Ride-sharing? Not in a Tesla Model 3, You’re Not [News]

Tesla Model 3 Production
[Photo: Tesla]

On Twitter, Bozi Tatarevic (@hoonable) pointed out interesting points in the Tesla Model 3’s Limited Warranty coverage.

When you buy a new car, manufacturers provide you a “Limited New Car Warranty” of some variety or other to give customers some peace of mind. In that warranty, manufacturers also go to great lengths to describe exactly what is and what is not covered under that warranty? Typically, problems with your car stemming from normal wear and tear or damage are not covered under the terms of the warranty. Tesla is no different than any other car maker here.

In the Tesla Model 3’s warranty guide, the company helpfully provides twelve pages to show you what’s covered under your new car warranty. More interestingly, however, are some scenarios that are not covered under your warranty. For instance:

Creaks and rattles in your new Model 3? Tough luck.

It seems Tesla may be a bit leery about the potential build quality of the new Model 3. Even if that’s not the intention here, the notion that “brake squeal” as well as “general knocks, creaks, rattles” are just normal noises and vibrations may not strike confidence among Model 3 customers. Essentially, one way to interpret this exclusion in the car’s warranty is as follows: If your Model 3 has some poorly-fitted trim or other issues (beyond your control) that cause rattling or creaking, Tesla won’t cover repairing it under warranty. That means you may end up paying for a technician’s time and parts out of your own pocket.

Don’t Plan on Using your Model 3 for ride-sharing


Apart from the general creaks and rattles, the Tesla Model 3’s warranty also does not cover malfunctions under warranty for vehicles used for commercial purposes. That means if you were planning to use your Model 3 to make some extra cash, you may be stuck with the bill if something goes wrong. What’s also important to note here are the words “directly or indirectly”. Potentially, if Tesla can link damage or malfunction to your ride-sharing or commercial usage – even tangentially – they can deny your warranty claim.

That, in itself, may not be all that unusual. After all, insurance companies won’t usually cover ride-sharing under your normal policy. However, it does call into question exactly what this language in the Tesla Model 3’s warranty booklet means for the Model 3’s inclusion in the “Tesla Network” program. Tesla Network, as envisioned by Elon Musk, offers electric, autonomous vehicle services more affordably than existing public transportation. With Tesla excluding the Model 3 from warranty coverage for malfunctions stemming from ride-sharing, are they also excluding it from Tesla Network?

One interpretation of the language, focusing on the word “driving”, may point to no. Since Tesla Network is autonomous, you wouldn’t be “driving”, so much as the Model 3 would be driving you. Tesla will likely also include a separate means of indemnification for cars included in its Tesla Network program, including the Model 3. For the time being, at least, ride-sharing where you’re actually taxiing your passengers could place your warranty in jeopardy.

If you’d like to know more about the Model 3’s warranty, check out Tesla’s New Vehicle Limited Warranty booklet here.

Tesla Model 3 Production
[Photo: Tesla]