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2013 Model S sudden battery failure

cmc1671

Member
Mar 1, 2020
12
27
El Dorado County, CA
We own a 2013 Model S 60 RWD with 65,000 miles. Warranty expired in March 2021. eMMC has not yet been replaced under the recall - car still has the original MCU1. It has had two replacements of the 12V battery, most recently in April 2021, and a few other issues prior to warranty expiration. Normal use of car is driving car 25 - 100 miles/week and charging at home to 80% of battery capacity inside a garage. However, in the past 2 months, we have done several longer trips which involved 8-10 uses of roadside Tesla superchargers and two "trip" charges to full range (most recent displays indicated a battery range of 226 of the original 235 miles).

Last night, we returned to an airport where the car had been sitting for 4 days in 50-100F degree temps. It had 31 miles of range and we needed about 60 to get home. At two different Tesla supercharger stations, it limited it's charge rate to 4 - 20A (of 40A max). It has been a long day and by the time we reached the second supercharger it was 1am. We barely made it with with 0 miles (!) left when we pulled in. Car was plugged in at home as per normal. Overnight, the car charged itself to 50 miles and then displayed an error message "'maximum battery charge level reduced". I unplugged the car, rebooted the system (twice via control panel "shut off" and rebooting with steering wheel controls) and tried to charge again with the same result. The car is limiting itself to a max range of 50 miles (unplugged, it dropped to 49 miles and then charged back to 50 miles when plugged back in.)

I contacted Teslsa roadside. They texted "we see this", said drive/tow to service center, and offered no other diagnostics.

I plan to attempt to drive the car to a Tesla service center this week. If this is failure of the battery pack, we would consider a non-Tesla repair vs. the full $22K warrantied replacement. Do I have any good options for this in the Sacramento, CA area? Given the age, specs and mileage on the car, what makes the most sense? Would I be able to sell the car in its current state? Is Tesla still obligated to replace the eMMC per the recall?
 

Rocky_H

Well-Known Member
Feb 19, 2015
6,843
8,454
Boise, ID
We own a 2013 Model S 60 RWD with 65,000 miles. [...] (most recent displays indicated a battery range of 226 of the original 235 miles).
That is not possible if you are talking about "rated miles", which everyone does. The rated miles on the old S60 was originally 206 or 208...I forget which one. It was nowhere near 220. There was a setting for "ideal miles", which no one uses, because it's fantasy and totally unachievable. So maybe that is what you're talking about. But that isn't going to mean anything to anyone here. Now that it won't hold charge, I guess you can't switch the display and check that.

At two different Tesla supercharger stations, it limited it's charge rate to 4 - 20A (of 40A max).
That is also not possible. For one thing, the 40A you see on your display is ONLY for AC charging from regular building circuits, using the car's onboard charger. Superchargers don't use that. They have the chargers external to the car and feed DC directly to the battery, bypassing the onboard charger. So there's something not correct about what is being described in this sentence. I am wondering what you were plugging into. Some people have terminology mixed up, where they use a Tesla destination wall connector at a hotel, but accidentally call it a "Supercharger". That would be relevant to the some number of amps out of 40. Maybe that is it? Or if it was a Supercharger, was that maybe 4 to 20 kilowatts instead of amps?

I plan to attempt to drive the car to a Tesla service center this week. If this is failure of the battery pack, we would consider a non-Tesla repair vs. the full $22K warrantied replacement. Do I have any good options for this in the Sacramento, CA area? Given the age, specs and mileage on the car, what makes the most sense?
The only real non-Tesla option is from @wk057 's shop, but I am not sure if that is even on the west coast--I think not.

Is Tesla still obligated to replace the eMMC per the recall?
Yes--the time of warranty periods are not relevant to recalls. Those have to be done regardless.
 

Electric700

Active Member
May 21, 2013
1,740
428
Florida, United States
Really sorry to see that. I think you should ask Tesla to repair your battery. Hopefully they now have an option for a lower cost (under $2,000) to do so. Gruber Motors could be a second option since they do main li-ion battery repairs. They got good reviews also. As a last resort, you could trade in your Tesla for a new one.

Link:

Reviews:
 
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wk057

Vendor & Senior Tinkerer
Feb 23, 2014
5,723
12,208
Hickory, NC, USA
The only real non-Tesla option is from @wk057 's shop, but I am not sure if that is even on the west coast--I think not.

