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Do I just sue Tesla? New record for getting Powned

Zooomer

Member
Apr 3, 2016
199
295
grand rapids mi
Took delivery Raven Performance last month. On way home car is noisy blowing cold air on my head (I live in MI bought in Chicago).

Tesla literally has no service #, I call sales. They tell me I have to go thru app and someone will call me. App tells me no appointment for a month. They tell me I have to BRING THE CAR BACK WITH NO LOANER AVAILABLE. Keep in mind this is a brand new car they gave me defective. My other 2, they did mobile repair and even delivered my 2nd one but this one they made me go pick up.

I silicone the roof from the outside so I can drive it and wait. In the mean time my windshield develops a crack.

They never call, not even the day before the appointment. Takes me til 7pm night before to find out via text they don't have much info but no loaners. Whatever.
Drive 3 hrs each way again with follow vehicle, drop the car off last Thurs Dec 9 and show them all the problems. They say it will be done the next day but I have to pay $1200 for the windshield replacement. Whatever, I agree. Later they call me and say they need the car until Monday.

Today they call me. 'Your 12v system doesn't work. You have a non-Tesla battery and we have to charge you all kinds of $ to replace it and fix your electrical system'. I'm like 'no thanks, i'll just take my car' They then say 'you can't. it's dead. you can get it on a flat bed or pay the money to 'repair it'.

Background. I'm quite proficient with autos and electronics. I owned my own car audio company for 15 years and currently own zzperformance in Grand Rapids MI. The battery in the car is a lithium (specific for Teslas) I bought for $400 a few years ago for my last P100d and it was fine for 2 years in that and fine when I installed it right after getting this vehicle. Vehicle was fine (electrically) before dropping off, drove it there. I'm sure the battery is probably still fine. Car was still accessible via app until today

They broke the car, I'm sure their service techs are about as good as their customer service.

This is the 3rd model S I've purchased new.
 

ucmndd

Well-Known Member
Mar 10, 2016
6,519
12,189
California
The communication aspect sounds typical for current Tesla service centers, at least most of them. It's indeed a bummer and difficult to deal with.

As for the 12v system... I'm not really sure what to say here. You may well be right that they "broke" the car or it had other manufacturing issues that manifested at the service center, but you've given them an iron-clad defense by installing an aftermarket battery in a brand new under-warranty car. It's pretty reasonable for them to point at the non-OEM part and blame it for the failure of a directly related system.

Out of curiosity, what are they suggesting needs to be fixed/replaced, and for how much?
 

Zooomer

Member
Apr 3, 2016
199
295
grand rapids mi
I did not speak to a tech. The woman on the phone was relaying. She said it had a bad wire, bracket, battery, some other stuff. She didn't seem to know.

I would agree that had I called Tesla and said 'my electrical system has problems' they would have full rights to blame me. But I brought it there for glass leaks all around the vehicle. They shorted something out while working on the car. They then looked reason as to what was going on, stumbled upon the battery and are blaming that. If I authorize them to change it, they will charge me for parts I don't need, then call back and say something to the effect of 'it's not just the battery that was bad, the bad battery shorted out this and this and this too'. They will then just start replacing parts, give me a huge bill and the car back. I'll test the battery which will be fine. Reinstall it, it will work fine. But they will not respond to anything I say or show. I've been in this industry my entire life. I've read the book too many times.
 

linux-works

Active Member
Dec 23, 2019
1,671
3,277
mtn view, ca
I wonder - does anyone know this, for sure?

on SOME electronics, they design systems so that the battery is part of the system (like a smoothing capacitor). the old hp25 calculator was like that; their charger was just unfiltered DC (diodes but no caps) and you HAD to have the battery in place or you'd fry the electronics. that was a really bad idea by HP (1970's iirc) but sometimes this design 'approach' still happens.

suppose your 12v battery had an open, during charging. would the absense of that 'filter' (so to speak) hurt any downstream electronics?

