By on February 23, 2012

I was originally hesitant to jump on the Tesla Roadster “bricked batteries” bandwagon, and my initial story was written with a sort of cautious neutrality. Further context will be provided by the details that have surfaced in the 24 hours since the story broke. Hope you’re ready to dive in to it all.

Original story here. A quick recap: Tesla Roadster owner Max Drucker contacted Tesla CEO Elon Musk regarding a dead battery in his car. Drucker’s car died after he left his Roadster parked, without leaving it plugged in for two months. The vehicle subsequently died. The car was towed to a Tesla service center and a technician determined that his battery would have to be replaced at a cost of $40,000. Drucker sent an angry letter to CEO Elon Musk admonishing him for poor customer service.

- The Tesla “bricking” story broke on the blog of Michael Degusta. Degusta and Drucker have a long history as business partners. This was not disclosed. I contacted Degusta, who said he would put me in touch with an owner who has had their car “bricked” (he did not say if it was Drucker or one of the other four affected owners) and refused to put me in touch with the Tesla service manager who claimed that, among other things, Tesla was tracking vehicles by GPS without the owner’s consent. I was reluctant to take those claims at face value – now they can’t be independently verified. On Degusta’s blog, he discusses an owner of Roadster #340, who parked his car in a temporary garage, sans charger, while his home is being renovated. This is consistent with Drucker’s emails to Tesla – but also consistent with Drucker at best not following the protocol outlined in various documents (obtained via Green Car Reports) and the Tesla Roadster’s manual, or at worst, being negligent. Drucker’s Roadster wouldn’t have the Tesla GSM connection that can alert Tesla to low battery charge conditions. Those were only installed after the first 500 Roadsters were produced. Degusta makes a big stink about the GPS tracking of the Roadsters, but is on record claiming that, and Degusta is unwilling to back that claim up beyond anecdotal evidence.

- A copy of the Tesla Roadster owner’s manual (covering the Tesla Roadster S and Roadster 2.5. Link is at the bottom of the page for you to peruse yourself), states in numerous places that owners are not to leave their vehicles uncharged for long periods of time, or to drain the battery down to zero. Doing so, the owners are told, will cause permanent damage to the battery, and such damage will not be covered under the Tesla Roadster’s warranty agreement. This is spelled out in numerous places in greater detail throughout the manual. Scans of these pages are available in the gallery below. In addition, there is an agreement which owners must sign at the time of purchase that has the owner acknowledge the responsibility of maintaining a proper battery charge, and that any damage that results from negligence in this area is not covered under warranty. Degusta’s complaints that the “Battery Reminder Card” handed out to owners during servicing don’t contain adequate warnings of the consequences are also misleading, as the consequences are spelled out in the aforementioned documents.

- The Tesla Roadster’s battery, unlike those in the Nissan Leaf and Chevrolet Volt, is made up of 6831 “consumer commodity cells”, basically laptop or cellphone type cells that combine to make up the battery pack. These batteries use Cobalt Dioxide chemistry, which is the most energy dense, and prone to decaying with time as well as use. This is not the case in the Volt or Leaf, which use different chemistry. In addition, the “state of charge” used by the Tesla pack is different; when a Tesla range indicator displays “zero miles”, it could have 5 percent of the battery life left. If the car is then parked without charging, it may drain to zero, leaving the car “bricked”. A Volt, on the other hand, may actually have one half to one third of the battery pack’s life left upon displaying “zero miles”; it only uses 10.4 kW out of its 16kW battery. Exact figures for a Tesla battery weren’t available, but are said to be much higher.

-It’s theoretically possible to revive a “bricked” consumer cell via slow trickle charging, in the same way that a dead iPod or laptop can be brought back to life if left to charge for a very long time after months of not being used.

So, we know for sure that it’s possible for a Tesla to “brick”. Tesla has admitted it in a statement, but also seems to have provided ample warnings that it could happen and that it can easily be prevented. These measures, along with the structure of the warranty agreement, leads us to believe that a product liability lawsuit is highly unlikely (a former auto industry lawyer we spoke to agreed, though cautioned that California’s Lemon Laws were the most liberal of any of the 50 states).

Of course, Tesla could have replaced the battery pack in good faith (and maybe had Drucker and the others sign an NDA agreement that also absolves Tesla of any responsibility for the pack’s failure), but for some reason, they didn’t. In the gallery below, we have scans of the manual. You can read the manual for yourself here.

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110 Comments on “The Tesla Roadster “Bricking” Story Deconstructed...”


  • avatar
    Pch101

    Sounds as if there’s enough blame to go around.

    On one hand, the buyer should have read the manual. And you’re buying what is effectively an exotic car, so it is not unreasonable to expect that ownership may involve some additional degree of effort that shouldn’t be expected of someone who buys a Corolla or an F-150, for example.

    On the other hand, now we can see how Tesla managed to claim a range of 200 miles for this car: they pushed the envelope by demanding too much of the battery. Of course, this was done to generate hype, at the expense of some future owners.

    Had they installed more fail-safe systems in the battery, it may have cut the range by 25% or so. That would have been more honest, but that probably would have cut the amount of investor and buyer interest by an even greater amount.

    • 0 avatar
      Paul Niedermeyer

      That the Tesla batteries are discharged deeper than hybrid car batteries has always been know from day one. Nothing new there.

      Since it’s assumed that an EV like the Tesla will rarely use it’s full range, it was considered as part of the trade-off in order to get that longer range. It’s always been known that using a Tesla’s full range capacity would deteriorate the battery faster.

      There is a big difference between designing a battery pack for a pure EV and a hybrid. A hybrid has to extract a high current flow out of a relatively small battery, repeatedly, to its full design capacity. An EV battery is large, so its current flow is proportionately lower. That’s why Tesla can use these commodity cells. They would be highly unsuitable in a Prius or Volt.

      The Tesla’s battery pack has always been known to incur not inconsiderable loss of capacity, even in normal use. Projected capacity after ten years is 70%. That’s not discharging it deeply often. Do that once too often, and…well; you might end up with a brick, or substantially degraded battery.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        “Since it’s assumed that an EV like the Tesla will rarely use it’s full range, it was considered as part of the trade-off in order to get that longer range.”

        That’s not a particularly logical argument, though. They’re selling the product based upon a feature that it doesn’t really have, all so that they can brag about having this feature that they don’t really want you to use (even though they aren’t expecting anyone to use it.)

        Let’s all just admit here that these guys wanted to be able to have claimed that they had hit the magical 200 mile mark, and we’re willing to fudge things and make some questionable decisions about designing the product in order to get there.

