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My Tesla Story: Holding out on Tesla and lessons I continue to learn.

DermMD

Member
Sep 15, 2015
51
40
Columbia. MD
So, I crashed my Tesla the other day on a front-end collision which the law says was my fault but there’re lots of grey areas there. Anyhow, be that as it may, the car performed very well and, in the process, I learnt some things about the car I should have known if I had read the manual. It looks like Tesla has made a lot of effort to protect the humans in accidents:

1. I was the only occupant and both my front airbags deployed very quickly in what seemed like moderate impact. The front-end damage looks minimal involving the bumper only.

2. Some time in the seconds it takes for a high-speed impact, the car does move the driver seat back and raises the steering wheel.

3. The hazard lights are turned on and you’re advised to pull over by a message on the screen. Had I not been in an inner lane of high speed I-95 I could have moved but it was 30 minutes before high way patrol could block a lane to enable me to move the car which by then could only be placed in neutral enabling to be pushed onto the side.

4. It looks like the main battery is isolated electronically in very short order. So, any maneuvers you need to perform are on your 12-volt battery which will get depleted very fast. Not sure whether this is automated or remotely done by Tesla roadside assistance team. Curious on this one. They do contact you after this type of accident. In my case to the phone number I had on my account which was not my cell. So, they did not talk to me but additionally sent an email asking that I contact them. Good luck on that one. If you don’t take their call for whatever reason, you will wait on the phone for a very long hold and give up as the massage says they’re helping other Tesla drivers. Sounds like a whole lot of us are in trouble all the time. Anyhow, not assigning blame here. If I had the correct phone number on my account, I’d have talked to them.

5. Once the 12-volt battery gets depleted you’re in lock down mode, including being locked out if you close the doors, the parking brake set and SOL unless you know the tow truck can connect to the 12-volt terminals to activate some functions. AGAIN, ALL IN THE MANUAL. In my case I did not know that and so spent 3 hours on the roadside trying to figure things out. As luck (or lack thereof) would have it my cell phone charge was at 12% when the accident happened. Quickly depleted calling all sorts of places and people. I couldn’t make this up if I tried. My imagination is not that good but my preponderance towards attracting perfect storms has been well documented over the years.


Now for the solutions or attempt at them:

1. Knowing my car is likely to be in the shop for a while based on many case reports and personal experience, I figured I’s probably get a new Model S quicker than the repairs. I have configured one on my account but decided to hold out after reading a few web discussions. You see, I really like the look of the front end of the 3 but I know it would be years to get a 3 if I ordered one now. It seems a no brainer to me that Tesla will soon modify the S to look like the 3 and so I’m not placing that order until then.

2. In the meantime, I need a car to drive and I have always wanted the VW Beetle. Something to do with childhood fantasies growing up in the isolated plains of the African savanna. On that one I was holding out for the EV model which had been rumored but alas, VW terminated the Beetle. So, I decided I’d buy a gas one anyway. The dealership experience has left me sour in the mouth. I visited two but talked to more. They all have prices listed on the internet. Both dealerships I visited gave me offer prices $5000 to $7000 more than the internet listed prices with some retarded explanations of why the internet prices were not correct. Getting a used one from CarMax instead as they, like Tesla, have firm prices and I couldn’t stand the dealership salesmanship.

3. This experience leads me to believe that Tesla has nothing to fear from traditional car makers getting into the EV business. That experience alone for me, was a deal breaker. I suspect lots more people feel that way. Additionally, substantial OTA updates are unlikely with traditional car makers. The dealers will need to make money somehow.

4. And finally, yes, I drunk the Musk Kool-Aid a long time ago. So maybe not too objective.
 

ronm2948

Member
Jul 20, 2018
124
146
Oregon
Bummer about your accident!

But if you live in the US, and if you want a RWD long-range premium version of the Model 3, it seems like those are turning around reasonably quickly.

Tesla
 
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ewoodrick

Well-Known Member
Apr 13, 2018
5,285
4,270
Buford, GA
As ronm indicated, you probably can get a LR 3 pretty quickly. I've seen a lot of 1 week order - delivery cycles.
Make sure to check with insurance on car rentals.

Not sure why being in an EV would make a difference, most other cars depend on their 12V battery to run as well.

I think that Volvo and Porsche are offering month to month leasing type programs, may or may not work. But rental companies also offer monthly rates that are pretty decent.
 

Need

Active Member
Nov 22, 2017
2,989
2,306
Rancho Cucamonga
You see, I really like the look of the front end of the 3 but I know it would be years to get a 3 if I ordered one now. It seems a no brainer to me that Tesla will soon modify the S to look like the 3 and so I’m not placing that order until then.

