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Please don't rely on tesla road assistance

Envchem

Member
Nov 13, 2019
164
153
Liverpool, UK
Hi all,

Been awhile since I posted anything work family at all. Probably most of you are already aware of this but I wanted to raise what happened to me on Wednesday since I believe my life was endangered.
So Wednesday afternoon and with the storm hitting all the country I left work to go back home. My daily commute is through A49 and A41 where the situation was dreadful. Pools of water everywhere and eventually the roads get blocked by police. I spent 3 hours doing circles trying to figure a way out of the roadblocks to get myself on the way to Liverpool (back home). At one point I decide to backtrack and find a way to go to M6, M56 and back home.
As I was driving southbound A49 I got the first warning. Electric system failure; car may not restart.
After 10-15 minutes I saw a small gap at the side of the road and decided to pull over to put a route on the navigator safely.
Car goes on park and that's it. Refuses to go to drive and gives the error message: electric systems powering up. wait 30 seconds before pressing pedal to drive etc. No joy. Done soft reboot; hard reboot; turned car off and on nothing happens.
All this happens at 20:30. Called tesla road assistance. After being on wait for a good 20 minutes I am getting told that any road assistance will be there after 4-5 hours! They tell me to get a taxi to get out of there. I am in the middle of nowhere; 8 miles from the closest town (Tarporley) and at that point it starts to snow! As you guessed after calling about 15 taxi companies no one is coming.
Called the police and all they cared was that I was not obstructing any traffic. They asked me to get a relative to pick me up. When I explain to them that the only relative is my wife who is at home with a toddler and a baby and that all roads are closed they just shrugged it off and tell me there is nothing they can do.
At that point car systems start to die off. First aircon, then heated seat, then lights. At the end I managed to get a colleague to come and pick me up driving through snow at all. When he arrived car was completely dead (even hazard lights). I was sitting in it at -3 and I am pretty sure if I had stayed there for the night I don't know how things would have evolved for me.
Next day I am trying to call tesla to see if they towed the car and after 10 calls and being on hold for hours I get confirmation that the car is on tow and on its way to Stockport. I am getting told that when it arrives I will get a call. Nothing of this happens.
Only good thing they managed to do is that they dropped a rental from enterprise at home. I take the rental and drive to Stockport. My car is there covered in muck but in good condition at least. Then I am getting told that it is a good thing that I went over since they need the keycard and the pin to drive. When I asked them well what if I haven't gone there and gave them what they needed I dont get any answer.
No idea when they will have to to look at it and apparently there is a backlog on parts due to Brexit and delays on ports...
They guessed that water got through and may have killed the 12v battery and its charging system.
When I asked them about the fact that last November they did work on the battery harness and they also did pre-emptive maintenance on the known issue regarding water ingress on the steering wheel they told me that this is another part that is getting affected....

I feel massively disappointed at this point. I get that cars break down at all but this sounds to me like a serious design failure. On top of that their road assistance is pitiful at least.
It will get fixed eventually but I have lost faith in it.
I will probably get rid of it before warranty expires and hope by then European manufactures will have better offers out there.
Sorry for the long thread; I hope you understand my feelings. Facing the prospect of spending the night in frozen car is not a joke.
 

Obliter8

Member
Jul 20, 2019
190
100
UK
Whilst I can certainly empathise that being stuck in that situation overnight could well have been hazardous and is really not on, what's it got to do with the car? Every manufacturer has cars with serious issues occasionally, and we've all been unlucky with reliability at some point.

I guess the issue is with the Tesla breakdown cover, and yes - others have said it's not great. So get RAC/AA?

I certainly don't want to seem dismissive, but as someone who has had cars from other manufacturers just conk out on the motorway, and who has had a fight with a tow contractor after hours of wait on the hard shoulder, it seems like blaming the car manufacturer for poor breakdown service is something you wouldn't do in other circumstances.
 

pgkevet

Active Member
Jul 1, 2019
1,233
1,081
mid wales
I fully understand your frustrations but a couple of points. The design flaws/cause of your problems isn't roadside's fault. They managed to get to your car (eventually) in what you appreciate were appalling conditions + rental car etc. I've needed to use them twice now and both times they have been pretty on the ball even though I live out in the sticks (but fortunately both failures were at home so waiting not an issue). I do keep RAC cover as well as a backup.
The other point is that we've all come to expect cars to work (and yes they should) but old lags like myself still take winter with some seriousness on long trips - snow shovel, survival pack etc..
We had a failed supermarket delivery here 'cos driver went off the road in the storm and redelivery was impossible after that with all the roads flooded.
as for the police - these days less than useless...
 