        Sure, they’ve got the legalities covered, but let’s just face it — it’s a pile of BS and just illustrates that electric cars are more hype than reality. Tesla isn’t a snappy iconoclastic upstart that solved the range and recharge problem. What they were was smart enough to install the technology in a lightweight body, figure out how to justify a price premium for it, and provide its owners with a set up that may not go the distance.

      • 0 avatar
        indi500fan

        There once was a cute gal from Tulsa
        Who shelled out big big bucks for a Tesla
        The battery was soon dead
        But the warranty said
        Keep it plugged in or we won’t be able to help ya

      • 0 avatar
        Paul Niedermeyer

        PCH: I don’t really disagree with you fully. But EVs are very different than gas cars; there’s no good way to compare them directly. If you fully discharge your phone or laptop regularly, the battery is going to wear out much faster; period. Same thing with an EV. The maximum range is nice to have when you need it, but don’t plan on needing it all-too often. It just comes with the territory, until someone invents a better battery, which is inevitable. Buyers need to know that.

      • 0 avatar
        jmo

        They’re selling the product based upon a feature that it doesn’t really have,

        How is that different from any car with launch control saying it goes 0-60 in 3 seconds? Most manuals indicate that launch control isn’t to be used at every stop light and on-ramp.

        Indeed, they claim a V-6 Camry can go 0-60 in 6.9 seconds. It won’t last too long if every start is a red line clutch drop run to 60 mph.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        “But EVs are very different than gas cars; there’s no good way to compare them directly.”

        I wasn’t comparing EVs to gas cars. I don’t frankly know where you’re going with that argument.

        My point is that Tesla wanted to push the range number, and wanted to imply that this range number was attainable due to marvelous technical achievements by Tesla (which merits that drivers buy the cars and that investors invest in the company.) But they didn’t achieve anything. They simply short-changed the battery in a way that a mainstream auto manufacturer would not.

        A car is not a laptop. If my laptop battery dies, I won’t have to spend mid-five figures to replace it. The comparison just doesn’t work.

      • 0 avatar
        jmo

        They simply short-changed the battery in a way that a mainstream auto manufacturer would not.

        That’s like complaining that the engine in your Koenigsegg didn’t go 200k with barely an oil change like your mother-in-law’s ’98 Corolla.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        “That’s like complaining that the engine in your Koenigsegg didn’t go 200k with barely an oil change like your mother-in-law’s ’98 Corolla.”

        No, it really isn’t.

        The issue is that Tesla oversold its prowess as a developer of EV technology. They didn’t figure out how to extend EV range in a way that no one else had; they simply outsource risk to the buyer.

        If Toyota had made the Tesla roadster, it wouldn’t have had a 200 mile range. There would have been less excitement about it because it didn’t have the range. If Toyota was a startup company that was using its shorter range car to raise money, it would have failed due to the lack of range.

        This is ultimately not so much about the car itself, as it is about the hype that was used to the raise the money that allowed Tesla to raise venture funds, then issue an IPO, and then get substantial loans from the DOE. If Tesla can’t go the distance, then we aren’t going to get our money back, but you can bet that it’s the 200-mile-car-that-can’t-really-go-200-miles that helped them to secure all of that funding.

      • 0 avatar
        jmo

        The issue is that Tesla oversold its prowess as a developer of EV technology.

        How is that different from Koenigsegg or Ferrari claiming 0-60 times based on engine, transmission and other component stresses that result in the car being far less durable, reliable and maintenance free as a Corolla?

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        “How is that different…”

        I just explained how it’s different.

      • 0 avatar
        jmo

        “I just explained how it’s different.”

        No, you didn’t. You explanation hinges on consumers holding the likes of konegiseeg to the same standard as Toyota. They don’t.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        “You explanation hinges on consumers holding the likes of konegiseeg to the same standard as Toyota.”

        You’re missing the point. Go back and read it again.

      • 0 avatar
        jmo

        “You’re missing the point. Go back and read it again.”

        I just did. You point is that only when the car is held to the same standards as a mass market Toyota does it count. So, the fact a Ferrari can lap the Nurburgring in 7 min doesn’t matter, because they are only able to do that but implementing design and engineering compromises that render the vehicle far less durable, reliable and maintenance free than a Corolla.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        “You point is that only when the car is held to the same standards as a mass market Toyota does it count.”

        If that was my point, then I wouldn’t be telling you that you are missing the point.

        Clear your head, slow down, and go back and read it again.

      • 0 avatar
        jmo

        “If that was my point, then I wouldn’t be telling you that you are missing the point.”

        You point is wrong and I’m telling you why it’s wrong.

        “My point is that Ferrari wanted to push the Nurburgring Lap Time numbers, and wanted to imply that this number was attainable due to marvelous technical achievements by Ferrari(which merits that drivers buy the cars and that investors invest in the company.) But they didn’t achieve anything. They simply overtuned the engine, overtightened the suspension and lightened the car via use of more fragile and less durable components in a way that a mainstream auto manufacturer would not.”

        That’s why your wrong – you insist on holding a supercar manufacturer to the same standards as a Corolla.

      • 0 avatar
        cackalacka

        Pacific Coast Highway’s points are pretty solid, but I gotta side with Paul and JMO; between the waiver, cards, and documentation, this is a pretty solid case for RTFMA.

        Go on any enthusiast message board for any make-specific car site. Scroll down. Dollars to donuts you’ve got one thread that say’s ‘when should I change the oil?’ or ‘what should my tire’s pressure be set to?’ Both items are usually chapter 1.

        This is an exotic with essentially a beta-stage drive-train. Anyone reading this thread, if given keys and title to a >$80k toy, would probably go to sleep with the manual and wipe this baby down with micro-fibers before and after going for a spin.

        Some owners of exotics would, too. Others are going to give their keys to Eddie Griffin or take off their Maserati’s stability control while on an on-ramp at high speeds while their friend is filming them.

        Not casting aspersions here, but a lot of folks who can afford toys like this are the type of folks who believe they can afford to not pay attention.

        The S will be bigger, with a larger-capacity pack, and will probably have a larger buffered threshold, but will still contain the same warning. “Make sure you plug the car in, particularly after you’ve driven it >150 miles or you are going to go yachting for the next 6 months,” doesn’t sound particularly onerous.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        “You point is wrong and I’m telling you why it’s wrong.”

        You obviously missed my point. Several times. You can’t offer a rebuttal if you don’t understand what it is that you’re rebutting.

        I’ll try one last time: Tesla hypes itself up as a technology leader, but it earned its alleged bragging rights by lowering the bar.

