Tesla "Loaner Wheels" program and Tire Hazard Protection saved the day

Discussion in 'Model S' started by Teslarati Bot, Feb 11, 2017.

  1. Teslarati Bot

    Teslarati Bot New Member

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    [​IMG]

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    This winter Los Angeles has received an enormous amount of rainfall, sorely needed, as the Governor comes close to finally declaring the drought “finished.” One negative effect of the large rainfall is the huge number of potholes that now need fixing across the Los Angeles basin.

    My Flat Tire

    On January 25, 2017, I experienced the issue first hand: on the way back home from Montebello, CA, I hit a pothole that was about 1.5 feet wide and 5 inches deep. The “thump” noise sounded enormous when my left rear tire hit the pothole. My tire immediately went flat. The onboard alert immediately told me that I had to stop. I had hit a double whammy: the pothole and a large nail. I was quite fortunate that a Shell station was near where I found enough space to park safely.

    [​IMG]Tire Damage due to pothole

    Next I called the Tesla Roadside Assistance toll free number 877-79-TESLA. This service is available during the first 4 years or 50,000 miles, whichever occurs first for vehicles covered by the New or Pre-Owned Vehicle Limited Warranty at the time of the occurrence.

    In all markets, Tesla will arrange for your vehicle to be transported to the nearest Tesla Service Center. Tesla will cover up to 50 miles for a trained tow provider to assist you with a flat tire.

    Notice that wheel and tire damage is not covered by the New or Pre-Owned Vehicle Limited Warranty.

    In some markets, and that includes the Los Angeles area, Tesla has contracted with trained tow providers that carry a limited number of loaner wheels to quickly exchange for the damaged wheel so one can continue his or her journey.

    After about 5 minutes of muzak, I was finally connected with a Tesla Roadside Assistance representative that immediately offered me the “loaner wheel” service. After about a 45-minute wait, a small van showed up, which had inside an entire set of all available tires for Tesla Model S and X, all mounted on wheels. My flat tire was a MICHELIN PILOT SPORT PS2 XL, 265/35ZR-21. The tow provider took no more than 15 minutes to do the tire and wheel swap, and put the damaged tire, still mounted on my 21” Turbine grey wheels, inside a large plastic bag and then in my trunk. In less than an hour I was back on the road.

    The tow provider told me that he was also servicing Mercedes, Lexus and other luxury cars, but Tesla was the only one providing the loaner wheels.

    My next steps were to simply arrange with my local Tesla Service Center a good time to drop in within a few days to exchange the loaner wheel for a new original wheel. I e-mailed my service center in Torrance, CA that I already had purchased a new replacement tire and was able to get an appointment for the next day at the opening time of the center.

    Looking at several messages in the official Tesla forum, the “loaner wheel” service is not available in all markets, so you may want to call your local Tesla Service Center and inquire if your area is covered by the program.

    TIRE RACK

    In case of a flat tire, if you have not purchased a tire yourself, Tesla will sell you the tire at the time you get you flat tire replaced. There are two issues with that transaction. First, Tesla will sell you the tire at a relatively high price ($440 in the case of the MICHELIN PILOT SPORT PS2 XL, 265/35ZR-21 that I needed replaced), but more importantly tires purchased from a Tesla Service Center do not come with any “hazard warranty”, just the basic OEM warranty (from Michelin in this instance) that does not cover any type of road hazards.

    When I purchased my Tesla Model S P90D I wanted to have at least one spare tire ready for each of my staggered tires and I found tirerack.com to offer OEM tires for all Tesla models at discounted prices, and provided “Tire Road Hazard protection”.

    For example the MICHELIN PILOT SPORT PS2 XL, 265/35ZR-21 that I needed to replace is available from TIRE RACK for $344, a 22% discount on Tesla’s price.

