Tesla has had trouble with the reliability of, well, virtually every one of its models, from Model S to Model 3. Accordingly, it routinely comes in near the bottom of Consumer Reports’ annual reliability survey. And, most recently, poor reliability forced CR to drop Model 3 from its recommended list.
Despite issues with dependability, Tesla has done away with its annual maintenance schedules, telling owners, “Your Tesla does not require annual maintenance and regular fluid changes.”
Previously, the all-electric automaker had recommended customers bring their vehicles in every 12,500 miles or once a year, whichever came first, for the Model S and Model X. Model 3 owners were originally told to return to the service center once every two years or 25,000 miles. These checkups were intended for technicians to test the brake fluid and ensure filters were up to spec.
Now, the brand wants the vehicles to come in just when necessary.
The move makes sense. If customers were in the repair centers all the time for warranty issues, why have them return for scheduled maintenance? Service technicians can check the fluids and brakes when the vehicles are in for warranty work. This cuts down on crowding at service centers and keeps owners from bringing their cars in unnecessarily.
It also serves two other important roles: It saves money and gives Tesla some good headlines.
Having fewer cars in the repair center will cut down on costs. That’s because whether the cars need attention or not, the technicians are being paid to look at them. Granted, it’s likely a small savings. But everything counts.
Lastly, generating media coverage about eliminating regular service intervals, on the surface, makes the brand sound more reliable than it is in reality. So it’s a win-win.