        The 200 mile range was only achievable by lowering the bar. They didn’t hit that figure by improving the underlying technology.

        By lowering the bar, the company generated excess and undeserved hype, which allowed it to raise beaucoup bucks, which invariably will go to supporting Mr. Musk’s lifestyle. Are the lights starting to come on now?

      • 0 avatar
        jmo

        “Tesla hypes itself up as a technology leader, but it earned its alleged bragging rights by lowering the bar.”

        The same way that Lotus, Konegiseeg, TVR and others lower the bar in terms of comfort, NVH, durability, reliability etc. in order to post impressive track numbers.

        I guess we’re just going to have to disagree about this one.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        “The same way that Lotus, Konegiseeg, TVR and others lower the bar in terms of comfort, NVH, durability, reliability etc. in order to post impressive track numbers.”

        Those companies aren’t claiming to have raised the bar with noise, vibration and handling.

        On the other hand, Tesla pitched itself as a technology leader on the basis of the range. But Tesla didn’t solve the range problem, it just shortchanged the battery, which doesn’t support Tesla’s technology leadership story. Lotus, TVR, etc. aren’t snowing you, but Tesla is.

      • 0 avatar
        jmo

        “Those companies aren’t claiming to have raised the bar with noise, vibration and handling.”

        No, and neither is Tesla. All the companies I mentioned, including Tesla, claim to have raised the performance bar. And they do it by taking engineering shortcuts, making compromises, just like Tesla.

        But Tesla didn’t solve the range problem, it just shortchanged the battery,

        That is solving the range problem – the engineering/durability compromise is that you have to make very sure you leave your car plugged in if you’re going to be away from more than a week or two.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        “No, and neither is Tesla”

        Er, you might want to actually learn about what Tesla has been claiming to its customers and the investment community. No talk of short cuts in this official blurb, which claims that Tesla “deliberately chose cells with slightly lower capacity than the highest available due to cell durability and abuse tolerance.”:
        ___________

        Tesla Motors CEO Martin Eberhard recently announced that we have officially revised our range expectations for the Tesla Roadster to more than 200 miles per charge, rather than our original goal of 250 miles. However, it’s still a fact that the Tesla Roadster will have the highest driving range of any production EV in history (see chart below), not to mention its blistering performance, adhesive handling, and to-die-for looks. So while we’re focused on a range of more than 200 miles, I wanted to share an engineer’s appreciation for design features of the Tesla Roadster that contribute to this historic result…

        …To maximize our useable battery energy we:

        * Opted for small-format, commodity lithium ion (Li-Ion) cells with extremely high specific energy and energy density but without compromising our goals for battery cost, life, and safety. As noted by Martin, we deliberately chose cells with slightly lower capacity than the highest available due to cell durability and abuse tolerance.

        *Developed proprietary methods for cell interconnection and fusing to minimize parasitic electrical resistance (which consumes energy even before it gets to the ESS terminals).

        *Developed proprietary thermal management and charge balancing systems, so that cells operate under best conditions to provide maximum useable energy over their life.

        *Developed a custom vehicle chassis to accommodate the ESS in the Tesla Roadster.

        http://www.teslamotors.com/fr_FR/node/3846

      • 0 avatar
        jmo

        Pch101,

        “deliberately chose cells with slightly lower capacity than the highest available due to cell durability and abuse tolerance.”:

        Right, you just have to leave it plugged in if you decide to park it with almost no charge and then leave it for a few weeks. That seems like a pretty reasonable maintenance requirement for a supercar.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        You’ve been arguing throughout this thread that Tesla is open about “taking engineering shortcuts”.

        But the reality is quite the opposite. They not only don’t admit to taking shortcuts, but they claim to have achieved a “historic result” with their carefully crafted plan to choose a battery based upon its ***”cell durability and abuse tolerance.”***

        You’re making excuses for the company that the company itself claims not to have made. They have not been upfront about it, and if you follow the money, it’s pretty obvious why they chose not to be upfront about it.

      • 0 avatar
        jmo

        “You’re making excuses for the company that the company itself claims not to have made. They have not been upfront about it, and if you follow the money, it’s pretty obvious why they chose not to be upfront about it.”

        Just like all those Ferrari brochures making detailed mention of the $10k routine service and $20k brake jobs. Again, you’re holding Tesla to a much higher standard. Not sure why….

        VW claims a Veyron can go +250mph – I don’t see them touting the fact that you do it more than a handful of times and you need a new set of $30k tires, in their marketing materials.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        I’ve provided information from the company’s own promotional materials that specifically contradicts you. You aren’t going to be able to reverse out of this one.

        Again, Tesla doesn’t talk about engineering compromises. They are selling alleged engineering advances. They aren’t claiming that the batteries are vulnerable; instead, they are pitching them based upon their alleged “cell durability and abuse tolerance.” Quite the opposite of what you’d like us to believe that it is.

      • 0 avatar
        jmo

        “I’ve provided information from the company’s own promotional materials that specifically contradicts you. ”

        Please provide me a quote from Tesla’s marketing materials that states if you park your car with almost no charge and are planning to leave it for a few weeks, you don’t need to plug it in.

        Thanks, I’ll await your reply.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        I have to say, your persistence is impressive. It’s a shame that you can’t apply that persistence toward making a more logical argument.

        Tesla sold itself as being a technology leader. But the company’s greatest achievement to date was in combining a first-rate fundraising effort with a well-drafted consumer warning label. I would hope that you could see the difference.

      • 0 avatar
        Paul Niedermeyer

        PCH: There never was any competition to the Tesla Roadster. Here’s the thing: batteries (at their current state of development) have real limitations. Even knowing that, if I bought a Tesla Roadster, I would rather have the ability for it to go 200 miles, if I needed that in a pinch, rather than being cut off at a conservative 150 miles.

        All batteries hate being discharged, the more, the worse they hate it. Tesla’s decision on how to manage the range can be second-guessed, but they still had a product unlike anything else out there. Folks who buy simply need to understand its limitations.

        Even if Tesla had limited the low end of its SOC to give say 150 mile range, this problem would still occur. It can happen to a full battery, if it sits long enough. So the 200 mile range thing is just something for you guts to argue over, but in the end, what counts is that any EV battery is not the same as a gas tank: it requires active management, otherwise, don’t buy one.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        “Here’s the thing: batteries (at their current state of development) have real limitations.”

        I’m not disagreeing with you. But Tesla is.

        The issue isn’t what either you or I think of batteries, but with Tesla’s claims about their product. When you compare the public proclamations about their wonderful R&D with the fine print in the manual, what you end up with is something that resembles vaporware.

