Tesla spends more money on repairs per vehicle than Daimler, GM

Tesla says repair costs are falling, but what about those Falcon Wing doors?

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Later today, Tesla Motors will release its first earnings report since its reservations for its cheaper Model 3 electric vehicle opened like gangbusters. Financial analysts and gearheads alike will thus soon get a look at the California-based company's cost-control efforts as it tries to slow the rate of its cash burn. As we prepare for the release, let's look at an analysis Reuters did of what Tesla spends either fixing its cars under warranty or setting aside cash for future repairs. Needless to say, it's a pretty penny.

Last year, Tesla spent more than 3x what Ford and General Motors did on repairs and warranty accruals per vehicle.

Last year, Tesla spent more than three times what Ford and General Motors did on repairs and warranty accruals per vehicle, Reuters says. In short, Tesla in 2015 spent about $1,000 per vehicle on repairs and about $2,000 per vehicle on warranty accruals, which are set aside to fund future repairs. Compared to 2014, the repair numbers were down 17 percent last year, while accruals fell 34 percent. Tesla told Reuters it continues to cut first-year repairs.

Still, GM and Ford each spent about $730 per vehicle on repairs and accruals last year, while Mercedes-Benz parent Daimler spent almost $2,300. Of course, Tesla sold only about 50,000 vehicles last year, a fraction of what those other automakers moved.

Regardless, about $150 million of the more than $700 million in cash Tesla burned last year was for repairs or warranty accruals. And this year might not be much better: as production and deliveries of the Model X SUV continue to ramp up, reports continue to surface about problems with those really cool but extremely complicated Falcon Wing doors.

Furthermore, last month marked the first recall for the Model X. Just about all of the 2,700 SUVs Tesla had sold in the US had third-row-seat latching issues, though Tesla said Futuris, which made the latches, would pay for the recall.

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