Tesla offers loaner cars, valet service

In a burst of service-related announcements today, Tesla says it will build a fleet of loaner cars for when owners have their cars in service, and says its battery warranty covers everything except collisions and intentional damage.

Wayne Cunningham Managing Editor / Roadshow
Wayne Cunningham reviews cars and writes about automotive technology for CNET's Roadshow. Prior to the automotive beat, he covered spyware, Web building technologies, and computer hardware. He began covering technology and the Web in 1994 as an editor of The Net magazine.
Wayne Cunningham
Wayne Cunningham/CNET

2012 Tesla Model S
Tesla will use its Model S Performance cars as loaners. Wayne Cunningham/CNET

Tesla announced today that it would offer its high-end Model S Performance edition, with an 85 kilowatt-hour battery pack, and the Roadster as loaner cars for when owners' cars are being serviced. As Tesla sells cars directly to owners, the company, rather than a dealer, handles all service and loaner-car issues.

No matter what Model S version is in for service, owners will have their choice of the Model S Performance edition, which retails for $87,400, or one of the older Roadster models as a loaner car. Further, Tesla said it will let owners who would like to upgrade purchase the loaner car, with a depreciation rate of 1 percent per month of age and $1 dollar per mile on the odometer.

Tesla will deliver the loaner car to the owner's home, and pick up the car to be serviced.

In another announcement concerning the battery pack, Tesla says it will honor the eight-year warranty, replacing the battery pack, for any reason other than collision damage, intentional damage, or the pack being opened by non-Tesla personnel.

Tesla says it will also honor the warranty even if an owner does not schedule annual maintenance.