Not on the west coast, but it's actually been more cost effective for many of my customers to ship their vehicle to 057 for their repair/replacement and have us ship it back (or them fly out and drive it back) vs getting service done at Tesla. We do this quite regularly. We even have a customer who lives within single-digit miles of the Fremont factory who's best option was to ship their vehicle to us for a pack replacement... which is actually kind of sad, IMO.

Anyway, @cmc1671, shoot me a note or contact my team with the last 6 of your VIN and a brief note about what's going on and we'll see what we can do for you.
 

BostonBurley

Member
Jan 13, 2021
171
116
South Pas
We own a 2013 Model S 60 RWD with 65,000 miles. Warranty expired in March 2021. eMMC has not yet been replaced under the recall - car still has the original MCU1. It has had two replacements of the 12V battery, most recently in April 2021, and a few other issues prior to warranty expiration. Normal use of car is driving car 25 - 100 miles/week and charging at home to 80% of battery capacity inside a garage. However, in the past 2 months, we have done several longer trips which involved 8-10 uses of roadside Tesla superchargers and two "trip" charges to full range (most recent displays indicated a battery range of 226 of the original 235 miles).

Last night, we returned to an airport where the car had been sitting for 4 days in 50-100F degree temps. It had 31 miles of range and we needed about 60 to get home. At two different Tesla supercharger stations, it limited it's charge rate to 4 - 20A (of 40A max). It has been a long day and by the time we reached the second supercharger it was 1am. We barely made it with with 0 miles (!) left when we pulled in. Car was plugged in at home as per normal. Overnight, the car charged itself to 50 miles and then displayed an error message "'maximum battery charge level reduced". I unplugged the car, rebooted the system (twice via control panel "shut off" and rebooting with steering wheel controls) and tried to charge again with the same result. The car is limiting itself to a max range of 50 miles (unplugged, it dropped to 49 miles and then charged back to 50 miles when plugged back in.)

I contacted Teslsa roadside. They texted "we see this", said drive/tow to service center, and offered no other diagnostics.

I plan to attempt to drive the car to a Tesla service center this week. If this is failure of the battery pack, we would consider a non-Tesla repair vs. the full $22K warrantied replacement. Do I have any good options for this in the Sacramento, CA area? Given the age, specs and mileage on the car, what makes the most sense? Would I be able to sell the car in its current state? Is Tesla still obligated to replace the eMMC per the recall?
The car is certainly worth fixing. As someone on their third pack knows, when the pack goes it is always “sudden” and without warning.
however, anytime my pack has died and left me stranded I still had plenty of miles left to go, and after towing to service they would swap the pack with a loaner or reman. Not sure what a reman 60 pack would cost but it’ll be north of $10k.
 
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cmc1671

Member
Mar 1, 2020
12
27
El Dorado County, CA
We own a 2013 Model S 60 RWD with 65,000 miles. Warranty expired in March 2021. eMMC has not yet been replaced under the recall - car still has the original MCU1. It has had two replacements of the 12V battery, most recently in April 2021, and a few other issues prior to warranty expiration. Normal use of car is driving car 25 - 100 miles/week and charging at home to 80% of battery capacity inside a garage. However, in the past 2 months, we have done several longer trips which involved 8-10 uses of roadside Tesla superchargers and two "trip" charges to full range (most recent displays indicated a battery range of 226 of the original 235 miles).

Last night, we returned to an airport where the car had been sitting for 4 days in 50-100F degree temps. It had 31 miles of range and we needed about 60 to get home. At two different Tesla supercharger stations, it limited it's charge rate to 4 - 20A (of 40A max). It has been a long day and by the time we reached the second supercharger it was 1am. We barely made it with with 0 miles (!) left when we pulled in. Car was plugged in at home as per normal. Overnight, the car charged itself to 50 miles and then displayed an error message "'maximum battery charge level reduced". I unplugged the car, rebooted the system (twice via control panel "shut off" and rebooting with steering wheel controls) and tried to charge again with the same result. The car is limiting itself to a max range of 50 miles (unplugged, it dropped to 49 miles and then charged back to 50 miles when plugged back in.)

I contacted Teslsa roadside. They texted "we see this", said drive/tow to service center, and offered no other diagnostics.

I plan to attempt to drive the car to a Tesla service center this week. If this is failure of the battery pack, we would consider a non-Tesla repair vs. the full $22K warrantied replacement. Do I have any good options for this in the Sacramento, CA area? Given the age, specs and mileage on the car, what makes the most sense? Would I be able to sell the car in its current state? Is Tesla still obligated to replace the eMMC per the recall?
That is not possible if you are talking about "rated miles", which everyone does. The rated miles on the old S60 was originally 206 or 208...I forget which one. It was nowhere near 220. There was a setting for "ideal miles", which no one uses, because it's fantasy and totally unachievable. So maybe that is what you're talking about. But that isn't going to mean anything to anyone here. Now that it won't hold charge, I guess you can't switch the display and check that.


