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2012 Sig Motor Fault 3 months out of Warranty

andyro

Member
Aug 19, 2011
70
-3
Toronto
My 2012 Sig (S2108) blew its motor yesterday 3 months out of the 8yr drivetrain warranty. It's Spring here in Canada - car has been in freezing temps since October, parked outside, but always under a carport. Here's the thing, when Tesla service opened up the motor after faulting to the point of bad smell, crunchy drivetrain (welded!), power loss and 12V battery death, water poured out of the motor like 'Niagara Falls'. So sure, it is an older car. But it has never been in a flood. Water simply accumulated in the motor over the course of regular use. So my questions are:

1. Is this a manufacturing defect (seals/bearings)?
2. Is this an installation defect/workmanship issue? - or -
3. Are Tesla motors designed to fill with water and fault after a certain period of time?

Presumably motors filling with water is not expected to happen, so it must be #1 or #2. It's nearly $15k to replace the motor. If water has been in there, it has been in there for well more than 3 months - in other words the seals failed well before my drivetrain warranty was up. If it is a manufacturing or design flaw, or even a workmanship issue, is Tesla within their rights to not accept any responsibility - since there is not a single thing an owner could do in the way of preventative maintenance to prevent this issue from happening and finally; if I do pay to have the motor replaced, what is to prevent this from simply happening again?

If anyone has advice or similar experience I am all ears.
 

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Boeingpilot

Member
Oct 11, 2018
109
269
Central PA
Known issue on RWD cars. (In fact, some recommend inspecting the drive unit for coolant leakage periodically). That said, warranty is warranty. I suspect you could purchase a used drive unit for quite a bit less. Here in the states we have just started to see a grassroots movement of independent EV shops. If such a thing exists by you, probably the best route.
 
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andyro

Member
Aug 19, 2011
70
-3
Toronto
Known issue on RWD cars. (In fact, some recommend inspecting the drive unit for coolant leakage periodically). That said, warranty is warranty. I suspect you could purchase a used drive unit for quite a bit less. Here in the states we have just started to see a grassroots movement of independent EV shops. If such a thing exists by you, probably the best route.
Thanks, understood. I will likely be shipping the car to Montreal to do exactly as you recommend. Véhicules électriques Simon André I am looking at Lucid for a next car.
 
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Rocky_H

Well-Known Member
Feb 19, 2015
5,964
6,885
Boise, ID
Orrrrr...perhaps you are assuming that is water? Most of the drive related systems including the battery and I think drive unit cycle a propylene glycol as the liquid coolant. Perhaps it was that, when it was opened?
 
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sorka

Well-Known Member
Feb 28, 2015
7,677
5,693
Merced, CA
When I bought my 2015 P85D 6 years ago, I told myself that I'd keep it past the 8 years if battery and DU replacement costs came down dramatically like Elon claimed they would.

That never happened so in 18 months (6 months before the warranty expires), I'll detail it and start running an add to sell it sometime over that six month period.
 
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andyro

Member
Aug 19, 2011
70
-3
Toronto
When I bought my 2015 P85D 6 years ago, I told myself that I'd keep it past the 8 years if battery and DU replacement costs came down dramatically like Elon claimed they would.

That never happened so in 18 months (6 months before the warranty expires), I'll detail it and start running an add to sell it sometime over that six month period.
A company such as Tesla should be working REALLY hard to maintain existing customers (your very best future customer) or they will end up like so many early starships. Their unwillingness to show any love (not entirely true, they did offer a goodwill discount of $1k on a $14k repair bill) to us does not bode well for their future.
 
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MP3Mike

Well-Known Member
Feb 1, 2016
15,129
32,394
Oregon
1. Is this a manufacturing defect (seals/bearings)?
2. Is this an installation defect/workmanship issue? - or -
3. Are Tesla motors designed to fill with water and fault after a certain period of time?

Presumably motors filling with water is not expected to happen, so it must be #1 or #2.

Just because something fails doesn't mean it is a defect in parts or workmanship. Things wear out, some earlier than others.
 
