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Charged $800 for A/C Compressor harness after 6mo? [SC states water damage]

I have owned my Tesla Model 3 for a little over 6 months now. We recently received the "Vehicle may not restart" warnings and subsequently, the entire car bricked. I called Tesla and they towed it in without issue. They notified me it had been resolved after 5 days and I could come to pick it up.

I assumed whatever was wrong with it would be covered under warranty. However, they charged me $800 for two harnesses (HV Battery to PTC Heater and AC Compressor) and a new 12V battery. They claimed it was due to water getting in the left front motor area and driving in too deep of water. I asked how deep one would have to go in water to experience this issue and they could not tell me.

I was out of town and my wife and daughter claim they did not drive it in the rains. Normally, I keep the car in the garage but it was out for one night of really heavy rainstorm. Has anyone else experienced this issue?
 
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cali8484

Member
Jul 8, 2018
288
171
California
I have owned my Tesla Model 3 for a little over 6 months now. We recently received the "Vehicle may not restart" warnings and subsequently, the entire car bricked. I called Tesla and they towed it in without issue. They notified me it had been resolved after 5 days and I could come to pick it up.

I assumed whatever was wrong with it would be covered under warranty. However, they charged me $800 for two harnesses (HV Battery to PTC Heater and AC Compressor) and a new 12V battery. They claimed it was due to water getting in the left front motor area and driving in too deep of water. I asked how deep one would have to go in water to experience this issue and they could not tell me.

I was out of town and my wife and daughter claim they did not drive it in the rains. Normally, I keep the car in the garage but it was out for one night of really heavy rainstorm. Has anyone else experienced this issue?

That's really too bad. I haven't heard of this problem but I can imagine it since that harness runs along the bottom of the car only ~6" off ground.
 

NedH

Member
Feb 27, 2019
177
166
GA
Sounds like the old Apple excuse for charging for repairs. If the iPhone moisture indicator inside the case indicated moisture, Apple would claim the phone repairs didn't come under their warranty. (Or was it Apple computers? Either way the owner was SOL.)
 
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jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Nov 28, 2018
11,562
13,485
Riverside Co. CA
Sounds like the old Apple excuse for charging for repairs. If the iPhone moisture indicator inside the case indicated moisture, Apple would claim the phone repairs didn't come under their warranty. (Or was it Apple computers? Either way the owner was SOL.)

In pretty much every case, if the moisture indicators on computers, phones etc indicted the device was in moisture, it was in moisture, full stop, do not pas go. If the device warranty excludes moisture damage, then I have no idea why anyone would consider that an "excuse" other than the fact they were not happy with the warranty terms (which doesnt make it an excuse).

I have no idea if there is a moisture indicator in / on / around the area in question in a tesla, and I dont work for apple but our company has used apple devices for quite some time (since the original iPhone).

I have seen phones / macs etc where people swore "no I didnt drop it in water" who straight up lie to your face, because its clear, not only from the moisture indicators but other indicators once the device is taken apart.

Back to this OP,

We have a statement from them that they "drove the car in very heavy rains" and also asked "how deep would the water have to be, to cause this damage?" There isnt any reason at all to ask that question unless someone drove through "some" water but thought "its not that deep / I should be fine".

I have zero idea how much water that would take (to damage those items) but its likely the OP drove through "some" water. Checking the internet for "illinois rainstorms 2021" results in this as the first hit:


So, we have severe weather, an OP (who joined today, to make this post) asking "how much water is too much?" when told their damage was caused by water, and water damage / driving through water not a warranty item, yet people want to say "Tesla wants to avoid obvious warranty work!"
 

AlanSubie4Life

Efficiency Obsessed Member
Oct 22, 2018
11,180
14,201
San Diego
I asked how deep one would have to go in water to experience this issue and they could not tell me.

The vehicle is not a boat. I would be hesitant to drive in water more than about 3 inches deep (6 inches can cause loss of control). In water about 3 inches deep, I would proceed at less than 10mph.

No matter what anyone may say, it's not a boat, nor will it operate as one for any length of time without sustaining damage.

 
Last edited:

Sam1

Active Member
Sep 11, 2019
1,323
1,281
NV
The vehicle is not a boat. I would be hesitant to drive in water more than about 3 inches deep (6 inches can cause loss of control). In water about 3 inches deep, I would proceed at less than 10mph.

No matter what anyone may say, it's not a boat, nor will it operate as one for any length of time without sustaining damage.

To emphasize the other point you made... You shouldn't be driving fast through any significant amount of standing water. Dummies in this town love to hit puddles at highway speeds for no reason, then I'm sure they complain about warped rotors a few weeks later and blame the brake manufacturer.
 

