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Dropping $973.36 for a new charge port tomorrow.

BryanC

New Member
Mar 15, 2018
1
15
Tiburon, CA
The charge port on my S-85 with almost 100k miles stopped working this week. Went to charge it Sunday night and the door pops open but the latch doesn't unlock. Sends our family into transportation crisis for 24 hours.

Tesla said they would send a tech but couldn't send one for 3 days. Luckily we had 50 miles of battery left to drive to the local shop. Service tech was extremely rude when I tried to address the issue as either a design flaw or a faulty charge port. He insisted since we were out of warranty that Tesla had no responsibility and it was normal wear and tear. So I asked, "Will I need to replace my charge port every 4 years and should I carry a spare one around so I don't get stuck somewhere?"

Even if it was used every day (it hasn't been) the charge port (actually just the latching mechanism) broke after less than 1500 uses. Forget the warranty for a second, I'm trying to figure out if I'm being unreasonable expecting Tesla to step up from a reputation standpoint and fix something that seems to be happening to a number of folks on the forums.

In addition to the charge port problem, this car has had a recent string of problems including needing a new motor, two new door handles and now the tire air gauges are causing a new set of alarms.

Curious to hear an opinion other than my own:

1. Was the 2013 just not ready to be released and I should expect more first year car problems?
2. I got a lemon and others have had better experiences with their 2013's.
3. The wheels start coming off these things at 100k miles and I should just align my expectations to the German cost/frequency of repairs?

Feeling bitter at Tesla for marketing a car that was supposed to require less maintenance than their gas equivalents. And "no" the 15% discount off $1,114.25 doesn't make me feel better. By comparison my Acura MDX purchased new the same year hasn't had a single problem other than my mother-in-law scratching the fender. :-/
 

JammyP

Member
Dec 25, 2017
61
39
Surrey, UK
I owned a BMW M3 out of warranty and it cost me around $4000 per year @ 60K miles in repairs. The car brand new was worth a lot less than my S. It sucks that you had a bad experience with your SC & the fact that one of the most important components has failed, however I often see arguments on here about equivalent ICE costs but for the price bracket of these cars I think it compares quite favourably.

My $30k Mini cost me around $2k per year in stupid repairs at around 80K miles.

As you say it might be because I have always owned German cars I'm desensitised...
 

JPUConn

Active Member
Aug 11, 2014
1,300
663
CT
For the earlier cars I think it depends on how vigilant the owners were while under warranty. My 2013 that I sold to a forum member had many items replaced as I was sure to identify failure / pre-failure indicators while still under warranty.

Tpms
Pano roof
Ac condenser
Door handles
Charge port
Air suspension
Window trim (scratching glass)
And more
 
The “Teslas have less moving parts will need less maintenance” “ICE have hundreds of moving parts! So many failure points!” was a well designed marketing prompt. Although it does not hold true in reality.

My Model S has needed way more repairs and service center visits than any other car I ever owned.
 
  • Helpful
Reactions: geometro

croman

Well-Known Member
Nov 21, 2016
5,075
7,864
Chicago, IL
The “Teslas have less moving parts will need less maintenance” “ICE have hundreds of moving parts! So many failure points!” was a well designed marketing prompt. Although it does not hold true in reality.

My Model S has needed way more repairs and service center visits than any other car I ever owned.

My Leaf has had 0 issues and its a 2013 (well 2014 MY). It might be luck but its also that Teslas have some weak components (older DUs, door handles, MCU, etc.). I think they realized the issues and made the Model 3 with that in mind.
 
The OP is complaining about a part that failed after nearly 100,000 miles? Why is that so unexpected? I’ve needed major service with every car I’ve ever owned long before 100,000 miles.
See this is kind of tricky. His car has almost 100k miles on it, and the failure of this part renders his car almost undriveable (at least after the battery runs out of juice). On an ICE car, what will fail at 100k that will render your car undriveable? Should the charge port have a maintenance interval?
 

FlatSix911

Porsche 918 Hybrid
Jun 15, 2015
7,215
7,329
Silicon Valley
The charge port on my S-85 with almost 100k miles stopped working this week. Went to charge it Sunday night and the door pops open but the latch doesn't unlock. Sends our family into transportation crisis for 24 hours.

Tesla said they would send a tech but couldn't send one for 3 days. Luckily we had 50 miles of battery left to drive to the local shop. Service tech was extremely rude when I tried to address the issue as either a design flaw or a faulty charge port. He insisted since we were out of warranty that Tesla had no responsibility and it was normal wear and tear. So I asked, "Will I need to replace my charge port every 4 years and should I carry a spare one around so I don't get stuck somewhere?"

Even if it was used every day (it hasn't been) the charge port (actually just the latching mechanism) broke after less than 1500 uses. Forget the warranty for a second, I'm trying to figure out if I'm being unreasonable expecting Tesla to step up from a reputation standpoint and fix something that seems to be happening to a number of folks on the forums.

In addition to the charge port problem, this car has had a recent string of problems including needing a new motor, two new door handles and now the tire air gauges are causing a new set of alarms.

Curious to hear an opinion other than my own:

1. Was the 2013 just not ready to be released and I should expect more first year car problems?
2. I got a lemon and others have had better experiences with their 2013's.
3. The wheels start coming off these things at 100k miles and I should just align my expectations to the German cost/frequency of repairs?