I doubt it would, but asking in case anyone knows.

the battery would not go over-voltage, so I don't see any way to fry the downstream circuits due to the presence of the battery; but an open battery during a charge -could- create problems.

seems very unlikely though.

and even if the battery was shorted, you'd expect upstream circuits to handle that, too.
 

ucmndd

Well-Known Member
Mar 10, 2016
6,519
12,189
California
She said it had a bad wire, bracket, battery, some other stuff.
...

They shorted something out while working on the car. They then looked reason as to what was going on, stumbled upon the battery and are blaming that.

Devil's advocate: Tesla says you damaged the wire, bracket, etc. when you installed the aftermarket battery. How do you prove otherwise?


Again, I want to be clear here I'm sympathetic to your plight. But I also don't think you have much of a leg to stand on in any legal/arbitration/lawsuit capacity.
 

Need

Active Member
Nov 22, 2017
2,912
2,209
SoCal
The 12V is an excuse for them to get out of doing any warranty works. One time I took our MX in to fix a door not opening problem. The first thing the girl there said was if you have done anything to the 12v, we won't fix it and we will charge you $75 just to look at it and not fixing it. She haven't even look at the car.. so it is probably something they said to everyone.
 
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Zooomer

Member
Apr 3, 2016
199
295
grand rapids mi
Adding just to add. In my last p100d, while on a mobile service call, the tech blamed my aftermarket tires for an issue. The actual issue was from hitting something in the road but I found it funny it was his go to.
 
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Reactions: Evoforce

Zooomer

Member
Apr 3, 2016
199
295
grand rapids mi
Calming down a bit, I'm not going to opt out of a clause, not going to sue. As a fellow business owner I understand how things can go sideways. My fear is that I'm going to get worked up when they call back. I still have all the original parts so worst case they bill me for problems they created. I once joked, I'll need to buy two so while one is in service I have something to drive. It's nearly true, at least in MI.

I'll update as this unfolds...
 

Mike K

Member
May 15, 2013
849
833
Los Angeles
I wonder - does anyone know this, for sure?

on SOME electronics, they design systems so that the battery is part of the system (like a smoothing capacitor). the old hp25 calculator was like that; their charger was just unfiltered DC (diodes but no caps) and you HAD to have the battery in place or you'd fry the electronics. that was a really bad idea by HP (1970's iirc) but sometimes this design 'approach' still happens.

suppose your 12v battery had an open, during charging. would the absense of that 'filter' (so to speak) hurt any downstream electronics?

I doubt it would, but asking in case anyone knows.

the battery would not go over-voltage, so I don't see any way to fry the downstream circuits due to the presence of the battery; but an open battery during a charge -could- create problems.

seems very unlikely though.

and even if the battery was shorted, you'd expect upstream circuits to handle that, too.

The issue he's going to run into is that an arbitrator isn't going to understand cars well enough to know whether he's right or Tesla is but as someone that's been in the industry for a long time, it's kind of silly of Tesla to assert that his 12v battery resulted in any kind of damage to the car's electronics.

I assume he put the battery in for weight savings. At the end of the day it makes no difference. Tesla makes problems for themselves here by being absolutely insufferable to deal with on the service end and that riles people up, people that tend to have a little more money and tend to be less forgiving when wrong.

I remember in 2015 I bought my service advisor a bottle of Jack for Christmas because he was so over the top amazing to deal with. He proactively replaced my door handles just so I wouldn't have one new style and three old ones. He fought to get my TPMS system retrofitted to the newer continental setup and after his service team botched a simple grease job on my sunroof and got grease all over my OG textile headliner, he had them replace the entire headliner and all associated trim with the alcantera equivalent.

Conversely, with my Model 3 the app shoots an error at me every time I try to make a service appointment. It's been like this for months. I call the 800 number and there's nobody to answer. I call the local service center and a salesman always tells me they'll have someone call me. The call never comes. Do you know how infuriating that is? I'm a tech savvy, relatively patient, self avowed Tesla fanboy and it boils my blood that I can't speak with a human under pretty much any circumstance.
 