    • 0 avatar
      jmo

      “they pushed the envelope by demanding too much of the battery.”

      Wouldn’t that be true on many high performance engines? You hear a Ferrari at idle and it can hardly maintain it because it’s tuned to within an inch of it’s life – I assume that engine might not be as durable and maintenance free as the 4-cyl in a Camry.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        “Wouldn’t that be true on many high performance engines?”

        It isn’t the same thing.

        The issue with the battery is that Tesla wanted to make exaggerated range claims, since one of the longstanding weaknesses of electric cars has been with the range.

        Tesla has sold itself on being a snappy upstart that was moving the technological ball forward. But they haven’t really done that.

        This is more akin to Ferrari claiming that an engine redlines at 10,000 rpm, even though it redlines at 8,000 rpm, simply because it sounds impressive. Meanwhile, they’re banking on the drivers never pushing the car far enough and long enough to test those limits, and they’ve covered themselves by putting some stuff in the paperwork that advises against it. It may all be legal, but it’s still hype, and we all know why they would be hyping it.

      • 0 avatar
        jmo

        “The issue with the battery is that Tesla wanted to make exaggerated range claims, since one of the longstanding weaknesses of electric cars has been with the range. ”

        How is that different than Ferrari wanting to make outrageous 0-60 and Nurburgring lap time claims? If you fail to follow the maintenance recommendations and track your Enzo every weekend, you are going to get hit with massive bills. You want the best most advanced technology, you pay for the best most advanced technology, and you care for it in accordance with the manufacturers specifications.

      • 0 avatar
        Feds

        Every ICE car manufacturer is lying to you. Try and run your car at wot/redline all the time. See how long it lasts. Every car is designed, built, and sold on the premise that it won’t be operated near its design limit very often, else its life will be significantly reduced.

        Talk to Raptor owners about their frames. Talk to GTR owners about their launch control. Talk to Speed3 owners about their power output in 1st and 2nd gear… No car on the market is designed to achieve maximum life at maximum capacity.

      • 0 avatar
        rentonben

        I agree with Psh101 – Tesla really oversold the capability of their car to make it look better than the competition.

        It’s like a car without a rev-limiter that lets you blow up the engine, and yet the marketing materials tout that the engine goes to “12,000 RPM!!!!!!”

        And in the fine print “If you go past 10,000 your warranty is voided.”

        Leaving a car alone for two months is not an unreasonable thing to do. If doing so will cause half of the value of the car to disappear, then that should be spelled out explicitly. Including the loss of value.

      • 0 avatar
        jmo

        Leaving a car alone for two months is not an unreasonable thing to do.

        It is unreasonable when they made your sign a form indicating you should never do that.

      • 0 avatar
        Robert Schwartz

        “No car on the market is designed to achieve maximum life at maximum capacity.”

        Yes, but most of them will sit still at 0 mph, without being totaled.

    • 0 avatar

      Hold on a minute – this has nothing to do with range. A Tesla will no longer drive once its batteries are at roughly 5% charge, enough to keep its internal systems running for a few days. That’s not the issue.

      The issue is that if you leave a Tesla roadster alone long enough, its internal systems will continue to draw power and can fully discharge the battery. This seems to me like a very poor design decision – there are perfectly reasonable circumstances where someone might store the car in an airport parking lot or storage facility where the car will not get power for a long time. Surely this should not destroy the $40k battery!

      I can buy the notion that the Roadster is an exotic car and so you can get away with more demanding requirements from its owner. But I must agree that they have to fix this for the Model S, which will get more mainstream consumers who are less likely to pamper their vehicles.

      D

      • 0 avatar
        jmo

        “there are perfectly reasonable circumstances where someone might store the car in an airport parking lot”

        “This seems to me like a very poor design decision”

        Huh? You want less range or worse 0-60 times so you can leave the car parked at a place with no outlet available for months at a time? You think that would be a good design decision?

        I mean really – how often is that going to happen? You can’t just take your 7 series or car service and leave the Tesla plugged in in your garage?

      • 0 avatar
        Norma

        Sigh…….
        Sigh….
        Sigh..

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    And this is one of the key reasons why I have little faith that the Model S will be of the quality/reliability it needs to propel (no pun intended) Tesla into the next phase of going from a luxury toy weekend driver provider, to a luxury toy Q ship provider, to a mainstream luxury provider, to a mainstream for the masses provider.

    They have no experience building their own chassis (other than the effort on the still not launched S) and their “technology” isn’t far beyond what enterprising people are already doing in their garages using cars like Fieros as the sled.

    For the exotic buyer/collector – most will tolerate this. Bob and Martha in Tulsa, Oklahoma, which is Tesla’a ultimate long term goal for customers, won’t have a freakin’ clue, won’t care to know, won’t read the manual, and will be more concerned about making payments than keeping a charge.

    In the micro of the 2,000 Roadsters built (or close to that number) this isn’t a huge issue. But if you want to build 100,000 or 200,000 cars a year – this suddenly becomes a really big problem. Now you’re bricking 500 cars a year – it only took 6 door fires in Toyota’s to make headlines, and one laboratory fire three weeks after the fact crash tested Volt to do the same. Five-hundred dead cars a year on a problem that has rather simple engineering solutions – won’t float in the mass market.

  • avatar
    jmo

    “A copy of the Tesla Roadster owner’s manual (covering the Tesla Roadster S and Roadster 2.5. Link is at the bottom of the page for you to peruse yourself), states in numerous places that owners are not to leave their vehicles uncharged for long periods of time, or to drain the battery down to zero…. In addition, there is an agreement which owners must sign at the time of purchase that has the owner acknowledge the responsibility of maintaining a proper battery charge, and that any damage that results from negligence in this area is not covered under warranty.”

    Seems like an open and shut case to me. The vehicle is a high performance exotic vs. a Prius or Leaf and has very strict maintenance guidelines. The owner failed to follow the guidlines. It’s like someone who never changes the oil on his Ferarri complaining that the engine slugged.

    • 0 avatar
      sitting@home

      Page #3-6 of my Subaru’s owner manual says …

      “Caution (turbo model only). Promptly put fuel in the tank whenever the low fuel warning light comes on. If the engine misfires as a result of an empty tank and damage is caused to the catalytic converter, turbocharger damage could also occur.”

      So the problem of low fuel level causing expensive damage isn’t even limited to exotic or electric vehicles.

    • 0 avatar

      Bingo – known issue. Statements to warn you. You act like an idiot. Go pound sand.

