Welcome to Tesla Motors Club
Discuss Tesla's Model S, Model 3, Model X, Model Y, Cybertruck, Roadster and More.
Register

Daytime Running Lights (DRL) issues - What options do we have in NZ?

MMinehan

Member
Mar 21, 2016
108
33
Auckland, New Zealand
If your DRLs show any sign a fading get the headlamp units replaced ASAP if you are still covered by a warranty.

It seems there is a problem with the design of the DRLs in Model S's (facelift onwards). It is a common fault and they being to fail over time resulting in the whole headlamp unit needing to be replaced ($$$). See photo attached of my MS. Both sides have failed and Tesla Service picked this up on a WOF. They failed the WOF because "both front daytime running lights emitting insufficient light". So I have to get this fixed in order to get a WOF.....grrrrr!!!

There are multiple forum posts on this issue with one 26 pages long of people complaining and stories of people on their 3rd of 4th set of headlamps. This is not a cheap repair costing around $1500 each headlamp unit.


Turns out that the LED that feeds light into the light tube of the DRLs gets too hot a 'unsolders' itself melting some plastic in the process. There is no way anyone can fix this themselves, though lots have tried. The headlamp units are thermo-sealed and the only way to open them up is by cutting the plastic and using brute force.

Tesla know this is an issue, They are now up to revision G of these headlamp units made in Mexico. From revision F onwards they added a heatsink.

So my question is what options do we have in NZ when our warranty runs out? I was an early adopter having one of the earliest MSs in NZ, before they opened up shop here. Imported it from Australia with a warranty that became active once Tesla had a presence. I have the paper work to back this up. But that was almost 5 years ago now and I'm out of warranty.

Is this something that could be claimed under the Consumer Guarantees Act as it is a known design/manufacture fault?

I just don't want to fork out over $3000 for something that is not reasonable wear and tear. I already have a $3k repair for the link arm bushes.

I am little p'd off because I keep telling people EVs are cheap to run and maintain. But now I'm facing over $6k in servicing which is not very different from an ICE car. If I end up paying for this I certainly won't be as much of a Tesla fan as I am.

Marty

20210721_101710.jpg


2021-07-21.png
 

Ecoli

Member
Aug 6, 2019
750
338
New Zealand
That's an interesting point
it sounds like manufacturing fault
Tesla can't opt themselves out of the consumer guaranties act
But I don't know how you would stand with CGA being that you imported the car yourself
(not a lawyer -TM)

I think Rich rebuilds was successful at preforming surgery on his model S headlights

I remember Niall Darwin battling Tesla over a salvaged model S He imported from Au
If I remember correctly He repaired it and was told he had it certified by Tesla to have Supercharging enabled
Got it certified, Supercharging was denied took them to court over it and lost
His you tube channel had the whole story

I think Niall may have imported more than one Model S, I think he had donor cars and flood damaged car
He may possibly be a contact for spare parts. From the looks of it he is still tinkering with Tesla cars and batteries

I suppose there is always Ebay
 

MMinehan

Member
Mar 21, 2016
108
33
Auckland, New Zealand
So I got the estimate from Tesla to replace both headlamps because the DRLs can not be fixed on their own. $5100 + GST.

This is complete BS. I'm so disappointed. This is clearly a design flaw, supported by the fact there are numerous revisions and the large number of people reporting the same problem. No one should have to replace their entire headlight units every couple of years, especially given the price of $2500 each!
 

Ecoli

Member
Aug 6, 2019
750
338
New Zealand
Hats off to to you guys who took a tremendous risk importing you own cars in from Oz
trail blazing for us to follow in your foot steps

In the early days when I started looking at Tesla, the customer support by all accounts was legendary
These days the standard answer seems to be it's within spec or they are all like that

We could easily be in the same situation in a few years once warranty has expired
With some part of the car that's failed that shouldn't have, no love from Tesla and wondering if CGA will save the day
I guess if they are treating you like this it doesn't take rocket scientist to figure our our future fate will be
 
  • Like
Reactions: RobDickinson

MMinehan

Member
Mar 21, 2016
108
33
Auckland, New Zealand
Is the car an import?
Yes it is. I imported it from Australia about 6 months before Tesla opened shop in NZ, around mid 2016. The deal was that my full warranty would be activated in NZ once Tesla had a presence. I have supporting documents for Tesla to this effect. And I have had two warranty repairs done in the past (trunk cinch motor and MCU replacement). Of course now I am out of warranty.

