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Parking brake errors, car often immobile, service WILL NOT COVER under warranty

Discussion in 'Model S: Driving Dynamics' started by logan, Jul 20, 2015.

  1. logan

    logan Member

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    Hi all,

    Just posting to vent some of my frustration / see if anyone has been in a similar boat.

    For the past two years of ownership, my car has suffered from numerous parking brake errors, that often leave me stranded far from home and having to get towed. The first time it happened was just a few months after I took delivery, back in mid-2013. Essentially, at random, my car will throw up tons of errors and will not release the parking brake.

    The various errors I have continued to receive include:
    • Parking brake needs service (car may be free rolling)
    • Parking brake not set (car may be free rolling)
    • Regenerative braking disabled (proceed with caution)
    • Traction control disabled (contact Tesla service)
    • Stability control disabled (contact Tesla service)
    • Passenger front airbag always on (contact Tesla service)

    I had the car to delivered to a family member in Kansas in January 2013, and drove it there for a bit before it started acting up. Tesla towed it to their St. Louis service center to be "repaired."

    Here is what the St. Louis Service Center listed in their repair invoice:
    The customer is xxxx, the VIN is xxxxx, and the issue was intermittent Alerts and the parking brake would not release.

    Originally we replaced the HV battery heater for a faulty temp sensor. We could not get the vehicle to act up again after a few days of testing so we shipped it back to the customer. When we arrived at the customer's house and went to unload the vehicle it acted up again and the parking brake would not release so we trailered it back to the shop.

    During the second visit we found that we had an intermittent open circuit in the Chassis CAN and attempted to trace it to the source by disconnecting all the connectors in the circuit, one at a time, starting back at the parking brake module moving forward and checking the resistance. When we got to connector X967, in the right kick panel, we got a reading of 120 ohms on both sides. This suggested that this connector was the route cause. When we reconnected it and checked the resistance at X437 we got a reading of 60 ohms which again suggested we had found the problem. We do not have a pin drag test tool kit so we were unable to actually test the terminals at X967 so we applied Stabilant 22A to the terminals and for a couple of days could not duplicate the faults again.

    Then when we were going to put all the trim panels back together it acted up again. We started performing more resistance test from X967 forward and we discovered that the open was due to a bent wire in the frunk about 6 inches back from the junction connector X747. It was one of the DG-WH wires. That particular wire had been cut and a new pigtail with connector was soldered in. The solder work was very good and they had used shrink tubing on it. The challenge was when they performed this repair that circuit became longer than the rest of the wires going to that connector so when it was taped back to the harness that wire was bent 180 degrees and pinched tight together.

    We cut out the faulty section of the wire, making that circuit the same length as the rest of the wires. We soldered the wires and used shrink tubing on it. We then rapped it with Red electrical tape so it can be identified in the future as a repaired circuit.​


    Since the repair, the car has acted up many times. Sometimes if I let the car sit for a bit, the errors will clear themselves; other times, no matter how many resets I do, the errors will stay, and the car will be immobile. At the opening at the San Juan Capistrano Supercharger, the car would not go into drive, so I had to get the car towed back to San Diego and take a two hour Uber home. Not a pleasant experience. Just the other day we had to get towed to the service center for them to look at it again, but fortunately this time wasn't too far away.

    Tesla Service Center San Diego will not cover any repair under warranty due to the MobilEye despite the fact this has been a documented issue on my vehicle for over two years, WELL before the MobilEye was even installed.

    The service center disconnected the MobilEye because no matter what I said about it being a documented issue for over two years (and again, before the MobilEye was installed) they said there was nothing they could do. I was told that they would take a look at it again if it acted up after they disconnected the MobilEye, which it has. I have now been told that they plan on replacing the wiring harness that the MobilEye taps into, but they aren't even sure that this will fix the problem. The repair will be about $1,600 and they will not cover it under warranty. They say I should go after MobilEye for reimbursement. How funny.

    A quick Google search shows that I am not the only one with this problem. Via PleasantonS at Tesla Motors Forum this April:

    When I got into my P85D this morning I had the update notice and opted to have it install at 11:45 pm. I proceeded to drive to the gym and parked the car. When I got back into the car and attempted to put the car into drive the car continually gave an error/warning message that the parking brake did not disengage and a message to call service. Of course this was the one day I did not take my phone with me since it was charging and the gym is 5 minutes away. I was finally able to get the car to go into drive but it continued to report a parking brake error. When I got home I contacted service and explained the situation. We agreed to see if it was just a onetime thing and wait before doing anything. I also accepted the update and had it install immediately. I am hoping it was just a glitch but am curious if anyone else has experienced or seen anything similar?

