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Reduced Range - Tesla Issued a Service Bulletin for possible fix

djgordon68

New Member
Dec 13, 2019
1
0
Ann Arbor, MI
Went to my service appointment today, I feel it went rather well. What I've wanted from the beginning is for Tesla to show true concern for this issue and resolve to take a very close look at my car and my battery. They did so at this appointment, and the service technicians and managers at the Houston Westchase service center are, and have always been, really good at what they do.

I was able to show them several items:

1. TeslaFi graphs showing that the battery degredation on my 9/2018 build P3D is at around 10.8 % at 34,000 miles.
2. TeslaFi graphs showing that the battery degredation on my wife's 4/2018 build 3LR is at around 2.0 % at 21,000 miles.
3. TeslaFi graphs showing that the battery degredation on my previous 4/2015 build Modem S 85D was at around 4.5 % when the vehicle was turned in after it's 3-year lease (04/2018) with 65,000 miles.
4. I showed the following copies of service bulletins that reference mistakes that were made in HV battery construction for the Model 3 in 2018:
Based on the affected vehicle build dates given in each service bulletin, the only two of these that could have applied to my car are the last two, SB-18-16-010 and SB-19-16-009. My car build date was verified as 9/13/2018, thus neither of those service bulletins should apply to my car, but the service manager opened a case with the virtual tech team to verify that that is indeed the case. He reasoned that since the build date is so close to SB-19-16-009, it warrants being double-checked.

Now, not all of these service bulletins describe a defect that would affect range, but a number of them do. I made the argument that the sheer number of service bulletins (eight) involving mistakes in battery construction warrant a very careful look at my battery as well as the entire Model 3 fleet of batteries. It points to a situation where that in 2018, Tesla's battery production rate was exceeding their ability to maintain quality control. I made the argument that due to the low quality control during this build period, there could be additional battery construction mistakes that have yet to be discovered, and probably cannot be automatically detected by the car's software, since software can only detect what it's programmed to detect. They agreed that additional scrutiny is warranted, and my case with the virtual tech team is going to have them perform an in-depth examination on my battery.

I do not expect that they will discover something new in my battery, but my purpose here with this appointment was to make sure that everything that can be looked at has been. I am now satisfied that that is being done.

I do however, want them to explain why an identical battery has only 1/5th the degredation of mine, and that a previous-generation battery that is 3 years older than mine has 1/2 the degredation at twice the number of miles. They said they will do their best to have an explanation of these items after my battery is examined.

By the way, the official measure that Tesla uses to track this is called the "Battery Retention" by their software, and is given in percentage. It is the amount of energy that the battery can hold at the current time compared to the amount of energy it could hold when it was brand new. It's calculated as:

gif.latex

RMn = Rated Miles new, RMc = Rated Miles current.

My battery is at about 91% Battery Retention, which corresponds nicely with the TeslaFi.com graphs, although TeslaFi.com reports this in a different way -- it reports as miles lost as a percent of current capacity.

Also, the service manager did give me the standard disclaimer that 3rd-party software tools are not "accepted" by Tesla as evidence. I expected this, and my response was that A) just because they're 3rd-party doesn't mean they're wrong. In fact, they correlate nicely with Tesla's own tools. And B) the data there is not made up or measured -- it's Tesla's own data being reported by the car, obtained through their own API. So I'm not sure was not being "accepted" means, as it's the car's own numbers. I think the service manager fully understood this, but was giving me the disclaimer because he's required to. :)

The case that is open with the virtual tech team now has copies of all of my graphs and reference to all of the service bulletins, and is assigned to their lead virtual tech. I'm happy with this response, as it's showing me that they do care about this issue, and want to do everything they can to assure me that the car is working properly. The service manager also stated that my battery is fully warranted, and if a problem develops later that meets the criteria of excessive degredation, that Tesla will be happy to replace the battery. He did not mention numbers or the threshholds for that criteria, but I believe he was genuine in this response.

Anyway, while it's not likely that I'm going to get a new battery or anything, I'm happy that the service center here in Houston still has great customer service, and genuinely wants me to be happy, unlike some of the people on the phone from California who tried to tell me that I was simply driving too fast on summer tires. :rolleyes:

Note that I do not recommend that everyone who has a concern about their battery capacity schedule a service visit and present gobs of service bulletins and graphs, as it's likely not going to result in anything being done to your car. I would recommend that you check the service bulletins, and if your car has a build date that falls in the service bulletin's range, that you schedule a service appointment specifically for that. It is a fact that there were many battery construction mistakes that were made in 2018, and if your car is affected, you can get it fixed. But don't clog up Tesla's service centers if you're not affected.

