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Battery Replacement Nightmare. Would like input!

May 30, 2018
27
34
Denver
So, on 12/13 I was driving my MS 75D to visit my wife at work and I received the warning "Vehicle may not restart - Service is required" message. Got to my wife's job, parked the car and sure enough, it would not move (screen would power up but car said there was an issue with voltage). Called Tesla Roadside and they sent a tow truck to get it. This was a Sunday.

The following day, confirmed that the car is at my service center and that there is an 'isolation fault' with my HV battery, covered by warranty, come by and get a loaner. Was told that it would take a while to get the refurbished battery due to lots of paperwork. Ok, no problem.

Skip forward to today (12/29), I get a bill for over $13,000 from Tesla to replace the HV battery and a shear plate (laughable because the cost of the battery, 12,000, versus the cost of the shear plate, 4.40). I call my service center and ask if there is an issue with the billing because I was told it was covered. They say the battery is punctured and that is not covered. The pictures they sent me are shocking. I have ZERO idea how this could have happened (and frankly neither do they). No damage to any of the body of the vehicle, just what you see in the pictures.

Been a hell of a day working with my insurance to file a claim but getting it taken care of. What is more baffling is that I bought the car in Sept (second owner) and had them do an battery test/inspection in October. They stated during that inspection that my battery was doing better than most batteries of the same age/mileage. So, what the heck happened to cause this issue? I work from home (COVID) so I really don't drive all that much and given the damage I would have known if I'd hit something. Also a bit bothered that they waited over two weeks before doing any sort of inspection of the battery when they said they'd originally replace it.

So, all that said, I was wanting to get thoughts and opinions. Have you seen anything like this before? Similar stories? What could have caused something like this?

EDIT: When you view the pictures, the damage you see is on the rear of the driver's side.
 

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SSedan

Active Member
Jul 24, 2017
2,948
2,310
Greenville Wisconsin
That looks like it was damaged during forward motion, not lifting.

People here fixate on improper lifting but we really don't see a lot of meaningful damage from that. Basically all cars have fuel and brake lines near lifting points so shops are accustomed to watching where they lift from.

It sucks, any chance it could have happened when a teenage child or someone was driving? Or maybe it was at a pothole and you just dismissed the bang as that.
 
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Reactions: mspisars and ucmndd
May 30, 2018
27
34
Denver
What's amazing to me is the amount of damage though. A pothole I wouldn't think would have warped that shear plate the way it shows in the last picture (i was told it was already bent like that prior to the battery removal). And that piece of metal actually missing from the casing...what does that? It would seem something like that would blow a tire to cause that amount of damaging from driving over something?

Prior to taking ownership of this car, I got down and underneath the car and I don't recall seeing this damage. Granted, it could have been closer behind the wheel possibly and I didn't see it, and it's just taken time to manifest itself. What bothers me is that this car has been in the shop twice now and it seems there was never a physical inspection done of the car. Hopefully Tesla technicians will learn from this and remember there is more to fixing cars than just reading what the computer tells them is wrong.
 
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Reactions: Arctic_White

ucmndd

Well-Known Member
Mar 10, 2016
6,413
11,962
California
That looks like it was damaged during forward motion, not lifting.

People here fixate on improper lifting but we really don't see a lot of meaningful damage from that. Basically all cars have fuel and brake lines near lifting points so shops are accustomed to watching where they lift from.
Totally agree, that’s from a major impact, not a shop lift. People think these cars are so delicate when it comes to lifting them... it’s just not the case.
 
May 30, 2018
27
34
Denver
The question then to me is, what can someone hit that does THIS amount of damage and doesn't affect drivability? That shear plate is warped to hell. Also remember, this damage is located by the rear driver's side tire. No damage to the front of the car in any way. I'd be inclined to say someone "curbed it" making a left hand turn into a median (did that once in my SS Camaro) but even then it doesn't explain the hole in the casing.

TBH, this is becoming a very compelling mystery to me. It must have been there prior to my purchase, but I'm surprised no one (including me) noticed it until the battery finally threw the isolation fault that put it in the shop in the first place.
 
May 30, 2018
27
34
Denver
What about an improper tow truck truck lift? And what are all those circular marks?

I asked Tesla bout it being the towing service Roadside Assistance called out. They just shrugged it off.

I think the circular marks you refer to are just dried water and grime from the road. Could be wrong though.
 

TSLA Pilot

Active Member
Mar 12, 2013
1,705
2,331
United States
File your insurance claim and hope that you (or someone else?) won't drive over anything like that again.

What other choice is there?

At least you'll have a new or refurbished battery so there's that silver lining . . . .
 
May 30, 2018
27
34
Denver
File your insurance claim and hope that you (or someone else?) won't drive over anything like that again.

What other choice is there?

At least you'll have a new or refurbished battery so there's that silver lining . . . .

You are absolutely right. At this point, pending the adjustor's estimate, it's either going to cost me $500 (collision) or $250 (comprehensive) for a brand new (refurbed) battery.
 

BM3B

“beaver”
Mar 8, 2019
750
888
Los Angeles, CA
No pics of the underside at purchase? I hope you would notice this, it’s pretty bad. Could have been some road junk like a big rock. Crazy. Good to hear insurance will cover it, new battery!
 

pabla

Member
Oct 17, 2016
220
120
Vancouver
Hasn’t something similar happened to model s owners in the past? I recall reading a few articles where a model s hit something (either a curb or a lose object on the road) and the battery was punctured. I think what must’ve happened is someone was driving and ran over something loose on the road and it punctured the battery. On the bright side at least this is what insurance is for, so whatever your deductible is, it will be far less than the 13k Tesla is charging you! Wish you good luck
 

ThomasD

Member
Nov 22, 2019
941
405
Breckenridge Co Ky
Why are these packs still expensive I realize that this pack was damaged but hopefully the aftermarket will be building replacement packs soon for out of warranty cars. Suppose the insurance said we will not cover it.
 

BM3B

“beaver”
Mar 8, 2019
750
888
Los Angeles, CA
Why are these packs still expensive I realize that this pack was damaged but hopefully the aftermarket will be building replacement packs soon for out of warranty cars. Suppose the insurance said we will not cover it.
$174-200 per kWh, industry leading pricing actually
 

MP3Mike

Well-Known Member
Feb 1, 2016
15,392
33,413
Oregon
Who gets the old battery in this case? Does Tesla keep it?

I don't know if Tesla keeps it, or charges a core if you want to keep it. But if the insurance company is paying for repairs, and Tesla isn't keeping it, the old battery would belong to them.
 

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