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Battery damaged

willow_hiller

Active Member
Apr 3, 2019
3,286
17,073
Maryland
Thanks for posting your story @digdoug

We also live in MD and have USAA as our auto insurer, so I'm very interested in how they treat your claim. They've treated us very well in the past, so I hope things work out for you.

Could you also describe the accident so we know what to avoid? I'm having trouble picturing a curb doing that much damage!
 

kirkhilles

2014 Model S w/ AP1
May 3, 2019
68
36
Northwest Georgia
I'm certainly no expert here, but I'd be SHOCKED if its only $15,000 for a new battery pack. That would make absolutely no sense based on what I've read in the past and makes no sense that Tesla would have a next to nothing core charge, etc.

I can pretty much guarantee you that Tesla wants that old battery pack back. I would expect the following:

$25,000 base price - $10,000 core charge = $15,000 net price.

Heck, Nissan charges you like $8k to replace the puny 24kwh batteries in the Leaf and that's after the core charge. I don't think you can even buy it without exchanging your old one.
 

GreenMtnM3

Member
Feb 26, 2019
78
221
Burlington, Vermont
Wow, it is interesting and alarming that running over a parking lot curb stop would do enough physical damage to the battery pack that replacement is required. I thought Tesla armored the bottoms of the battery pack pretty well just for this reason.

Full disclosure, I have made the same mistake, many years ago, in a Nissan Maxima. It caused a terrific bump and noise, it dented the seams on the unibody undercarriage, and it made a severe impact on my ego. Other than that, there was no damage. If you are forward in a parking spot in an unfamiliar parking lot, it can be very easy to simply try to pull through. I would have assumed that the Tesla battery would survive the 6" fall onto a blunt concrete bar. Perhaps the rebar that is usually securing these blocks was protruding and put a small but deep dent into the pack. The OP did not mention any perforation, however and i would expect that a piece of rebar would have put a hole in the skin if it was there. What a bummer!

The Tesla is low compared to most cars. My 3 ton craftsman floor jack, which I have used on Miata's, BMW's, and just about everything else without problem will not fit under the jack pads. I appreciate the OP listing this as it is a good warning to me (and my family) to make sure we don't high center this car.
 

Guy V

Member
Apr 22, 2015
429
1,141
St. Louis, MO
This is very scary as the run-over-a-curb thing has happened to my P85 twice in 4 1/2 years! First time it required raising suspension to very high to get unstuck.

On the other hand, with an over 6 year old Model S, battery replacement cost has been coming to mind now and then. If nothing else catastrophic happens I think around $15K would be an acceptable amount to keep the car for some more years. It would certainly be an awesome second car.

(Incidentally, that amount is in the ballpark for what I was told it would cost to replace a high-end BMW engine if I trashed it, by like simply not keeping an eye on the temperature gauge.)
 

WarpFactor3

Member
Aug 31, 2017
17
54
Schenectady, NY USA
There was a reddit post a few months back of somebody that hit a deep pothole or something and damaged their pack in the same way and got quoted around $15k for the repair, so definitely not the only incident. Hopefully they eventually redesign the shielding around that coolant hose or whatever it is.

EDIT: Was a tweet: TeslaOwner on Twitter
 
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pandam3

Member
Apr 23, 2018
193
160
Orange County
Newbie M3 owner here and wondering if installing 20 or 21 inch wheels would prevent the chances of such incidents..
I’d think the opposite is true... lower the car more so that the lower bumper takes the damage or hit before you can get over the obstacle and cause more underbody damage.

For example... if a metal ladder is in the middle of the road on the freeway... if you have enough underbody clearance you can go over it, but the turbulance will kick that ladder up and puncture the battery. OTOH if you are nice and low on a lowered suspension... that ladder will ricochet off the front bumper (since there is no clearance to go under the car) and launch into the car next to you instead... which saves your battery.

That being said... I’ve got my Tesla sitting pretty low to the ground on coilovers. I do rarely hit on some speed bumps... but upon inspection I am just hitting the frame rails and the battery is tucked up above that... if I raise it another 1/2 and inch it would be fine.

For stanced VW’s... there are companies that make metal skid plates to protect the oil pan... maybe understanding how this happened... something can be made similar for the Model 3. It seems just behind the front suspension there is a gap under the plastic shielding. I bet as it went over the parking stop... it pushed the plastic shielding up causing it to colide with the corner of the battery pack... maybe replace the plastic shielding with an aluminum skid plate.
 