    And another from Rmbert, also on the Tesla Motors Forum, this July:

    My model S got the latest update last night. Today on the way to work I heard a clunk at a stoplight and got a message "ABS system disabled". After work I got "ABS needs service, stability control disabled, tire pressure system needs service". I went for Chinese takeout and when I returned to the car, I couldn't put it in drive. There were 9 error messages "park assist disabled, stability control disabled, airbag system needs service, ABS needs service, tire pressure system needs service, parking brake not set, parking brake needs attention, passenger front airbag always on, car needs service".
    The first call to customer service said he would contact the local service center and they would probably want to see the car. They would contact me on Monday as it was Friday and they were closed for the weekend (the car was still drivable). The second call after the car was totally disabled required a tow to the service center.

    Has anyone else done the July 10th update? Any problems?

    At this point, I have been plenty nice and understanding about the problem for two years, and my patience is wearing thin.

    Has anyone here experienced anything similiar / does anyone have any advice on what to do?

    Thank you
     
  2. Max*

    Max* Autopilot != Autonomous

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    Was the car in the shop long enough during the first year (?) to justify claiming lemon law?
     
  3. donv

    donv Member

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    I had the exact same set of errors on my car. The service center was never able to tell me exactly what the story was.
     
  4. artsci

    artsci Sponsor

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    This sounds like a fault that has nothing to do with MobileEye. Tesla should make it right. I'm sorry that they're looking for someone else to blame.
     
  5. mikeash

    mikeash Active Member

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    Under US law they have to demonstrate that the problem was caused by your modification if they want to deny a warranty claim. It is illegal to simply deny a claim on the basis of a modification being done. If they think your mod caused the problem, they need to actually prove it. This will probably be hard given that your problem pre-dates it. In any case, they can't just tell you to get lost like this. Read up on the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act and know your rights.
     
  6. ChadS

    ChadS Petroleum is for sissies

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    Mikeash beat me to it...they have to show the mod caused the problem before denying warranty. Mention the Magnuson-Moss act and escalate until you get somebody that knows what it is.

    Of course some manufacturers try to deny claims anyway just hoping customers will go away rather than persist. (Many people think their position is valid; I think because dealers are always happy to perpetrate the "any mod voids your warranty!" canard). I hope this is just an employee at your service center that is unfamiliar with the rules and not a sign that Tesla is moving in that direction. From what I've seen in the past they have been very good about covering things under warranty even when there is some doubt about the cause.
     
  7. MsElectric

    MsElectric Active Member

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    How can they charge $1600 for a replacing a "wiring harness?!"
     
  8. James Anders

    James Anders Member

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    Because most likely the harness is hiding under carpets, panels, parts, etc. Removing and replacing a wiring harness is probably one of the more difficult things to do.

    Frankly, I'm surprised it's not more.
     
  9. MsElectric

    MsElectric Active Member

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    It's odd the claim that installing a MobileEye can cause the entire wiring harness to go bad... I know many have installed radar detectors or dash cams so could anyone who have installed such a device find themselves in this situation?

    I wish they just made available a couple of fused 12V power drops in the front and back of the car that are completely separated from Tesla electronics so that customers can install a couple of accessories without creating a mess like this. I'm sure people will continue in install basic accessories like Dash Cams and there has to be a way to do that without creating a catastrophic issue with the car that is refused warranty coverage.
     
  10. smorgasbord

    smorgasbord Active Member

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    What service is saying is that there's something wrong with the Chassis CAN bus. There are resistance/open circuit problems, which suggests to them that the Mobileye installation (which apparently ties into that CAN bus) is the root cause (not "route cause" as they wrote).

    You should get them to step up their CAN bus debugging efforts. Has anyone looked at the CAN data (presumably uploaded to Tesla's servers)? What other diagnostic messages are being produced, if any? The "pin drag test kit" they talk about is something that Tesla should be able to supply to its service centers. It would enable service to check each wire on the CAN connectors independently. The "kit" is really just a collection of wires with the appropriate connectors to mate with the connectors, one wire at a time. CAN bus wiring issues can be really hard to solve.

    That this problem existed before the Mobileye installation should be a good defense. If they insist on replacing that portion of the wiring harness, then make them promise in writing to refund the entire amount should that not fix the problem.

    Good luck.
     
