Tesla Motors has increased the range of its roadside assistance program from 50 to 500 miles. Effective immediately, the generous — and long overdue — increase was made to give current and future Tesla drivers extra peace of mind.
Tesla’s roadside assistance service is free for four years or 50,000 miles, whichever comes first, if the car becomes inoperable due to a problem that’s covered under warranty. The basic warranty covers issues with the battery pack, with the electric motor(s), and with the components that make up the restraint system, such as the airbags and the seat belts. According to Tesla, owners don’t benefit from 500 miles of free towing if they get stranded by adverse environmental conditions such as hail, acid rain, fire, or water, or by “an act of God.” Flat tires and accidents don’t qualify, either, and owners are limited to a single tow per incident.
500 miles is undeniably better than the 50 that Tesla customers had to live with until recently, but it still falls short of what many other car makers offer. As Autoblog Green accurately points out, Dodge’s roadside assistance program includes towing to the nearest dealership no matter how far away it is. Hyundai’s does too. Mercedes will tow a car back to an authorized dealer for free if the owner chooses to have it repaired there; if not, towing costs $150. New BMWs come with a similar plan that’s good for four years with no mileage restrictions to speak of.
Tesla drivers only benefit from the 500-mile towing plan if they live in North America, and the company hasn’t announced if it’ll increase the range of its roadside assistance program overseas. Across most of Europe, the California-based firm continues to offer its customers just 50 miles of free towing.