Fed-Up Model S Plaid Owner Explains Why He Won't Buy Another Tesla Again

Tesla had its fair share of troubles with quality assurance. Panel gaps, misaligned trim, missing parts, and lackadaisical repairs right before deliveries almost became part of the brand identity. Things, however, have gotten better recently. There still are mishaps happening, but not as often as before. Sadly, this Model S Plaid owner claims he has had enough. Here's why.
2022 Tesla Mode S Plaid (Pre-facelift) 10 photos
Photo: Vehicle Virgins on YouTube | edited
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For a starting price of $89,990, the tri-motor Model S Plaid and its 1,020 hp are one heck of a deal. Nothing truly comes close in this price range. It's downright puzzling that the now-Texas-based EV maker managed to make one of the fastest production sedans on Earth so reasonably priced.

But most customers didn't pay that recently updated price. They spent well over $130,000 before tax to get the all-electric sedan that, in theory, should be capable of reaching 60 mph from a standstill in two seconds. For example, in June 2022, the Model S Plaid had an MSRP of $135,990.

This buyer claims he's not the only one who found some serious problems with the vehicle, apart from the surprisingly generous price reduction. Over 7,000 Americans in a dedicated Facebook group have been discussing all the issues they discovered with the high-performance EV. Most of them figured out pretty quickly that the problems they identified were too common. That prompted them to suspect widespread production shenanigans could have been at play.

The man took delivery of his Model S Plaid in late 2021, three months before a silent facelift was introduced. After the enthusiasm associated with driving one of the world's quickest cars wore off, he started seeing stuff that could have been improved.

Tesla Model S Plaid
Photo: Vehicle Virgins on YouTube
He discovered that the camber of the 21-inch wheels leads to accelerated wear whether he drives spiritedly or not. After just 25,000 miles, the man had to go through five sets of tires. But the real issue is that the inner side of the tire is the one that gets chewed up fast. That's how some Model S Plaid owners end up stranded and needing a new tire.

In some extreme cases, some buyers said they had to deal with a tire blowout on the highway. An unskilled or inattentive driver could suffer serious harm in such a scenario because it almost always leads to losing control.

But this particular owner is also upset about Tesla's promise that an EV is cheaper in the long run because charging is cheaper than gas. That's especially true today when fuel is over $6 per gallon in some parts of the US. But no one should expect reasonable costs when the car has an output of over 1,000 hp. We'd all be driving drag times monsters if they were cheap to buy and maintain.

The guy also mentioned that the steering wheel had to be replaced because of the poor material quality. That's something even Model Y owners had to deal with.

Tesla Model S Plaid
Photo: Vehicle Virgins on YouTube
Another gripe this man has is with the price reduction. He paid a bit over $139,000, and now his vehicle is worth around $65,000 on the secondary market. That's more than 50% of the EV's value gone in less than two years.

The man continued to warn users about financing practices and shared that he was never advised to get GAP insurance. That product protects buyers who finance their cars from rapid depreciation. In case of a crash that may total the vehicle, the insurer will write a check covering the vehicle's market price and not the entire amount that's left to be paid. GAP insurance covers that "gap," hence the name.

This person also said he has put down a deposit for the Cybertruck but will not move forward with building and ordering one. He advises prospective Tesla customers to consider all these issues before getting into a buyer's agreement.

But despite all these issues, the disgruntled Model S Plaid owner underlines that he still believes in Tesla and remains a dedicated investor. He also loves the car, regardless of all its drawbacks.

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About the author: Florin Amariei
Florin Amariei profile photo

Car shows on TV and his father's Fiat Tempra may have been Florin's early influences, but nowadays he favors different things, like the power of an F-150 Raptor. He'll never be able to ignore the shape of a Ferrari though, especially a yellow one.
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