Subsequent to completion of production car number one at Hethel, the company announced problems with transmission reliability. The development transmission, with first gear enabled to accelerate 0 to 60 mph (0 to 97 km/h) in 4 seconds, was reported to have a life expectancy of as low as only a few thousand miles. Tesla Motors' first two transmission suppliers were unable to produce transmissions, in quantity, that could withstand the gear-shift requirements of the high torque, high rpm electric motor. In December 2007, Tesla Motors announced plans to ship the initial Roadsters with the transmissions locked into second gear to provide 0 to 60 mph (0 to 97 km/h) acceleration in 5.7 seconds. The first production car was not delivered with this interim solution; P1 has both transmission gears enabled. According to the plan, the initial transmissions were to be swapped out under warranty when the finalized transmission, power electronics module (PEM), and cooling system became available. The EPA range of the car was also restated downward from 245 to 221 miles (394 to 356 km). The downward revision was attributed to an error in equipment calibration at the laboratory that conducted the original test.
- During the first two months of production, Tesla produced a total of three Roadsters (P3/VINF002, P4/VINF004, and P5/VINF005). Production car # 1 (P1) and P2 were built prior to the start of regular series production, which began March 17, 2008.
- By September 10, 2008, Tesla had delivered 27 of the cars to customers. It was also reported that a newer, better transmission had been developed and that production of the car was hoped to reach 20 per week by December 2008, and 40 per week by March 2009. Over the next 20 days, however, only 3 more cars had been delivered to customers which brought the total to 30 as of September 30, 2008.
- By November 19, 2008, more than 70 of the cars had been delivered to customers.
- By December 9, 2008, the 100th car had been delivered to its customer.
- By February 11, 2009, 200 Roadsters had been produced.
- By April 2, 2009, 320 Roadsters had been delivered.
- In May 2009, Tesla issued a safety recall for all 345 of its Roadsters that were manufactured before April 22, 2009. Tesla sent technicians to customers' homes to tighten the rear, inner hub flange bolts. Tesla Motors told customers that without this adjustment, the driver could lose control of the car and crash. The problem originated at the Lotus assembly line that builds the Roadster and Lotus is also recalling some of its own vehicles. Tesla reminded customers that millions of cars are recalled every year.
- By the end of May 2009, the 500th Roadster had been delivered.
- Tesla made its first profit ever in July 2009, when it shipped 109 vehicles, the most ever so far for a single month.
- By September 15, 2009, 700 Roadsters had been delivered.
- Tesla announced on January 13, 2010, that it had produced its 1,000th Roadster. The company has delivered vehicles to customers in 43 states and 21 countries worldwide. In 2009 Tesla began taking orders from customers in Canada, and Canadian deliveries began in February 2010.
- In January 2010, Tesla began producing its first right-hand-drive Roadsters for the UK and Ireland. The 2010 model-year right-hand-drive Roadster includes a suite of unique noise-reduction materials and an upgraded sound system. The Roadster starts at £86,950 and costs about 1.5p per mile.
- On 29 January 2010, in a Form S-1 filing of its preliminary prospectus with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the company stated that it would halt production of the Roadster in 2011 and replace it with a new model which would not be introduced until 2013 at the earliest: "...we do not plan to sell our current generation Tesla Roadster after 2011 due to planned tooling changes at a supplier for the Tesla Roadster, and we do not currently plan to begin selling our next generation Tesla Roadster until at least one year after the launch of the Model S, which is not expected to be in production until 2012"...
- On 16 March 2010, Tesla Motors announced that it had "negotiated agreements with key suppliers that will increase total Roadster production by 40 percent and extend sales into 2012", also indicating that it would expand into the Asian and Australian markets by 2011.
- On 2 December 2010, Tesla had delivered more than 1400 Roadsters.
- On 28 September 2011, Tesla delivered its 100th Roadster in Switzerland.
- Production ended in January 2012 and no longer available for sale the U.S. after December 2011.
- More than 2,418 units were sold worldwide through September 2012. The remaining cars were available for sale only in Europe and Asia.
- Most of the remaining Tesla Roadsters were sold during the fourth quarter of 2012.
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