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Car defect: How long to expect "fix" under warranty?

Discussion in 'Model S' started by BEEZR, Dec 2, 2016.

  1. BEEZR

    BEEZR Member

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    Question for the group: How long should I (or anyone) expect to wait for a repair to a car under warranty? Tesla or otherwise, the manufacturer has an obligation to fulfill under the warranty -- how long before I need to take legal action or seek another remedy?

    I purchased CPO in June 2016. Since then my state of charge calibration has been off significantly (e.g. 80% charge is low-130s, 90% in low-150s). I reported the problem to Tesla in July as I thought maybe there was something wrong with the battery. Good news they claim, not the battery but the SOC calibration for which they will provide a firmware fix...

    It's been five months since I reported the problem to my local Service Center, but it's out of their hands. So I finally contacted Tesla NA support. Received the same confirmation that the battery is actually charging properly...

    "There is nothing concerning about the pack beside a slight state of charge calibration issue due to specific usage pattern. The vehicle is charging to 100% as the charge stops by a physical limit of the cell and not a state of charge estimation. The battery is charging to full, however it’s the display that isn’t reflecting it. It will be addressed in a future firmware update once there’s a fix."
    It's not a problem day to day as I have plenty of range for daily driving. However, I can't make a relatively easy trip of a few hours without unnecessary range anxiety -- and the added headache and inconvenience of charging more frequently than should be expected.

    Part of me wants them to take the car back and replace with another, similar CPO.

    What should I do? What would you do?
     
  2. MP3Mike

    MP3Mike Active Member

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    I'm curious what the "specific usage pattern" is that causes this problem...

    How many miles are on your car? (Since we know that over 200k can cause similar issues.)

    Have you actually ran it down to zero to help recalibrate it? (Have you actually ran it to where it stops?)
     
  3. BEEZR

    BEEZR Member

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    I don't know what they mean by "specific usage pattern." When I bought it the car was just over two years old with almost 52,000 miles; it now has 58,000. Perhaps the relatively high miles or the pattern of the previous owner is what they mean, but my usage is probably typical.

    I have never run it down to zero, though I have run it down to under 5% charge more than once -- intentionally to try to recalibrate as I have read about here (no change) -- and once recently I did get down to 1 mile remaining when I pulled into my garage after a long night of range anxiety. I have never run it to where it stops -- I don't want it to brick and then need roadside assistance.
     
  4. MP3Mike

    MP3Mike Active Member

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    OK, since they say the charging is correct, does the charge % show what appears to be correct? (Does it go down about 1% for every 2 miles driven?)

    Say you charge to 90%, which should be ~185 miles, and you drive until you get to 50%. How many miles would you get? (It should be around 80.)
     
  5. glhs272

    glhs272 Unnamed plug faced villian

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    In the past, charging to 100% or until charging stops, then running the car to near empty was supposed to help re-calibrate the range estimation. <note: you shouldn't have to run it until it stops, just low so you start seeing the kw being limited> Needs to be in one driving session, i.e. don't stop and park the car for a day in the middle of doing this. Not sure if that's still true with later firmware, as I am sticking with FW6.2.

    Do you charge to less than 90% often? Way back when I used to charge my car to less than 90% daily, thinking that was a good thing to do, I saw the range estimate creep down significantly. Very disconcerting. But 100% charging sessions and running to near empty seemed to work to bring the range estimate back up. Since then I have never charged to less than 90% daily. Car seems much happier in that usage pattern. Still getting 196 to 198 on a full charge at 86K miles.

    What would I do? Charge it to 100% everyday for a week or two and see if the range starts coming back up. Perhaps timed so it doesn't sit at 100% for extended periods of time. If that doesn't help, try the 100% to near zero run.

    If that doesn't help I would be suspicious. Maybe there is in fact real range loss. Hard to really know unless you can get access to see actual cell voltages.

    Now having said that, I am sure there will be some screaming at me about how you will destroy your battery in a day by charging it to 100%. I would ignore this.

    As far as strategies for dealing with Tesla, can't help with that much. They have never given me any issue with which to challenge them on.
     
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  6. BEEZR

    BEEZR Member

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    I haven't looked at the % closely to see if I get 2 miles for every 1% -- I will try to track that more carefully in the coming days to see what happens. However, when I start the day with ~130 mi range it usually tracks in line with miles driven + remaining = starting range.