That is also not possible. For one thing, the 40A you see on your display is ONLY for AC charging from regular building circuits, using the car's onboard charger. Superchargers don't use that. They have the chargers external to the car and feed DC directly to the battery, bypassing the onboard charger. So there's something not correct about what is being described in this sentence. I am wondering what you were plugging into. Some people have terminology mixed up, where they use a Tesla destination wall connector at a hotel, but accidentally call it a "Supercharger". That would be relevant to the some number of amps out of 40. Maybe that is it? Or if it was a Supercharger, was that maybe 4 to 20 kilowatts instead of amps?


The only real non-Tesla option is from @wk057 's shop, but I am not sure if that is even on the west coast--I think not.


Yes--the time of warranty periods are not relevant to recalls. Those have to be done regardless.

Thanks everyone.
That is not possible if you are talking about "rated miles", which everyone does. The rated miles on the old S60 was originally 206 or 208...I forget which one.
You are right - my EV terminology is wrong and the charge rate at a Supercharger is 40 kW dropping down to 2-4 kW as the battery approaches its self-limit of 50 miles (just checked again at the service center's Supercharger). Checked sticker behind the right front wheel (my husband couldn't remember which model he bought) we have the 400V 85kwh battery. I honestly don't remember what the original rated range was, as I almost never drive more than 100 miles/week and set the charge limit at 70-80%. The pluses to a Tesla replacement are 4 yr/50k mile warranty and greater range, as the replacement would be a 90kwh battery. Thanks much for reaching out, I think I have the info I need now to consider the options for repair/replacement/trade-in.
l
Really sorry to see that. I think you should ask Tesla to repair your battery. Hopefully they now have an option for a lower cost (under $2,000) to do so. Gruber Motors could be a second option since they do main li-ion battery repairs. They got good reviews also. As a last resort, you could trade in your Tesla for a new one.

Link:

Reviews:
Unfortunately Tesla service does ONLY warrantied replacement of the entire battery (4 yrs, 50,000 miles) for just shy of $23K. When I drove it in, they didn't even look under the car for damage, and could only tell me that "either one cell, brick or module" had failed. This is info the tech had on hand from remote diagnostics when I walked in. They could've just called.
 

Rocky_H

Well-Known Member
Feb 19, 2015
6,843
8,454
Boise, ID
we have the 400V 85kwh battery. I honestly don't remember what the original rated range was,
I have one with that same kind of battery from 2014, an S85. Mine was for 265 rated miles originally.
the charge rate at a Supercharger is 40 kW dropping down to 2-4 kW as the battery approaches its self-limit of 50 miles
There's an interesting hardware term called "failing gracefully", which looks applicable. Like, can the device still function in a very reduced capacity with part of it broken? Tesla does reasonably well with that in their battery and charging systems. The battery is badly defective and is not able to use a large portion of its capacity. How much capacity the battery has is a determining factor of how much charging power it can take. So with the capacity greatly reduced, that makes sense it is only able to take up to about 40kW instead of the 120 or so kW it originally could. So it is self-protecting as expected.
 
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cmc1671

Member
Mar 1, 2020
12
27
El Dorado County, CA
I have one with that same kind of battery from 2014, an S85. Mine was for 265 rated miles originally.

There's an interesting hardware term called "failing gracefully", which looks applicable. Like, can the device still function in a very reduced capacity with part of it broken? Tesla does reasonably well with that in their battery and charging systems. The battery is badly defective and is not able to use a large portion of its capacity. How much capacity the battery has is a determining factor of how much charging power it can take. So with the capacity greatly reduced, that makes sense it is only able to take up to about 40kW instead of the 120 or so kW it originally could. So it is self-protecting as expected.
Yes, it still runs, and all systems seem to be operating normally. I have no idea for how long though and <50 miles of range doesn't allow me to do much given my semi-rural location. Tesla Service told me their diagnostics could only locate the failure to one module, and that it may be as small as a single cell. (Apparently, I am not entitled to the diagnostics report since there was zero charge for "Goodwill-Remote Support").

