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Battery replacement - can I keep the old battery?

planemechanic

Member
Oct 26, 2013
43
41
Bay Area
I am getting my Model 3 battery replaced by my insurance due to a large rock that scrapped the bottom. I have heard there is value in these batteries for home storage with a solar system. I want to recoup some of the value of this old battery, that I own as part of my car, either for my use or for sale to someone who wants to use it in their solar/home storage system.

Has anyone had this experience or heard of it from others? Any idea how to move this large heavy battery from the service center to my home? Any other pitfalls or concerns I should be worried about here? I would sell it in an "as-is" condition of course.

TIA
 

jmaddr

Member
Mar 29, 2019
957
962
Florida
The rules would be the same as if your insurance totaled your car and you wanted to buy it in salvage. It’s an arrangement between you and your insurance company. Your insurance company technically owns the battery if they paid for the repair and it’s at their discretion if they want to sell it to you. I personally have not heard of anything like this.

By the way, I’m curious what circumstances allowed a rock to hit your underside? Are you lowered or was it just a really hig rock you didn’t see?
 

gecko10x

Member
Jan 22, 2018
265
163
WV
The rules would be the same as if your insurance totaled your car and you wanted to buy it in salvage. It’s an arrangement between you and your insurance company. Your insurance company technically owns the battery if they paid for the repair and it’s at their discretion if they want to sell it to you. I personally have not heard of anything like this.

By the way, I’m curious what circumstances allowed a rock to hit your underside? Are you lowered or was it just a really hig rock you didn’t see?

I believe there was a thread on here last year with the exact same question, and this was the consensus, IIRC.
 

planemechanic

Member
Oct 26, 2013
43
41
Bay Area
The insurance company is out of it at this point, Tesla does not like two party checks and they prefer the insurance company send me a check, then I pay Tesla for the repair. This also allows me to use a rewards credit card to get some cash back out of this deal. Since the total repair was close to $19,000 the cash back is not small.

The "rock" is what is called rip rap, it is those cantaloupe sized rocks used to hold embankments in place. Unfortunately the rip rap itself decided to roll down the embankment just before my wife drove by.

Since the deal is now between me and the Tesla service center I think I am the owner of the battery. There is no mention of a core charge on the estimate, and it is a new OEM battery not a remanufactured one.
 

Akikiki

A'-Lo-HA ! y'all
Nov 26, 2012
6,444
4,533
Kaneohe, HI
I dare say that whoever does the replacement calculates that into the replacement cost.
ewoodrick, I think you are right. Probably the first thing on a model this new was Tesla injected into the conversation with the insurance company that they want the old battery back and made them an offer for the exchange. The OP unlikely has a chance.
 

planemechanic

Member
Oct 26, 2013
43
41
Bay Area
Tesla is now claiming they want a $8,000-$11,000 core fee. Since it is not mentioned anywhere on any estimate I think I could fight it, but it is more than I want to bother with right now. I am dropping this idea. Thanks everyone.
 

Daniel in SD

Well-Known Member
Jan 25, 2018
6,594
9,378
San Diego
Tesla is now claiming they want a $8,000-$11,000 core fee. Since it is not mentioned anywhere on any estimate I think I could fight it, but it is more than I want to bother with right now. I am dropping this idea. Thanks everyone.
Someone should fight them on this at some point. I can understand not wanting to bother with it though. In California they have to give you back the used parts if you tell them any time before the repair is complete. So if they write up the estimate without the core charge then that's on them.
I wonder if they do this to avoid someone writing an article saying "The Model 3 battery costs $20k!". That's the only explanation I can come up with.
 
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ZOMGVTEK

Member
May 19, 2015
559
434
'Merica
Someone should fight them on this at some point. I can understand not wanting to bother with it though. In California they have to give you back the used parts if you tell them any time before the repair is complete. So if they write up the estimate without the core charge then that's on them.
I wonder if they do this to avoid someone writing an article saying "The Model 3 battery costs $20k!". That's the only explanation I can come up with.

With how many people are highly concerned about replacement pack costs, I could very well see this being the case. It’s not a big number of cars that have out of warranty battery replacement, so it’s not insane to think they would be willing to create the illusion the pack isn’t QUITE so expensive. And presumably the idea is by the time people might legitimately need an out of warranty replacement the costs would be inline with expectations.
 

jmaddr

Member
Mar 29, 2019
957
962
Florida
In California they have to give you back the used parts if you tell them any time before the repair is complete
I think this is only if they don't charge a core.
Now I'm not a lawyer, but I don't think an estimate is a binding legal document (there are not dual signatures, notary, etc). If anytime before they do actual work, they come to you in good faith and say, we were incorrect and here is a new estimate, I would think they are entirely
within their legal right.
 

Daniel in SD

Well-Known Member
Jan 25, 2018
6,594
9,378
San Diego
I think this is only if they don't charge a core.
Now I'm not a lawyer, but I don't think an estimate is a binding legal document (there are not dual signatures, notary, etc). If anytime before they do actual work, they come to you in good faith and say, we were incorrect and here is a new estimate, I would think they are entirely
within their legal right.
It just doesn’t seem plausible that they’re forgetting to put a core charge on the estimate every single time they do a battery replacement.
 

jmaddr

Member
Mar 29, 2019
957
962
Florida
It just doesn’t seem plausible that they’re forgetting to put a core charge on the estimate every single time they do a battery replacement
I hope you're right but Tesla service is...shall we say...learning.... As long as they don't mention/document the core before you drop off your car (and you sign the work slip) and they begin their work, then you have a point and a leg to stand on.
 

ucmndd

Well-Known Member
Mar 10, 2016
6,704
12,590
California
It just doesn’t seem plausible that they’re forgetting to put a core charge on the estimate every single time they do a battery replacement.

How many out of warranty / full cost battery replacements do you think they’ve done at this point? I imagine that number is quite small.
 

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