Aptera service/repair and warranty

Aptera Community Aptera Discussions Aptera service/repair and warranty

Aptera Community Aptera Discussions Aptera service/repair and warranty

  • Aptera service/repair and warranty

    Posted by george-hughes on August 29, 2021 at 5:39 am

    In several discussions I keep hearing about warranties and how consumers want 10-year, 100,000+mile battery warranties, ten or twenty year paint warranties, etc. etc. etc.

    Aptera, if nothing else, is a brand that insists on doing things differently. Start with the design; yeah … they were trying to do the maximum efficiency gig a dozen years ago (only to get torpedoed by the industry that knows how to compete on style and BS, not real efficiency). Then there is right to repair which promises innovative approaches to parts and service, followed by the use of lightweight composites in a monocoque shell for safety.

    We know, among other things, that coming out the chute Aptera’s service approach is, at best, going to be a custom effort unless they can recruit local shops to provide service. Unless they limit sales to the SoCal area, dispensing factory agents to diagnose and fix problems is going to be a nightmare – unless the Aptera is near bulletproof from the get-go.

    Those who receive their Aptera early in the production are going to be under pressure from the public to show off and even allow test drives. These early owners could do what I plan, which to list my Aptera on Turo for comprehensive test drives. I suspect a weekend test drive with the camper addition will be about $400. The question is how to get my ‘weekend customer’ a ‘credit’ against a new Aptera for that test drive. (I’m wondering if I might buy two or three)

    The point is that how will hold up in this circumstance? Will I need additional service?

    You could have a million mile warranty but if there is no one around to fix mine, the warranty is but a piece of paper.

    Certainly, if through my allowing ‘test drives’ I will need to know someone who can actually service the vehicles. When the factory will locate a repair agent in the ATL metro or provide service direction is critical question. How this is accomplished has not yet been announced.

    Neither has information relating to warranties or incentive referral programs and a host of other issues.

    Personally, I am not expecting answers until we are much closer to the formal launch.

    Is there a way to approach this whole marketing challenge in a way that solves the issues with enhanced consumer confidence? Could that approach be ‘out of the box’ … or are the risks associated with Aptera – already enormous – just so tenuous that a mind-grabbing alternate approach is out of the question?

    There are ‘extended’ warranty companies operating out there. Given the transparency of Aptera and the advantage of right to repair, the idea is Aptera BizDev reaches out with the notion of having them handle warranty work, including their existing contacts with repair shops.

    I too was skeptical as I’m thinking of some of the more questionable players but a legit company in that space could lend instant credibility as well as participate in the recruitment of retail shops all illustrated around the astounding transparency of the entire operation which starts compiling in the public – through the third party warranty insurance company’s publication of the parts on the Aptera and their MTBF.

    The goal is to establish a warranty offering that is just too cool. Most of the expensive components are all warranted by original manufacturers like Elaphe and whomever is the source for Aptera’s batteries. The understanding is the warranty fulfilment company would be invited in to review the approach and to assess the aggregate warranty work.

    Anyway, the actuaries who calculate this stuff will be taking into account various aspects of the repair and costs and hopefully will conclude, there is very little to break. And especially when things may fail, access to the problematic component is easy (remember you can take the car apart with hand tools in two hours – I don’t like to say that often cause that is like music to a thief’s ears but easy repair is the ticket.)

    What would be really cool about a system like this is it basically details the problems customers have with the Aptera. In part because the essential elements are components, those components reliability will be understood. If, and it is a big IF, a particular component proves troublesome, it can not only be replaced with new production but also be packaged and available for retrofit.

    So how do you make that happen?

    You give the warranty in the form of an insurance policy that is bumper-to-bumper that is no-cost for 24-months but to continue bumper to bumper coverage for up to ten more years comes at an annual cost that will be adjusted in cost in conjunction with warranty claims. Certain components such as the wraps may have deductibles. Other retro-fit items may be upgradable under this kind of program. The biggest payoff to Aptera owners may be the cost of extending the warranty insurance another decade (20-year warranty).