M3noob

Supporting Member
Aug 22, 2019
582
430
Beyond the pale
Hi all,

Been awhile since I posted anything work family at all. Probably most of you are already aware of this but I wanted to raise what happened to me on Wednesday since I believe my life was endangered.
So Wednesday afternoon and with the storm hitting all the country I left work to go back home. My daily commute is through A49 and A41 where the situation was dreadful. Pools of water everywhere and eventually the roads get blocked by police. I spent 3 hours doing circles trying to figure a way out of the roadblocks to get myself on the way to Liverpool (back home). At one point I decide to backtrack and find a way to go to M6, M56 and back home.
As I was driving southbound A49 I got the first warning. Electric system failure; car may not restart.
After 10-15 minutes I saw a small gap at the side of the road and decided to pull over to put a route on the navigator safely.
Car goes on park and that's it. Refuses to go to drive and gives the error message: electric systems powering up. wait 30 seconds before pressing pedal to drive etc. No joy. Done soft reboot; hard reboot; turned car off and on nothing happens.
All this happens at 20:30. Called tesla road assistance. After being on wait for a good 20 minutes I am getting told that any road assistance will be there after 4-5 hours! They tell me to get a taxi to get out of there. I am in the middle of nowhere; 8 miles from the closest town (Tarporley) and at that point it starts to snow! As you guessed after calling about 15 taxi companies no one is coming.
Called the police and all they cared was that I was not obstructing any traffic. They asked me to get a relative to pick me up. When I explain to them that the only relative is my wife who is at home with a toddler and a baby and that all roads are closed they just shrugged it off and tell me there is nothing they can do.
At that point car systems start to die off. First aircon, then heated seat, then lights. At the end I managed to get a colleague to come and pick me up driving through snow at all. When he arrived car was completely dead (even hazard lights). I was sitting in it at -3 and I am pretty sure if I had stayed there for the night I don't know how things would have evolved for me.
Next day I am trying to call tesla to see if they towed the car and after 10 calls and being on hold for hours I get confirmation that the car is on tow and on its way to Stockport. I am getting told that when it arrives I will get a call. Nothing of this happens.
Only good thing they managed to do is that they dropped a rental from enterprise at home. I take the rental and drive to Stockport. My car is there covered in muck but in good condition at least. Then I am getting told that it is a good thing that I went over since they need the keycard and the pin to drive. When I asked them well what if I haven't gone there and gave them what they needed I dont get any answer.
No idea when they will have to to look at it and apparently there is a backlog on parts due to Brexit and delays on ports...
They guessed that water got through and may have killed the 12v battery and its charging system.
When I asked them about the fact that last November they did work on the battery harness and they also did pre-emptive maintenance on the known issue regarding water ingress on the steering wheel they told me that this is another part that is getting affected....

I feel massively disappointed at this point. I get that cars break down at all but this sounds to me like a serious design failure. On top of that their road assistance is pitiful at least.
It will get fixed eventually but I have lost faith in it.
I will probably get rid of it before warranty expires and hope by then European manufactures will have better offers out there.
Sorry for the long thread; I hope you understand my feelings. Facing the prospect of spending the night in frozen car is not a joke.

Wow. Scary story. However, despite rumours that Elon is God, *sugar* happens and, in dire circumstances such as Biblical deluge, not much of the world works the way we wish it would. ICE cars die in floods, too.

At least we can be certain that Trump was not responsible. :)

Whither AA, RAC, Green Flag?

PS I did NOT write *sugar*. It's my assumption that all here are grown up enough for mild scatological references to not cause mass disenrollment. FFS ;)
 
Last edited:
  • Funny
Reactions: Yev000

phil4

Member
Sep 8, 2020
294
162
UK
When the country grinds to a halt due to flooding/snow etc, I'm pretty sure you'll find almost any breakdown/recovery service is going to be taking an eternity due to the large numbers of callouts of stranded motorists and crashes.

No the car shouldn't have broken, and leaving it to chance to get the key card, also not great. But I'd cut the recovery firm some slack, they did after all collect the car, and take it where it needed to go.

