Above All, the Tesla With the Most Mileage Is an Exercise of Perseverance

Besides running his 1966 Volvo P1800 for more than 3 million miles, Irv Gordon was a lovely guy. Volvo embraced him as an official ambassador and allowed him to drive new Volvo vehicles until his death in November 2018. Hansjörg Eberhard von Gemmingen seems to be as nice as Gordon. Sadly, the differences go beyond him driving a Tesla Model S.
Tesla Model S with the most mileage has its ninth motor replacement 6 photos
Photo: Hansjoerg Eberhard von Gemmingen/Twitter
Tesla Model S with the most mileage has its ninth motor replacementHansjoerg Eberhard von Gemmingen when his car reached 1 million km (621,371 mi)Hansjoerg Eberhard von Gemmingen when his car reached 1 million km (621,371 mi)Tesla Model S with the most mileage when it reached 1.5 million kmTesla Model S with the most mileage has its ninth motor replacement
Since Von Gemmingen bought his Model S P85+ in 2014 with 30,000 kilometers (18,641 miles), he went through a lot while making it be the Tesla with the most mileage worldwide. In January, he reached 1.5 million km (621,371 mi) with his electric sedan. Von Gemmingen only got there after several visits to Tesla Service Centers.

It was not a matter of rebuilding an engine or replacing worn parts, as it was for Gordon. The American Volvo owner even changed some components on his own. We’re not aware if Von Gemmingen also does that. What we do know is that he had to replace drive units and battery packs. Being candid about that – just like Gordon was – apparently made him fall from grace with Tesla. In Von Gemmingen’s case, it seems that he is putting higher numbers on the odometer as an exercise of perseverance – or stubbornness, depending on how you frame it.

In a tweet published on March 25, 2022, Von Gemmingen vented about the ninth motor replacement in his car. While he stated that it seems that Tesla only replaced the electric motor in his Model S with scraps, he was not as specific about how many times he had to go through that. Thankfully, Von Gemmingen gave us the necessary elements to realize that on our own.

The Model S owner was retweeting another post from March 21 in which he complained that Tesla did not invite him to the opening of Giga Grünheide. The translation of that tweet follow below:

“I am also not wanted; how dare I mention that 8X the DU had to be repaired? I could have had a card… No, thanks.”

As you can see, he was disappointed that Elon Musk and Tesla ignored him on something that the company should be proud to invite him for. He also mentioned that he had to replace the DU (drive unit) eight times until that point. That said, the March 25 tweet was announcing the ninth time that would be necessary.

Although there is no excuse for Tesla to treat like this someone who represents the brand like Von Gemmingen does, perhaps he keeps having issues with DUs because they are of low quality. If that is really the case, the Model S owner will continue to replace them, whether new or used. In other words, they would be good for 166,666 km (103,561 mi) and not much more than that.

If the reason for so many issues with these motors is that Tesla simply gives Von Gemmingen badly refurbished motors, that is something pretty stupid to do with someone who drives so much, and that represents your brand – whether you like it or not. Tesla should give this guy the very best that it has in store so that he has good stories to share.

Apart from the nine DU replacements, Von Gemmingen also had three different battery packs in this car that we are aware of. All of them were replaced under warranty, and one of them was used temporarily until Tesla obtained one to be in his car for good.

Some Tesla investors try to argue that we should count only two battery packs because one was “temporarily” used by Von Gemmingen’s Model S. However, that happened for half a year and 150,000 km (93,206 mi). That makes it a pretty permanent situation for us – some cars never reach that kind of mileage in their entire lifespans.

Von Gemmingen is still far from the 3 million miles Gordon managed to clock in his Volvo P1800, but we do not doubt he may get there one day. Unfortunately, it seems that he will do so not thanks to Tesla, but in spite of it. Wish him luck in keeping doing his thing – and being candid about it – even if that means servicing his car on his own or through independent shops that really care about their customers.

If you liked the article, please follow us:  Google News icon Google News Youtube Instagram X (Twitter)
About the author: Gustavo Henrique Ruffo
Gustavo Henrique Ruffo profile photo

Motoring writer since 1998, Gustavo wants to write relevant stories about cars and their shift to a sustainable future.
Full profile


Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories