Motor trouble strands Tesla drivers

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Norway has been one of the most important new markets in the world for the trendy Tesla Model S electric cars, thanks to the country’s incentive programs and Norwegians’ wealth. Now the popular if pricey cars have been experiencing motor trouble, and many drivers aren’t nearly as pleased as they once were.

Electric cars like the Tesla Model S have become popular in Norway, due in no small part to the tax breaks and other incentives offered by the government. The scheme is due to expire in 2017 or when 50,000 cars are sold, but the Labour Party announced on Thursday it'll push to have the incentives extended. PHOTO: Tesla Motors

Tesla’s popular Model S has been having more problems in Norway, with hundreds of replacement motors now being flown in from the US. PHOTO: Tesla Motors

Newspaper Dagens Næringsliv (DN) reported that some drivers have complained in online debate that they no longer can rely on their Tesla Model S cars, and that Tesla has been devoting too much attention to developing new models while ignoring the maintenance needs of existing customers. Electric cars are wildly popular in Norway, especially the Tesla, but Tesla drivers have earlier had problems with their cars’ battery-recharging as well.

More than 5,600 Norwegians have bought a Tesla Model S since last August, which remains expensive despite being exempt from Norway’s high taxes on new cars. DN reported that motor failure and customer complaints have now forced California-based Tesla to fly around 300 replacement motors to Norway every week, to satisfy stranded Tesla drivers.

Tesla founder Elon Musk, who apologized to Norwegian customers earlier this year after the battery-charging trouble, conceded that the percentage of faulty Teslas in Norway is higher than other places because the motor problem occurred in much of the production line that was shipped to Norway. Musk wrote in an email to unhappy Tesla buyers that the company was now diverting part of its motor production earmarked for new cars to fly the motors to Norway instead.

newsinenglish.no staff