When I searched this forum for posts with the same error message, I saw that many owners (with this battery model in particular) started to notice charging slowdowns and battery failures following a 2019 firmware release. I rarely use Superchargers and didn't following this release, except one quick recharge in Jan 2020. I vary % SoC for overnight charging at home between 60-80%, and didn't notice a recent degradation of charging speed or rated range. It does seem suspect that this failure occurred after longer than average drives and 8 uses of Superchargers in the past month (when we hadn't used a Supercharger since 1/20, and prior to that only 1x/month at most). Another owner on the forum had this same failure when they were using Superchargers every 3 days.

Feels like we've been had, vs. owners of 2012-2013 S models that drove more miles, had problems in 2019/20 after the firmware charging changes, and subsequently had their batteries replaced by Tesla under warranty.
 

Rocky_H

Well-Known Member
Feb 19, 2015
6,843
8,454
Boise, ID
When I searched this forum for posts with the same error message, I saw that many owners (with this battery model in particular) started to notice charging slowdowns and battery failures following a 2019 firmware release.
I think you are trying to look for a correlation. This is a battery failure--not a software update.

Feels like we've been had, vs. owners of 2012-2013 S models that drove more miles, had problems in 2019/20 after the firmware charging changes, and subsequently had their batteries replaced by Tesla under warranty.
I don't think any of those things are related. They had battery failures IN warranty, so they were replaced IN warranty. You are having one OUT of warranty, so it's OUT of warranty.
 

Snowballmo

Member
Apr 22, 2021
9
8
Santa Clara CA
I have same model. Previous owner replaced battery in 2018 under warranty. I don’t know the details but I’d assume it degraded significantly or failed like yours. So it seems to me that the early battery packs are more prone to failure.
 

cmc1671

Member
Mar 1, 2020
12
27
El Dorado County, CA
How long do owners typically wait for their replacement batteries to arrive at CA service centers? The service advisor I spoke with when car was driven in ghosted me after emailing an estimate. I approved this estimate online, left a message for the advisor, and heard nothing back for 3 days. I then set up my own repair appointment on the app for 2 weeks out (“soonest available”) and received a message back that the part had not yet been ordered because they has only supplied a courtesy estimate. Then why request approval? Not to mention the fact that I told the advisor to order part and schedule service. Now, per the app messaging, part has been ordered but “may not arrive in time” for the app-scheduled appointment (currently 10 days out).
 

BostonBurley

Member
Jan 13, 2021
171
116
South Pas
How long do owners typically wait for their replacement batteries to arrive at CA service centers? The service advisor I spoke with when car was driven in ghosted me after emailing an estimate. I approved this estimate online, left a message for the advisor, and heard nothing back for 3 days. I then set up my own repair appointment on the app for 2 weeks out (“soonest available”) and received a message back that the part had not yet been ordered because they has only supplied a courtesy estimate. Then why request approval? Not to mention the fact that I told the advisor to order part and schedule service. Now, per the app messaging, part has been ordered but “may not arrive in time” for the app-scheduled appointment (currently 10 days out).
Hoping Tesla has matured, but they told me I had a loaner battery installed while we awaited mine to be rebuilt. It took 14 months and I was told not to let it get below 20% that entire time. When it randomly died in San Diego, the service center that gave me a reman battery told me the battery had never been swapped for a “loaner”. It was the battery my car was shipped with in 2012. Now if that doesn’t piss you off, I made my case with the liars and I was told it was an honest mistake but they’d be sure to get me an upgraded 90 battery instead of a reman. The next day my reman battery had been installed and after multiple requests I was told the 90 battery wouldn’t happen.

the reman 85 battery did charge faster technically, but I rarely saw those charge speeds. It also had a range of 248 miles, one more mile than they claimed my outgoing battery had. The whole thing made me feel like I needed an attorney.
 
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cmc1671

Member
Mar 1, 2020
12
27
El Dorado County, CA
Hoping Tesla has matured, but they told me I had a loaner battery installed while we awaited mine to be rebuilt. It took 14 months and I was told not to let it get below 20% that entire time. When it randomly died in San Diego, the service center that gave me a reman battery told me the battery had never been swapped for a “loaner”. It was the battery my car was shipped with in 2012. Now if that doesn’t piss you off, I made my case with the liars and I was told it was an honest mistake but they’d be sure to get me an upgraded 90 battery instead of a reman. The next day my reman battery had been installed and after multiple requests I was told the 90 battery wouldn’t happen.

the reman 85 battery did charge faster technically, but I rarely saw those charge speeds. It also had a range of 248 miles, one more mile than they claimed my outgoing battery had. The whole thing made me feel like I needed an attorney.
Sounds like an awful experience. Not sure what you mean by "randomly died". Were you having a warrantied replacement for loss of range or was it a battery failure? I've been told, and others here have confirmed, the SCs don't do repairs, just replacements. Do you still own the car?