    Probably the coolest thing is this approach puts the incentive at Aptera on constant improvement to the componentry. Decisions on whether the upgrade ought to be universal or universal in one region but not another could be handled by the deductible for repair/replacement. Obviously replacing a part with an unauthorized one would risk voiding of the warranty.

    If the ‘franchise’ for the warranty insurance were kept in-house, the funds from extended warranty expenses would be largely off-set by the insurance payments from owners extending their initial warranties. This could be adjusted by Aptera and also off-set by profits obtained by larger parts purchases and if they make the Aptera as bulletproof as we hope, this will be a corporate profit center.

    If the franchise for the warranty were to be through a partnership with a third-party repair insurer, the initial impact would be enhanced credibility over option one because this is not a new business to the partner. As the warranties of the component mfgs cover most major costs during the first two years, the insurance payment to this third- party partnership should be comparatively modest. As the OEM warranty on some of those components will expire at presumably different times, the insurance paradigm for extending the warranty and maximizing customer satisfaction may, on the turf of right to repair, be a winner.

    It is an idea that sketches a path toward the founder’s vision of a multi-generational car. What better way to market that than with a multi-generational warranty program.

    Gozer replied 2 days, 1 hour ago 57 Members · 95 Replies
  • 95 Replies
  • Aptera service/repair and warranty

    Gozer updated 2 days, 1 hour ago 57 Members · 95 Replies
  • llewellyn-evans

    August 29, 2021 at 5:39 am


    Most roadside breakdowns supported by motoring clubs are things like. Flat tyre, ran out of petrol, flat battery, Something bad happened and I need a tow, I am stuck in some mud.

    Obviously running out of petrol will not be a problem but the others may still need supporting.

    – With Aptera, do we replace a spare tyre or do we use Flat Repair spray?

    – Is there a 12v battery to run the electronics (not 400V drive battery). In my Miev van, if the 12V battery is flat then you are stuck without a 12v source to charge the battery.

    – can you tow an Aptera behind a tow truck or does it have to go on a trailer?

    – are there tow points for short a emergency tow?

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 2 months ago by  John Trotter. Reason: title expanded for search clarity
    • This reply was modified 1 year, 1 month ago by  Gabriel Kemeny.
  • Biker

    August 29, 2021 at 8:38 am

    There won’t be a spare tire.

    The details of the battery setup have not been shared yet.

    Flat towing may be possible but not confirmed yet.

    Tow points should be possible.

  • Jim

    October 4, 2021 at 1:58 pm

    Where would you get body shell replacement parts, in case of fender benders or backing into something? Could you get the body shell repaired at any body shop?

  • peter-jorgensen

    October 4, 2021 at 3:06 pm

    A repair would typically consist of sanding/grinding out damaged material and replacing it with new material. This type of repair is common on boats and can be done at home with nothing more than an orbital sander, some nitrile gloves, and fiberglass. A good repair is stronger than the original structure in that area, but will add weight. This type of construction is very resistant to damage and won’t dent like your normal stamped steel or aluminum car. Front end body panels could be just replaced but irreparable damage to the vehicle safety shell would total the Aptera. In general it should survive crashes with less body damage than pretty much anything else on the road.


  • Keith

    October 10, 2021 at 11:17 am

    Taking in the shape of the hydraulic Lifts and the shape of the Aptera and that New York State Yearly Inspection & Gravity are both laws. I can’t help but picture the back of the Aptera dangling off of the lilts each year. I recently went to my local repair shop and they told me that their lifts will not support 3 wheeled vehicles. In their defense, they do not work on motorcycles (Slingshot) and there aren’t any 3 wheeled cars. Has anyone else looked into this? Should Aptera create a video showing us how the car will be placed on a lift so a mechanic can inspect the brakes or rotate the tires?

  • len

    October 10, 2021 at 12:09 pm

    As you know Aptera is registered as a motorcycle in most states, so does this yearly inspection apply to your question?

    Aptera has only been using floor jacks at least in the background pictures and videos

    They have mentioned designated lift points at the front arms and in that back wheel area, all which will be in a manual/ possibly even on info screen, at some point.