Feeling bitter at Tesla for marketing a car that was supposed to require less maintenance than their gas equivalents. And "no" the 15% discount off $1,114.25 doesn't make me feel better. By comparison my Acura MDX purchased new the same year hasn't had a single problem other than my mother-in-law scratching the fender. :-/

After reading too many stories like this one ... I'm all in for the extended warranty in a few years :cool:
 

Electricfan

Active Member
Aug 24, 2013
1,251
378
Houston
Does anybody know how complicated a "charge port" on a Model S is? I don't. Without knowing that, its hard to judge whether it is reasonable for it to fail at 100k miles. To me, it looks like Tesla should cover this via "goodwill". Why? Well because its mission in life is to get people to adopt electric vehicles - how much does it move that forward for the car's charge port to cost $1000? Its not a part that does anything while the car is moving. And it has no moving parts while the car is charging. But both Model S cars I've had have had their charge ports serviced. When I brought my 2015 home I could not open the port. Tesla told me to bang on it with the heel of my hand, which I did, and it finally opened.

I guess I just think of ALL the parts on the car they should have over-engineered to the point it would last literally forever, the charge port should have been near the top of the list. And Tesla should be humiliated and apologetic when one fails. But that's just how I see it. The OP has my total sympathy.
 

abasile

TSLA shareholder
Supporting Member
Oct 21, 2012
1,672
3,677
San Bernardino Mountains, California
I feel that charge ports on the Model S/X are somewhat fragile. We needed to have the charge port replaced on our pre-owned 2012 Model S, and my conclusion is that we need to be really careful to avoid problems, given that we charge outdoors and the charge port sometimes gets covered with ice and snow. Occasionally, we need to use a hair dryer to de-ice and dry out the charge port before it will unlock.

By contrast, the charge port on our 2011 Nissan LEAF has been trouble free, in all weather, and we've used it thousands of times. Too bad the LEAF's battery engineering was so terrible...

The charge port on the Model 3 looks like it might be more robust, hopefully.
 
  • Informative
Reactions: dhanson865

Canuck

Well-Known Member
Nov 30, 2013
6,125
5,777
South Surrey, BC
Was it the locking pin that failed? If so, that happened to me, but fortunately under warranty. I used a plastic shim and the car still charged but only at 16 amps. I knew mine was going though because it wouldn't release sometimes unless I pushed it in when it was unlocking to avoid it from rubbing. I used to press the plug in too hard I think and I am now more cautious.

Ugh. I hate hearing about stories like this... Elon has stated that these should be less maintenance than ICE vehicles.
Your situation is analogous to a gas tank that stops working because a consumer filled it too many times. Sad to hear about the service tech response.

Give it a break. I've had far less maintenance in the past 4 years than in the past 20 years before that with ICE vehicles. No gas station stops, oil changes, brakes, and the list goes on.

Anything with moving parts is prone to failure but the less moving parts the less failure and less maintenance. There's no need to lock in the pump when filling a gas vehicle so your example is nonsense. But if you want to talk about problems with moving parts on ICE vehicles vs. EVs let's have that debate because we know the clear winner.
 

dhanson865

Active Member
Feb 16, 2013
4,884
10,063
Knoxville, Tennessee
The charge port on my S-85 with almost 100k miles stopped working this week. Went to charge it Sunday night and the door pops open but the latch doesn't unlock. Sends our family into transportation crisis for 24 hours.

Tesla said they would send a tech but couldn't send one for 3 days. Luckily we had 50 miles of battery left to drive to the local shop. Service tech was extremely rude when I tried to address the issue as either a design flaw or a faulty charge port. He insisted since we were out of warranty that Tesla had no responsibility and it was normal wear and tear. So I asked, "Will I need to replace my charge port every 4 years and should I carry a spare one around so I don't get stuck somewhere?"

Even if it was used every day (it hasn't been) the charge port (actually just the latching mechanism) broke after less than 1500 uses. Forget the warranty for a second, I'm trying to figure out if I'm being unreasonable expecting Tesla to step up from a reputation standpoint and fix something that seems to be happening to a number of folks on the forums.

In addition to the charge port problem, this car has had a recent string of problems including needing a new motor, two new door handles and now the tire air gauges are causing a new set of alarms.

My 2012 Leaf has had >4900 charging events, that corresponds to about 2,000 to 2,500 plugging and unpluggings (the counter includes when the charge timer enables the charger not just the plugging in, tends to be nearly double the number of physical connections and disconnects of the J1772).

I just looked at the leaf manual and the relevant warranty for the charge port was

ELECTRIC VEHICLE (EV) SYSTEM COVERAGE
The EV System coverage period is 60 months or 60,000 miles, whichever come first.
This warranty covers any repairs needed to cor-rect defects in materials or workmanship.
EV System Coverage applies to components listed below under the heading EV System, sup-plied by Nissan, subject to the exclusions listed under the heading WHAT IS NOT COVERED.
EV SYSTEM
Motor, Inverter unit, VCM, Reduction gear, DC/DC converter, Onboard charger, Onboard charger connector, and Trickle charge cable

It wouldn't hurt to try an executive escalation if you can determine the actual failed piece was something that moves not an electrical component. But since the Tesla charge port is multipurpose and may have been exposed to heat during supercharging I can't say that I'd expect them to eat the full cost. Maybe shoot for the part or the labor but not both, or just ask for half of the cost refunded.
 
  • Informative
Reactions: geometro

MorrisonHiker

Well-Known Member
Moderator
Mar 8, 2015
10,486
10,436
Colorado
See this is kind of tricky. His car has almost 100k miles on it, and the failure of this part renders his car almost undriveable (at least after the battery runs out of juice). On an ICE car, what will fail at 100k that will render your car undriveable? Should the charge port have a maintenance interval?
Timing belt failure
 

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