Tesla Model S Gains Entry Into Bank Through Brick Wall To Retrieve Money To Pay For Expensive Tesla Ranger Service (Obviously A Joke) - Image Via Dr. Staten Medsker, Jr.

Tesla Model S Gains Entry Into Bank Through Brick Wall To Retrieve Money To Pay For Expensive Tesla Ranger Service (Obviously A Joke) - Image Via Dr. Staten Medsker, Jr.

Tesla introduced in 2009 its Tesla Ranger mobile service teams, which in many cases could repair the car on the spot or take the car to the shop for a charge of a buck a mile:

"$1 per roundtrip mile from the nearest Tesla service center, with a minimum charge of $100."

Later in 2012 (when Tesla had about 15 service centers) it was changed to $100 flat fee, and now it seems that pricing is changing.

Automotive News notes that today Tesla has network of about 125 service centers and 83% of Tesla cars are within 25 miles of the nearest service center (91% within 50 miles).

Lack of a wide service network and intention to offer superior auto service experience were the main forces behind the Tesla Rangers and some buyers who live far from Tesla service shops, bought the Model S taking into consideration the $100 flat fee.

According to the article, now some of those owners are complaining that charges for Tesla Rangers are way above $100 after the latest pricing change. How does a 600+ percent increase in price sound to you?

"...some customers who bought a Model S based on such assurances feel that Tesla has gone back on its word."

"Among them is Brian Manke of Chesapeake, Va., who balked at a $606 quote to have his Model S delivered to Tesla's service center in Raleigh, N.C., 202 miles away, for repairs under warranty."

"He doesn't regret his purchase. "It's an awesome car," Manke said, "and it only gets better the more you drive it." Yet he can no longer recommend Tesla with such gusto to neighbors."

"Ever since I got my Model S, I've had a bunch of people ask me: 'What do you do for service?'" Manke said. "I'd say, 'Oh, they pick it up for $100.' It's going to change people's tune a little bit now when I tell them that it's going to be at least $600."

Similar stories are reported by others like Joshua Green of St. John's, Newfoundland who got the $100 promise in writing and then needed to demand keeping one's word when Tesla asked for $800.

With the number of Tesla service centers growing, the change away from a $100 flat fee will not be a problem for most Model S owners, but for those far away from the nearest Tesla repair site, the increased fee could take a serious hit on their bank accounts.

Source: Automotive News, hat tip to sven!