  • kerbe2705

    October 10, 2021 at 12:40 pm

    Adding to what Len said, there’s no reason to assume Aptera won’t offer this very, very basic information! Remember that the three alpha prototypes are little more than “proof of concept” exercises – they’re merely physical representations of a design that – up until recently – has existed solely inside a computer: Noir, Sol and Luna are NOT the Aptera vehicle that will go on sale.

    That said, people see an alpha with the windows rolled down and assume, A) the Aptera has no windows or B), the Aptera has no AC. They don’t see a windshield wiper so they assume that Aptera has no windshield wiper. What amazes me is that they also don’t see a kangaroo duct-taped to the roof of the Aptera and assume the vehicle won’t be available in Australia…

  • paul-schultz

    October 10, 2021 at 12:59 pm

    Due to the contours of the Aptera body there is not the standard 4 lifting points that a typical car has. Using a 4 arm lift, if possible, would take some sort of special adapters. But, we still need to see what serviceable components require underbody access.

    If the consideration is the use of a 4 wheel riser/lift. The type that tires rest on two parallel tracks then some sort of cross member that the rear wheel would rest on would be needed.

    This could also be a method for transporting an Aptera on a standard car transport trailer which also has parallel tracks. For the issue of an auto transport trailer the rear wheel could rest in a cradle that has 2 wheels on each side. This would functionally make the Aptera rest on a 4-wheel system for these situations. These cradles could be circulated back-forth to the Aptera factory for re-use by the transport company.


  • joshua-rosen

    October 10, 2021 at 3:24 pm

    Right to repair is only tangentially related to DYI. Aptera will have to have a support strategy in order to sell their vehicles, most people don’t want to do their own repairs, I stopped even doing my own oil changes (back when that was a thing) 25 years ago. What Right to Repair is about is making the availability of parts and service information available so that someone besides the company itself can repair a device. For people who want to DIY right to repair makes their lives easier but more importantly it makes it possible for third parties, for example Electrified Garage in the case of EVs, to fix a vehicle with new factory parts and without having to reverse engineer the car. The two bogey men of the RTR movement are Apple and Tesla, both of which restrict the availability of parts to their own service people and provide no service manuals unless forced to by law. What’s not mentioned by the Right to Repair movement, because it would be impossible to legislate, is design for easy service. Take cell phones as a example. The battery is the one part of a phone that’s going to fail. Ten years ago all phones had replaceable batteries, all you had to do was slide the battery door open, no tools required, and drop in a new one. Then Apple started sealing the battery into the phone and everyone else followed. Now replacing the battery became a complex process, it was possible if you bought the right tools (I did it on my Nexus 5) but it wasn’t easy and there was a good chance that you would break something. To fix an iPhone you pretty much have to go to Apple. Google doesn’t care about the repair business, unlike Apple, so they farm out the job to third parties like uBreakifix. I had to replace the battery on my Pixel 4XL because it was swelling, I took it to uBreakifix and they did the job in a day. The repair was possible but it wasn’t easy like it was on my Galaxy Nexus so it was better left to someone who does it for a living.

    This is a long way of saying that in addition to making information and parts available it would also be highly desirable if they could design it so that a competent garage, but one that doesn’t specialized in Aptera’s, could do most repairs without having a lot of experience.

  • charles-kaneb

    October 23, 2021 at 8:10 am

    Feature request: three jacking points, and three jackstand placement points. That way owners can safely work on them in their garages. This is especially useful if ordinary 2-post lifts need adaptors.

  • anna-santos-de-dios

    October 29, 2021 at 9:21 am

    I’ve been keeping an eye on Aptera for 10+ years, so this is an exciting time. When Aptera originally launched, vehicles were only available on the West coast because the service network was limited. Recently, I’ve seen discussions on concerns about insurance and financing and, though it looks like the new model will be available nationwide, I haven’t seen anything on where or how service will be available. Any insights?

  • devonte-graham

    October 29, 2021 at 10:14 am

    Thats a good question, if anyone has heard details on this network of service people who will come to you to repair your Aptera, please provide details ????Setting that up nationwide or world wide seems like a big project that we haven’t heard much about.

