DJP

Lexus to Tesla - 3 Years On

Recommended Posts

I've done one of these for the last couple of years so thought I may as well add something again. Here's a link to last year's which I  think has one to the first if you are so inclined.

https://www.lexusownersclub.co.uk/forum/topic/118838-lexus-to-tesla-2-years-on/?tab=comments#comment-1083268

Anyway I've now done 42,500 miles in 3 years 3 months. The acid question is am I still a happy owner and pleased I took the plunge? A definite Yes. 

Following the same format as before:

Reliability

Nothing bad of any consequence. I had a DRL LED fail and the passenger door mirror struggled to open sometimes. Both were repaired under warranty with a mobile mechanic Tesla call Rangers coming to my home and sorting both out. Very painless.

Range & Battery Degradation

My range is the same as before, so a long trip in the summer and 250/260 isn't a problem but range does suffer in the winter and 200 is nearer the max. According to the Battery degradation report I can run from the 3rd party software that "talks" to the car I've lost about 4% of the Battery capacity. None of this really matters unless I do a long drive and the Tesla network of Superchargers cover most of the country very well. The public charging network is slowly growing, without doubt the biggest problem is getting wayleave permission to lay cables.

I suffer bladder anxiety much more than range anxiety!

Servicing & Insurance Costs

Tesla were rightly criticised for requiring an annual / 12.5k service and charging an arm and a leg for it. They've done a complete about face and the recommended servicing schedule is now 2 years with air filter and brake fluid type checks being all that's needed. Servicing and warranty work is all booked via the app and communications can be problematic.

My insurance this year was cheaper than last and are no different to what I used to pay for the Lexus.

Software Updates

These are still a regular feature and arrive approx. every month or so. Sometimes they deliver new functionality and sometimes just bug fixes. The Autopilot software continues to evolve and improve but as for "full self driving" - not a chance.

As with any computer the older ones slow down and newer one have greater capacity. It's no different with the Tesla and I have the first generation of the media control unit (MCU1). This means my car doesn't benefit from some of the latest improvements, e.g. all 8 camera now operate as a dashcam. That said, no other car that I've ever owned has got better the longer I've owned it. This one does.

 Downsides to Ownership

Parts supply is still patchy and although the staff are very helpful the communications can be awful. It's not the staff, it's the systems or lack of that are the problem. You have to go in with your eyes open and understand you are buying something at the cutting edge. The biggest mistake, albeit an understandable one is "I've spent £60k/£100k or whatever" and there wasn't even a proper unveil when I picked the car up." Tesla aren't pretending it's a premium car but will have to up their game when the competition eventually arrives.

The reality is the car isn't of Lexus build quality, but it's certainly "good enough" and the driving experience etc makes up for the odd panel gap that's not consistent.

Competition

Sadly still lacking and nothing comes close IMO. The Porsche Taycan is ridiculously priced, less range, mostly slower, no charging network (yet), no comparable technology. It has much better build quality and the badge - if that floats your boat. The Jag I Pace and the Audi E Tron are aero dynamic bricks with range to match, many have suffered with software problems and until the public charging network improves aren't IMO good enough for long journeys. That makes them very expensive "second" cars but are well built and have more of a premium feel to them. Lots of buttons!

Driving & Overall Ownership Experience

The electric drivetrain is so much fun. Near silent and leisurely as you like, or near silent and will slaughter pretty much anything else on the road. You choose where you want to be between those two points. I only have to touch the brake pedal if I want to come to a complete stop, deceleration is handled by the regeneration and controlled by my right foot. Fuel is cheap as chips and I never have to think about a petrol station. Being environmentally friendly is a bonus, I didn't buy the car for that reason.

The autopilot software is pretty good if you understand its' limitations and don't believe Elon Musk when he says Full Self Driving is round the corner.

If this helps anyone that's great  and happy to expand on any point or answer questions.

 

 

  • Like 8
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As a model 3 and Lexus GS owner, that all sounds fair and familiar. 

One thing to note though is that you can pay Tesla to upgrade MCU1 to MCU2 - it's $2500 in the USA, not sure on UK price. The point here is that Tesla are allowing owners of older car access to some of the hardware upgrades without buying a whole new car. No other car manufacturer offers upgrades to keep older cars relevant. 

