue. Just a few months ago Tesla began offering MCU2 upgrades for $2,500. Unfortunately, this upgrade is only backed by the two-year, 25,000-mile warranty, too. 

RELATED: Tesla Trouble: Owners Are Filing a Lawsuit Over Vehicle’s Failing Feature

As electrek put it, “This is one of those situations where Tesla disappoints.” Yes, it does. Tesla has had an ongoing battle with its early MCUs. To fix the problem it came up with an update last year. Unfortunately, the update could not fix the compromised unit’s lifespan. So the problem got fixed but the unit was already well on its way to fizzling out quicker.

Tesla now conveniently shortens the warranty to keep the company safely within the expected lifetime of the MCU

Touch screen navigation system in a Tesla Model 3
Tesla touchscreen | Getty

Because of that, Tesla now conveniently shortens the warranty to keep the company safely within the expected lifetime of the MCU. Especially because it is an electrical component it seems that 25,000 miles is not an honest amount of usage. At the very least the replaced MCU should be covered for more than only two years. Normal wear would dictate it should last far longer.

Also according to electrek, Tesla has updated the warranty right when it’s ready to perform FSD upgrades to MCU1 vehicles. Those owners are now upset that they are having issues with the MCU after upgrading the Autopilot software. Obviously, the way to fix that is with a replacement MCU, so they will be shortchanged by this new warranty. 

The problem for Tesla is that those computer upgrades are closely followed by the need to replace MCUs. With an expected rush on MCUs Tesla didn’t want to have to make replacements for nothing. So now it is changing the warranty to back out of a giant give-away of MCUs.