    I know Aptera will be employing a lot of people. There’s many talented individuals who I’m sure will provide great service.

  • peter-jorgensen

    October 29, 2021 at 10:17 am
  • joshua-rosen

    October 29, 2021 at 11:46 am

    Service is going to be the limiting factor as to where they can roll out the car. People in Southern California will get it first, after that it might be driven by where they can set up support easiest. I can’t imagine that they have anyone who’s devoted to the problem yet, it’s in someone’s portfolio but the moment everyone there must be running around like one armed paper hangers so it can’t be getting much mindshare. When they get closer to shipping service will move to a front burner. I’m guessing that they will have some sort of mixture of rangers and partnerships with some select garages. I’m in MA, Electrified Garage is in Seabrook NH which is a whole lot closer than California so I’d love to see Aptera reach out to them to do service in New England and Florida where they also have outlets.

  • andy-keck

    October 29, 2021 at 12:04 pm

    I don’t think the service network will necessarily be a limiting factor this time around. The few maintenance items and most repairs can be done in many shops without extra certifications or special tools. Dealing with the electric system will take require some safety protocols and equipment but won’t be too different from working on other EVs. Like Tesla, it will take a while for there to be enough user base to have any dedicated technicians and shops.

  • Stuppie

    November 20, 2021 at 10:41 am

    Some manufacturers give a warranty on remaining capacity(70%) of the battery pack after 8 years or 160.000 km(roughly 100.000 miles) Does anybody know what Aptera’s policy on this subject is?

  • john-smith-2

    December 14, 2021 at 8:03 am

    Over the air updates. Will aptera do real over the air updates ( likeTesla) or make believe updates ( like the other auto makers)?

  • joshua-rosen

    December 14, 2021 at 9:57 am

    They certainly will need a robust OTA system. They don’t have a dealer network like the legacy manufacturers and they won’t have a service center network like Tesla so they will need to be able to update every system over the air and to do remote diagnostics. You can fix a lot of problems with OTAs.

  • BUG

    December 27, 2021 at 10:10 am

    Will there be some sort of “Factory Approved” technicians Listing? A Course of Training/Familiarization for Folks who will offer Repairs as a Favor? As a Busness?

    Until there are Facs in Every major Metro, and Every State, prospective APTERA Owners are gonna feel like they are facing uncertainty WRT Repairs. Unless You can assure Interested Buyers that the Maintenance Standard they expect (Trained by past ICE ownership and EVs They own Now) can be met, they will be Much Less Likely to Make the Purchase.

  • john-malcom

    December 27, 2021 at 3:22 pm

    I think this is a potential Achilles Heel for Aptera.

    Aptera vehicles are the product of a startup with first round production. Design and production issues not anticipated in the development process will be revealed in every day driving use cases requiring remediation. At this point I do not see a plan that will insure that sufficient resources qualified to do repairs will be available for the number of vehicles projected to be manufactured and sold into the market place with perhaps above average defects from first time manufacturing. Nor do I see the structure of the logistics operations that will provide parts for both production and repairs especially at a time when there are so many COVID difficulties impacting supply chains.

    These are some high level things that are considerations to be sure that Aptera is ahead of the curve:

    – Early collection of reliability data during testing to forecast failure rates and needed parts supplies and number of trained repair people (Not mostly DYI)

    – Establishment of some sort of training for people interested in becoming qualified to repair Aptere. On line manuals are not sufficient for this purpose. My guess, only owners will take the time to wade through manuals. Professional repair people can not afford to take much time to “Learn” on their own time and buck as they are usually hourly wage people and if not being productive, then not earning money.

    – Some sort of standardization and certification is necessary so we can have confidence the repair people know what they are doing when working on our Aptere

    – The above should be underway at this point and we should have a status report on the progress. The Makers Presentation on Right to Repair was lacking on the specifics and schedule.

    One of the worst things that can happen is that a bunch of Aptere are sold and defects and slow Time to Repair keeps them off the road and Aptera gets the reputation for manufacturing defective vehicles with no easy way to get them fixed.