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FatherTo1

Member
Mar 7, 2019
739
584
California
I don't understand why they would charge you $1200 for the windshield if that's a defect. The windshield is completely separate of the electrical system (I am assuming the all-glass roof with no moving parts).

I don't know what to say about the 12V battery issue, but I do find it odd to replace that on a new car. Someone above mentioned doing it for weight savings but how much weight are you really saving? I have heard of relocating the battery for better weight distribution on ICE cars but what's the point of replacing a perfectly good OEM 12V battery?

Doesn't sound like we're getting the whole story, especially with regard to the windshield. If it was leaking air, wouldn't that show up on day one and not almost a month later unless something damaged the windshield? Why not just file a comprehensive claim with your insurance for the windshield repair, but it really should be a warranty item unless there's reason to deny a warranty fix.

Our local SC repainted my A-pillars four weeks after delivery due to a paint defect, and even agreed to repaint my side mirrors when I mentioned excessive orange peel. They also replaced my front half-shafts last month with zero resistance. The Chicago SC must see something odd happening with OP's car.
 

Zooomer

Member
Apr 3, 2016
199
295
grand rapids mi
The battery is an upgrade. I own a business that modifies vehicles. With a lighter battery, the 12v bat lasts longer, has less chance of failure. The car is lighter, faster, better regen, more efficient. Every bit helps. I shouldn't have to justify this any more than swapping on better tires would need a justification. The battery did not mess up the vehicle, Tesla did.

Update: They want 542.55 and seem to be admitting it has a blown 12v fuse which they won't replace w/o replacing the battery and wiring to it.

Why didn't I report the windshield? I DID. I reported the issues shortly after getting home. Sales said I had to schedule on the app and would need to bring the car back. Light on details. I obviously didn't want to go back 3 hrs, drop the brand new car off, etc so I brought it to a glass shop to get it fixed and just pay out of pocket. The shop looked at the vehicle, did soapy water test, compressed air (which I also did) and said they can't do it because it's Tesla and the glass is special, etc. So I scheduled with Tesla and they set an appointment a month out.

So yeah, I bought a brand new 100k Tesla (my 3rd) and they gave it to me defective and have no number to call and their app schedules me a month out. Eventually (night before I'm supposed to be there) I call back sales who says service is text only. So I get a text around 7pm and we go back and forth. They tell me windshields aren't covered under warranty and I have to pay. I'm like whatever, that's fine. What am I gunna do right? I'm more pissed about the shitty service.

I send 2 employees to Chicago with the vehicle and a chase vehicle. They film it well in Tesla's garage in case we have issues. I'm not lying or leaving out details like 'oh i wrecked the car but don't wanna say it'. At this point I just want my car back but obviously in working order. I'll prob drive down personally with tools and 'prove' the car fine. I'm not sure. Gunna sleep on it. But look at it this way. PRETEND they did screw up the car, how exactly would this thread and their responses be any different? There is no world where they can be wrong here.
 

linux-works

Active Member
Dec 23, 2019
1,671
3,277
mtn view, ca
you still have the original tesla battery since it was a new car, right? hopefully they aren't forcing you to buy a new battery.

I would think that your aftermarket battery would be returned to you. can you demonstrate that its a working battery? not sure that matters, but if you want to film it.. ;)

if putting a pulsed load on the battery and watching its dc response does not show any overvoltage or any weird issues, then that goes a long way toward your defense, in that your battery was just a regular 12v battery that functions fine.

can you read the internal resistance? that might also help support your case that the batt is ok.

to play tesla's side, someone did have to remove the factory battery and then replace with the aftermarket one. I don't know the tesla cars well (yet) but some cars DO have an order in how you unplug the HV and then the LV. I could see that its a bit more risky than a simple old ICE car. not saying that this is what happened, but tesla can't know, can they?

tesla should have log files, showing any event codes at the dtc level or linux logfile level. I doubt you'll get them easily, but if you go to court, maybe they can be forced to reveal why they think your battery ruined your car.
 

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