    Using your example, I'm not getting 80 miles for 40% charge. It seems like I'm getting a pretty consistent line from "full" to "empty" -- that is, if I start at 90% in the 150-155 range I'm at 80-85 when I get to 50%. It's lower now as the weather has cooled, but IIRC this summer it felt as if the full/100% mark was ~180 (or less) and it would track consistently to 90 mi @ 50%.
     
  7. BEEZR

    BEEZR Member

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    Thanks. I was charging to 90% typically but now have it at 80% -- did not show any notable change. I'll go back to 90% and see if that helps. The CPO pre-delivery battery test reported 200 rated range at 100% charge, though at delivery it was 100% showing 187 mi. I am hesitant to charge to 100% daily and ignore the car's warnings since Tesla tells me the battery checks out OK.
     
  8. glhs272

    glhs272 Unnamed plug faced villian

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    Simply going back to 90% might not make any difference, a while back WK057 claimed it needed to be above 93% to initiate balancing. More aggressive measures mentioned earlier might be necessary. But even those still might not help. Charging to a 100% a few times isn't going to hurt anything. I do it all the time. You will need to do it more than once. Worth trying if you haven't I think.

    There is only so much you can do. If you had access to cell voltages, you might be able to see a module that's giving you an issue. It might be out balance or have a bad cell, thus contributing to a loss of capacity throughout the battery. Of course that wouldn't jive with what Tesla is telling you though.
     
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  9. BEEZR

    BEEZR Member

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    Thanks. My original post was to ask what recourse I may have... I expect if there was something I could do to recalibrate that Tesla would either tell me to do it or tell me to bring the car in and they would do it. I'm left waiting for an OTA fix that is promised in the future. So how do you get a car mfg to honor the warranty? And what is a consumer's reasonable expectation as to how long an issue can linger before they are obligated to offer a solution? I wondered if anyone had a situation with Tesla or another car company where they needed to try to enforce the warranty.
     
  10. MP3Mike

    MP3Mike Active Member

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    You can push more because in at least one case where someone had something similar happen Tesla replaced the battery rather than make them wait for the firmware fix: "According to TechCrunch, Tesla confirmed the issue stating that the onboard software was not properly compensating for the state of change in the battery chemistry that occurs on high mileage cars. The company was to release a software update in three months time which would address the issue, but decided to completely replace the battery instead."

    Given that it has been almost three months since that report, and we know a major update, 8.1, is coming sometime this month it may be that your problem will be covered in the 8.1 update.
     
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  11. sorka

    sorka Active Member

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    So then they're saying you're range is really 208 at 100% then and that it's showing high 150s instead of 187? Then you if you drive at a speed such that you get the rated wh / mile, then you should get over 180 miles before the battery dies.

    Have you thought about calling their bluff and driving until you get to 180 miles of range from a 90% charge at a speed to get the rated wh / mile? You could end the trip near a safe place to charge.
     
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  12. BEEZR

    BEEZR Member

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    I think they're saying the battery is holding the charge but it is not displaying correctly. I suppose I could test this by just driving until I get to 0 miles range and see what happens -- and call Roadside Assistance if necessary -- but somehow I don't think that would be good for the car.

    Just two weeks ago I got down to 1 mile remaining as I was pulling into my driveway. It was 2am and I didn't think about testing it any further... I'm sure roadside is quite a wait at that hour.
     
  13. sorka

    sorka Active Member

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    I really didn't want to suggest that directly but if it were me that's *exactly* what I would do and I would document how many rated miles it said you had when you started AND how many kWh had been used by the time it died. Does anyone know what the useful capacity on an older S60 is? Is it a real 60 kWh battery? What's the EPA rated at 100% and what is the rated wh / mile? Those two facts will tell you how many kWh you were supposed to be able to get when it was new. Factor in a degradation on the high side of normal, say 6% for your mileage and that's how many kWh you should be able to expend prior to it dying.
     
  14. glhs272

    glhs272 Unnamed plug faced villian

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    Understood. Just trying to be helpful in case "Specific usage pattern" has any credence. And the only usage pattern I can think of that would have any effect on the range estimate is charging habits which might effect battery balance (therefore actual capacity) or never using it on a long enough drive for it to calculate battery capacity. But you say just two weeks ago you ran the battery down all the way. Sounds like your doing everything normal to me. I am finding Tesla's explanation circumspect. If the computer is just not accurately getting state of charge, but the battery actually has the appropriate amount of capacity, then you should be able to drive the car the distance you expect or get the energy out of the pack you expect, regardless of what the guess-o-meter says. But, it sounds like from your other posts that this is not the case. In fact the usable capacity is diminished.

