Building a new car is expensive. In order to cut costs, manufacturers often reuse parts from other models. Most large manufacturers plan out multiple models that can run on a single platform or use a single set of parts. That's harder for small manufacturers, which is why some of them may actually share parts with other cars on the market. Tesla is one such automaker that has a parts bin that takes from multiple manufacturers. The Tesla Model S shares parts with a wide range of cars that include everything from a Kia to a Ford GT. Here's a selection of what it has in common with other cars on the road.
Shifter and Wiper Stalks
Starting in the driver’s seat, you'll notice that you've seen the shifter and wiper stalks before. They were lifted straight from the 2010 to 2016 Mercedes-Benz. Tesla started a strategic partnership with Daimler in 2010, so it's not surprising that we see a bunch of Mercedes-Benz parts show up.
Since the stalks mount to the steering column, it makes sense that it also comes from a Mercedes-Benz model. In this case the part is shared with the 2008-2014 C-Class.
Front Seat Controls
The front seats on the Model S are unique in design and size but the electronics are not. The controls are lifted straight from the Mercedes-Benz R-Class.
Windows switches are one of the most common items to be shared across multiple makes and models and some luxury models like the Maserati Ghibli have been criticized for using window switches from economy cars like the Dodge Dart. In this case, the switches come from an equally luxurious car. The Model S shares them with the 2010-2016 Mercedes-Benz E-Class.
HVAC Blower Motor
The HVAC blower motor pushes air through the ducts in order to make hot or cold air come out through the vents. Since the part is well hidden under the dash, it is not uncommon for it to be shared across many makes and models. The Tesla Model S is no different as it uses the same blower motor as the 2011 to 2015 Kia Optima.
There are a handful of suppliers that build drive-by-wire accelerator pedals so they are often similar in design. In the case of the Model S, it uses the same part as the 2010-2012 Ford Fusion. It even has the Ford part number stamped on it.
Brake Light Switch
The brake pedal might be unique, but the electronics are not. The brake light switch which turns on the lights when the pedal is pressed was actually first used on the 2006 Ford Fusion. It also has a Ford part number stamped on it. The switch is quite popular as it has been used on various Jaguar Land Rover products as well as the new Ford GT.
The brake caliper is a pretty common Brembo design that can be found on many performance and luxury cars. Although the calipers on the Model S are not directly taken from any other car, they are closely related to the design of the calipers found on the 2010 and up Camaro SS. The calipers are from the same series and use the same external casting along with the same internal piston sizes, but the difference is that the pistons are flipped inside the caliper.
Since the brake caliper is very similar to the one used on the Camaro SS then it is not surprise that the Model S shares brake pads with the muscle car. These pads are also common to other cars that use similar Brembo calipers such as the Cadillac CTS-V, Lancer Evolution, and WRX STI.
Parking Brake Pad
Like many cars with fixed calipers in the rear, the Model S uses an additional small caliper for the parking brake. The caliper design appears unique, but the brake pad inside is a common part that was first seen on the Jaguar S-Type. It is also used on other Jaguar products with performance brakes along with the 2004-2006 Ford GT.
The Model S employs an electric power steering rack which is becoming common on many modern cars. Based on the Land Rover stickers that were seen on the racks on early production cars, it appears to be a ZF rack pulled from the Range Rover Evoque. The main rack unit and motor are the same but the tie rod ends have been swapped since the Model S has a 1.5 inch wider front track.
Windshield Wiper Motor
The most unusual shared part on the Model S is probably the windshield wiper motor which doesn’t come from another car but comes from a Class 8 truck. The Kenworth T800 uses the same windshield wiper motor.