My Model S is out of warranty. I am supposed to be getting a "new" 90 kwh battery with a 4 year warranty for $21k plus tax. Less than 2 hours of labor estimated to install.
 

BostonBurley

Member
Jan 13, 2021
171
116
South Pas
Sounds like an awful experience. Not sure what you mean by "randomly died". Were you having a warrantied replacement for loss of range or was it a battery failure? I've been told, and others here have confirmed, the SCs don't do repairs, just replacements. Do you still own the car?

My Model S is out of warranty. I am supposed to be getting a "new" 90 kwh battery with a 4 year warranty for $21k plus tax. Less than 2 hours of labor estimated to install.
Yes, the battery swap is easy and quick at dealership. My battery died suddenly with 40 miles left. The second time it happened, they had told me to stay above 50 miles or so, but it died with over 80 miles remaining. It was the same battery both times but they had told me it was a loaner battery and in the meantime they’d be rebuilding my battery. It was a blatant lie they would’ve uncovered if true.
 
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Wendy G

New Member
Sep 28, 2021
3
1
woodside CA
We own a 2013 Model S 60 RWD with 65,000 miles. Warranty expired in March 2021. eMMC has not yet been replaced under the recall - car still has the original MCU1. It has had two replacements of the 12V battery, most recently in April 2021, and a few other issues prior to warranty expiration. Normal use of car is driving car 25 - 100 miles/week and charging at home to 80% of battery capacity inside a garage. However, in the past 2 months, we have done several longer trips which involved 8-10 uses of roadside Tesla superchargers and two "trip" charges to full range (most recent displays indicated a battery range of 226 of the original 235 miles).

Last night, we returned to an airport where the car had been sitting for 4 days in 50-100F degree temps. It had 31 miles of range and we needed about 60 to get home. At two different Tesla supercharger stations, it limited it's charge rate to 4 - 20A (of 40A max). It has been a long day and by the time we reached the second supercharger it was 1am. We barely made it with with 0 miles (!) left when we pulled in. Car was plugged in at home as per normal. Overnight, the car charged itself to 50 miles and then displayed an error message "'maximum battery charge level reduced". I unplugged the car, rebooted the system (twice via control panel "shut off" and rebooting with steering wheel controls) and tried to charge again with the same result. The car is limiting itself to a max range of 50 miles (unplugged, it dropped to 49 miles and then charged back to 50 miles when plugged back in.)

I contacted Teslsa roadside. They texted "we see this", said drive/tow to service center, and offered no other diagnostics.

I plan to attempt to drive the car to a Tesla service center this week. If this is failure of the battery pack, we would consider a non-Tesla repair vs. the full $22K warrantied replacement. Do I have any good options for this in the Sacramento, CA area? Given the age, specs and mileage on the car, what makes the most sense? Would I be able to sell the car in its current state? Is Tesla still obligated to replace the eMMC per the recall?
What has happened with your car? I have the same situation I have to replace the whole car battery and now I cannot charge at all. The car is at 0 miles. Mine also is a 2013, I had has wonderful service up until now, but I am getting frustrated with the new management and the lack of response. I am also in CA
 

Electric700

Active Member
May 21, 2013
1,740
428
Florida, United States
What has happened with your car? I have the same situation I have to replace the whole car battery and now I cannot charge at all. The car is at 0 miles. Mine also is a 2013, I had has wonderful service up until now, but I am getting frustrated with the new management and the lack of response. I am also in CA

Really sorry to see that. If Tesla doesn't yet offer a low-cost battery repair option, I think you should request one and escalate this if needed. Otherwise you can contact one of the companies below or trade your car in for a newer Tesla.


 
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MP3Mike

Well-Known Member
Feb 1, 2016
16,553
38,935
Oregon
Really sorry to see that. If Tesla doesn't yet offer a low-cost battery repair option, I think you should request one and escalate this if needed. Otherwise you can contact one of the companies below or trade your car in for a newer Tesla.
Another, really good, option would be @wk057: 057 Technology

He offers battery repairs, replacements, and upgrades.
 

Wendy G

New Member
Sep 28, 2021
3
1
woodside CA
Really sorry to see that. If Tesla doesn't yet offer a low-cost battery repair option, I think you should request one and escalate this if needed. Otherwise you can contact one of the companies below or trade your car in for a newer Tesla.


Yes I was going to send it to Grubner after I got no response fron
 

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