    I am sympathetic to your situation. You shouldn't have to be fighting to get Tesla to honor their warranty. If there is only a software bug, Tesla should do the right thing and replace the battery or give you a loaner battery rather than make you wait an undetermined amount of months, waiting for and hoping for a fix. The article that MP3Mike mentioned is a good example of what "good customer service" is and should be. Perhaps Tesla folks your talking to need to be reminded of what good customer service is in your situation. So you might reach out to them again and tell them that this problem is really a problem for you and is effecting your ability to use the car because it sounds like it really is. Mention the article, reminding those folks of that. Also, just because your not a magazine writer or vehicle reviewer or other famous Tesla blogger, you should still be given the same courtesy that Tesla gives these folks.
     
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  15. glhs272

    glhs272 Unnamed plug faced villian

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    #15 glhs272, Dec 2, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2016
    I did some actual testing on this a year or two ago. I ran my car to near depletion to see how many kWh I could get out of it. New it was something like 54-55 kWh if I remember correctly. Definitely not 60 kWh usable. EPA rated range when new is 208. My car had 209 when new. Still getting 196 with range mode off at 86K miles, so about 6% degradation. So I should expect to get at least 52 kWh of usable energy capacity at this point. But I haven't tested it in a while.

    If I understand things correctly, the car shutting down is based on actual cell voltages, not range estimate. As you approach low voltage cut off, the power limit bars appear on your speedo/power meter. This is a tell tale sign your battery is actually depleted. The power limit bars get lower and lower as the battery nears zero to the point where you start having to slow down. This is a sign to get off the road.

    Of course the OP shouldn't have to fuss with any of this, just a though exercise.

    Edit: BTW, I am not encouraging anyone to run their car until it stops. This just serves to give you a night of hassle.
     
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  16. calisnow

    calisnow Active Member

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    I am getting increasingly dismayed - and now angry - at Tesla's bullsh*t attitude toward its customers. You should get a new car and prior to that you should contact a consumer reporter at some local TV station and get some bad press. IF your story is true - and your displayed range is 30-50 miles off you essentially have a faulty "fuel gauge" and a car severely crippled in its utility.

    I love my Tesla and plan to buy only Tesla for the next 5 years or more - but this kind of crap has got to stop.

    FIVE MONTHS? No usable fuel gauge? Blowing you off with your very expensive car by telling you there is no fix?

    Take it up the chain and find some bad press - that's how to solve this. They have had enough chances - going to the press in this case is not FUD - it's righteously punishing a company who is treating you, the customer, like a disposable fool.
     
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  17. calisnow

    calisnow Active Member

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    You get a f*cking lawyer my friend - works for me. It's sad to say but a quiver full of attorneys - each chosen for their field of expertise and ability to write accurate, effective demand letters quickly - is a useful tool in life.

    You sir, are getting screwed. This isn't a small problem - it's crippling your very expensive investment because accurate range display is extremely important in an EV because of the limited charging options - you need the ability to plan. Google "lemon law attorney" and talk to one - see if 5 months of faulty fuel gauge and no fix in sight is enough to demand Tesla buy back the car. I would sure as hell try.
     
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  18. BEEZR

    BEEZR Member

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    Thanks. Appreciate your suggestions.
     
  19. BEEZR

    BEEZR Member

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    Yeah, didn't want to have to go there but wondered if I had to go there... Since it's not a new car, the lemon law (at least in my state) may not apply -- but the principle is still the same especially with a car under warranty. Thanks for the thoughts.
     
  20. Ulmo

    Ulmo Active Member

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    I echo this. Experiments done here on the forums note that it could take a few weeks at 100% to balance everything, but avoid staying at 100% for more than an hour or two at most (yes, this is almost a conflict, but not quite ... keep reading). Best to charge to 100% exactly before a rather long planned drive, and then again a few days later, over and over maybe 3x to 5x in a week or two. If that doesn't fix it, perhaps even then Tesla would be more interested in helping. 100% damages the battery but at the same time is part of the balancing system so it is necessary on occasion; just like living wears out the body but you have to exercise to stay healthy.

    The more and more equipment gets more sophisticated, the more often I use biology as an analogy. I think all end users should have a sense of that as well (and engineers should have high level biology background too).
     
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