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$22k HV Battery Damage Not Covered. Help!

Hey everyone!

Having an unfortunate week.

New to the forums, but I have a similar story to some folks. I must have run over a rock or something without realizing, but I got a "Vehicle may not restart" message the other day. Sure enough, the vehicle didn't restart and Tesla Roadside helped me tow it to a shop.

After a few days of diagnostics, the shop sends me pictures of a crack in the underside of my battery pack. They say the damage caused a coolant leak which nuked the battery, and quotes me $22k ($20k parts + ~$2k labor), which isn't covered under warranty.

Here's the kicker: I recently switched to Tesla Insurance, and as I am the world's most braindead human, I didn't elect collision coverage, which road debris is under. I know, I know, flame me now.

I know there are a lot of awesome helpful folks here, so I'm wondering: do I have options or am I *sugar* out of luck?

Feel free to DM me as well, happy to share pictures or kickback some money for anyone who helps me save some of the 22 grand. Thanks!
 

gbailey

2022 Model S LR
Oct 9, 2019
249
220
Arkansas
Hey everyone!

Having an unfortunate week.

New to the forums, but I have a similar story to some folks. I must have run over a rock or something without realizing, but I got a "Vehicle may not restart" message the other day. Sure enough, the vehicle didn't restart and Tesla Roadside helped me tow it to a shop.

After a few days of diagnostics, the shop sends me pictures of a crack in the underside of my battery pack. They say the damage caused a coolant leak which nuked the battery, and quotes me $22k ($20k parts + ~$2k labor), which isn't covered under warranty.

Here's the kicker: I recently switched to Tesla Insurance, and as I am the world's most braindead human, I didn't elect collision coverage, which road debris is under. I know, I know, flame me now.

I know there are a lot of awesome helpful folks here, so I'm wondering: do I have options or am I *sugar* out of luck?

Feel free to DM me as well, happy to share pictures or kickback some money for anyone who helps me save some of the 22 grand. Thanks!
If this is on your own dime I’d start with a call to Gruber Motor company here and see if they can help: Model S - Main Battery Pack Repair | Gruber Motors
 

ucmndd

Well-Known Member
Mar 10, 2016
9,514
18,446
California
Well, it's clearly not a warranty issue. It's not an insurance issue as you declined coverage. That basically makes it a "you" issue, so it seems you have three choices:

1) Pay Tesla to replace the battery
2) Pay someone else to replace or repair the battery. I agree with the above recommendation of Gruber Motors being a good candidate given your CA location.
3) Sell the car for scrap and start over

I'd call Gruber and see what they say.
 

ucmndd

Well-Known Member
Mar 10, 2016
9,514
18,446
California
If the car financed and you don't put collision on it then the finance company will. So the car would be covered incase of accident. What year is the car?
They’ll bill you a pretty penny for that service and send you a series of nasty letters and bills letting you know they’re doing it. Given OP said they “recently” switched to Tesla insurance, I think it’s highly unlikely any lender (if there is one) received notification of policy cancellation and took out their own policy without the owner knowing they did it.
 

gaswalla

Model S,3,X.. CT with Austin delivery
Sep 23, 2012
3,993
4,946
San Diego
that wasn't any regular road debris - there have been millions of miles put on Teslas. If it happened from "common road debris," we'd be fully aware by now.
I'd recommend you reach out to independent repair folks (@EV-Fixme) and some others in SoCal would probably take care of this or direct you in the right direction.
 

2101Guy

Active Member
Jan 6, 2020
4,372
6,585
USA
i cant imagine running over something so massive that does that much damage, and not knowing it at all.
i also cant believe I wouldnt pull over, get out, and look underneath and see coolant leaking.
Also a shame that Tesla doesnt give any form of "low coolant" or "battery temp too high" type of message on the screen
I also cant believe I'd accidentally not have full coverage in place

There is a LOT going on with this story
 

ucmndd

Well-Known Member
Mar 10, 2016
9,514
18,446
California
Also a shame that Tesla doesnt give any form of "low coolant" or "battery temp too high" type of message on the screen
They do, it looks like this.

26906DC3-E64B-44DA-8B57-893FD6580CC5.jpeg
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Moderator
Nov 28, 2018
16,771
22,176
Riverside Co. CA
i cant imagine running over something so massive that does that much damage, and not knowing it at all.
i also cant believe I wouldnt pull over, get out, and look underneath and see coolant leaking.
Also a shame that Tesla doesnt give any form of "low coolant" or "battery temp too high" type of message on the screen
I also cant believe I'd accidentally not have full coverage in place

There is a LOT going on with this story

No one "forgets" to get collision coverage, you have to actually decline it. This OP declined it on purpose (they are side stepping that by calling themselves "brain dead" as if they forgot somehow but they didnt forget, this was a conscious choice in order to save money on insurance because collision is the most expensive portion of coverage.

They dont say what year this vehicle is, but its likely the declined collision to save money thinking they didnt need it anymore due to the relative cost of the vehicle.

There are no pictures in this thread anymore, but based on responses I can tell some of you have seen them. Based on the responses it sounds like the damage was visible. Its impossible to run over something and have it hit the car and not know it, that would cause that much damage. Its possible a person didnt see it because they didnt want to look, but not possible to hit something like that and not know you hit it if you were driving.

So, OP knows they hit something, knew it was leaking (may not have known what they hit, but knew they hit "something") probably continued home and parked. The "didnt realize it" can be partially true as maybe they didnt know what they hit, but they know they hit something.

They then took the vehicle in, hoping and praying it would be either covered under warranty, or be able to be billed under comprehensive coverage, but neither of those is the case.

Now they need options.

For those saying "maybe it was covered under the old policy", that might be the case if this happened before the insurance swap over. Its not legal in california to be covered by two different insurance policies on a vehicle at the same time (not sure about other states). Policies always end at midnight and start at like 12:01am. There would not be a time when the vehicle was covered by both policies, it could be covered by the old one if the accident happened then, but if that was the case, OP would know this already.

So, as @ucmndd says, this is likely squarely on OPs dime, through the choice of neglecting collision coverage on a car which has a part which is still north of 20K to repair in it. The choices @ucmndd laid out seem to be OPs options to me.

I would either reach out to one of the aftermarket repair companies or just sell for scrap and start over. I am going to guess there isnt a loan on the vehicle because the OP didnt elect collision coverage, so the choice is to decide if the car "is worth" the amount it costs to repair the battery, or would that money be best put into a different car.

Since we dont know year of vehicle, just taking a guess because OP didnt elect collision coverage on purpose (you have to uncheck that selection, so it cant be an accident, its a choice that happens to have backfired, it happens), I am going to guess the answer to "is the vehicle worth repairing for a cost of 20k?" to be "no".
 

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