    I am sure we have logistics people on the forum that could add detail to the above so that we could have a better understanding of what needs to be done to be ready for vehicles in the market place.

  • john-trotter

    December 27, 2021 at 6:34 pm

    As much as it will upset lots of reservation holders, I think this points to geographically-limited initial release – locations where there is warrenty service within a hundred miles or so. Releasing simultaneously across the US is too ambitious, unless there is way more preparation than simply “right to repair” slogans. This is tied to a broader problem with EVs where it is hard to find qualified service, independent from the builder. Maybe Rich Rebuilds should start a coast-to-coast chain of qualified shops.

  • Pistonboy

    December 27, 2021 at 11:26 pm

    I agree this is a potential Achilles Heel for Aptera. The vehicle has a warranty and Aptera needs people they can trust, to decide what actions need to be taken and what parts need to be replaced.

    I agree Aptera may deliver vehicles according to geographical regions. They may make first deliveries to people in the San Diego area according to their reservation number. Then they may start delivering vehicles to people in the Los Angeles area, according the to order of their reservation number. This progressive expansion of deliveries areas, may be done until they believe the bugs are worked out and they can jump to nation wide deliveries.

    We assume the order of reservation numbers are also the order of deliveries. This is not necessary true, and I believe they have said this.

  • john-malcom

    December 28, 2021 at 10:10 am

    My concern is day 1 of retail distribution. Many of the ideas expressed in this thread are more applicable to some future state already established. On the day I get my Aptera, early in the first production run, say September of next year, if it brakes down, what are the provisions for warranty service. The statement of “Right to repair” and the few bullets on the repair concept is not sufficient to give me a level of comfort that the defect will be remediated expeditiously.

    I would expect the detail on this topic promised for ” Early next year” to be available by the end of the first quarter off calendar year 2022.

  • william-nacey

    January 10, 2022 at 2:27 pm

    As a message to Aptera – as well as an early Tesla owner – I believe Aptera should consider that Tesla offered an 8 year unlimited mileage warranty on all powertrain and battery components. This eliminated any concerns that these critical and expensive items would become prohibitively expensive with the early cars. Later, once Tesla had established the reliability of their platforms, they were able to reduce the warranties to the more standard multi-year 100,000 mile terms.

    Given that Aptera will be using new and, as yet, unproven in-wheel motors but proven battery technologies, I suspect that Aptera’s warranty “calculus” may need to be different from Tesla’s early offering. As a potential Aptera owner (with a reservation), I am concerned mostly with the motor technology and somewhat less with the batteries – so I would want to see a long and comprehensive warranty against all motor issues. I would be somewhat less concerned but would expect a competitive battery warranty.

    Also Aptera will need to keep in mind that Tesla (and others) are a fast moving target. Tesla has indicated that the 4680 batteries may last considerably longer than earlier technologies. Aptera will need to be competitive with Tesla on all levels- especially as Tesla gets closer to offering their ~$25k car.

    BTW, my old 2013 Tesla MS has over 130,000 miles on it, has been across the US four times, all over the US West Coast and show no signs of wear. I have seen 2012 MS’s with over 400,000 miles and all still on the original batteries and motors. This is the standard I hope for from Aptera with their 1,000 mile product.

    • joshua-rosen

      January 11, 2022 at 8:02 am

      Tesla’s current battery and drive unit warranty is 8 years/120,000 miles on the AWD and 8 year/100,000 miles on the RWD. Aptera should do something similar, put a 75,000 mile limit on the 25KWh pack, 100,000 miles on the 40KWh battery pack, 120,000 mile warranty on the 60KWh and 150,000 miles on the 100Kwh packs. The smaller the pack the greater the number of cycles it will go through in a given distance which is way smaller packs should have shorter warranties and larger packs longer warranties. Motors should have at least a 100,000 mile warranty.

  • Biker

    January 18, 2022 at 5:57 am

    Aptera already mentioned they are going down the mobile service route, to include warranties. With the size/weight and simple design nature of the vehicle, the need for a fixed garage becomes minimal. The only unknown is how/when that mobile service is planned to be set up.

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