Amber Introduces Solution for Tesla Owners’ Lapsed Warranties

One Bay Area startup called Amber thinks it can help them navigate that minefield, starting with Tesla owners. When owners file a claim, Amber works with qualified repair shops to find the right parts and fix what’s wrong, and will transport the vehicle. AmberCare is the latest addition to a growing economy built around used EVs. One group is anyone who is looking to buy a used EV but is scared away by the thought of expensive, time-consuming repairs. There are other unexpected things to consider in the process of repairing an EV that Pak thinks AmberCare can help with, like transportation.

Amber Launches Aftermarket Warranty Product for Tesla Owners

After the original warranty expires, owners of aging electric vehicles (EVs) often find themselves limited in their options for repairs. But one Bay Area startup, Amber, is looking to change that by offering a new aftermarket warranty product for Tesla owners.

The company, established in early 2023, recently announced the launch of AmberCare for Model Y, 3, S, and X owners. This comprehensive warranty product offers various plans with monthly costs ranging from $40 to $120, covering everything from drive units to batteries and more. In the event of a claim, Amber works with qualified repair shops to find the necessary parts and facilitate repairs, even arranging for transportation of the vehicle.

The introduction of AmberCare serves as a reminder that we are still in uncharted territory when it comes to EVs and their longevity, with years and many miles of use still to be explored.

The market for EV repairs can be complicated and overwhelming. While these vehicles typically require less maintenance than traditional combustion engines, parts can still break, and some of these parts may be harder for regular auto shops to handle. This can lead to expensive repair costs or even the suggestion that a damaged EV should be scrapped altogether. Additionally, existing extended warranty options often do not cover EV-specific parts. And for owners of limited-run EVs, such as compliance cars or luxury vehicles from newer startups, finding a solution can be even more challenging.

According to Amber CEO Joe Pak, the company’s goal is to address these issues with their comprehensive warranty platform. “Our vision is to build the first vertically integrated aftermarket warranty platform,” he says. He explains that the current “capacity to service EVs and the availability of necessary replacement parts are not yet mature.”

To achieve this goal, Amber has been collaborating with repair shops across the country and identifying high-demand parts to help source them when needed. To support its ambitious objectives, the company has raised $3.18 million in seed funding from a round co-led by Era and Prime Sazze, with additional support from Alcove Fund, Virta Ventures, Global Millennial Capital, and Root & Shoot Ventures. AmberCare is initially launching in 10 states: Florida, Connecticut, New Jersey, New Hampshire, Michigan, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Rhode Island, and Tennessee. (The company plans to expand to California by the end of the year, as it is required for non-automotive dealers selling aftermarket warranties to register them as insurance products.)

AmberCare is the latest addition to the growing economy built around used EVs. Other businesses are emerging, focused on efforts such as recycling battery packs (like Redwood Materials, founded by ex-Tesla CTO JB Straubel) or providing “digital maintenance” for EVs and AVs (like Kinetic, backed by Lux Capital).

Pak identifies two primary customer groups for AmberCare. The first group consists of individuals looking to purchase a used EV but are concerned about the potential for expensive and time-consuming repairs. For these customers, Pak says, “we give them the assurance that they can cap their repair costs with AmberCare.” The second group is owners who have kept their EVs beyond the initial Tesla warranty period.

Despite currently having a small team of only five people, Amber already has a group of initial customers using their early access version of AmberCare. Pak believes that the best way to acquire new customers will be by engaging with the EV community, particularly on online forums where dedicated enthusiasts frequently discuss all aspects of EV ownership, including the occasional difficulty of major repairs.

Pak points out that there are unexpected challenges that AmberCare can also help with, such as transportation. “Not every tow truck is equipped to handle an EV; it must be a flatbed truck,” he explains.

Recognizing the negative connotations often associated with extended warranties due to years of phone scams, Pak is aware of the challenge of building a business around them. However, so far, he has found that “customers actually get it.”

“You can even say the words ‘extended warranty,’ and they’ll get it,” Pak says. “In fact, it’s better for us to be upfront about it.” He goes on to say that some EV owners are even shipping their cars from other states, such as Ohio to California, just to have them repaired. This indicates a clear need for a solution like AmberCare in the market.

This story has been updated to include information about Amber’s timeline for launching in California.

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Dylan Williams

Dylan Williams is a multimedia storyteller with a background in video production and graphic design. He has a knack for finding and sharing unique and visually striking stories from around the world.

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