I kept looking at the date and trying to see if this is a thread started in 2016. 1) You can order a 3 now and it will only take weeks or months to get it. 2) Tesla modified the front end of the S already. It is not identical to the 3 and very similar?
 
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Model S M.D.

Ludicrous Radiologist
Oct 31, 2015
986
1,443
TX
So sorry to hear about your accident, but glad you are safe and sound. I was in an accident a couple years ago in my Model S (red light runner hit me), but my car was obviously totaled, so I ordered a new one asap.

If I were you, I would probably just order a model 3 LR or LR AWD, get it in a few months along with the $7500 tax credit, and then see what happens with your Model S. It may take many, many months to fix. At least in the meantime you'll be in a safe EV...
 

Pollux

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Jul 16, 2013
1,560
1,176
Merry land / District of Confusion
Hi, @DermMD,

I'm sorry to hear about your accident and glad that you and any others involved seemingly were unscathed.

Thank you for reporting your experiences.

As others have already noted, you can obtain a Model 3 LRR very quickly now.

As for the Model S/X refresh, in other threads and reporting it seems to be the case that Tesla may provide an interior refresh in 2019 but the exterior refresh is more like 2020. My parents have a Model 3 LRR, and it's awesome. (Waiting for one for myself later this summer.) So you might view a Model 3 as a viable option for your needs near-term.

Alan
 

DermMD

Member
Sep 15, 2015
51
40
Columbia. MD
I'm writing in a second language and that's my excuse for not being clear and I'm standing by that. Thanks for the clarifications on the 3. I will reconsider since I have not signed a contract for the Beetle yet.

As for the battery issue, the operative subject matter here is that the main battery was isolated and that all the available mechanical and electronic functions of the car are now using the 12 volt battery was the impression I got. ICE cars I believe can mechanically be placed into neutral for pushing and/or towing. This is and all other functions are electronically controlled in the Tesla.

On the other issue I started this thread less than an hour ago. My accident was Sunday night. I still prefer the look of the 3 in front as compared to the new S.
 

Pollux

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Jul 16, 2013
1,560
1,176
Merry land / District of Confusion
@DermMD, I am writing in my first and only language and after an entire lifetime still fail to achieve clarity.

Battery - in a significant accident, the battery pack's "contactors" automatically withdraw, isolating the battery pack from the rest of the car. So, no power from the main battery pack. That's for your safety and the safety of first responders. At that point, all driving ability is gone; you can't supply power to the motor(s)/wheels.

The 12V battery is used for all the "little stuff", like the two in-cabin display panels, Bluetooth, cell connection, radio. The 12V battery is recharged frequently from the main battery pack. So, when those contactors withdraw, the 12V battery's useful lifetime becomes brief. Turning off A/C, heat, entertainment, and anything else you can think of may help stretch the 12V charge a little bit.

Alan
 

Az_Rael

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Jan 26, 2016
5,653
8,941
Palmdale, CA
As for the battery issue, the operative subject matter here is that the main battery was isolated and that all the available mechanical and electronic functions of the car are now using the 12 volt battery was the impression I got. ICE cars I believe can mechanically be placed into neutral for pushing and/or towing. This is and all other functions are electronically controlled in the Tesla.

Yes, my new "Tesla accident protocol" is to open the frunk, trunk, glovebox and delete all my personal info from the MCU and my homelinks if I am able.

When I had my accident, I was lucky enough to get all my stuff out of my frunk and glovebox, but didnt think to delete personal info from the car. Just got a notice from Tesla today that whomever bought it from the salvage auction has transferred it to their account, so I assume they have powered the MCU back up and have any personal data that was on it. Hopefully the info won't be used for nefarious purposes.

The tow yard the car ended up at wouldn't let me "do any work" on the car, so jumping the 12V in their lot wasn't feasible. I guess if I had belongings to retrieve I would have had to wait until the car got to the auction house lot and make arrangements then.


BTW, they appear to only call AP car owners after accidents. I never received a call after my airbag deployment in my classic S. And my passenger bag did not deploy, as no one was in that seat. So, I guess experiences vary depending on how old your car is.
 

mongo

Well-Known Member
May 3, 2017
13,449
41,952
Michigan
As for the battery issue, the operative subject matter here is that the main battery was isolated and that all the available mechanical and electronic functions of the car are now using the 12 volt battery was the impression I got. ICE cars I believe can mechanically be placed into neutral for pushing and/or towing. This is and all other functions are electronically controlled in the Tesla.