I hope this helps others.
Excellent post. Thanks.

I’m expecting to soon buy a Model Y and obviously battery degradation could be a deal breaker.

I look forward to seeing your future post updating on the issue.
 

RayF

Member
Jul 10, 2019
11
9
Saratoga, CA
I have a model 3 Performance stealth. I purchased it 8/1/2019 and it was manufactured 7/2019. Attached is my battery report from TeslaFi's Charges, Battery Report Beta showing an initial range of around 310 miles (blue line) when I started using TelsaFi at 1,200 miles. It started decreasing around 1,700 miles until around 3,400 miles where it has stayed between 292 to 296 miles. This is about 5% loss in range. This report also shows data for 28 other cars similar to mine (green line) that start at around 308 miles and drop to 305 miles for a loss of about 1%. I charge to 80 or 90% at home at 48 amps and have only charged to 100% twice. I've spoken to Tesla service and they say my battery is fine.

Battery Report Beta.PNG
 
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jrielley

Member
Oct 21, 2018
32
33
Mt Holly, NC
Well, I'm not last in my group, at least.

Since the range of my car new was 310, I could lose that extra 15 miles of range that came with the software update and I would be back to 0% loss. 'Cept mine kept going.

3 LR RWD, 10/18 build
 

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Tbbroder

Member
Jan 29, 2019
51
21
West palm beach
My September 2018 model 3 performance started out with 310 miles at 100% charge. Fast forward 30k miles and I'm currently down to 283 miles with the latest software and hw3.0
 

dew00druff

Member
Aug 28, 2019
5
0
PA
Went to my service appointment today, I feel it went rather well. What I've wanted from the beginning is for Tesla to show true concern for this issue and resolve to take a very close look at my car and my battery. They did so at this appointment, and the service technicians and managers at the Houston Westchase service center are, and have always been, really good at what they do.

I was able to show them several items:

1. TeslaFi graphs showing that the battery degredation on my 9/2018 build P3D is at around 10.8 % at 34,000 miles.
2. TeslaFi graphs showing that the battery degredation on my wife's 4/2018 build 3LR is at around 2.0 % at 21,000 miles.
3. TeslaFi graphs showing that the battery degredation on my previous 4/2015 build Modem S 85D was at around 4.5 % when the vehicle was turned in after it's 3-year lease (04/2018) with 65,000 miles.
4. I showed the following copies of service bulletins that reference mistakes that were made in HV battery construction for the Model 3 in 2018:
Based on the affected vehicle build dates given in each service bulletin, the only two of these that could have applied to my car are the last two, SB-18-16-010 and SB-19-16-009. My car build date was verified as 9/13/2018, thus neither of those service bulletins should apply to my car, but the service manager opened a case with the virtual tech team to verify that that is indeed the case. He reasoned that since the build date is so close to SB-19-16-009, it warrants being double-checked.

Now, not all of these service bulletins describe a defect that would affect range, but a number of them do. I made the argument that the sheer number of service bulletins (eight) involving mistakes in battery construction warrant a very careful look at my battery as well as the entire Model 3 fleet of batteries. It points to a situation where that in 2018, Tesla's battery production rate was exceeding their ability to maintain quality control. I made the argument that due to the low quality control during this build period, there could be additional battery construction mistakes that have yet to be discovered, and probably cannot be automatically detected by the car's software, since software can only detect what it's programmed to detect. They agreed that additional scrutiny is warranted, and my case with the virtual tech team is going to have them perform an in-depth examination on my battery.

I do not expect that they will discover something new in my battery, but my purpose here with this appointment was to make sure that everything that can be looked at has been. I am now satisfied that that is being done.

I do however, want them to explain why an identical battery has only 1/5th the degredation of mine, and that a previous-generation battery that is 3 years older than mine has 1/2 the degredation at twice the number of miles. They said they will do their best to have an explanation of these items after my battery is examined.

By the way, the official measure that Tesla uses to track this is called the "Battery Retention" by their software, and is given in percentage. It is the amount of energy that the battery can hold at the current time compared to the amount of energy it could hold when it was brand new. It's calculated as:

gif.latex

RMn = Rated Miles new, RMc = Rated Miles current.

My battery is at about 91% Battery Retention, which corresponds nicely with the TeslaFi.com graphs, although TeslaFi.com reports this in a different way -- it reports as miles lost as a percent of current capacity.

