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Catastrophic battery pack failure

Discussion in 'Model S: Battery & Charging' started by easygoer, Mar 29, 2016.

  1. easygoer

    easygoer New Member

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    So I am pretty bewildered, concerned and a little bit upset about what happened to my S a couple of days ago. First, I got a 12 V battery warning and so took it in for service at the Buena Park facility in So Cal. I got the car back the same day after they replaced the 12 V battery and did a general inspection which revealed nothing else wrong. I drove it from the Service center (about 20 miles) and parked it in a hospital parking garage. When I came back 2 hours later, the car was DEAD! You could not open or wake the car with the key fob, Android app, 24-hr roadside assistance which tried to remote into the car. They sent a tow truck who broke in through the driver side door, but to no avail. The car is UNRESPONSIVE! Flat lining! The car had to be towed back to Buena Park the next morning.

    After a couple of days the service manager called me and told me that the main battery pack had completely discharged. They charged it again and it did the same thing again. Apparently, there is some problem with the high voltage junction box controlling in the battery pack. So now the battery pack with be removed and sent to Fremont for analysis and I will get a loaner battery pack in the interim.

    Has anyone heard of this happening? And if so, how should I deal with Tesla? What guarantee is there that this won't happen again when the warranty runs out? I am so shaken up by this incident, that I almost feel like I got a lemon!
     
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  2. easygoer

    easygoer New Member

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    Forgot to mention - this is a 2014 Model S 85kWh with 41K miles.
     
  3. araxara

    araxara S-P85#3,218 X-90D#3,299

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    I haven’t had this problem, but I did have my battery pack sent back to Tesla Factory for refurbishment (due to some problem they detected remotely on their own with the battery pack). This was not a junction box issue, but some bad cells. I got a loaner pack and drove around with it for almost 2 months. A friend of mine is still driving around on his loaner pack since October - they haven’t finished refurbishing his pack.

    I had about 62K miles on my car when the battery was refurbished. The pack I got back had a new ID sticker on it, but had the same serial number. The battery range was about the same as my pack before it was sent back.

    The battery warranty is 8 years or 100K miles, so you should be OK until then. After that mileage/time period, you will probably be able to find a good battery pack from a salvaged Tesla. There are people already that know how to swap battery packs and also fix them.
     
  4. Denarius

    Denarius Active Member

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    Batteries have 8 year unlimited mile warranty.
     
  5. easygoer

    easygoer New Member

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    I expect to drive my Model S way beyond the 8 year warranty period. Tesla should give unlimited warranty on such a catastrophic failure. I bet a replacement battery after the warranty runs out won't be cheap.
     
  6. araxara

    araxara S-P85#3,218 X-90D#3,299

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    Oh yeah. I think the 60/70kWh battery packs are the ones with the more limited warranty (125K miles).
     
  7. Quant

    Quant Member

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    I dunno your logic. The reason any warranty on any product exists is because there is a statistical non zero risk that some small percentage of a product could become one of the units in the error rate statistic. IF the company upholds the warranty, for the 8 yrs/ 100 K, why should you get more ? Because you plan to drive it for longer than 8 years ( just like everybody else who bought a Tesla ). ??

    So, would you use the same logic on a new house, if the home builder ( say a large probably publicly traded company) gave you a warranty and say the electrical system was bad and had to be fixed ? And you want to keep the house for say 30 years, they have to go beyond their 10 or 15 year warranty ?

    I agree they should maybe give you an extra 6 months or some sort of in kind compensation for your troubles ( to go beyond the warranty ), as a customer service gesture, but I don't get why they need to give you a 10, 12 or 15 year warranty ?

    Same thing with an iPhone. I've had a bad one. Apple replaced it. And, I had paid for extended care, in addition to the purchase price of the phone. But after the 2 years I won't have any warranty.

    It seems to me that you are angry that you had the personal misfortune of having had a product with an error rate where you unfortunately had bad luck. Perhaps, next time you should buy a Mercedes or a BMW Or a Ford and see if they will be give you a 10 or 12 year warranty, if there is problem with the engine, AFTER they fix the warranted item.

    Perhaps, your anger and your karma are interlinked?
     
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  8. Grendal

    Grendal Active Member

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    It won't be cheap but it is unlikely to have a major failure happen again. If you do end up buying a new pack, it will be vastly improved. Also, there will be used packs from damaged cars available that will probably be pretty cheap.
     
