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Service says $22k for new battery on 2012 Model S

glide

Active Member
Jun 6, 2018
2,822
2,804
USA
Some people are taking a single (few) anecdotal reports of traction battery failure and extrapolating that to "Tesla is crap, we're all doomed".
Yes, it sucks to have your battery fail (anecdote) but that doesn't mean that it's a widespread problem (data).
No one is suggesting it’s widespread. Simply that it does happen and Tesla is asking an absurd amount of money to fix the problem.
 

SSonnentag

Rocket Scientist
Apr 11, 2017
1,711
2,166
Arizona
I don't really comprehend what you're trying to say here. So, it's remanufactured. I understand it won't have same longevity / quality as new, but 1.5 years? Come on.

I understand the concept of replacement parts, but you don't buy a remanufactured transmission for your car and only expect it to last 18 months.

Chevy put 3 remanufactured transmissions into my 1995 S-10 within 3 years. But I agree, I didn't expect to only get a few months out of each.
 
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ThomasD

Member
Nov 22, 2019
861
372
florida
If you want lower income people to purchase these older cars it is a problem. 22 thousand dollars is a huge chunk of change for the majority of people. Then you have the 8,000 dollar headlights. I realize that most people on here can drop 50 grand for a deposit on the Roadster and it doesn't hurt them at all. But someone purchases a used Tesla and finances it for 4 years. 2 years into the loan the battery warranty is up and at 3 years into the loan the battery craps out. So now you have have a family that has to make payments on a car and have to come up with 22,000 dollars and still have their loan payment. So how much of the 22,000 is actual battery cost and how much is it Tesla's markup.
 

DarkMatter

Active Member
Jul 13, 2016
1,127
871
Olympia, WA
If you want lower income people to purchase these older cars it is a problem. 22 thousand dollars is a huge chunk of change for the majority of people. Then you have the 8,000 dollar headlights. I realize that most people on here can drop 50 grand for a deposit on the Roadster and it doesn't hurt them at all. But someone purchases a used Tesla and finances it for 4 years. 2 years into the loan the battery warranty is up and at 3 years into the loan the battery craps out. So now you have have a family that has to make payments on a car and have to come up with 22,000 dollars and still have their loan payment. So how much of the 22,000 is actual battery cost and how much is it Tesla's markup.
Think of the original pricing. If someone is stretching their budget to buy a 2012 Model S used, I'm going to tell them they are an idiot same as I would tell someone stretching to buy an S-Class, Range Rover, or a 7-series, or really any car that was $100k new and $20k at eight years old. Things will probably go totally fine, but they might be buying a piece of driveway art.

Back to the OP, I think Tesla should step up and goodwill this. It's a car barely out of warranty that has already had a complete battery failure. At least do a 50% split or similar.
 

specialgreen

Member
Jan 21, 2020
40
74
Minneapolis MN
It's fine to say that nobody should own a Tesla out of warranty unless they have a $20k rainy day fund. But this will limit Tesla to the luxury niche, like other cars that have a risk of expensive repairs (e.g. C300). And Tesla has at least claimed that it intends to target the mainstream auto market.

EVs seem to have some very-very-rare but very-very-expensive failure modes. I know that there are some similarly rare-but-expensive risks to my house; even if I had a $20k "rainy day fund," I would still choose to carry insurance for them... just because I like boring things. It seems like there is a place in the EV world for some new insurance products. Why is it that it's easy to buy insurance to cover replacement if someone totals your car, but very hard to buy insurance to cover a simple battery failure? They are both rare, and both expensive.
 
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alexkram

Member
Feb 25, 2021
5
11
Sparks, Nevada
I have a 2012 S 85 VIN 01307 with 135k on it, warranty is expired. My battery is fine so far and it is original. I would never pay the $22k for the battery from the service center because it is refurbished. I would buy a $1k module from ebay and replace it myself, it will be a refurbished battery just like the $22k one from Tesla would be. I think you need have a lift to get the battery out but I'm crafty and I think I could do it in my garage with 4 floor jacks and a wood battery stand on casters.

