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Used Tesla warranty drops from 4 years to just 1

Coverage is now limited to just one year or 10,000 miles, whichever comes first.

Big changes are afoot for used Tesla shopppers.

Nick Miotke/Roadshow

It looks like Tesla is in the mood to save some cash as we approach its third-quarter financial results this week. Earlier today, we reported the automaker dropped its generous return/refund program. In another report Monday, Electrek notes that Tesla's used vehicle warranty is in for some big changes as well.

Anyone who purchased a preowned Tesla in the past was given four years of warranty protection or coverage for 50,000 miles, whichever came first. This applied to any Model S or Model X vehicle with fewer than 50,000 miles on the odometer and four years old or newer. Older vehicles received a two-year or 100,000-mile warranty.

Now, Tesla's updated warranty terms say every used Tesla will get a single, blanket warranty coverage: one year or 10,000 miles, whichever comes first: 

Tesla used vehicles are covered by the remainder of 4 years or 50,000 miles left on the Basic Vehicle Limited Warranty. After expiration, the Used Vehicle Limited Warranty provides additional coverage of 1 year or 10,000 miles. If the Basic Vehicle Limited Warranty has already expired, the Used Vehicle Limited Warranty will provide coverage of 1 year or 10,000 miles, starting from your delivery date.

If there's any silver lining, this new one-year/100,000-mile warranty sits atop whatever remains of the original manufacturer warranty. In other words, look for a used Tesla that hails from last year and you'll still receive the remaining balance of the company's four-year/50,000-mile warranty, plus the used car warranty.

Nevertheless, it's hardly a confidence booster in an era when cars are incredibly connected and look far more like rolling computers. Warranties are a way for companies to stand by their products with confidence, and when it comes to EVs, we could use some confidence as Americans work through the unfamiliarity surrounding zero-emission powertrains.

Tesla does not operate a public relations department to field requests for comment.

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