9 Reasons to Avoid a Tesla Model S at All Costs

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9 Reasons to Avoid a Tesla Model S at All Costs

Key Points

  • The Tesla Model S was Tesla’s first mass-produced electric vehicle.
  • Although a popular vehicle, the Tesla Model S suffers from several issues which may put people off buying one.
  • One of the most frequent problems with the Tesla Model S is an adaptive cruise control issue.
  • Other issues include steering problems and electrical issues.

The Model S was Tesla’s first attempt to mass produce a luxury electric vehicle that customers love while trying to keep up with projected demand. While the Model S wasn’t Tesla’s first electric vehicle, it was Tesla’s first mass-produced electric vehicle. It’s clear that there were some issues with the manufacturing process, but are there serious reasons to avoid a Tesla Model S?

All in all, the Model S is a good electric vehicle, but since the competition for electric vehicles is on the rise, you may be wondering if the Model S is worth the investment.

Let’s break down the reasons to avoid a Tesla Model S at all costs below!

Adaptive Cruise Control Issues

One of the most serious and often reported problems with the Tesla Model S is adaptive cruise control. Adaptive cruise control is part of Tesla’s collision avoidance safety system.

Although it should provide the highest level of safety, there are reports that some features of this system don’t work correctly.

One of the biggest problems Tesla users describe is unpredictive and hard braking while the adaptive cruise control automatically steers the Model S into its lane. To make matters worse, Tesla hasn’t yet responded to this problem, so it’s unknown how many Tesla EVs are on the road with this issue.

Corrosion in Early Models

Tesla addressed the corrosion on newer Model S models, but it was a major problem on earlier models. On early Model S vehicles, corrosion occurred on the bolts that attach the rear-wheel drive motor.

The corrosion allowed the motor’s bolts to weaken and move out of position. There were many recalls where Tesla had to replace the bolts if the issue was caught on time. This is a big problem with Model S vehicles from 2012 to 2018. So, if you’re looking to buy a used Tesla Model S, this is something you should inspect closely.

Electrical System Issues

According to CarProblems, Model S owners have reported 672 problems related to the electrical system. These issues include inactive and non-functioning features such as the defroster, lights, rearview camera, and others. Even more troubling is that this is also the case with the latest Model S versions.

While some Model S vehicles produced random and serious error messages related to the electrical system, others reported specific problems with electrical functions. Since the car is full-electric and has many electrical functions, this can be an expensive disaster that can take a long time to fix.

Steering Issues

Problems aren’t unique to older or used Model S cars either. Steering issues were the most recent reason for recalls. Model S versions from 2017 to 2021 were recalled for problems with the power steering, which often occurs when driving on rough terrain or hitting potholes.

The power steering then shuts down and the driver has to work very hard to steer, which can be difficult at low speeds. Tesla sent out the update to recalibrate the EPAS system. Drivers who continued to experience the problem, unfortunately, had to visit the Tesla Store to have the EPAS system components checked and replaced.

Glitchy Deep Sleep Mode

Tesla has invented a deep sleep feature that puts its cars (including the Model S) to sleep after 30 minutes of inactivity. This mode helps save battery power and prevent “phantom” discharge.

However, some drivers experienced problems because the Model S didn’t wake up from deep sleep mode. Instead, it stays in deep sleep and it usually takes a while for the car to “wake up.” At the same time, Tesla Model S owners can’t communicate with the car through the app and are left frustrated because they can’t do much more than reinstall the app to reconnect with the car.

It keeps happening and a solution isn’t yet in sight, but there are a number of tips from Tesla owners who believe they have found a temporary solution to wake the car from a deep sleep.

Screen Freezing

Tesla vehicles are highly dependent on technology with a large screen that often doesn’t work properly because of software glitches. In such cases, the screen freezes and the driver is left with almost no functions. Most functions are operated through the screen, which is unusable when frozen.

Problems with screen freezing can range from a minor inconvenience to a major problem that requires the car to be taken to a Tesla Service Center for diagnosis.

Owning an EV in New Hampshire
The Tesla Model S is indeed a great car, but it is certainly not without its drawbacks.

©The Bold Bureau/Shutterstock.com

Wear and Tear on Seats

Tesla has great seats and many users thoroughly examined their cars when they came out of the factory. However, because of the stitching and ergonomic seats, there are often wrinkles in visible places that shouldn’t be there. This isn’t only a big problem because it happens in almost every Model S, but also because it causes the seats to wear out much faster than usual.

Other complaints related to this problem have included sagging material on the rear seats, trim panels that don’t align, and the blurred line at the bottom of the rear window. Also, remember that this problem is especially noticeable with the white interior.

No Door Compartments

This may be insignificant to many, but can you imagine life without the extra storage space in your car doors?

Tesla wanted to keep the interior minimalist. However, since the Model S is a large sedan, users don’t really like that there isn’t much storage space inside. Even the center console doesn’t offer much space. While many drivers like the minimalist interior, not many love the lack of storage compartments inside the car.

Long Waiting Time at the Tesla Service Center

Depending on where you live, the Tesla Service Center may not be nearby and you may have to wait longer than expected when dropping off your Tesla Model S. Even if the Model S doesn’t have any major maintenance issues, some parts will need replacement over time.

Some users have reported that it can be quite a wait to drop off the car at the Tesla Service Center for maintenance, let alone bring the car in for repair. That’s why you shouldn’t only make sure you have a service center nearby, but also be able to use another vehicle in case the Model S stays in the service center for longer than expected, because that’s a distinct possibility.

Reasons to Avoid a Tesla Model S
1. Adaptive cruise control issues
2. Corrosion in early models
3. Electrical system issues
2. Corrosion in early models
5. Glitchy deep sleep mode
6. Screen freezing
7. Wear and tear on seats
8. No door compartments
9. Long wait time at the Tesla service center

Wrapping Up

Tesla created a beautiful and minimalist vehicle that was ideal for the masses. This helped people to think green, switch to electric vehicles, and even save money.

However, no car is perfect, and the same applies to the Model S. While some issues may not be that important to some drivers, certain safety issues could be a big warning sign that could make everyone avoid the Model S at all costs.

With an estimated range of about 405 miles on a single charge, addictive acceleration, plenty of storage space in the trunk, and the “frunk,” the Model S can save you a lot of money you’d otherwise spend on gas. Still, it’s an investment you should think twice about, especially with these 9 reasons to avoid a Tesla Model S.

9 Reasons to Avoid a Tesla Model S at All Costs FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

When was the Tesla Model S released?

The Tesla Model S was released on June 22, 2012.

How many versions of the Model S are there?

There are two versions, the Model S and Plaid version.

Hoe expensive is the Model S?

The Model S is priced at about $89,130.

What's the range of the Tesla Model S?

The Model S can cover about 405 miles on a full charge.

Is a used Tesla Model S a good idea?

A used Model S might not be the greatest idea, considering that even the newer models have issues.

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