A Tesla owner who installed tank tracks on his Model 3 is currently fighting for the vehicle’s warranty after the vehicle’s drive unit and axles were damaged.
Michael of the lowlifeduramax YouTube channel shared his story over Twitter on Friday, noting that Tesla had voided the warranty on his three-month-old Model 3 that broke down.
In a series of tweets aimed at members of the Tesla community, including CEO Elon Musk, Michael indicated his encounter with the company’s service representatives. Tweeting a photo of his Model 3 on the back of a flatbed service truck, Michael was informed that his vehicle’s electric motor failed.
The YouTuber’s snow track joyride compromised the vehicle’s drivetrain by applying excessive amounts of stress on both the front and rear axle, suggests Michael in his tweet. “Tesla states snow track with 50% gear reduction caused excess heat on the drive unit 5mph and less.”
According to “Tesla Parts, Body and Paint Repair Limited Warranty” handbook, damages as a result of vehicle modifications, including the installation of accessories, would not be covered.
“This Tesla Parts, Body & Paint Limited Warranty does not cover any damage or malfunction directly or indirectly caused by, due to, or resulting from, normal wear or deterioration, abuse, misuse, negligence, accident, collision, impact, lack of or improper use, maintenance, storage or transport, including, but not limited to, any of the following:
Failure to contact Tesla upon discovery of a defect covered by this Tesla Parts, Body & Paint Repair Limited Warranty; any repair, alteration or modification to covered Parts, or the installation or use of any Parts or accessories, made by a person or facility not authorized or certified to do so.”
Drawing ire from some members of the Tesla community who supported the company’s decision to void the vehicle’s warranty, Michael replied, “[Tesla] shouldn’t claim 1 mil mile motors and ‘built like truck.'” Another follower of the incident made the suggestion to try the same stunt with an electric truck, implying that a battery-electric pickup may be more suitable than a sedan for this type of experiment. Michael noted that Tesla vehicles are “weak,” because his gas-powered vehicles, including his truck, have been able to handle these types of modifications without any issue.
Despite Tesla’s initial diagnosis that the aftermarket modifications caused the damages to the vehicle, Michael maintains the vehicle’s drive unit should not have failed so quickly. While it is unfortunate that Michael will be stuck with a $7,000 tab to get his Model 3 up and running, a quick readthrough of the warranty manual would have clarified any concerns the installation of the snow tracks may have brought up.