  • avatar
    GS650G

    Looks like Tesla may have attempted to protect themselves from a known problem. Good for them and their lawyers!
    Now that this is out in the open we’ll see if the marketplace shrugs and says “OK, we can do all that” or merely buys something else.
    It’s a shame people are not forced to buy their products, they could lock this issue away forever.

  • avatar
    Richard Chen

    A failure rate of about 0.2% does sound like an exotic’s.

  • avatar
    mzr

    People can’t’ or won’t take care of laptop batteries and whine about them when they die. Why would you think putting them into a car would make a difference?

  • avatar
    highrpm

    So far, we know that the more rugged Prius batteries start to need replacement after 10-12 years and cost a few thousand dollars.

    On the Tesla, this Cobalt Dioxide battery will surely last only a few years then. And it costs $40,000 to replace. This is a matter of when, not if.

    At least with the Ferrari you’re not going to be replacing $40,000 worth of components every few years…

    • 0 avatar
      jmo

      “At least with the Ferrari you’re not going to be replacing $40,000 worth of components every few years…”

      Aren’t brakes on an Enzo $20k?

    • 0 avatar
      Feds

      Ever shopped used ferraris? Lots and lots of them for sale at 15,000 miles because they need their 10,000 dollar regular maintenance.

    • 0 avatar
      ckb

      “At least with the Ferrari you’re not going to be replacing $40,000 worth of components every few years…”

      Yeah more like $65k every few years:

      http://www.autoblog.com/2006/12/09/while-my-wallet-gently-weeps-what-it-costs-to-own-a-late-model/

      I talked to a guy who just had the belts changed (along with some other maintenance) on his testarossa for the low price of $18k. The engine must be removed to change the belts. Give Tesla 5 more years and that cost will come down quite a bit.

  • avatar
    indi500fan

    Now that I’ve read the fine print:
    “Election to self install front license plate bracket”

    I’m thinking they have more lawyers than engineers.

    Maybe that’s the problem.

    • 0 avatar
      corntrollio

      Actually, this is quite common in California where Tesla is based. Usually front license plate is on a car-buying checklist like this. My guess is that the state requires it or encourages it, since California requires 2 plates, and there are people (like me) who don’t want to put a front plate on.

  • avatar
    AMC_CJ

    Use to work on RV’s. Customers would come in all the time; things screwed up, not knowing how to work anything, etc. First thing I would ask them, as politely as I could, was “did you read the owner’s manual?”

    9.9/10 times they did not.

    No different there. He should of done his research, and known what the car is going to need/cost in the long run and if he could provide it. Can’t wait for the battery packs to wear out completely on these cars; a lot of people are going to be pissed.

  • avatar
    srogers

    I don’t have any more sympathy for “bricked” Tesla owners that I do for buyers of high compression motors who burned holes in pistons because they chose not to use premium fuel. Read and follow the manual, or take personal resonsiblity for the effects.

  • avatar
    indi500fan

    There once was a sweet gal from Tulsa
    Shelled out big bucks for a Tesla
    The battery was soon dead
    But the warranty said
    Keep plugged in or we ain’t gonna help ya

  • avatar

    All I have to say is that the commentary (as of me writing this) here is remarkably level-headed.

    Kudos to the BnB and Kreindler for changing the game when it comes to Tesla discourse.

  • avatar
    chaparral

    Obviously, this is an unacceptable problem to have on a car.

    However, it’s not a gigantic problem for Tesla if they handle it right.

    My solution:
    1) All new cars get a “hard disconnect” when the vehicle’s been parked more than 24 hours and battery charge is under 10%. This disconnects all load from the battery – it’ll disable the alarm, lose your radio presets, leave the parking brake on, and lock you out. From a 10% state of charge it will take years to brick the battery on self-discharge alone; what causes the rapid deterioration is the roughly 20W external load when the car is “off” and sitting.
    2) All existing cars get a free retrofit of the hard disconnect at the next service. If it costs $100 a car ($10 part, an hour labor), that’s $250,000 to retrofit all of them. Figure on a couple months of work for a couple people to design and test the hard disconnect.
    3) Only five cars have suffered this problem. Tesla needs to eat the cost on them; there is no way doing anything else will cost them less than $200,000 between lost sales and litigation.

    I think they can get out of this for under a million bucks, and look like a company that responds decently when they make mistakes.

    • 0 avatar
      DC Bruce

      You raise an interesting point: why not simply have a “standby” battery that picks up the residual load from the main battery when the car is turned “off”? It could be some low-tech lead-acid jobbie and probably could do this as well as it does for conventional cars, which tolerate being parked for 3 weeks or more.

      Unless . . . . the self-discharge rate of the Tesla’s battery is quite high, and that’s the real problem — not the residual load of various systems that must remain powered up when the car is turned off. The fact that the initial discharge rate of the battery (as described in the scanned pages of the manual) is so high and that the rate falls thereafter, suggests that the real problem with this car sitting around is not the draw from powered-up systems, but self discharge of the battery.

    • 0 avatar
      gslippy

      This was essentially my advice from yesterday – that Tesla should just put this to bed by replacing the few bricked Roadster battery packs out there, and remind customers of this risk for future reference.

      They’ll buy a lot more good will by replacing a few batteries than it will cost them in dollars.

  • avatar

    OK, I think can assume the media knows about this now; Rush Limbaugh just spent 10 minutes discussing it on his show today.

    • 0 avatar
      Steve65

      I’d really love to hear how Rush worked a way to blame this on librulls.

      • 0 avatar
        Mark MacInnis

        Stevie….it is a well known FACT that there was a rush (no pun intended) to all things electric in the auto industry in 2009 when Obama started basically writing blank checks to nearly anyone who claimed to have a half-a$$ed business plan for electric cars.

        If you know anything about government capital vs. Real. Professional. Venture. Capital. Management., you would know that the real thing is a more deliberate process where professional analysts who have real skin in the game look with proper skepticism when vetting business plans and technology in the companies seeking money to support their ventures. Contrast that with biased, zealot, green-vote-seeking bureaucrats who are playing with other people’s (read: taxpayer’s) money at NO risk of their own in play…. because, as politicians, they’ve perfected the art of blaming their mistakes on other people.

        So, the Liberal Obamites irresponsibly cast BILLIONS out on the water to every Tom, Dick and Solyndra and we are now seeing with Tesla, Fisker, Solyndra, et al, that the result is a much higher failure rate than when pros do the picking. And the losses here are not born by private investors who only risk what they can lose, but rather by John Q. Public and Sally Citizen, who have no idea they’ve been hoodwinked. And it is borrowed money, to boot, so on top of the injury of the losses/bankruptcies/poor technology we have the insult of paying beau coup interest to the Chinese for the privilege of being foolish with our money.