    [​IMG]Michelin Pilot Sport PS2 “staggered” tires

    According to TIRE RACK (emphasis added), “road hazard damage is damage that occurs when a tire fails as a result of a puncture, bruise or impact break incurred during the course of normal driving on a maintained road. Nails, glass and potholes are the most common examples of road hazards. These types of road hazards are not typically covered under tire manufacturers’ warranties.”

    During the year that I owned my Tesla Model S, I had experienced a flat from both nails and potholes, and this time I was going to test the TIRE RACK program.

    I called TIRE RACK prior to my visit to the Tesla Service Center and was told that:

    • Tires are covered for 24 months from the date of purchase or until 2/32″ or less of tread remains, whichever occurs first;
    • Repairs are reimbursed up to $25 per tire per occurrence;
    • During the 24 month benefit period, I would be reimbursed for 100% of the original cost of the tire covered by the Tire Road Hazard Protection, if the tire could not be repaired;
    • To demonstrate that the tire could not be repaired, I could either send pictures or alternatively have the Tesla Service center call them with the details. In the first case, TIRE RACK could ask to have the tire returned to them, at their expense;
    • I would have to first purchase a replacement tire from TIRE RACK and/or pay for the repair.

    Since I always wanted to keep a spare around, I went ahead and purchased a new tire from TIRE RACK.

    I then went to the Tesla Service Center, where they took back the wheel loaner, and for $50 installed my replacement Michelin tire. They also called TIRE RACK and confirmed that my tire could not be repaired. Incidentally, I was told at the Tesla Service Center that when the “loaner wheel” program was started, waiting times used to be in 2-3 hours range, which made quite a few Tesla owners upset, but lately the wait time was less than an hour and comparable to the wait time when using AAA roadside service.

    TIRE RACK accepted my claim and sent me a check for the full price of the original tire plus shipping.

    In the end my whole experience of having a flat tire was the best I ever had in probably 40+ years of driving. Between the Tesla “wheel loaner” and the TIRE RACK “Road Hazard Protection,” I had spent just about 2 hours of my life on the issue and no money at all. Not a bad deal.

    Article: Tesla "Loaner Wheels" program and Tire Hazard Protection saved the day
     
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  2. TslaRcr

    TslaRcr New Member

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    Thanks for the article - good info !
    So what happens after 50k miles / 4 years ? If you need roadside assistance, will Tesla service not help you, or they'll still help but you'll have to pay ?
     
  3. bkm702

    bkm702 New Member

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    Good article!
    But in the end you spend 50 bucks on the replacement indeed so it did cost you some money not like the second last sentence suggests.
     
  4. Detritus

    Detritus New Member

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    Wait, so the tire that failed was a TIRE RACK tire? Presumably you've had at least one tire change since you bought your Tesla and they were all TR tires?
     
  5. DrO

    DrO New Member

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    I had an even better flat tire experience. I woke up early Sunday morning to go to work. Found my back tire was completely flat. I took my wife's car to work. I called Tesla support number when I arrived. They said they had a new pilot program where they can replace the tire remotely. I made an appointment for them to show up after I got home from work. Their Tesla tire truck showed up right on time. The very nice gentleman jacked up the car and had the wheel off in less than a minute. NASCAR style! He said he could replace the tire there. They told me on the phone it costs about $300 to do this. He had a tire changing machine in the truck that took the tire off my wheel then he put on the new one in no time. He showed me he had a coffee machine and refrigerator full of soda and water if I wanted something to drink too!

    The whole thing took 20-30 minutes. I got a brand new tire installed and never had to set foot in a tire shop. He said the program is only available near the Fremont factory. I live about 20 miles from it. They hope to expand it nationwide eventually. Way to go Tesla!
     
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  6. Beyond

    Beyond New Member

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    This is a greater and greater problem as buyers insist on zoomy looking lower profile tires which perform fine on dry pavement but nowhere else. These tires damage easier, the rims are much more prone to damage and performance on ice and snow is greatly degraded. Get the highest profile tires (smallest rim size) that are available. Also when buying snow tires with rims, on most cars you should be able to go with a narrower, higher profile tire and smaller rim size. Check with Tire Rack for appropriate options.
     