Billee

Member
Nov 28, 2020
39
56
Tampa
Cables and connections under the car have to be designed to be water tight. Imagine the amount of high velocity spray that is created at highway speeds in heavy rain. Submerging the cables for a short period of time should not cause problems.

For example, all modern cars have ABS sensors on the back of each wheel assembly with an electrical cable. They don't have problems driving through deep water.
 

TSLA Pilot

Active Member
Mar 12, 2013
1,878
3,484
United States
I don't care if the car was driven in water, or how deep it was--this is what cars can expect to experience in their lifetimes. Absent obvious flood damage, which you do not report here, Tesla needs to refund your repair payment.

Period.

If I were you I would review your arbitration options, usually listed in the warranty booklet. Tesla should pay for this repair as it strongly suggests inadequate design or poor quality assembly and/or materials.

Again, under warranty, it's on Tesla, not the OP.

Please DO THIS--the process is free. Please advise how it goes.

Tesla Customer Service has fallen off a cliff since our first Model S in 2013 and it's just embarrassing how bad it has become of late.

Thanks for keeping us in the loop.
 

AlanSubie4Life

Efficiency Obsessed Member
Oct 22, 2018
11,180
14,201
San Diego
Cables and connections under the car have to be designed to be water tight. Imagine the amount of high velocity spray that is created at highway speeds in heavy rain. Submerging the cables for a short period of time should not cause problems.

I don't care if the car was driven in water, or how deep it was--this is what cars can expect to experience in their lifetimes.

I agree that for simple moisture or even deep water this should not cause problems.

However, there is the issue of speed.

Without more detail from the OP, it’s impossible to know how much damage was done to harnesses (ripping them loose of their attachment points, etc.) by a fast transit through deep water. Water has a way of getting past seals when there is enough pressure. High velocity spray from the road is one thing and should not cause problems. But a flood of water moving at 70-80mph is quite another, it is not the same at all.

We have no idea what happened here. It could be a Tesla defect, but without more information (pictures of the damage) we will never know. Arbitration makes sense since it will presumably determine the facts of what happened.
 

TLLMRRJ

Active Member
Dec 19, 2019
2,056
2,452
Houston
Is your car blue?

1625392758910.png
 

bjrosen

Member
Apr 19, 2019
373
390
Westford MA
Unless the car was flooded then Tesla should be responsible. Standing out in the rain is normal use or driving through a puddle is normal use. The wiring should be protected from that. If the water is up to the bottom of the door than that's flood damage and it shouldn't be covered by warranty, but if it's a two inch puddle the car should be able to handle it.
 

bbell

Member
Sep 14, 2018
133
226
Niagara
Yet another poster who joins the site to make a complaint, then doesnt even come visit the site at all to check responses to the thread they created:

This poster could have been confused by the first "estimated repair" invoice.

Once they picked up the car and received a $0 warranty invoice all interest in posting a response faded.
 

TSLA Pilot

Active Member
Mar 12, 2013
1,878
3,484
United States
I agree that for simple moisture or even deep water this should not cause problems.

However, there is the issue of speed.

Without more detail from the OP, it’s impossible to know how much damage was done to harnesses (ripping them loose of their attachment points, etc.) by a fast transit through deep water. Water has a way of getting past seals when there is enough pressure. High velocity spray from the road is one thing and should not cause problems. But a flood of water moving at 70-80mph is quite another, it is not the same at all.

We have no idea what happened here. It could be a Tesla defect, but without more information (pictures of the damage) we will never know. Arbitration makes sense since it will presumably determine the facts of what happened.
Nearly the entire bottom of the car is enclosed so I disagree that "fast transit through deep water" is at issue here. Even if it was, there are lots of tests that other brands do to ensure that their cars can handle such events, events that a car will likely encounter in a normal lifetime.

Tesla should do such tests if they don't already.

See:

 

AlanSubie4Life

Efficiency Obsessed Member
Oct 22, 2018
11,180
14,201
San Diego
Nearly the entire bottom of the car is enclosed so I disagree that "fast transit through deep water" is at issue here. Even if it was, there are lots of tests that other brands do to ensure that their cars can handle such events, events that a car will likely encounter in a normal lifetime.

Tesla should do such tests if they don't already.

See:

How fast was this Nissan traveling and how fast was the OP traveling?

I really have no idea what Tesla tests, but the degree of protection of the underside of the vehicle seems minimal to me, from the poking around I have done.

Most cars do incredibly poorly driving through high water, whether they are tested for it or not. Definitely don’t do it!

The car should be designed to be resilient to such events.
 
Yet another poster who joins the site to make a complaint, then doesnt even come visit the site at all to check responses to the thread they created:

View attachment 681552

I apologize. I was on vacation for the holiday weekend and simply enjoying time with my family. I appreciate all of the responses and I will work my way through them starting with yours.
 

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