Also, the service manager did give me the standard disclaimer that 3rd-party software tools are not "accepted" by Tesla as evidence. I expected this, and my response was that A) just because they're 3rd-party doesn't mean they're wrong. In fact, they correlate nicely with Tesla's own tools. And B) the data there is not made up or measured -- it's Tesla's own data being reported by the car, obtained through their own API. So I'm not sure was not being "accepted" means, as it's the car's own numbers. I think the service manager fully understood this, but was giving me the disclaimer because he's required to. :)

The case that is open with the virtual tech team now has copies of all of my graphs and reference to all of the service bulletins, and is assigned to their lead virtual tech. I'm happy with this response, as it's showing me that they do care about this issue, and want to do everything they can to assure me that the car is working properly. The service manager also stated that my battery is fully warranted, and if a problem develops later that meets the criteria of excessive degredation, that Tesla will be happy to replace the battery. He did not mention numbers or the threshholds for that criteria, but I believe he was genuine in this response.

Anyway, while it's not likely that I'm going to get a new battery or anything, I'm happy that the service center here in Houston still has great customer service, and genuinely wants me to be happy, unlike some of the people on the phone from California who tried to tell me that I was simply driving too fast on summer tires. :rolleyes:

Note that I do not recommend that everyone who has a concern about their battery capacity schedule a service visit and present gobs of service bulletins and graphs, as it's likely not going to result in anything being done to your car. I would recommend that you check the service bulletins, and if your car has a build date that falls in the service bulletin's range, that you schedule a service appointment specifically for that. It is a fact that there were many battery construction mistakes that were made in 2018, and if your car is affected, you can get it fixed. But don't clog up Tesla's service centers if you're not affected.

I hope this helps others.

I've read in other threads that the SOC/range counter periodically should be "recalibrated" by bringing SOC low (< 10%) and charging to full. And full means, let it keep charging until it stops. I've seen screenshots of charging graphs where SOC hits 100% but keeps charging for a long time while the range counter is relearning that the battery can be more full than it thought.

Does the Tesla SC do any kind of calibration like that during these troubleshooting sessions? Should we be doing that to get accurate 100% SOC range numbers on our graphs before thinking we have degradation?

Sept 2019 SR here. Highest range I've ever seen was 207mi.
 

Tbbroder

Member
Jan 29, 2019
51
21
West palm beach
I've read in other threads that the SOC/range counter periodically should be "recalibrated" by bringing SOC low (< 10%) and charging to full. And full means, let it keep charging until it stops. I've seen screenshots of charging graphs where SOC hits 100% but keeps charging for a long time while the range counter is relearning that the battery can be more full than it thought.

Does the Tesla SC do any kind of calibration like that during these troubleshooting sessions? Should we be doing that to get accurate 100% SOC range numbers on our graphs before thinking we have degradation?

Sept 2019 SR here. Highest range I've ever seen was 207mi.
So I discharged to 10% and then back to 100% at my house. For some odd reason i felt like stopping at the super charger. When i arrived it was at roughly 95% and it went back up to 100% and had my car go into a “Calculating” mode. It continued to charge for about 40 minutes and i know it was still charging because the added Kwh’s continued to go up but the rated miles stayed the same. After my next discharge and charge i noted a small gain in rated miles that brought me up to 289.
 

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TMK26

Member
May 2, 2018
58
45
Upstate NY
My 2018 LR AWD on 18" Aeros which was delivered in Sept 2018 (built Aug 2018?) shows 285 miles at 100%. 22k miles on the car.

This is when I slide the charge bar on the phone app all the way to the right, after changing from % to miles in the car.
 

SomeJoe7777

Marginally-Known Member
Mar 28, 2015
2,178
5,645
Houston, TX
Where & How do you search for Technical Service Bulletins?

NHTSA web site at NHTSA | National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. You can put in your year, make, and model, or put in your VIN to get the summary page for your car.

Scroll down to the bottom and you will see a section for Complaints / Recalls / Investigations / Manufacturer Communications. Click on the Manufacturer Communications section and you will get a list of the service bulletins.

This link goes directly to the Service Bulletins for a 2018 Tesla Model 3 AWD:

2018 TESLA MODEL 3 4 DR AWD
 

j5555

Member
Jun 15, 2018
67
124
Chicago
I have a 2018 LR AWD 8/18 build. 90% originally was 276 or so pretty consistently until about a year ago when it dropped overnight to 267 where it was consistently until 8.1 when it dropped overnight to 260. 20.12 has not changed that--stuck now at 260 miles with 90% setting--implying full charge range now less than 290.
 

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