        Judging by the tone of your letter, I infer you are an Obama voter who wants to re-elect that clown to the most important job in the country. I’d like to invite your attention to Einstein’s definition of insanity, to wit: Keep doing the same thing and expect a different result. The idiot-in-chief seems to believe from his comments yesterday that he’s entitled to 5 more years in office….if it were up to me, he’d have 5 minutes…most of which I’d be kicking his sorry azz down the White House steps. But I’ll settle, since I must, for tolerating him for 331 more days. During which I hope YOU enjoy paying for the $5+ per gallon gasoline, of which Obama’s policies are the direct cause.

        Obama once famously disparaged a political opponent by saying he shouldn’d bring a knife to a gunfight. I’d urge the same sentiment to you: Please don’t bring any weak-azz “librull” arguments here…not likely to play well here in B&B-land. which is kinda like Texas: We don’t cotton to fools here.

        But you have a nice day, hear?

  • avatar
    Felix Hoenikker

    I’d be interested to know what the parasitic losses are in terms of current. Also could the battery be switched off from the electrical system to extend it’s storage time?
    What would be the minimum trickle current needed to maintain the battery pack?
    If I were designing the battery monitoring system for a $40K battery pack, I would add a safety relay that isolates the battery from the electrical system when the charge reached some aribitrary number like 5-10% to ensure the battery did not become “bricked” by the continued parasitic electronic losses when it was parked.

    • 0 avatar
      SimonAlberta

      All of that is fine and dandy but leaving a battery drained down AT ALL will damage it over time. Once a battery is put into service, the closer to 100% charge it stays, the longer it will last.

      While I certainly think Tesla might make some kind of modifications along the lines you suggest I really don’t see the NEED for it.

      You run the vehicle then, as SOON AS POSSIBLE thereafter, you plug it in. NO PROBLEMO!

      It really doesn’t get much simpler than that.

      Why all this outcry because some wealthy bozo left his car nearly dead for 2 months which caused him a problem I really don’t get.

      Every day it seems that most of modern humanity want to take less and less responsibility for themselves and their possessions.

      I was always taught to “LOOK AFTER STUFF and it will LOOK AFTER YOU”….a bit olde worldy and cliched but it seems apt here, methinks.

  • avatar
    aristurtle

    If I leave my motorcycle unattended for several months, fuel gums up in the carburetors and if it gets bad enough, I need to pull them out and clean and rebuild them. Or I can have a mechanic do it at some incredibly high price (motorcycle mechanics regularly charge double the hourly rate of car mechanics, in my experience).

    When did it become normal to expect to be able to just park a car in a corner somewhere, come back to it after eleven months, and expect everything to work just fine? It certainly wasn’t always like this.

    • 0 avatar
      chaparral

      Most EFI cars will be fine after a few months of storage. I think a lot of consumers would expect this to be the case.

      • 0 avatar
        MadHungarian

        Which is why Tesla explained their car was different and asked the buyer to initial the page. Also, that EFI car will not start on its own because it will have a dead battery from various parasitic losses — and possibly a sulphated one if you do that more than once.

        If you really want a park it and forget it car, you have to go old and simple. Just today I drove my ’64 Corvair for the first time in about 5-6 weeks. Cranking was the same as a freshly charged battery. That car has nothing at all to cause a parasitic loss, not even a clock.

    • 0 avatar
      flameded

      “If I leave my motorcycle unattended for several months, fuel gums up in the carburetors and if it gets bad enough, I need to pull them out and clean and rebuild them. Or I can have a mechanic do it at some incredibly high price (motorcycle mechanics regularly charge double the hourly rate of car mechanics, in my experience). ”

      This is a very good point.Maybe I think I should just disregard what my motorcycle manual says about winter storage and send the carb cleaning/rebuild bill to Suzuki every spring. hmm..
      ;)

      T

  • avatar
    ExPatBrit

    Does the Tesla have a solar panel in the roof like the volt and leaf?

    It’s unlikely that if you have to park the car at an airport that the batteries are going to be fully charged. Some kind of trickle charger and an emergency system that cuts most of the power draw should be essential. Maybe a small secondary powerpack just for the alarm and locks.

    In addition it needs an interlock to allow the drivetrain to be disconnected from the wheels.

    Unfortunately this is going top make it easy to steel, thieves just need a flatbed.

    • 0 avatar
      Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

      The Volt doesn’t have a solar panel, the Karma has it as an option.

      (Me, I might have opted for it, though its weight and headroom impingement may not have justified the juice it generated for the climate control..)

  • avatar
    johnhowington

    truely this is a halo / rich persons car. this guy nuked his battery pack to the tune of $40k 5 years ahead of normal. tell me where the cost savings went of not spending it on gasoline? i thought the prius didnt make much sense, or any hybrid at all, but the tesla really takes the cake on stupid product for stupid people.

    • 0 avatar
      jmo

      “tell me where the cost savings went of not spending it on gasoline?

      It’s not about saving gas – it’s about the latest technology. You know, like in an S-class or a Ferrari.

  • avatar
    graham

    This is nothing more then a case of hapless owner (or 6) who clearly did not read the owner’s manual and failed to comprehend the requirements for maintaining a specialized vehicle. If you can afford a $100k electric toy, then you can surly afford another $40k to rectify your neglected maintenance. Otherwise you end up looking like a fool. And anyone who publishes articles ahead of having basic facts in hand ends up looking as dim as the headlights of a Telsa that’s been parked for two months without a charge.

  • avatar
    DC Bruce

    So this turns out to be yet another case of “RTFM!” Just reading the pages scanned, this car — not surprisingly — looks to be one where this is especially important. I agree with the other comments which suggest that anyone buying a car like this understands that, like even and ICE exotic, this car requires more attention and care than a Camry, or even a Prius.

    I did not see anything prohibiting the use of an extension cord, and a heavy-duty, lawn equipment type of cord (like I use for my electric lawn mower) should certainly be able to handle 12 amps without overheating. IIRC, some of these cords are rated at 20 amps.
    The manual says that you can program the maximum amps the car will draw while charging, and in the charge time table, 12 amps @120V is the slowest charge option. So, it seems to me that an extension cord of a type available at your neighborhood home depot would be adequate and would not produce an excessive voltage drop over the distance, if one had to park the car in a different location at one’s home than is customary.

    Of course, the 110v circuit feeding that extension cord better either be a 20 amp circuit or have almost nothing else connected to it.