When I bought this car I thought that lithium batteries died slowly over time, not all at once, but it seems they can also die all at once. I'm sorry that happened and I wonder what percentage of cars this is happening to.
 

hpartsch

Member
Aug 6, 2014
592
413
wa
I have a 2012 S 85 VIN 01307 with 135k on it, warranty is expired. My battery is fine so far and it is original. I would never pay the $22k for the battery from the service center because it is refurbished. I would buy a $1k module from ebay and replace it myself, it will be a refurbished battery just like the $22k one from Tesla would be. I think you need have a lift to get the battery out but I'm crafty and I think I could do it in my garage with 4 floor jacks and a wood battery stand on casters.

When I bought this car I thought that lithium batteries died slowly over time, not all at once, but it seems they can also die all at once. I'm sorry that happened and I wonder what percentage of cars this is happening to.
I don't think that's possible due to balancing the pack and the issues it would cause. But others may want to chime in. If that was the case people would be selling new batteries left and right with those cheap modules and Tesla would have some competition.
 

alexkram

Member
Feb 25, 2021
5
11
Sparks, Nevada
I don't think that's possible due to balancing the pack and the issues it would cause. But others may want to chime in. If that was the case people would be selling new batteries left and right with those cheap modules and Tesla would have some competition.
Well I would make sure the voltage of the module I'm installing is the same as the other good modules in the pack. The could be done with a power supply or power resistor, depending on if the voltage needs to go up or down.
 

wk057

Senior Tinkerer
Feb 23, 2014
5,654
11,376
Hickory, NC, USA
It's definitely not the best burnout I have ever seen, but here is proof that a P100++ has been done

https://twitter.com/wk057/status/987857732337315840?lang=en

https://twitter.com/wk057/status/987706603309883393/photo/1

Well yeah, I did it ;) The one and only!

I did a dyno test when it was still just a 90 and got 553 RWHP. :cool:


Didn't do more pulls on the dyno as a 100, but it added roughly 40 more HP based on electrical measurements.

Anyway, I don't suggest this route. Unless you have a P85 with a warranty-replaced motor that landed your drive unit in the right age group, it's not really practical at all. Plus the whole firmware lock thing.

---

As for Tesla's battery prices... one issue with Tesla is they won't actually just sell a battery. They want a core back PLUS the $22k for the replacement 85 ($25k for a 90, $32k for a 100, and $21.5k for a 60/70/75 last I saw). It's a pretty horrible deal.

Back when the 90 was announced, I actually tried to pay Tesla to do an upgrade to a 90 from an 85. I wanted to keep the 85 pack for my solar project. They backed out, because they refused to just sell me a new battery. I know of several people who have attempted to do similar things over the years with the same result. I don't know of any cases where Tesla will just sell a battery without a returned battery, damaged or otherwise. I've heard that in cases where they can't safely transport a damaged pack they send a tech to salt bath it and destroy it.

It's pretty sad.

Long story short, if you need a battery replacement on an S/X with MCU1, just drop me a line. It's likely cheaper for you to ship your car both ways to/from my shop and get the replacement rather than deal with Tesla. Obviously I can't warranty replacement packs like Tesla can, but a) you're not likely to have any issues, and b) if you did, you could probably do several more replacements with me before you got to Tesla's prices. haha
 

Sunshine State

Automotive Enthusiast
Jul 13, 2017
1,304
1,031
Florida
When any manufacturer replaces a part it doesn’t restart your warranty. The warranty expired on the vehicle so it doesn’t seem like they would owe you another battery to replace the one that they already replaced. I had a battery replaced on a Navigator and it failed about a year later, the battery was clearly marked as a 4 year battery but the dealer said the warranty is from date of "purchase" and the "purchase" never happened because it was a warranty part. I would never own a Tesla outside of warranty, especially outside of drivetrain warranty.
 

glide

Active Member
Jun 6, 2018
2,822
2,804
USA
When any manufacturer replaces a part it doesn’t restart your warranty. The warranty expired on the vehicle so it doesn’t seem like they would owe you another battery to replace the one that they already replaced. I had a battery replaced on a Navigator and it failed about a year later, the battery was clearly marked as a 4 year battery but the dealer said the warranty is from date of "purchase" and the "purchase" never happened because it was a warranty part. I would never own a Tesla outside of warranty, especially outside of drivetrain warranty.
Replacement parts typically come with a warranty. It may not be 4 years but it should have something.
 