Saghost

Well-Known Member
Oct 9, 2013
8,224
7,086
Delaware
I'm certainly no expert here, but I'd be SHOCKED if its only $15,000 for a new battery pack. That would make absolutely no sense based on what I've read in the past and makes no sense that Tesla would have a next to nothing core charge, etc.

I can pretty much guarantee you that Tesla wants that old battery pack back. I would expect the following:

$25,000 base price - $10,000 core charge = $15,000 net price.

Heck, Nissan charges you like $8k to replace the puny 24kwh batteries in the Leaf and that's after the core charge. I don't think you can even buy it without exchanging your old one.

I wouldn't. Tesla's guidance for the S and X has consistently been that the pack cost is about a quarter of the MSRP.

The design of the 2170 cells and model 3 pack were specifically chosen for the express purpose of reducing the costs compared to the S and X.

So it's unlikely that the 75 kWh model 3 pack costs close to the ~$20k of a 75 kWh S pack, let alone more as you are suggesting.

As for the Leaf comparison, I doubt Nissan is quoting at cost - but I have no doubt Nissan's costs per kWh are substantially higher than Tesla's.
 

andy92782

Member
Oct 14, 2018
276
430
Southern Calfornia
Does the $15K cost for battery replacement include both parts and labor, or just parts alone?

Just as a comparison, I used to have a Porsche 911 with PDK transmission. PDK failure is not unheard of and there were plenty of reports of replacement cost being upwards of $10K. Engine replacements - although very rare on a 997.2 - are $20K easily. Given that, $15K battery replacement cost doesn't seem unreasonable.

Sucks that it happened but this is why we carry insurance.
 
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SAronian

Member
Apr 20, 2019
28
42
Oakland, CA
There was a post in the Facebook "Tesla Model 3" group from someone who had a piece of wood impale the underside of his car. There was fluid leakage but it was diagnosed as a punctured hose and repair was $700.

I mention this because it shows how undercarriage damage is very unpredictable.

BTW - The Facebook group requires membership so linking was not possible.
Tesla Model 3-Wood.jpg
 
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pandam3

Member
Apr 23, 2018
193
160
Orange County
There was a post in the Facebook "Tesla Model 3" group from someone who had a piece of wood impale the underside of his car. There was fluid leakage but it was diagnosed as a punctured hose and repair was $700.

I mention this because it shows how undercarriage damage is very unpredictable.

BTW - The Facebook group requires membership so linking was not possible.
View attachment 420942

That looks like the area that is most vulnerable... the area just posterior to the suspension before the battery pack starts. It’s just a plastic splash shield with nothing underneath to support the weight of the car. So rather than letting things slide past the battery... it just collides with the battery corner and front of the battery.

Someone needs to come up with an aluminum skid plate to either span the front of the car or at the very least in front of the battery to deflect debri and road hazards like speed bumps from catching that corner of the battery.

Would be easy... just pull off the plastic skid plates and take it to a machine shop and have them trace it out in aluminum... add some structural braces... done... someone can come to market with this idea within weeks and profit from my idea. i’d have it span the green hi lighted area.
F23863F8-3D32-4EA9-81EE-CC4E0D7C94C4.jpeg
 

pandam3

Member
Apr 23, 2018
193
160
Orange County
Here is a link to skid plates that VW enthusiast get... but it be a similar idea

VW Skid Plates

Here is a link to skid plates for Toyota’s... I know overkill but I have an FJ Cruiser as well that can use them.

Stage 2 (Rock Armor) Skid Plate | 07-09 FJ Cruiser | BudBuilt Off-Road

However there are enough enthusiast that offroad their model 3’s to the point that Mountain Pass Performance makes a lift kit for the Model 3 and there are plenty Model 3’s that are lowered that can use protection as well.
 

Gray468

Member
Jan 7, 2019
106
115
Santa Barbara
2017 S100D. 4500 miles on the car, 2300 miles from home, drove over the corner of a curb in a parking lot. Car felt like it came down hard and then there was that awful scratching noise till the rear wheel went over the corner. Maybe a bad decision, but I thought maintaining slow forward momentum was better than getting stuck. I was too new (about a month into ownership) to think of stopping and raising the suspension. Scrapped off part of the running strip. Local Tesla dealer said car was fine and the running strip was non essential.
They said it will likely get replaced next maintenance stop. Must have. Looks great 2 years later. I forgot about it till this thread and just checked.

Have had a few speed bump hits at low speed. No issues.

Chatted with a model three owner with the performance tires. She said she backed out of a driveway over the curb and it tore the tire open. Really? I have done that multiple times with no ill effects (yes, I suck at avoiding curbs).

I am only one data point, but is this evidence of blind luck or that the refresh model S is very sturdy and forgiving?
 
