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Tesla Service Center and Supercharger Issues

Discussion in 'Tesla, Inc.' started by SWFL_EV_Owners, Jul 12, 2017.

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  1. SWFL_EV_Owners

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    Does anyone have a contact at corporate that I can speak to? I have an out of warranty horror story that I think they should know about.


    I bought my 2012 Tesla Model S used from Tesla on June 1st. About 10 days later I was at the Fort Myers Supercharger and met a guy with a similar model. He plugged into stall 1A and instantly got several error messages on his displays and then was told the car would not charge and needed to be towed 2 hours to the closest SC. I felt bad for him but thought it was an issue with his car. A few days later I plugged into the same stall and got the same messages and had to also have my car towed to the SC. While on the phone with Tesla Roadside they looked up my car and check to see if this was covered (I bought the car as a Non-CPO so limited warranty coverage). They told me it was covered and they sent a tow truck and had me go to a Hertz nearby to get a rental car to meet my car at the SC. I never signed anything with the tow truck driver or Hertz, it was all arranged by roadside and they said that the issues with the car would be covered. The next day I drove to the SC and waited for details on the car. They told me that the surge protector part of the car was welded together by an excess of electricity and that it caused the onboard charger to also get fried. Then they told me it was not covered under any of my terms of ownership. I explained to them that it must have been the Supercharger and that it had happened to someone else on the same stall. They argued that was impossible and just handed me a bill for the service, then a bill for the tow and a bill for the rental car. As I only had the car for two weeks and the car supposedly had a complete inspection I was completely blown away by all of this. I told them what Tesla Roadside told me on the phone and they said they would have to check the recordings of the call (I'm sure they haven't done this). So I negotiated that they comp off the tow, rental car and 10% but it still cost me over $3000. This was 28 days ago and I've tried calling the sales person that sold me the car, but he never answers my calls. It seems to me that this is definitely caused by the Supercharger and it was even more infuriating to have the Service Manager just dismiss my concerns and not try to find a similar situation in their records from a few days before.


    Also over the past 28 days I was not near these Superchargers again but I was informed by others that they too had issues and that the stall I was on was marked out of order. So there was an obvious issue and I was still ignored. This is making me feel betrayed by the company after just buying the car. I am considering taking this to the Better Business Bureau and spreading my story online as a cautionary tale but I would hate to tarnish the name of Tesla as I have always been supportive of what the company stands for.


    I really need help to escalate this to a corporate level because the service center didn't care to hear what I had to say. I also can get statements from a few other owners that have experienced similar problems with our Superchargers in Fort Myers.


    Thank you in advance for any help,

    Jason Caissie
     
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  2. Tam

    Tam Active Member

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    I think the main line can direct you to appropriate person.

    If it's out of warranty then you should know that services are not covered.

    Kind of confusing.

    You bought a used car from Tesla so it should be called CPO and also, it should have warranty coverage.

    Do you have a receipt that indicates what you bought?
     
  3. SWFL_EV_Owners

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    I was told my Roadside it was covered plus there was no way for me to know it was part of the Powertrain warranty. The car was not CPO. The mileage was too high for them to consider it CPO but I did buy it from Tesla directly not a 3rd party.
     
  4. Tam

    Tam Active Member

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    Thanks for the clarification. That makes sense now.

    I agree with you that Roadside should know better to give promise of coverage and not kept.

    However, you did a good job in negotiating to reduce the cost so far.

    I agree.

    This is what I understand:

    8 year infinite warranty narrowly covers 2 items:

    1) Main battery pack: If it cannot hold anymore charge. That means your car should function fine and it can charge fine and it would give you a message "charge completed".

    It does not cover battery degradation. As long as it can hold a charge, it is not considered broken.

    In your case, the error message says it cannot charge. It could mean something preventing the current to flow to the main battery, so that is not covered by the main battery warranty.

    Owners argue that anything attached to the main battery such as 2 Contactors inside the the pack itself should be covered, but I haven't heard that Tesla would honor that.

    2) Drive unit: Remember, Tesla warranty is very narrow to Drive Unit itself and not expansive to "Powertrain" or anything attached to them.

    It contains:

    1) Motor: When it fails, your pedal has no effect on turning it.
    2) Gear Box: the grinding noise gets louder as if there's a flying drone hovering near by.
    3) Inverter: There might not be enough current/power and when it fails completely, your motor won't turn any more.

    ----

    Now that you share the story, those who want to own a Tesla out-of-warranty should be aware of potential expensive repair costs.

    In the mean time, I am sorry that it happened to you.
     
  5. Diana

    Diana A.K.A. Kraken's Wife

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    I think the bigger issue, aside from the warranty, is that a Supercharger disabled, not one, but 2 cars in a short span of time.