That said, if you feel it's worth it, have a backup plan with another recovery firm. Having a plan B is always good.
 

Envchem

Member
Nov 13, 2019
164
153
Liverpool, UK
Hi all,

RAC/AA will be shorted out the moment car is back. I am not going to trust their joke of road assistance for a minute more.
I get having a survival pack and I have started already preparing one. One wouldn't think it would be needed for daily commute but live and learn I guess.
What I don't get is why the car is so sensitive to water. I did not notice any one being broken down while I was driving around and trust me I was being very careful with the water puddles going very slowly through them etc.
I am curious to see how long it will take them to get it fixed now..
Two repairs due to electrical issues in a year does not sound good to me though.
I was hoping to keep it for a decade since that is how often I change cars but I just cant see the car being that reliable.
 

pgkevet

Active Member
Jul 1, 2019
1,233
1,081
mid wales
I doubt I'll keep my S outside warranty unless Tesla start doing their own extended one again at a sane price 'cos their approach to fixing things is swapping out whole expensive sections rather than just mending the bit that's broken and like any computer its obsolete when you buy it... let alone the argument about whether they'll ever get autonomy working well enough. I can easily see me going back to a second hand ICE and waiting for rival alternatives - much as I lke the comfort and acceleration I have other cars that are fun too (and less attractive to rats)
as to how fast they'll fix it - Ha another mater altogether they just rang me to apologise that the message i got last night that mine was finally in the shop is wrong.. earliest will be monday assuming they actually figure out what's wrong and have the parts!
That aspect doesnt bother me too much this time 'cos i have an identical enterprise loaner and anyway i'm surrounded by floods I'd have to use a tractor to get through (except that's in the shop too:()
I always keep dry snacks and water in the boot anyway (as well as cleanng stuff, blanket and pump) - bad weather means throw in an extra coat and shovel.
Anyone remember the days we used to spray the plug leads with waterproofing before leaving if it looked like rain?
 

Obliter8

Member
Jul 20, 2019
190
100
UK
In my experience, it's not. I've driven through some nasty storms on the motorway, and if anything I think the suggestion is that EVs cope with deep water better (no air intakes etc).

I think you've got a duff one, and that, sadly is something that does affect Tesla owners. Even that said, I would point you to the latest WhatCar user survey, which found that the Model 3 was the #1 most reliable executive car
 
  • Helpful
Reactions: EVMeister

UrbanSplash

Member
Nov 10, 2019
375
156
UK
Interesting story. Thanks for sharing. I’m still convinced these cars are not designed for mega rain. Just look at the incidents of the undertray disintegrating because of standing water.

As for recovery, it’s not unusual to wait hours. It’s been awful weather and they would be mega busy. Doubt AA or RAC would of get there quicker. I’ve experience waiting hours for both. Just one of those things.

Remember to prepare for bad weather. Jackets and blankets etc in the boot. I even have a old sleeping bag shoved in. You never know what can happen. Even more so I would say with electric cars.
 
  • Like
Reactions: DenkiJidousha

Envchem

Member
Nov 13, 2019
164
153
Liverpool, UK
It isn't. Clearly your car had a problem but given there aren't hundreds of thousands of Teslas grinding to halt whenever it gets seriously wet I can't see this is an inherent design weakness.

Bumpers flying of in rain, under covers getting shredded to bits and cars dying out sometimes in motorway speeds due to water ingress in the stirring wheel, i am sorry but they prove otherwise.
 

GRiLLA

Member
Jul 5, 2020
546
530
UK
No. I called the police because I was stranded in the middle of nowhere, with no assistance in sight freezing to death. A colleague of mine had to endanger himself driving under these conditions to help me.
Happy now?
Sorry for insulting your beloved Tesla..
You could have called either the AA or RAC, you can sign up at the roadside and they will come, but you also might need to wait hours for them to turn up, I have before. Breaking down is a huge hassle, stressful, worrying and not fun. It's not a police matter though, as clearly they told you.
 

roadcred

Member
Aug 23, 2019
177
91
UK
They are all awful in poor weather....unfortunately always when you need them. Good job you weren't on a Smart Motorway!
There is a problem with Tesla and water but this is a California car - what do you expect? Almost all cars are designed with their domestic market in mind.
 

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