    An interesting follow-up would be to get the Leaf’s manual. Comparisons with hybrids are meaningless, as Mr. Niedermeyer has explained. But, since the Leaf is not marketed as a dot.com millionaire’s weekend toy, it would be interesting to see if Nissan has managed to spare the Leaf owner some of the pain and suffering that Tesla owners are expected to deal with.

    • 0 avatar
      Herm

      The issue is not the voltage drop with a #12 gauge extension.. the issue are the ill fitting lousy connectors in the typical Home Depot extension cord, plus the worn out sockets.

      The Leaf requires you to plug the car in within 2 weeks if you completely empty the battery.. or you void the warranty.

  • avatar
    rolosrevenge

    It seems very clear that you shouldn’t leave it unplugged for extended periods of time. Even if he had left it for 1 month it would have been fine, so the whole, I need to go to the airport for a 2 week trip is not an issue. His house was being remodeled, so he didn’t use his car for 2 months, and he couldn’t find a single 110 V 15 A outlet (the kind that are everywhere) to plug his electric car into? I’m sorry, I don’t have a lot of sympathy for someone who is repeatedly warned not to leave it unplugged, signs a release form to that effect, and then complains that bad things happened when he did exactly what he agreed not to do. Now if it can truly be brought back to life by a very slow trickle charge, why doesn’t he plug it in to a 110 socket for a week and see what happens?

    • 0 avatar
      redmondjp

      If you read the post above yours, as well as the Jalopnik post from yesterday, you will see that even plugging the car in using its on-board charger is no guarantee that the batteries won’t die – if the AC voltage supply to the charger drops down too low (from being at the end of a long circuit, or from using too-small or too-long of an extension cord, or from the electrical utility not having their transformer tap set properly) the on-board charger just doesn’t work. It won’t taper or trickle charge, it just won’t work, leading to dead batteries. This is a huge FAIL.

      Tesla recommends the $$$ off-board charger, which is not practical for everyone for a number of reasons (such as: you have to park right next to it). OTOH, I suppose if you spend $100K for a sports car, you should be able to spring for a $4-5K charger installation.

      • 0 avatar
        rolosrevenge

        The case you reference is a 100 ft extension cord. All of the Tesla chargers use the on-board charger. The Roadster can be successfully charged to full using a 120V 15A if you don’t use an extension cord. In fact, the 120V charger comes free with the car. His garage didn’t have a single outlet? As for the utility not having their transformer tap set properly, this is also a non issue since the voltage must be kept within certain standard limits. Not to mention the voltage rises during periods of low loading so at worse case, part of the day it wouldn’t charge, part of the day it would. If he had plugged in his car for the time, and there was voltage problems, I would be sympathetic. The fact that he didn’t shows that he didn’t know/care enough to even try.

  • avatar
    GS650G

    I didn’t see the replacement cost spelled out in their iron clad protection clause, er I mean warranty. If they told a buyer that running it dead would be a 40K charge I bet they would not have sold too many. Because then an entire line of questions would open up and soon you would realize this probably isn’t the car for you. Off to the Porsche dealer.

    • 0 avatar
      jmo

      “If they told a buyer that running it dead ”

      Not only do you have to run it dead, then you need to leave it for weeks unplugged before it’s bricked. I doubt that would have bothered most buyers.

      • 0 avatar
        APaGttH

        That isn’t the case based on research other websites have published, and that doesn’t appear to be the case based on Tesla’s own information in the owner’s manual.

        Running the car until its dead can damage the batteries – it is spelled right out in the owner’s manual.

        I’m not going to buy into corporate spin after the fact of, “well we took safeguards to prevent that from happening.”

        Ya, other companies took more extensive safeguards, like using more reliable battery solutions and not allowing the charge state to drop below 20% or 30% levels.

        GM for example could have taken the Volt battery probably down to 5% given its ICE generator built in and extended the range from 25 to 50 miles to say around 32 to 60 miles electric only. Nissan could have taken the Leaf down to 5% and extended their range to probably around 100 miles actual real world.

        Interesting that the EXPERIENCED auto makers made these decisions and the guys who took provided sleds and loaded laptop battery cells into them didn’t.

  • avatar
    BoredOOMM

    “- The Tesla Roadster’s battery, unlike those in the Nissan Leaf and Chevrolet Volt, is made up of 6831 “consumer commodity cells”, basically laptop or cellphone type cells that combine to make up the battery pack.”

    Dell sold all it’s recalled laptop batteries to GM, where they still catch fire.

    Who sold Tesla this batch?!?

    • 0 avatar
      gslippy

      This cell is referred to in industry as an “18650″, meaning it is 18 mm in diameter and 65.0 mm long; it is the most common lithium ion cell in the world.

      There are only a few reputable producers of lithium ion cells in the world, although there are many, many producers.

      As a startup company, Tesla’s use of this cell was brilliant; their ability to link them all together and manage the power and charging is the magic sauce. The alternative – building a custom pack – is exceptionally expensive and risky. Tesla’s success at selling their EV has really encouraged others (Chevy, Nissan, Mitsubishi) to give it a try, while taking the risk of getting truly custom battery packs made.

      Although I’m a Tesla fan, my guess that the cell is NOT the problem, but rather Tesla’s power management of it. This most likely is an unfortunate result of trying to get the most range they could out of the pack.

  • avatar
    daviel

    Why anybody would by an electric car like this Tesla is beyond me. The company did not know how to build a dependable well engineered car, that’s all. I am a lawyer, and all the disclaimers and cya language probably protect Tesla, but anybody in their right mind should never buy anything that has disclaimer and waiver language like this. Some people have more money than sense.

    • 0 avatar
      dvp cars

      ……..even if their crafty use of subtle disclaimers in the fine print does cover their corporate asses, a well fought class action suit would still have a reasonable chance of success…..throw in a celebrity claimant or two (and I’m sure they’re out there), and chances of an out-of-court settlement look more than promising. All this could have been avoided, as “Chaparral” pointed out, by an experienced management team getting ahead of the problem this morning, replacing the powerpacks gratis, and promising an immediate preventative measure for all existing owners. But defiantly telling their hapless clientele that they “shoulda read the manual” will be fodder for every tabloid and talk show in the world. Even the most ardent eco-enthusiasts will have to do some rethinking after this debacle.
      On a humorous note, imagine the shock many of the well heeled owners are going to get tonight when they hear the inevitable wisecracks on Letterman, Leno, etc. They’ll be scrambling out to their 8 car garages, frantically trying to remember the last time they drove that damn electric sports car that they barely fit into and only bought to keep up with the Gores……….”if that *&%*%$ wife of mine forgot to plug that shitbox in, I’ll strangle her!!!!……3 minutes later, “oh no, I’ve been BRICKED!!!”.