  11. AmpedRealtor

    AmpedRealtor Active Member

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    Sounds like an email to a regional manager and a senior VP may be in order. You should remind Tesla of its obligation under the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act and ask Tesla to honor its warranty commitment. You should also outline the timeline of events, showing that your issues predated the installation of the Mobile Eye. I would be shocked if you didn't get the attention you deserve.
     
  12. MsElectric

    MsElectric Active Member

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    #12 MsElectric, Jul 21, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2015
    What do other feel about Tesla seriously considering placing a couple of fused 12V drops in the front near the review mirror, behind the nose cone, and in the back? This fused 12V circuit can be kept completely separate from the rest of the Tesla wiring and electronics. If not Tesla and their customers will keep banging their heads over these issues and it really doe snot help Tesla the company and it ruins the ownership experience for the customer.

    I bet many customers may want a radar detector or dash cam in their cars and there should be a simple and easy way to do this without getting into a mess like this. It's hardly any effort at all for Tesla to make available a couple of 12V drops in the front and one on the back. It protects their circuitry and allows the reasonable installation of a dash cam or other accessory.

    Am I mistaken or does newly built cars actually now have a separate 12V power drop near the rear view mirror just for this purpose?

    I really hope this situation with you and Tesla deescalates soon and a reasonable resolution is found. The OP's ownership experience should not get completely trashed because he wanted to install MobileEye in his car.
     
  13. jamieb

    jamieb Member

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    Somewhat off-topic but related, if they were to add some drops in the back of the car or in the frunk, it would also be nice to have one or two powered USB plugs in those locations so one could put a powered external drive and have it out of sight/out of mind with a TB or more of media.
     
  14. spottyq

    spottyq Member

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    Spare Switched 12V Circuit on Model S built after July 2014 <- this one is under the dash, on the passenger side.
    There is 12V access just behind the nosecone (to jump start the your/someone else's car.)

    I don't recall hearing about a spare circuit available in the back of the car.
     
  15. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

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    Early cars had an unused connector behind the microphone grille that was supposedly to power the then promised visor retrofit that would have illuminated vanity mirrors. When the prospect of lighted vanity mirrors vanished, so did that connector. For some reason, it began showing up again on newer cars. I'm not clear on why Tesla put it back. Many folks tap in to it for dash cams.
     
  16. jerry33

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

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    Maybe they are finally getting around to the lighted vanity mirrors. If so, perhaps we earlier purchasers will get them at no charge since they were part of the feature set when we ordered.
     
  17. Fezzik

    Fezzik P67429

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    That connector under the mic grill, I thought had to do with security for foreign cars. If you look at other post you will see a module in that area that US cars do not have. I used this connector for my dashcam but made a connector that would plug into the connector there.

    I also used the other 12 v connector under the dash on the passenger side that WK pointed out for my radar detector and laser jammer.
     
  18. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

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    Hmmm... could be, but you'd wonder why they put it on North American cars, took it away, then brought it back again. Also, illuminated vanity mirrors were supposed to have been a retrofit once available and so they'd need somewhere to connect. In fact the Model S I drove at the Get Amped event (for early reservation holders) did have two little LED lights on either side of the mirrors. I was told something like Elon didn't like the design but that they were to be re-done and retrofitted after delivery.
     
  19. logan

    logan Member

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    Thank you, I will be looking into this further.




    I'm not sure what exactly they've looked into, but they did have me call them when the car acted up again so they could read the logs.
     
  20. AmpedRealtor

    AmpedRealtor Active Member

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    Magnuson-Moss Act covers aftermarket replacement parts, but does not cover aftermarket add-ons. The Act would not appear to apply to OP's situation, since a dash cam is not a replacement part - it's an add-on. Here is the language from FTC:

    Will using 'aftermarket' or recycled parts void my warranty?

    No. An 'aftermarket' part is a part made by a company other than the vehicle manufacturer or the original equipment manufacturer. A 'recycled' part is a part that was made for and installed in a new vehicle by the manufacturer or the original equipment manufacturer, and later removed from the vehicle and made available for resale or reuse. Simply using an aftermarket or recycled part does not void your warranty. The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act makes it illegal for companies to void your warranty or deny coverage under the warranty simply because you used an aftermarket or recycled part. The manufacturer or dealer can, however, require consumers to use select parts if those parts are provided to consumers free of charge under the warranty.

    Still, if it turns out that the aftermarket or recycled part was itself defective or wasn't installed correctly, and it causes damage to another part that is covered under the warranty, the manufacturer or dealer has the right to deny coverage for that part and charge you for any repairs. The FTC says the manufacturer or dealer must show that the aftermarket or recycled part caused the need for repairs before denying warranty coverage.
     

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