    I don't recall reading any sort of warning at a Supercharger saying that plugging in may fry your car. I know that occasionally an ICE will catch fire at a gas station due to static build up and flammable fumes meting, but that's avoidable. A supercharger that is sending out enough current to fry the charger is a big problem and should have been recognized and turned off after the first owner had an issue.
     
  6. SWFL_EV_Owners

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    Agreed
     
  7. jeffro01

    jeffro01 Active Member

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    A couple of things jump out at me here so I'm calling my fellow TMC members to either corroborate or dispute my post about this... In any case, supercharging is DC from the supercharger cabinet (full of "chargers" where the utility AC is converted to DC) to the pedestal to the cable to your car and to your battery. The onboard charger really doesn't play a role in this as it's job is to covert AC to DC since the battery is DC which was already done by the supercharging cabinet. IIRC, there is a physical bypass when using supercharging (or other DC fast charging) that allows the energy to flow directly from the charge port and into the battery. My memory is fuzzy on that so perhaps I'm totally wrong as it's been awhile since this topic came up... In other words, it doesn't make logical sense that there would be a defective supercharging stall bricking cars...

    All of that being said though, there was the fire awhile back with a vehicle that was actively plugged into a supercharger in Europe that Tesla traced back to faulty thermal sensing which does at least provide some additional evidence to back the OPs claim. I'd have to get @Ingineer or @wk057 involved on this one to either back up what I just said or throw it out and start over... :)

    Jeff
     
  8. MP3Mike

    MP3Mike Active Member

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    No, my understanding is that the charger in the car is not isolated, the HV side is exposed to the Supercharging voltage.
     
  9. jeffro01

    jeffro01 Active Member

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    Gotcha, I couldn't remember and had conflicting memories in my head... :)

    Thanks
    Jeff
     
  10. Tam

    Tam Active Member

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    #10 Tam, Jul 17, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2017
    Does that mean both Supercharger and 120/240VAC to DC onboard charger use the same surge protector on the high voltage side 400VDC, 400A?

    If so, when it is shorted out (welded together) the main battery pack should overheat and burst into flames in addition to the fried onboard charger as well.

    However, since only the onboard charger is fried and not the main pack, is it more likely that the shorted surge protector is on the side of 240/120VAC?
     
  11. MP3Mike

    MP3Mike Active Member

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    the pack has contactors inside to completely disconnect itself. So the surge protector sitting out probably resulted in the pack shutting down. It also has fuses to prevent catastrophic failure...
     
  12. Tam

    Tam Active Member

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    Tesla Identifies Cause for Model S Fire in Norway

    The fire originated from "a short circuit in the distribution box in the car".

    When it happened, the Supercharger shutdown automatically.

    So in that case, the origination is the car, not the Supercharger which does not help to support the fried surge protector and onboard charger in this case.
     
  13. Barklikeadog

    Barklikeadog Member

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    I don't understand the 'tough luck' responses here. If I filled up my tank and it was water instead of fuel, we wouldn't be discussing warranties. Hire a lawyer. Don't let a billion dollar company screw you and blame you.
     
  14. Tam

    Tam Active Member

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    The repair is about $3,000. It may cost much more than that to hire a lawyer.

    Small Claim Court might be a cheaper way to go.

    But how do you prove that it's the fault of Supercharger that fried the surge protector and onboard charger?

    You might have a better chance if other owners can supply a receipt of repairs citing those same damaging components after Tesla Supercharger usage.
     
  15. KarenRei

    KarenRei KarenRei KarenRei KarenRei KarenRei KarenRei

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    Discovery phase. Anything relevant to the case can be subpoenaed, including vehicle logs, call records, supercharger repair records, etc.

    Honestly, though, I doubt this would even go to court.
     
  16. SWFL_EV_Owners

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    UPDATE: I have spoken privately with a few Tesla Owners that have been Owners since the beginning. They referred me to Alberto Cortinas. He assured me he would straighten it out. Then a few minutes ago I heard from the Mark the Tampa Service Manager letting me know he was approved to reverse the charges. He was very professional in our phone conversation and said that his biggest concern was customer satisfaction. I can say that I am now satisfied with how this has been retroactively handled.
     
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  17. jeffro01

    jeffro01 Active Member

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    Outstanding. I'd love to know though how this could have happened and how a supercharger would be involved but I suppose at this point we'll likely never know... :)

    Jeff
     
  18. Tam

    Tam Active Member

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    I think it is theoretical possible because utility company supplies very high voltage and Tesla needs to step it down to 400V.

    If somehow that stepping down process is messed up (such as a sudden surge due to lightning striking to utility line), the stall can inject more than 400VDC to your car.

    Luckily, your car should have surge protector and other safety measures to prevent a surge into to pack.

    However, your car's protective components might be damaged in extreme cases and they are costly to replace.
     

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