  • avatar
    rolosrevenge

    This guy’s claim that he wasn’t adequately warned is akin to someone climbing to the top rung of a ladder, falling off, and then saying it’s the manufacturer’s fault for not being more clear on their warning. Give me a break and take responsibility for your actions.

    • 0 avatar
      thesal

      Totally agree. Caution, sweeping statement coming:

      THIS IS THE PROBLEM WITH NORTH AMERICANS THESE DAYS!

      No one is accountable for their own actions or negligence anymore. It’s always someone else’s fault. This mentality is now the standard MO and expected.

      eg. Coffee was too hot, I burned my lip…Dunkin Donut’s fault.
      eg. McDonalds burgers daily made me fat…McDs fault.
      eg. I dont know which pedal is the gas pedal…Audi’s fault.

      I’m sure the list is endless. Frustrates me to no end!

      /end rant

  • avatar
    blowfish

    Ya I learned it the expensive way too, back in the early 90s I got a AIWA DAT portable deck , it did promised & delivered very hi-fi quality recording. Still using it at this day.
    The battery that came I never had to use it, so after few yrs sat there nicely in the shrink pack, it did never come alive again nor hold any charge, by then the big W was way beyond the date.
    But the Tesla sitting for few mths seems to have died prematurely, then not sure how much the car would drain on the batt daily, perhaps u need to have a small 500 ma charger to keep the batt from drain to flat dead. Quite often once the batt had been drained, it will never achieve the high capacity status once it was promised.
    My old Merc and F350 dsl seems to have the same issues with draining batt over night. Daytime parking is ok, over night can be pretty bad. A mech told me anything draining 1/2 amp then u should disconnect.
    A Mech’s own 05 BMW 5 series, did drain 5-6 amp, so he just let it sit there.

    Atleast the 2 beast i have pulling the plug over night is not going to affect me a great deal. Both has no clock, but the merc has a CD Radio, when i re-connect I do have to reprogramme my FM station again, is a small pain but facing a jump when u need the car in a hurry is always a real PITA.
    Those batt booster pack are great when new, after a yr or so the miniscule batt inside seem to lost her sizzle, I have a 1000w is slowly going south, I dont even have the chutz pah to enquire about what price a new batt be?
    I opened up a 700w it has a 22 amp/hr batt, and that can multiply into 700w?
    It got to be some kind or electrical leverage system, i dont see banks of big capacitor inside. perhaps some best & brightest can enlighten yours truly as how this can multiply so much.
    Cheers
    from Republik of canuckstan.

  • avatar
    lw

    I’m waiting for steam powered cars that cost more than $200,000 and have shag carpet. Until then I’ll make do with my V8.

  • avatar
    Carzzi

    To serve as a substitute for an existing technology, any new technology has to be at least as good as or better than the existing solution — even more so with respect to reliability. And the pertinent definition of reliability here is that the car demand no more effort to replenish its charge when depleted than that its gasoline equivalent demands when it runs out of fuel. Since that is technologically infeasible for battery-powered autos, the reduced expectation would be that the Tesla wouldn’t render itself destroyed when fully depleted.
    Well, I guess those at the bleeding edge of technological early-adoption will have to make one more sacrifice. But the taxpayer should not have to be on the hook to find the teething troubles of, and chase down the rat-holes, government-chosen technologies are.

  • avatar
    Morea

    Business idea: Turn bricked Tesla roadsters into weekend track cars!

    1) Take out bricked battery and throw away.
    2) Add much smaller battery (say 40 mile range) to reduce the weight greatly.
    3) Sell a Honda portable generator with each one.

    Usage: Use your F150 to trailer the extra-light-weight Tesla to the track. Between track sessions recharge with Honda generator. The Tesla Brick (TM) would have less weight and more power than an Elise (I think).

    Get Jack Baruth to do endorsements and give rides at track days.

  • avatar
    joe_thousandaire

    These are the kind of things that are bound to happen when an internet “genius” stuffs a couple hundred cellphone batteries into a Lotus chassis and calls it a triumph of automotive engineering. Chances are if you’ve bought a Tesla you have more cash than good-sense anyways, so Mr. Drucker will likely be o.k. in the long-run. Mr. Musk will be o.k. as always having separated another fool from his money, perhaps he is a genius after all, in the same way P.T. Barnum was.

  • avatar
    meefer

    Much Ado about Nothing, or RTFM.

    I’m surprised given the client base that only 5 were affected. There’s usually a much higher percentage of morons.

    • 0 avatar
      lw

      I imagine that many are bricked and the owner doesn’t know. These are trophy cars. Buy it, take delivery and drive it for a few days/weeks, get bored, park it and complain/brag to all your friends that your new Aston Martin is delayed because the wood grain that matches your putter is backordered.

  • avatar
    Lokki

    That’s because it’s winter and many people keep the roadster at the summer house. It’s an easy bet that there are many more bricked Teslas out there that just haven’t been noticed yet. Some of them won’t even be noticed for a year or two depending on how many other toys the owner has.

  • avatar
    Herm

    The result of all this will be yet another warning sticker on ALL electric cars, probably on the charging port. Plus another sticker warning you not to stay in the car for a month after a severe crash.

  • avatar
    shaker

    If these Tesla owners gave their cars the consideration given to the family dog, these things wouldn’t happen.

  • avatar
    redseca2

    10 years from now someone will have a steady little business installing Lotus drivetrains into salvaged Teslas.

  • avatar
    Friends in high places

    Just had to pass this over here:

    Tesla now says they “plan” to pay the money back years from now….I “plan” to date model Kate Upon… which pretty much means it is not going to happen. This is ultimate spin from Tesla because they screwed the pooch and nobody wants a Tesla, nobody wants Solar City panels and Space X rockets keep failing so Musk is freaking out and traded some BS warrants with DOE to make this cover-up announcement which means totally nothing. Nobody wants to be seen driving a Tesla, it is the most tainted car on earth and the poster car of corruption. What means something is that any real car company sells 100,000 cars of each model and usually 400,000, or more cars. Tesla has only sold a few hundred to its own investors as fake shill customers after a decade of trying and nearly a billion dollars of free tax money…

    Taxpayers should call their Senator today and demand to their elected representative that BILLIONAIRE Musk pay the money back NOW and get off the taxpayers teat.

    FAIL! FAIL! FAIL!


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