  9. kennybobby

    kennybobby Member

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    Never heard of this happening before--but there is a first time for everything. They will get to the bottom of this and make necessary changes to fix it, would be interesting to find out what was the root cause. Don't worry, be happy.
     
  10. travwill

    travwill Member

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    40/60 initially had limited warranties. On release of the 70, they went with the more simple:

    "
    Every Model S includes free long distance travel using Tesla's Supercharger network and an eight year,
    infinite mile battery and drive warranty.
    "
     
  11. lolachampcar

    lolachampcar Active Member

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    I see the thread here and another with the same C word leading the title over on TM and scratch my head. The battery took a dump in a non-catostrophic way (it did not blow up or burn), you got a replacement/loaner under warranty and you are back up and running.

    Was leading the title with such a catchy word simply an attempt to get attention for the thread for surely this is not catastrophe (or at least does not rise to that level in my life's experiences).
     
    • Like x 6
  12. FlasherZ

    FlasherZ Sig Model S + Sig Model X + Model 3 Resv

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    I can understand the frustration at a failure, but rest assured the technology is solid and you will be fine.

    The earliest battery packs (I have a first-1000 car, a/k/a Signature) were designed with contactors (safety switches that "turn off" the packs when not in use) that couldn't hold up under certain loads. At 19,000 miles, I experienced a failure while returning from a St. Louis Tesla Enthusiasts' event. I called roadside assistance and the car was towed to the service center.

    At the time, service centers couldn't do the repairs on-site, so I received a refurbished replacement pack and mine was sent back to Fremont to be refurbished. I'm currently at 74,000 miles -- 55,000 miles later -- and have had no problems with the battery pack since. The service level has been exceptional.

    As far as the "lemon" word goes, unfortunately you're nowhere near the legal definition of lemon with a single failure. Problems occur occasionally, and what really matters is not perfection, but rather how it's handled. So, to your question of how to "deal with Tesla", my guidance is simply to call the service center and ask them to fix the problem for you. Don't get angry and threaten them - unlike other manufacturers or insurers, Tesla doesn't look for technicalities to deny warranty entitlement: so they're not trying to screw you.
     
    • Informative x 1
  13. Electric700

    Electric700 Member

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    #13 Electric700, Mar 30, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2016
    It's terrible that this happened to you, and I hope you get your car back soon in full working condition. From what Tesla told me they are able to replace individual battery components. So, after the 8 year/unlimited mile warranty expires and if in the unlikely event something does go wrong, you might just be looking at a few hundred dollars to fix the battery.
     
  14. kyalami

    kyalami Member

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    About 6 weeks ago I was contacted by my SC in Dedham to bring the car in for a contactor upgrade and battery refurb. So I have been driving on a loaner pack since mine was sent back to Fremont. My car is a P85 Signature car (serial 0233!) with about 37,000 miles on it. There was no indication of trouble but they decided to do the upgrade and refurb based on either data they were uploading or some other criteria. All in all, service and treatment at the SC has been nothing short of extraordinary. Love this car.
     
  15. Branzo90D

    Branzo90D Salt and Pepper

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    Based upon my limited experience thus far - received my Model S last October and now about 5k miles - Tesla service has also been excellent. I had a UMC cable go bust on me one morning - three red flashes and no charging. Called the SvC and was given a replacement free of charge the same day. They even took the car into the shop to make sure the new cable worked properly with my car and that the cable malfunction was not caused indirectly by my vehicle. No complaints here, great service, and totally different from my experiences with ICE vehicle manufacturers.
     
  16. Krugerrand

    Krugerrand Active Member

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    Nope, don't think I've ever seen anyone on this forum (or anywhere on the Internet) mention this ever happening.

    Umm...not sure I understand the question. Sounds like Tesla is taking care of you while they investigate and fix your car. Do you require something else from them that they aren't giving you?

    That would be the same guarantee we all have that we won't get run over by a bus tomorrow. There's a pretty high probability we'll be okay tomorrow, but heck anything can happen.

    Wha...? Shaken? It's a car. Have you never had a car not start for you before? If not, well you have now so join the very big club that exists on this planet. We all got over it, dealt with it, and moved about our lives without any sort of long lasting trauma because sometimes cars don't start - even expensive ones.
     
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