An early Tesla Model 3 owner has reported that the motor in his Model 3 suddenly failed, leaving the car inoperable.

TeslaWeekly has been in direct contact with the owner of the vehicle and has learned more details.

The owner of the Model 3, Stephen Day, had driven the car about 270 miles since taking delivery.  He explains to Tesla Weekly, “The wife took it down the street 2 miles away to a meeting to show it off. She had a friend in it and was accelerating a little hard and it made a loud thud, like she hit something.”

He continues, “Then she lost all all propulsion and got the error on the screen that it needs serviced and may not start again. She pulled over and called support. Tried rebooting, powering off and on, walking away and coming back, etc.”

tesla model 3 motor failure 2

“They suspected it was a fuse. Hauled it off to the service center.”  However, the technicians and service advisor at his local service center later confirmed that the motor had failed.

“Tesla is flying a new drive unit and engineering team out here.”

The owner, Stephen Day, has a great attitude about the temporary inconvenience.  The Tesla Service Center loaned him a P85 while his Model 3 waits for a new motor.  He says, “They dropped a loaner Model S off via a flatbed, in front of my house the next morning. Can’t complain.  Love the company, will keep being a Tesla super customer.”

He says he already misses his Model 3.  “The 3 is amazing,” Day says, “I commute into the city daily” and “The Model S [loaner] feels like a boat compared to the 3.”  He says that his Model 3 feels roomier and is more fun to drive than the his P85 loaner.  He enthusiastically recommends the car, “You’re going to love the 3!”

The Tesla Model 3 (long range version) has a 8 year or 120,000 mile battery and drive unit warranty.  During this period, Tesla will fix or replace all problems related to the battery or drive unit.

The Tesla Model S has a similar battery and drive unit warranty of 8 years but comes with unlimited miles on the warranty.  Early Model S vehicles had an issue with some whining coming from the motor that required Tesla to replace or fix a significant number of drive units.  Overall, Tesla Model S owners been very satisfied with the their vehicles as evidenced by Tesla topping the Consumer Reports Owner Satisfaction rankings.

Tesla delivered 1,550 Model 3 vehicles in Q4 2017, and has likely delivered about 1875 more in January (see InsideEVs estimates 1875 Tesla Model 3s were delivered in January 2018).  So with over 3,000 Model 3 vehicles on the road, this is the first instance we know of with Model 3 motor failure.  We don’t think this is a major issue until we see more similar instances.  In the meantime, Tesla Weekly will keep in touch with the owner.

Follow TeslaWeekly on twitter and sign up for our weekly newsletter to keep up with the latest Tesla news and why it matters.

Update: See discussion on this article at Reddit thread and TMC thread.


One of the neat features of the Tesla Model 3 is the phone docking station below the center screen.  It’s a handy place to keep your phone docked and charging while you drive.  However, with the advent of wireless charging it only makes sense that it would be more convenient to not have to plug in your phone but just lay it on a wireless charger.

Now, Model 3 owners can have a  custom wireless charging pad made just for the Model 3.

Show Full Article

The popular tech new website, TechCrunch, recently featured an article about the Model X and Autopilot.  Writer Darrell Etherington was able to drive the Model X for two and a half days in the San Francisco Bay Area.

While Etherington notes that the Model X “was a dream to drive” with “amazing handling and performance”, he focused his review on Autopilot and how it made driving much easier.

Show Full Article