  7. Fairestcape

    Fairestcape New Member

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    Here in the UK, local councils (responsible for minor roads) have been successfully sued for workshop and parts costs by motorists who have hit potholes and suffered a similar fate. Here, we have rain and snow (also lots of road ice) and because the tarmac is so thinly applied (councils think it saves them money) there are numerous potholes.

    What makes me really smile is how they are repaired (or not, as the case may be)...

    Step one: a team arrives in a truck and, using spraypaint, they spray a circle around the pothole.
    Step two: a few days later (if you're lucky) a second truck with several people arrives, and they dig out the pothole. Around it they put up barriers, warning signs, traffic control lights, hazzard beacons, orange cones... Like it was a major construction zone.
    Step three: Another few days' wait and a third team arrives with a bucket of tar and a few chip-stones. They spend much of the day drinking tea and eating bacon-sandwiches, then reluctantly cover the hole.
    Step four: the next day, the pothole is back with vengence!
     
  8. Model S M.D.

    Model S M.D. New Member

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    Why didn't you get the Super Sports with the Acoustic Tech? Aren't those the true OEM wheels? I've heard off hand that some people can't tell that they are quieter than the ones you got.

    Anyway, I had a similar great experience with Tesla Roadside when I hit a pothole in the rain. Tow truck came in 30 minutes, changed out my blown tire in the rain with a loaner 21" wheel. He even went to drop it off at the nearest service center for me and I just went in at my convenience to swap out for a new tire. Probably should have ordered from Tire Rack!

    Anyway, great service as always from Tesla.
     
  9. MarcoPapa

    MarcoPapa Member

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    After 50,000/ 4 years the original New Vehicle Limited Warranty expires. At that time, you have the option of purchasing a 2 years/25,000 miles or 4 years/50,000 Extended Service Agreement, for $2,100 and $4,250, respectively. This program has recently been updated. For the details you can go to tesla.com:

    https://www.tesla.com/support/vehicle-warranty#extended-service-agreement
     
  10. MarcoPapa

    MarcoPapa Member

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    Yes, it did cost me $50 and two hours of my time.
     
  11. MarcoPapa

    MarcoPapa Member

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    Obviously TIRE RACK provides hazard protection only on tires you purchased from them, not on the original Michelin that are factory mounted with you purchase your Tesla. And yes, the tire that failed was purchased from TIRE RACK after I replaced the original Michelin OEM tire that was installed by Tesla on purchase, and that failed due to a nail. I have not had any other tire replaced since I purchased my Tesla. I only have 12,000 miles and plenty of tread on all other tires.
     
  12. MarcoPapa

    MarcoPapa Member

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    The MICHELIN PILOT SPORT PS2 XL, 265/35ZR-21 are the standard tires on my 2015 Tesla Model S P90D. They are staggered with MICHELIN PILOT SPORT PS2 XL, 245/35ZR-21 on the front wheels. All my original OEM Michelin tires are just fine with plenty of tread at 12,000 miles.

    I could replace them with the quieter Pilot Sport with Acoustic Tech ($330.70 for the 245/35ZR-21, and $364.58 for the 265/35ZR21 at TIRE RACK), but I would have to buy both back tires. Maybe when I do the full 4-tire replacement, I will do that.
     
  13. TslaRcr

    TslaRcr New Member

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    Ok, but if you've not purchased the extended warranty, what's going to happen ? Would they at least be able to arrange a tow if you need it ? I know they have agreements with certain providers in the area who know how to handle Tesla vehicles.
    Especially if you are traveling, you have to know where to take the car. It's not like you can take it to a nearby mechanic shop.
     