I'm disappointed because I have been a Tesla and EV supporter for a long time. I have taken hundreds of people for a drive trying to sell the virtues of owning an EV and touting Tesla. I took it to a number of EV promotion events (at MOTAT etc) and road trips to let people look at it. I kept telling people that there is very little that breaks down with EVs due to relatively few moving parts compared to an ICE car.

And just for the record I have only given my referral code to a handful of friends as I didn't want any perceived conflict of interest when telling people about how great Tesla and EVs are.

I guess I'm feeling sorry for myself and will have to suck it up. But $5K + GST for headlamps to fix a couple faulty LEDs, a known design fault, means I will be much less likely to recommend Tesla when people ask about ownership.

Anyway, if you own a MS and there is any hint of fading in your DRLs get them fixed ASAP while you still have warranty cover. It's not something most people notice. And make sure you specify the latest revision of the headlamps which is currently revision G, the ones with the added heat sinks released this year I believe based on forum posts linked above. Anything older than revision F and it appears there is a high probability of early failure. Some people have had their headlamps replaced 4 or 5 times!
 
Last edited:

MMinehan

Member
Mar 21, 2016
108
33
Auckland, New Zealand
Hats off to to you guys who took a tremendous risk importing you own cars in from Oz
trail blazing for us to follow in your foot steps

In the early days when I started looking at Tesla, the customer support by all accounts was legendary
These days the standard answer seems to be it's within spec or they are all like that

We could easily be in the same situation in a few years once warranty has expired
With some part of the car that's failed that shouldn't have, no love from Tesla and wondering if CGA will save the day
I guess if they are treating you like this it doesn't take rocket scientist to figure our our future fate will be
Thanks for the kind words.

I agree Tesla support has been very good in the past. The service manager (?) a guy called Michael that came from BMW has always been great. He fixed my cinch motor before they even had a workshop many years ago. He was NZ's first Tesla Ranger!

But these days it's all app based and calls get routed to a call center in Australia. So much less personal service and a bit like calling a telco.

I hope that the headlight issue doesn't become a significant problem for people once they are out of warranty. It is not good press for Tesla.
 
Last edited:

RobDickinson

Active Member
Jun 23, 2019
1,592
5,053
New Zealand
I only asked because I am not sure how that would affect your consumer rights given tesla nz didnt sell it to you.

Im also assuming you could source parts from elsewhere from broken cars etc or get them repaired (ala rich rebuild) etc.

Not sure if you could use imported lights though from LHD countries but perhaps UK?
 

MMinehan

Member
Mar 21, 2016
108
33
Auckland, New Zealand
I only asked because I am not sure how that would affect your consumer rights given tesla nz didnt sell it to you.

Im also assuming you could source parts from elsewhere from broken cars etc or get them repaired (ala rich rebuild) etc.

Not sure if you could use imported lights though from LHD countries but perhaps UK?
Good advice. The issue is time pressure. Tesla have failed the warrant based on the DRLs meaning I have to get them fixed ASAP in order to be legal. If I had time I would import the headlamps myself ($300 to $500 USD each) and fit them.

Can you point me in the direction of Rich Build? I think I may have missed that in my reading around.

I looked up the regulations re DRLs (Daytime running lamps - NZTA Vehicle Portal) and they have failed because less than 75% of the elements are working. Apparently it is legal to disable them altogther (note 3). But I think the only way to turn them off is to turn on energy saving mode. I'll talk to the service center and see if they can disable them, give me the WOF and then I'll try and solve the problem myself.
 

Ecoli

Member
Aug 6, 2019
750
338
New Zealand
Drive EV has a selection of used Tela model S parts
Along with conversions for imported Japanese Tesla Model S to NZ/EU charging/navigation for just under 10k

 

Products we're discussing on TMC...

About Us

Formed in 2006, Tesla Motors Club (TMC) was the first independent online Tesla community. Today it remains the largest and most dynamic community of Tesla enthusiasts. Learn more.

Do you value your experience at TMC? Consider becoming a Supporting Member of Tesla Motors Club. As a thank you for your contribution, you'll get nearly no ads in the Community and Groups sections. Additional perks are available depending on the level of contribution. Please visit the Account Upgrades page for more details.


SUPPORT TMC
Top