A minor correction - MCU2/AP3 uses 4 of the 8 cameras for dashcam/sentry. It does not use two of 3 front facing cameras and doesn't use the B-pillar cameras - it uses one front, the rear and the two side repeater cameras. 

Again, I'll just echo your comments - our Model 3SR+ is a great car and in the time we've owned it it has got more powerful, able to charge faster, added the dashcam/sentry mode features, added the dashcam viewer, added new functionality (netflix, youtube), etv. AP3 visualisations now include stop lights and lane markings, so it's possible you're not seeing the full extent of what will become FSD if you're on AP2 or AP2.5? I certainly don't think that L5 autonomy is less than 2-3 years off, and then only for USA - different road rules and marking standards in different places mean different requirements, as well as regulatory conditions. I certainly wouldn't (and didn't) pay for the FSD option at this point in time. 

Lexus - hurry up and make a proper EV. A good electric GS or LS would be an amazing vehicle, as the 2nd gen mirai proves (basically an electric LS, but with hydrogen rather than Battery - ditch the hydrogen nonsense and put a Battery in it!). Don't make silly compliance cars like the UX300e with its comically outdated 50kW charge rate. Compete!

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks @i-s and I wish I knew how to select part of your reply to respond to.. All a bit Tesla techy now but I don't think MCU1 to MCU2 upgrade is available in the UK yet but I agree with your point, normally it's buy a whole new car. Thanks also for the correction on the dashcam/sentry.

I have AP2 with EAP so not seeing all the visualisations and I resisted upgrading to the full FSD unicorn at £2.9k. However what I have done is just decided to buy a new Model S and have gone for the FSD package, partly because I use Summon a fair bit, partly because I do see the functionality of it improving over the next few years, and partly because I need my head examined :yahoo:

As for Lexus, I so wish they had a proper EV offering, it was the IS300h that first introduced my to the electric drivetrain. Also agree about the UX and hydrogen.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I watched a video awhile back where a guy in the USA bought  damaged Tesla cars, then cannibalized them to repair others.  Tesla were not happy with this guy and were not happy to sell parts to him or apparently anyone else wanting all parts to be supplied and fitted by their own organization.  Don't know whether this applies in UK but if so would mean not being able to go for repairs elsewhere as cars age which could be expensive.  

Nice cars though!

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
39 minutes ago, Barry14UK said:

I watched a video awhile back where a guy in the USA bought  damaged Tesla cars, then cannibalized them to repair others.  Tesla were not happy with this guy and were not happy to sell parts to him or apparently anyone else wanting all parts to be supplied and fitted by their own organization.  Don't know whether this applies in UK but if so would mean not being able to go for repairs elsewhere as cars age which could be expensive.  

Nice cars though!

 

 

There are some 3rd party repairers/garages in the UK but not many, and anything that is an insurance write off is essentially blacklisted by Tesla until it's been fully inspected - with a chunky price tag attached. No access to Superchargers for example.

TBH I wouldn't want to be running one out of warranty at this early stage of their development.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

8 hours ago, Barry14UK said:

I watched a video awhile back where a guy in the USA bought  damaged Tesla cars, then cannibalized them to repair others.  Tesla were not happy with this guy and were not happy to sell parts to him or apparently anyone else wanting all parts to be supplied and fitted by their own organization.  Don't know whether this applies in UK but if so would mean not being able to go for repairs elsewhere as cars age which could be expensive.  

Nice cars though!

 

 

This is the guy I was alluding to.  Quite a fascinating story of how he started in this video and he has now done others on his expanding business 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, DJP said:

Thanks @i-s and I wish I knew how to select part of your reply to respond to.. All a bit Tesla techy now but I don't think MCU1 to MCU2 upgrade is available in the UK yet but I agree with your point, normally it's buy a whole new car. Thanks also for the correction on the dashcam/sentry.

I have AP2 with EAP so not seeing all the visualisations and I resisted upgrading to the full FSD unicorn at £2.9k. However what I have done is just decided to buy a new Model S and have gone for the FSD package, partly because I use Summon a fair bit, partly because I do see the functionality of it improving over the next few years, and partly because I need my head examined :yahoo:

As for Lexus, I so wish they had a proper EV offering, it was the IS300h that first introduced my to the electric drivetrain. Also agree about the UX and hydrogen.