  14. MarcoPapa

    MarcoPapa Member

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    I am sure you will get referred to a local tow company that is aware of Tesla towing needs, but obviously that may not be an AAA service provider, so you'll be at the mercy of the tow company as far as charges are concerned. And once at the service center, unless the parts are still under warranty, you'll be in the same boat as any other car out of warranty: full price for parts and labor, no loaner car, take uber to get home, etc.
     
  15. MarcoPapa

    MarcoPapa Member

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    Let me also mention that while the New Vehicle Limited Warranty lasts 4 years or 50,000 miles, you have 8 year or unlimited miles Battery and Drive Unit Limited Warranty. This Warranty covers correct defects in the materials or workmanship of any Model S or X parts manufactured or supplied by Tesla. As far as Roadside Assistance, the details are on this page at tesla.com:

    https://www.tesla.com/support/roadside-assistance-tech-support

    Quoting from it, " This service is available during the first 4 years or 50,000 miles, whichever occurs first for vehicles covered by the New or Pre-Owned Vehicle Limited Warranty at the time of the occurrence."

    Which clearly means that after the warranty expires, Roadside Assistant is no longer available, unless one has purchased the Extended Warranty.

    Even more details are provided in the "Tesla Roadside Assistance Policy" document:

    https://www.tesla.com/sites/default/files/pdfs/Updated_NA_Roadside_Policy.pdf

    Quoting from it, "The vehicle must be covered by the warranty and located in the North America Region at the time Roadside Assistance is requested."

    Which to means to me, that out-of-warranty Teslas owners do not have the right to call Tesla Roadside Assistance. They "may" give you a referral to a tow company, but they do not have to do so.
     
  16. TslaRcr

    TslaRcr New Member

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    Thanks for the info. Ok, but what will I do after 100k miles ? I'm not too too far away from that. There isn't any warranty available past 100k miles, right ? I've always had the most awesome experience with Tesla service. It's just hard to believe they would not help you in some way because your car is too old. I understand I'd have to pay, but I simply refuse to believe they would hang up on you, proverbially speaking.
    And again, there expectation would not be there if you had a car you can take to any mechanic shop you like. Tesla cars can only be serviced at Tesla service centers.
     
  17. TslaRcr

    TslaRcr New Member

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    P.S. and I totally get the legal speak of the documents. They have to protect themselves and that's expected. I'm more curious to know what happens in real life, if anyone had the experience of needing roadside assistance past warranty expiration ?
     
  18. MarcoPapa

    MarcoPapa Member

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    Well, the situation past 100K miles with no warranty whatsoever is no different than with any other car out of warranty, save for the fact that repairs must be done at Tesla Service Centers. Moreover, roadside assistance will only available through AAA. Without calling AAA, Tesla Roadside Assistance will likely give you the contact of a tow company and then you will have to take it from there.

    Notice that not all AAA certified tow companies are aware of the fixed points under your Tesla to properly jack up your car. I suggest you keep a copy of the relevant pages from the Owners Manual inside your glove compartment. Tesla Service centers will obviously Service out-of-warranty Teslas. You will have to pay full price for parts and labor, like any other car manufacturer.
     
  19. rullrich

    rullrich New Member

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    I have a P90DL and dropped the right rear wheel off the inner edge of the road, cut the sidewall, and bent the rim. Needed replacement. Called Tesla Road Service and great guy came out and swapped wheels: took mine away (somewhere) and left a loaner. Got me back on the road in ~1.5hrs. I decided to order new 21" wheels from Tesla since I'm having to pay for new wheel and tire anyway. Just an excuse to buy them. Downside: it has been over a month with the loaner wheel, and no response from service as to when the new wheels will be delivered, or when I can return the loaner. Hope they don't charge me for wear and tear on the loaner tire.
     
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  20. gene

    gene Moderator

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    If it's not too late and you're interested, I have a set of the Custom 21" Arachnid Wheels (in Grey) with new Michelin PS2 tires that I will be looking to sell :) I won these from the referral program but don't have a need for them since I just purchased a brand new set of tires last month.
     

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