The parking brake is operated by 12V (like many newer vehicles https://www.trucks.com/2017/09/28/2018-ford-f-150-electric-parking-brake/ ), and can be released without the main pack.
Per the emergency response guide:
In situations where there is minimal risk of fire or high voltage exposure (for example, the vehicle does not accelerate after coming to a stop at an intersection) and 12V power is present, Model S can be quickly pushed in order to clear the roadway. If a driver is present, simply shift Model S into Neutral and then push the vehicle. If a driver is not present, Model S may automatically shift into Park when it detects the driver leaving the vehicle (even if it has previously been shifted into Neutral).
To keep Model S in Neutral (which disengages the parking brake and allows the vehicle to be pushed) without a driver present, use the touchscreen to activate Tow Mode:
1. Shift Model S into Park.
2. Press and hold the brake pedal, then on the touchscreen touch Controls > Settings > Service & Reset > Tow Mode > ON.
When Tow mode is active, Model S displays this indicator light on the instrument panel, along with a message indicating that Model S is free-rolling.
To cancel Tow Mode, shift Model S into Park.
NOTE: If the electrical system is not working, the electric parking brake cannot be released. Attempt to jump start the 12V battery. For
instructions, call Tesla Roadside Assistance.
 

DermMD

Member
Sep 15, 2015
51
40
Columbia. MD
@Polluck thanks for the explanation.

BTW, they appear to only call AP car owners after accidents. I never received a call after my airbag deployment in my classic S. And my passenger bag did not deploy, as no one was in that seat. So, I guess experiences vary depending on how old your car is.

Here I blame the language issue again. I was pushed to the side of the road by highway patrol about 30 minutes after the accident with nothing switched off. I was able to put the car into neutral at that point. By the time my tow truck arrived the 12 volt battery had been completely depleted and hence the drama that ensued.

By 'both my front airbags deployed' I meant the 2 front airbags for the driver. I believe there are other airbags depending on impact. There is the steering wheel airbag and a much larger one at the knee level.

By the way this accident happened with me in adaptive cruise at high speed and it's impressive how fast the car reacted in an attempt to stop in response to a sudden obstruction in my lane.
 
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trm2

Active Member
Apr 3, 2016
1,078
1,705
CLE
Yes, my new "Tesla accident protocol" is to open the frunk, trunk, glovebox and delete all my personal info from the MCU and my homelinks if I am able.
Sounds like great advice that could all be programmed into a single button on the display.
 
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Super Dude

Member
Mar 9, 2018
50
26
Philadelphia
Sounds like great advice that could all be programmed into a single button on the display.
Can Tesla do this remotely if you give them a call? Even after an accident, your car would still be associated with the account. The prior owner of my car still has one key fob and they offered to disassociate it from my car if I wanted.
 

jruiz510

Member
Jun 22, 2018
93
27
Fremont
Am I missing something here but it sounds likes your car is a total lost so your buying a new one? Is the insurance covering that or are you just buying one out of the sake of time not being in your favor to wait for repairs.
 

namlio

Member
Mar 3, 2016
110
101
Asheville, NC; previously TX
@DermMD, I am writing in my first and only language and after an entire lifetime still fail to achieve clarity.

Battery - in a significant accident, the battery pack's "contactors" automatically withdraw, isolating the battery pack from the rest of the car. So, no power from the main battery pack. That's for your safety and the safety of first responders. At that point, all driving ability is gone; you can't supply power to the motor(s)/wheels.

Alan
I thought I remembered that the main pack is disconnected when the airbags deploy. So, I looked at the manual and found the following in the airbag section:

In a collision, in addition to the airbags inflating:
• Doors unlock , and the door handles extend.
• Hazard warning lights turn on.
• Interior lights turn on.
• High voltage is disabled.
To restore Battery power, use the touchscreen to manually power off Model S (see Powering Off on page 45), then press the brake to power it back on again.

It would appear that you may be able to reconnect the main pack if you go through the power off sequence. I hope I never have to personally find out.
 

DermMD

Member
Sep 15, 2015
51
40
Columbia. MD
Am I missing something here but it sounds likes your car is a total lost so your buying a new one? Is the insurance covering that or are you just buying one out of the sake of time not being in your favor to wait for repairs.

Sorry I have been gone for a while. Buying another as it takes so long to get a Tesla back from a body shop. My current car is not a total loss. They are estimating the repairs to cost about 8K plus a little more to cover replacement of the Xpel wrap I have on the car. Indeed, as I pointed out earlier the damage to the car is pretty insignificant in view of the the circumstances.
 

DermMD

Member
Sep 15, 2015
51
40
Columbia. MD
It would appear that you may be able to reconnect the main pack if you go through the power off sequence. I hope I never have to personally find out.
The body shop told me there is a fuse or fusing mechanism that gets blown and they have to replace that. My car is a Sept 2015
 

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