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Illegal Parking & towing

Discussion in 'Model S' started by westerndh, Oct 11, 2012.

  1. westerndh

    westerndh Member

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    I saw the comment below on this thread Model S Delivery Update - Page 147 regarding forced/unplanned towing.

    This raises a really important point, particularly as many owners are signing the front plate waivers.

    Other than "put the front plate on" / "park legally", any thoughts how to address this?

    Cheers


    >>Yes, DC is very good at collecting money on other states laws...

    I am curious as the S has very particular towing requirements, who is responsible for damage caused by incorrect towing in this case (had he been towed also)?


    I'll have to keep my eye's out for a local S now!<<


    >>Quote Originally Posted by Robert.Boston View Post
    A friend in Bethesda just called to say how much fun he's having with his Model S. He was a very low S#, but not SS. VIN is 183; black/tan, pano, Sig, non-performance. He's had the car a few days.

    He reports that he will never let a valet drive the car! The driving approach is too different -- very sensitive throttle with no audio cue that you're moving, so he's sure that he'd be met by a long-faced valet informing him of the fateful encounter with a concrete post.

    My friend was bubbling over with praise for this car (and he has owned many excellent cars). The only negative he could find was that the front plate looks ugly. At first he tried going without the plate, but he when he parked it near the World Bank on the street, he found a $50 ticket, marked tow. He drove straight over to the K Street shop and had them install the front plate holder. So sad.<<
     
  2. SteveTheTech

    SteveTheTech Member

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    DC does not play around when it comes to tagging and towing. Neither does anyone on the VA side of the city...as the payee of many-a tow bill I can attest to that.

    I work in a luxury dealer within the DC beltway. We have one of the more advanced all wheel drive systems on the road right now. It can deal with snow, ice, and water but it cannot handle being hooked and dragged. They almost immediately destroy the transfer coupler beyond repair, the part alone can be around $2k. I would imagine the simplicity of this system in most regards will simplify the repair but I do not know to what degree the drivetrain will be compromised.

    In most cases the towing agency is on the hook ( :) ) for it. I do not know if the same applies to the citys' towing agency.

    If they do not cover it I would think it might be an issue the insurance agency of the owner would cover.

    My hope would be the tow truck driver would note that he has probably never seen a Model S before and would either leave it alone or call someone for help. Looking through the quick reference manual for the S with its' wild directions for towing (using chains) I would suspect its' ground cleanance should be low enough that the wheels plates to not clear the fascia. Fingers crossed that is what happens.
     
  3. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

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    Hah! In Toronto, the tow trucks line up just waiting for the street parking tow-away period to begin, and then blitz the streets hauling cars off. Not only that, they fly to the impound lot weaving in and out of traffic so they can get back and pick up more cars before their competitors get them all! As a driver, it's nice to have all of the illegally parked cars out of the way in rush-hour, but I wouldn't want to be one of the guys whose car is towed away!

    - - - Updated - - -

    What about if the car is dolly-towed? I've seen rigs where they put the rear wheels on a dolly and then lift the car by the front wheels. I don't know why Model S couldn't be towed this way unless it has something to do with stresses on the car's frame.
     
  4. SteveTheTech

    SteveTheTech Member

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    The internet seems to agree that ground clearanace is 6"+-~1" depending on setting of the active suspension. That seems like enough to fit a set of wheel dollies under the it. My biggest concern is the collateral damage suffered using the one size fits most approach of snatch and drag wreckers. I am not well versed in the legal aspect of who would be responsible if say the front bumper were damaged significantly from being hooked while the car was parked illegally and in an active tow zone.
    Source---http://www.teslamotorsclub.com/archive/index.php/t-9081.html

    Hopefully there are more green charger spaces in metropolitan areas that Model S owners can seek shelter in.

    In the DC metro area we have problems with Predatory towing (here is an example-http://www.bethesdanow.com/2012/10/03/predatory-towing-might-get-worse/) They literally hunt people like prey.

    I find this and several of the other real world implications of a new brand and newer model fascinating.
     
  5. swegman

    swegman Member

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    SteveTheTech, I agree that things are crazy in Monkey County (as Montgomery County is referred to). I have lived here for 30 years and have been fortunate to never have been towed. But it is getting harder and harder to know where you can park and where you can not park.

    If the towing company damages the car, Tesla will not cover the cost of the repair. I bet the towing company will refuse to take responsibility. And I will be surprised if your car insurance company will pay for the repair. Thus, one will be forced to sue the towing company and try yo prove they are responsible for the damage; not an easy task and it will be costly.
     
  6. Jason S

    Jason S Model S Sig Perf (P85)

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    The problem is the always on nature of the active suspension. Maybe the car wouldn't be "on" when the key is far away (unexpected tow), so it isn't an issue there.

    The active suspension could 'rock' the car in such a way that the tow vehicle gets rocked back and forth by the Model S trying to right itself. Only a guess at this point, but they do have a tow mode for a reason.
     
  7. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    Perhaps the solution is to put it in jack mode every time you park illegally.
     
  8. swegman

    swegman Member

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    Jerry33, I know you are joking, but that is not a solution in the DC area. Very often, the person whose car was towed did not realize that they were illegally parked. Signs are confusing in the DC area, often signs are missing, and sometimes people get towed even when legally parked.
     
  9. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    That was really only half joking, but in questionable areas wouldn't putting it in jack mode every time help somewhat? The worst case is that jack mode should minimize damage. The best case is no damage occurs.
     
  10. wycolo

    wycolo Active Member

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    > that is not a solution in the DC area. Very often, the person whose car was towed did not realize that they were illegally parked. Signs are confusing in the DC area, often signs are missing, and sometimes people get towed even when legally parked.

    So, to protect your ModelS you should have manual hubs installed on the rear axle. If another car decides to push you forward a few feet, lets say, your drive gear is ruined. Where do you find that on any other make of vehicle? Or put it in TOW MODE when you park it. But will it remain in TOW MODE (with parking brake ON) when you walk away from the car?
    --
     
  11. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    Doesn't it have to work that way? You're not going to sit in your car while it's being flat-bedded.
     
  12. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

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    Fair enough, but is Model S the only car that has an air suspension that works this way? (I had a 2001 GMC Envoy with air suspension, and it was dolly-towed a couple of times without issue). And what about non-air suspension versions. Are they going to have the same flatbed towing restrictions?
     
  13. wycolo

    wycolo Active Member

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    Dunno. I was in the Roadster when 3 guys pushed it up on my trailer. Then I exited TOW MODE, tied her down & drove the rig home.
    --
     
  14. ToddRLockwood

    ToddRLockwood Active Member

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    #14 ToddRLockwood, Oct 15, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2012
    If a Model S is dragged onto a flatbed while in park, what is the likelihood that the drive train will damaged? Does anyone really know?

    This is perplexing problem, and could apply to many situations, such as being towed after an accident. If the owner doesn't leave the key with the vehicle, it could present a tricky situation for a towing company. Surely Tesla must have considered these scenarios when designing the car's control systems. Was a "back door" method of putting the car in neutral provided for emergency crews?

    I've posted these questions on the Tesla Motors forum.

    ... I just spoke to my insurance agent about this. Drive train damage would be covered by my auto insurance (but subject to the deductible), regardless of the reason the car was towed. However, the towing fee would not be covered in the case of illegal parking.

    Perhaps the Tesla Motors Club could come up with a standardized driver's window decal to alert towing operators of the damage risk. It might also include a spot for the owner's cell phone number.
     
  15. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

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    How about using that 85 kWh pack to energize the metal body when parked. That's be a deterrent :)
     

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