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Sunshine State

Automotive Enthusiast
Jul 13, 2017
1,304
1,031
Florida
Replacement parts typically come with a warranty. It may not be 4 years but it should have something.
But certainly the point is that warranty replaced parts should never extend or exceed the original terms of the factory warranty. If it fails again within the original warranty then of course they will fulfill the terms of the original warranty and repair or replace the part. They terms are actually spelled out in the warranty and it is written to avoid confusion like this. People could intentionally try to create failures on the last few days of the warranty just to extend the coverage, that is the point of having specific terms. The point of a warranty is to cover the vehicle and covered expenses during the original agreed terms
 
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alexkram

Member
Feb 25, 2021
5
11
Sparks, Nevada
Do you know this or are you assuming? I sure hope that for $22k you'd get a new battery.
I'm assuming it because the majority of posts people have made about battery replacements have gotten remanufactured batteries installed. There are the lucky few who have received the new 350V batteries. These are warranty replacements though. The OP for this post is the first I've heard of an out of warranty replacement done by Tesla. I hope for $22k it's new too but it doesn't matter for me because I would part out my car before paying that for any battery.
 
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electricar

Member
Jul 31, 2018
209
181
NotCal
Think of the original pricing. If someone is stretching their budget to buy a 2012 Model S used, I'm going to tell them they are an idiot same as I would tell someone stretching to buy an S-Class, Range Rover, or a 7-series, or really any car that was $100k new and $20k at eight years old. Things will probably go totally fine, but they might be buying a piece of driveway art.

Back to the OP, I think Tesla should step up and goodwill this. It's a car barely out of warranty that has already had a complete battery failure. At least do a 50% split or similar.

I spent decades in the car business in both sales ( the dream ) and service ( the nightmare ) and can unequivocally state that buying an 8 year old $100K car for $20k will go poorly. The only people who pulled off this scenario wanted to drive a high end car and could not qualify for a lease but had cash. They bought the car, usually a Benz or Beemer, because they knew that few people really know how old a high end car is, paid cash, fixed nothing, junked the car when something major broke, and then repeated the cycle.

The only time I saw a goodwill repair on an 8 year car was when the car was a beloved older model and the customer spent several hundred thousand dollars a year at the dealership.
 
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beatle

Member
Aug 31, 2019
991
473
Springfield, VA
Well yeah, I did it ;) The one and only!
As for Tesla's battery prices... one issue with Tesla is they won't actually just sell a battery. They want a core back PLUS the $22k for the replacement 85 ($25k for a 90, $32k for a 100, and $21.5k for a 60/70/75 last I saw). It's a pretty horrible deal.

That's exactly it. People are shocked at the $22k price, but they should be even more shocked that the $22k price is after the unstated core return. The "junk" battery would still be worth many thousands of dollars, and Tesla keeps it. In reality the cost is north of $30k, with $22k being cash, and the rest being the value of the failed pack. Granted, not everyone has the means or desire to sell or reuse the dead battery. It's a shame that Tesla doesn't acknowledge that they are getting cores for refurbishment for "free."
 
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electricar

Member
Jul 31, 2018
209
181
NotCal
That's exactly it. People are shocked at the $22k price, but they should be even more shocked that the $22k price is after the unstated core return. The "junk" battery would still be worth many thousands of dollars, and Tesla keeps it. In reality the cost is north of $30k, with $22k being cash, and the rest being the value of the failed pack. Granted, not everyone has the means or desire to sell or reuse the dead battery. It's a shame that Tesla doesn't acknowledge that they are getting cores for refurbishment for "free."

The cost of parts for old high end cars is always breath taking as is the core price. The European brands support their heritage cars and make money doing it because many of these cars are classics. The Asian brands do not although that may change as the generation that grew up playing Forza gets old and has money to spend on nostalgia. The American brands do not but have a large aftermarket that produce parts many times using the original tooling. The problem for Tesla is that their old cars are just that, old cars. There really is no way for them to win here since neither trying to make money or losing money supplying parts for old cars at the expense of new car sales makes much sense.
 
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