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rrolsbe

Member
Feb 18, 2017
259
147
Albuquerque
There was a reddit post a few months back of somebody that hit a deep pothole or something and damaged their pack in the same way and got quoted around $15k for the repair, so definitely not the only incident. Hopefully they eventually redesign the shielding around that coolant hose or whatever it is.

EDIT: Was a tweet: TeslaOwner on Twitter
After getting home after picking my new Model 3 July 2018, I discovered that a front aerodynamic panel was missing. Turns out there was also a metal bracket that attaches directly in front of the traction battery that was also missing. There are many high voltage cables and cooling lines located fairly low on the front of the traction battery. After looking at the metal replacement bracket and the aero shield, I do not believe the bracket gives much protection and the aero cover only helps with airflow ie.. almost no protection. I was hoping an aftermarket company would come up a skid plate like protective cover to replace both the front bracket/aero cover and the aero cover mounted directly under the rear motor. These skid plates would probably not be off road strength but would hopefully give better protection at the expense of some additional weight.
 
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Suds

Member
Jul 13, 2018
5
3
Toronto, Canada
Ran over a parking lot curb stop. Internal hose damaged and not serviceable. $15,000.

Terrible mistake, but wasn't a big curb, didn't even touch bumper valance.

Stunned.
Thanks for the reminder Digdoug. So easy to do in a car with a lot of torque (like a Tesla).
I had exactly the same thing happen many years ago in my 83 Camaro ... it landed with a loud wham. I had to get a toe truck to lift me off the curb. Thankfully of late I haven't seen those types of curbs in the middle of parking lots ... but I will make a note to self while in my 3. :)
 

Jetways

Member
Jun 29, 2018
6
19
Brantford Ontario Canada
I didn't take any pictures of the curb stop - had no idea I might need them. Figured this would be an out-of-pocket repair.

Not much to see on the underside of the car. Slight damage to the cover on the underside between front wheels. Blue fluid leaking out.
Something sounds wrong with this scenario. If you just pulled up too far it should not have effected the battery. There is a fiber board cover over the first 3-4 feet that protects the front motor, driveshafts etc. Then you get the metal skid plate that protects the battery. At the front of the skid plate is a rigid plastic hose going across the car. Fittings at both ends and a T in the center.
We hit a piece of metal on the highway and broke this hose. It dumped all the blue coolant that cools the battery and for some reason the auto pilot system. A message saying "Coolant low. OK to drive" came on. I completed my drive and pulled it into our shop in the morning and found the front cover had been damaged and the hose broken at the T dumping ALL the fluid.
I went to the Tesla SC in Toronto bought the hose ($7.00), the fiber board cover which got damaged ($200) and they gave me 3 gallons of blue coolant. Installed the hose filled up the coolant and been fine since.
If you had dragged the car over the curb to the point of penetrating the metal skid plate I can see the battery getting damaged but...
 

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petecrayton

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Apr 26, 2019
86
89
jacksonville, florida USA
I completely understand the first-post skepticism. But let me be clear to anyone reading this: Despite what I am going through right now, I still very much consider this car to be the best car i've ever owned - and by no small margin. I have no intention of spreading FUD - quite the opposite - i've spent the last 12 months of ownership evangelizing for Tesla. I'm sure this will work out. I posted here, after lurking for a very long time, simply because I'm a bit stressed by it, that's all. I need to talk to people about it and I need to gather as much info as possible. So thanks.

Now, for an update.

I've been to the service center already (Rockville, MD) and spoke with Adam there. He was helpful and completely professional. I asked him several questions, including: What specifically was the damage and did you take any photos when it was on the lift? What happens to the damaged pack once removed?

Adam immediately offered to bring the car back into the shop, lift it up, and get me some pictures. He even offered to make notes on them so i'd understand the damage and why it was irreparable. He described a process where the battery pack goes back to CA and is disassembled and inspected. He noted the results of this inspection would be confidential to Tesla.

We discussed returning the damaged battery to me, the obvious hurdles to that being a) it's 3000 lbs, and b) it likely belongs to my insurance company once they pay the claim. Nevertheless, Adam agreed to get more detail on transferring it to me should USAA not want it and I have a means of transporting it safely...

So that's the current status. Time to file a claim I guess.[/QUO
Ran over a parking lot curb stop. Internal hose damaged and not serviceable. $15,000.

Terrible mistake, but wasn't a big curb, didn't even touch bumper valance.

Stunned.
I would be interested in knowing your experience with USAA which is my insurer also. I've always considered them top shelf and am willing to pay more based on that.
 
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