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Main Battery Replacement

apacheguy

S Sig #255
Oct 21, 2012
5,152
1,342
So Cal
Unless you've been living under a rock the past few weeks, chances are you've heard of some recent high voltage battery pack failures. We have a bunch of scattered posts documenting these individual incidences, but I thought it would be nice to have a single thread in which we could keep track of main battery pack replacements for early VINs < 2000.

Disclaimer: Before we go any further, it should be noted that new Teslas come equipped with different (and presumably more reliable) batteries, so this post should NOT dissuade anyone from buying a new Model S. Furthermore, in most cases the individual battery cells are not damaged and only a few components need to be refurbished before a pack is sent back into service.

If you come up with a better way to track battery replacements then please suggest it. The Battery Table wiki does not seem to be updated and is why I have created this post instead. I will add to my list [below] as others post.
 
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This thread is a great idea. I have an early production version (P130) and am somewhat concerned, but I've had no issues at all with the HV battery and maybe these are just isolated incidents and to date they represent a small percentage of even the early owners. I'm also comforted by the fact that Tesla warrantees the batteries for 8 years and unlimited miles.
 
Does it need to be early VINs?

With some quick searching, there are also these:
Chris: Main Battery and 12V battery failure in the middle of the intersection.
SigS905: Main Battery and 12V battery failure in the middle of the intersection. - Page 4 and Main Battery and 12V battery failure in the middle of the intersection. - Page 5
actualsize (Edmunds): Edmunds.com test car failure - Page 5
patp: Stranded. Feeling like George Clooney. - Page 2
100thMonkey: Stranded. Feeling like George Clooney. - Page 2
C-NRG-GO: Stranded. Feeling like George Clooney. - Page 4

How about another thread tracking drive unit replacements, if there isn't one already? For those, would be good to distinguish between replacement due to noise vs. associated with/causing car to be disabled.
 
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bob_p

Active Member
Apr 5, 2012
3,738
2,949
As Kraken indicated, not all battery pack replacements may be due to a bad battery pack.

Last year, I was having a charging problem. Tesla Engineering worked with the Service Center to diagnose the problem. And when they couldn't figure it out - they had the Service Center quickly replace everything that might possibly cause a problem with charging (including the 12V battery and large battery pack) and had it all shipped back to Engineering so they could diagnose (and fix) the problem there.

If this had been an ICE - how likely is it that the local dealership would get approval from the manufacturer to swap out the entire engine and fuel tank (the equivalent for an ICE) because the car was having an intermittent problem?

I doubt my battery pack had a major problem - that would have required replacing the entire battery pack. It's likely that once Tesla got the parts back to Engineering, they were able to isolate and repair the problem - and probably didn't require replacing many parts.

And as Tesla gets more experience with the Model S and battery pack & charging system, it's likely some of the battery pack replacements we're seeing today will not be needed and instead the service centers may have the ability to do more of the service related to the battery pack.

Until then, Tesla seems to be doing the right thing - in providing high quality service to their customers. And people reading the forums should not misconstrue that battery pack replacements indicate there is a serious problem with the battery packs - when it may be more likely a decision by Tesla to have the battery packs serviced at a central location (for now) and minimize downtime for their customers.

Plus, the battery packs they fix are put back into the system and used as spare parts - like what happens when you send computers in for service to the manufacturers - the spare parts are still covered under the warranty and service plans.
 
Also, since apparently in some media outlet's eyes this forum is apparently an official source, it might be good to add early in this thread that the batteries are swapped quickly and the car is back surprisingly quickly to the customer. Further, the packs appear to be refurbished and back in use quickly too at minimal expense to tesla.

edit... I guess that was all in bob's post.
 

apacheguy

S Sig #255
Oct 21, 2012
5,152
1,342
So Cal
Does it need to be early VINs?

Thanks for that. For this thread I'd prefer to know roughly the manufacture sequence. For Sigs that's easy, and hence why all of those posted above are Sigs. I did not see VIN references in the others you posted and have decided to exclude them for the time being.

As Kraken indicated, not all battery pack replacements may be due to a bad battery pack.

Duly noted. I have updated the OP to reflect this.
 

FlasherZ

Sig Model S + Sig Model X + Model 3 Resv
Jun 21, 2012
7,030
1,030
I'm only going to second the point. In the service centers, the battery packs are swapped and sent for failure analysis. It will be very rare that any of us have the full story on the actual failure, because the failure analysis is performed at corporate, so we have to be careful not to create a problem where there is none. Engineering tells the service centers to replace packs based on the diagnostic information they have, but it doesn't fully implicate the battery pack. Some people have reported that their replacement was due to inverter failure, some people have reported their replacement due to other reasons. Some people have had theirs swapped due to precaution.

And finally, we must all remember that correlation and causation are two different things. :)
 

Cosmacelf

Well-Known Member
Supporting Member
Mar 6, 2013
10,358
31,728
San Diego
And I would just like to reiterate that these pack replacements (and motor and inverter replacements) don't seem to be causing Tesla any undue financial burden. If you look at Tesla's quarterly financial statements, their warranty and repair costs do not seem to be out of line. It would be interesting to know what the major component failure rate is for a typical ICE car. I suspect it would look similar to the Model S.
 
Are we sure that we want to track this to any real level? We know the oldest packs are of a different design, and we know that a number of them have been replaced. I'm not sure what is to be gained by tracking the older design. I would hate to have our tracking of this cause any hesitation on Tesla's part to just replace an A pack for any possible reason. (For full disclosure, I have an A pack and hope each day that it fails only to be replaced with a newer one).

Peter
 
I had a problem with my pack and the way it manifested itself was that the 12 volt battery was going flat. They changed the 12 V battery twice, then found out that there was a bad cell in the big battery pack. Evidently, the car senses there is a problem with the main battery pack, then does not charge the 12 V battery (the way it was explained to me). they changed my large battery pack and replaced the 12V battery too. No problems since. My vin is 40xx.
 
Are we sure that we want to track this to any real level? We know the oldest packs are of a different design, and we know that a number of them have been replaced. I'm not sure what is to be gained by tracking the older design...
What's there to be gained by not tracking it? I suspect there are plenty of packs of older design floating around and plenty who aren't on this forum and unaware of what they have or that there are newer designs.

If it gets replaced due to failure or whatever reason by the service center, why would someone exclude it because it's not the most current design?

Automakers revise parts all the time. If something fails, it failed. Doesn't matter what design it was. It required a replacement part, labor to replace it and cost someone something.
 
VIN 32xx. I had mine replaced in November. I asked them to take a look at it due to my range loss. After monitoring it remotely for over a month, they told me they would replace it. No admission of fault or that anything was wrong - just so they could do an analysis on it. Wasn't really expecting for them to swap it, but they did.
 
VIN 32xx. I had mine replaced in November. I asked them to take a look at it due to my range loss. After monitoring it remotely for over a month, they told me they would replace it. No admission of fault or that anything was wrong - just so they could do an analysis on it. Wasn't really expecting for them to swap it, but they did.


So what range were you getting on a 90% and 100% trip charge? Sees like a lot of forum members poo poo concerns that one's range charge is low. Some claim to get 250 miles on a 90% charge and others say their normal charge is 215. Rebalancing seems to be mixed as a solution. I've done it and saw no change in my daily 90% charge 225 miles.
 

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