Indeed. 

And a new model S gets you onto the Raven platform, which I think will improve significantly over time as the software matures. For those non-Teslarati, older model S like DJP's current car have air suspension supplied by Continental. Since early 2019 the model S and model X moved to what is known as "Raven" - Tesla replaced the Continental air suspension with their own designed and built system of air suspension and adaptive shocks. The reason they have done so is so that Tesla can own the entire software stack, and integrate the behaviour of the suspension with other elements of the vehicle behaviour and autopilot system. 

A key point to understanding why Tesla is going to cause massive underlying change in the automotive industry is software - Tesla have ditched the long-standing automotive industry model of outsourcing in favour of vertical integration of design/IP and use of contract manufacture instead of tier 1 design - not because no one else can make seats or design an infotainment system for them, but because then those parties have a hand in the software which makes life much harder when it comes to things like over-the-air updates, or even getting updates at all. The AP2 referred to above means "Autopilot Version 2.0" - AP1 was supplied by Mobileye (and very similar to other cars equipped with mobileye q3, such as Volvo PilotAssist and Nissan ProPilot). AP2 moved to NVidia Drive PX hardware (and AP2.5 is just the same but with a second processor) using Tesla's own software stack on top - however, NVidia retained ownership of lower parts of the software stack and the hardware abstraction, which ended up being a barrier to what Tesla wanted to achieve, so they hired Jim Keller (architect of the AMD K7, apple A4/A5 and AMD Zen processors, among others) and designed their own Autopilot chip, referred to as AP3. They didn't do it because there wasn't hardware out there that could do the job - obviously there is with the number of players in the autonomous driving game. They did it because it was the only way that Tesla could own the entire software stack, and thus rapid turn around of significant updates and improvements.

With regard to the salvage teslas that tesla refuse to support... Some of them were flood vehicles. Some have had the batteries cases opened. At this point Tesla do not know if the innards of that Battery have been messed with, if the Battery case was correctly re-sealed again, etc. In other words, the cars are an electrical unknown to Tesla, and therefore in order to ensure safety these cars have been barred from the supercharging network - Tesla quite rightly think it might be a bad idea to try to stick several hundred amps at several hundred Volts into a Battery that could be hazardous. The vehicles that Rich Benoit (aka Rich Rebuilds) works on are on salvage title - the US equivalent of a Cat B. It might be possible to prove that the vehicles are safe, but it would require total understanding (and possible dis-assembly to check on things) of the state of the car by Tesla in order for them to be re-certified, a process that would cost thousands of dollars in labour by Tesla for each individual car. Ultimately this is no different to what any other vehicle manufacturer will do - you turn up to a Lexus dealer with a write-off GS that you've put the engine from a write-off RCF and stuck some bits from a write-off LS into and see how keen they are to work on it for you! The safety of the supercharger network and safety of Tesla's own mechanics and technicians must surely come above the feelings of a youtuber that cobbled some salvage together? 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Raven models also have new motor in the front, the Model 3 one I think. As for the suspension I’m running on coils as when I bought air was a paid option which I didn't go for. Nowadays there aren’t any option to speak of, much like Lexus pretty much everything is bundled in already. It takes about 2 minutes to configure a car - unlike the Porsche Taycan. I gave up after 15 minutes and having added about £15k in options that I considered base spec requirements.

Much as I enjoyed buying my 3 Lexus cars over the years, and had a great relationship with my dealer, there’s something very refreshing about doing the whole thing from the comfort of your sofa. The price is the price, order on line, finance applied for and agreed within 2 mins and then just.....wait. Although I have to say waiting for one is infinitely easier when you are already driving one!

it will also be interesting to see what happens with mine. It’s ‘only’ £2.9k to upgrade the software to Full Self Driving, which includes upgrading the chip and the car has free unlimited Supercharging for the life of the car. IOW the next owner gets free Supercharging and that will transfer to the next owner as well. If Tesla get their hands on it they turn off the free Supercharging before reselling the car or passing to the auction houses. Whether that means they’ll offer a decent p/x figure I’ve no idea. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/23/2020 at 9:27 AM, i-s said:


With regard to the salvage teslas that tesla refuse to support... Some of them were flood vehicles. Some have had the batteries cases opened. At this point Tesla do not know if the innards of that battery have been messed with, if the battery case was correctly re-sealed again, etc. In other words, the cars are an electrical unknown to Tesla, and therefore in order to ensure safety these cars have been barred from the supercharging network - Tesla quite rightly think it might be a bad idea to try to stick several hundred amps at several hundred Volts into a battery that could be hazardous. The vehicles that Rich Benoit (aka Rich Rebuilds) works on are on salvage title - the US equivalent of a Cat B. It might be possible to prove that the vehicles are safe, but it would require total understanding (and possible dis-assembly to check on things) of the state of the car by Tesla in order for them to be re-certified, a process that would cost thousands of dollars in labour by Tesla for each individual car. Ultimately this is no different to what any other vehicle manufacturer will do - you turn up to a Lexus dealer with a write-off GS that you've put the engine from a write-off RCF and stuck some bits from a write-off LS into and see how keen they are to work on it for you! The safety of the supercharger network and safety of Tesla's own mechanics and technicians must surely come above the feelings of a youtuber that cobbled some salvage together? 

As regards Rich Benoit, who has now built up a business in which he includes two former Tesla technicians, his complaint was more to do with Tesla not being prepared to supply parts for others to fit which must put them out of step with every other major manufacturer.  There are Lexus owners who have had the traction batteries rebuilt  elsewhere and done modifications such as converting from air suspension to coil/shocks and many other repairs and modifications beside and it would be bad news for some of the forum members here if Lexus refused to support such owners or look at their cars.   

Well I suppose when you buy a Tesla you have to accept you are tied to them for the duration of your ownership of what is a very desireable car.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Barry14UK said:

his complaint was more to do with Tesla not being prepared to supply parts for others to fit which must put them out of step with every other major manufacturer.

Manufacturers are forced to make available repair procedures and test equipment to the auto industry, and specifications to parts manufacturers so they can make matching quality alternative parts. At some point, if not already, Tesla will fall foul of these legalisations, or the legalisations will get updated to remove any loopholes that they currently may be making use of. Warranties cannot be voided just because their dealers haven't done certain work or third party parts have been used - only if the work or parts have directly contributed to the fault being looked at under warranty.

I'm not sure the manufacturers are forced to make their OEM parts available to sales in the trade - almost all manufacturers do though, otherwise they would lose more revenue to the alternative parts industry. Market forces will come to play here, if Tesla don't make their parts available then the value of used vehicle will fall too far as it would be too expensive to keep them running - that would have a knock on affect of valuations on younger vehicles too so Telsa will be forced to react. At the moment they have a unique offering and people are prepared to pay over the normal industry value for their vehicles, in a year or two there will be a lot of choice in the EV market.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, ColinBarber said:

Manufacturers are forced to make available repair procedures and test equipment to the auto industry, and specifications to parts manufacturers so they can make matching quality alternative parts. At some point, if not already, Tesla will fall foul of these legalisations, or the legalisations will get updated to remove any loopholes that they currently may be making use of. Warranties cannot be voided just because their dealers haven't done certain work or third party parts have been used - only if the work or parts have directly contributed to the fault being looked at under warranty.

I'm not sure the manufacturers are forced to make their OEM parts available to sales in the trade - almost all manufacturers do though, otherwise they would lose more revenue to the alternative parts industry. Market forces will come to play here, if Tesla don't make their parts available then the value of used vehicle will fall too far as it would be too expensive to keep them running - that would have a knock on affect of valuations on younger vehicles too so Telsa will be forced to react. At the moment they have a unique offering and people are prepared to pay over the normal industry value for their vehicles, in a year or two there will be a lot of choice in the EV market.

I agree with all your comments.  For sales in the UK manufactures should meet the stringent requirements set by appropriate European body but in the USA where the majority of Tesla cars are sold I don't know how Nationwide standards and regulations apply, as like in some other things different states may have different rules and regulations. Certainly when it comes to modifications, (though who would wish to modify such a beautiful and advanced car as a Tesla?) there are some pretty outrageous examples found there, that would not comply with European standards.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.