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andyro

Member
Aug 19, 2011
70
-3
Toronto
Just because something fails doesn't mean it is a defect in parts or workmanship. Things wear out, some earlier than others.
An electric motor filling with water or coolant with zero warning or sensors for owners to bring for service is a design flaw - and a common and well-known issue (which has been confirmed by more than a few owners to me in our local ownership group now) if you are asking me - which you aren't.
 
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sorka

Well-Known Member
Feb 28, 2015
7,677
5,693
Merced, CA
A company such as Tesla should be working REALLY hard to maintain existing customers (your very best future customer) or they will end up like so many early starships. Their unwillingness to show any love (not entirely true, they did offer a goodwill discount of $1k on a $14k repair bill) to us does not bode well for their future.

I forgot to mention that I'm not going to replace it with another Tesla. I'll keep an eye open and if Tesla gets to the same level of customer experience that I get with Toyota and Lexus, then I'll reconsider someday.
 
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Boeingpilot

Member
Oct 11, 2018
109
269
Central PA
One last Hail Mary.... I'd do a google search on leaking drive units. Print them all out, go to SC manager, and plead the case for some consideration (split the cost?) on another drive unit. Was you drive unit ever replace? I'm of the impression that the majority of the RWD cars, especially 2012-2013 have for various reasons)
 
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andyro

Member
Aug 19, 2011
70
-3
Toronto
Thanks - yes that will be my last attempt. And yes my DU has already been replaced once, due to bearing faults that resulted in a 30% drop in mileage due to friction/overheating. (I could not do better than 270Wh/km when 220Wh/km was my average prior)
 
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andyro

Member
Aug 19, 2011
70
-3
Toronto
  1. Elon Musk Says the Tesla Model S (Kind of) Doubles as a Boat
  2. Customers Complaining—and Posting Video—of Teslas Taking in Puddle Water
  3. Drive Unit water intrusion
  4. Low Coolant Warning, Power Reduced, Front Motor Shut Down (have had coolant leak issues repaired before, could be this is where some of the coolant went)
  5. Noticed puddle of liquid under car. Anybody else?
  6. Tesla reportedly shipped early Model S cars with leaky battery packs
  7. Tesla battery cooling system is subject of federal safety probe
  8. Drive unit coolant leak, tear down/test/repair (hopefully)
Like the person in article #8, I was told by the SC it was 'water' in my drive unit, not coolant. But it seems far more likely to have been coolant given I have lost A/C 2x due to coolant loss, and most recently could not charge at high speed at superchargers based on unavailable cooling. Cooling issues have plagued this car since day one.
 
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Boeingpilot

Member
Oct 11, 2018
109
269
Central PA
  1. Elon Musk Says the Tesla Model S (Kind of) Doubles as a Boat
  2. Customers Complaining—and Posting Video—of Teslas Taking in Puddle Water
  3. Drive Unit water intrusion
  4. Low Coolant Warning, Power Reduced, Front Motor Shut Down (have had coolant leak issues repaired before, could be this is where some of the coolant went)
  5. Noticed puddle of liquid under car. Anybody else?
  6. Tesla reportedly shipped early Model S cars with leaky battery packs
  7. Tesla battery cooling system is subject of federal safety probe
  8. Drive unit coolant leak, tear down/test/repair (hopefully)
Like the person in article #8, I was told by the SC it was 'water' in my drive unit, not coolant. But it seems far more likely to have been coolant given I have lost A/C 2x due to coolant loss, and most recently could not charge at high speed at superchargers based on unavailable cooling. Cooling issues have plagued this car since day one.
If you really have been having coolant loss, it had to be going somewhere. If you reported this prior to the warranty ending, then they really need to step up to the plate.
 
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andyro

Member
Aug 19, 2011
70
-3
Toronto
The Vaughan SC has just informed me that since the car has been with them for a 'considerable time' (5 days including today) they will start charging me storage fees of $100/day unless I proceed with repairs with them. THIS is how you treat a potential future customer?
 
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