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Warranty (esp. driving through floods!)

Discussion in 'Model S' started by brianman, Aug 4, 2012.

  1. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

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    #1 brianman, Aug 4, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2012
    Another Rod and Barbara post, this time a warranty PDF ...
    Punch list, Page 3 (Warranty link) | Tesla Motors

    Attaching it here in case it disappears at the original location.

    Edit: The original PDF link looks better than when I tried to save it locally (and attached here). Hrm. Looks like basically same content though, just formatting snafus.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Johan

    Johan Took a TSLA bear test. Came back negative.

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    I can't find anything about limitations on the ammount of supercharging specifically, though it says you must adhere to the instructions in the manual. Maybe something there...
     
  3. GSP

    GSP Member

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    Sometimes drivers need to ford water that is 1-2 feet deep. I was driving my Volt on a three lane interstate highway (not some backwoods path) during heavy rain. At a construction zone their was no shoulder or place to pull off, and traffic was backed up for about a mile due to a 1.5' stream of water, about 50' wide, crossing all three lanes. I had no choice but to slow to 2-5 mph and ford my brand new Volt. However I was confident both the car and I would survive, since GM required the Volt to pass their standard fording test. GM posted a video of this test, and the water almost came up to the bottom of the windows!

    Now, I see that fording 1.5' of water will void the warranty on the Model S battery. This makes the financial risk of owning a Model S higher than it should be, in my opinion. I definately want Tesla certified fording capability in ver 2.0, similar to GM and other cars.

    From the above PDF:

    The following will also void this New Vehicle Limited Warranty:
    • Vehicles that have been transported or driven outside the Tesla North America Warranty Region;
    • Vehicles that have had the VIN defaced or altered or the odometer or other related system disconnected, altered or rendered inoperative so that it is difficult to determine the VIN number or actual mileage;
    · Exposing the vehicle to ambient temperatures above 140°F (60°C) or below -22°F (-30°C) for more than 24 hours at a time;
    · Physically damaging the Battery or intentionally attempting, either by physical means, programming, or other
    methods, to extend (other than as specified in your owner documentation) or reduce the life of the Battery;
    · Exposing the Battery to direct flame;
    · Immersing any portion of the Battery in water or fluids;
    · Opening the Battery enclosure; and
    · Having the Battery serviced by a person or facility not authorized or certified to do so;


    I am also concerned about exposure to temperatures below -30 C. Surely this will be OK as long as the car is plugged in. I think that the waranty should say so.

    GSP
     
  4. jkirkebo

    jkirkebo Model S P85+ VIN 14420 EU

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    Yep, that could be a problem in parts of Norway too. I agree adding an "except when plugged in" qualifier would help.
     
  5. strider

    strider Active Member

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    Something to keep in mind - when they say, "X will void the warranty", it does NOT mean that if you do X that Tesla will never fix anything on your car ever again. Any decision by Tesla to not warranty a specific repair must be tied to a specific act that is spelled out in the warranty. For instance, if you did ford the car and then the pano roof broke, they'd still have to fix it under warranty unless they could prove that it was the fording that broke the roof
     
  6. Johan

    Johan Took a TSLA bear test. Came back negative.

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    Sorry, how do you mean "ford the car". Do you mean immersing it in/under water?
     
  7. LuckyLuke

    LuckyLuke Model S P85DL

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  8. GSP

    GSP Member

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    Best answer is here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ford_(crossing)

    I am sure that strider is correct and Tesla can not, and would not, void the warranty for the pano roof or anything else not harmed by crossing a stream. However, I would really like some reassurance that fording reasonable depths (1-2') will not damage the battery, motor, inverter, or anything else. And that if there was damage for some reason, then it would be covered under Tesla's warranty.

    GSP
     
  9. rabar10

    rabar10 FFE until Model 3

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    One to two feet of water is not a reasonable fording depth for any sedan. One to two inches (if that's what you meant) should be OK...
     
  10. stopcrazypp

    stopcrazypp Well-Known Member

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    #10 stopcrazypp, Aug 5, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2012
    I haven't seen the GM test where the water came up to the windows (do you have a link?).

    The standard water fording / water trough test the Volt went through seems to have about 1 foot of water at the deepest (the deepest test had water up to less than the center of the wheel hubs, which are about 13 inches tall, given it has P215/55R/17 tires).
    http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1047018_do-electric-cars-make-you-worry-about-toasters-in-bathtubs

    The water chamber test done on the Volt is just a standard leak test to simulate rain (not the same as standing water):
    http://www.gm-trucks.com/news/newmodels/2009/08/25/pre-production-chevy-volt-takes-a-bath-in-gms-universal-water-chamber/
    Tesla does a similar leak test on the Model S with ultrasonic waves (to save water):
    http://www.teslamotors.com/blog/tesla-factory-birthplace-model-s

    The Volt's warranty will not cover damage to the vehicle from water or fluids either (page 11):
    http://www.chevrolet.com/content/dam/Chevrolet/northamerica/usa/nscwebsite/en/Home/Ownership/Manuals and Videos/02_pdf/2011_chevrolet_volt_warranty.pdf

    Although in real life, it seems they are willing to make exceptions to the warranty:
    http://gm-volt.com/forum/archive/index.php/t-7892.html
    From the same thread there's a claim that a Prius under water had to get its battery replaced.

    In any case I would not recommend going through deep water with any car, if it can be avoided. There have been warranty claim issues even in less than a foot deep water, an example is this Jeep which went through 10 inches of water, got hydrolocked and Jeep refused to cover it under warranty despite advertising up to 30 inches of water fording at slow speed, since changed to 19 inches:
    http://jalopnik.com/5697449/why-did-a-new-jeep-wrangler-die-in-ten-inches-of-water
    I doubt most car companies will see 1-2 feet of water as a reasonable depth for a sedan, given even a trail rated SUV like the Jeep only covers about 1.5 ft of water fording.
     
  11. pguerra

    pguerra Member

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    #11 pguerra, Aug 5, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2012
    So according to the last sentence, how much of a loss of battery energy or power over time would not be considered "gradual energy or power loss" and therefore allow the user to make a claim against the Battery Limited Warranty? For example, would a 10% loss be enough and over how much elapsed time since taking possession - since there is also confounding gradual loss too?

    In other words, besides a battery just dying on you which would be an obvious trigger of the warranty, how does one know if a "gradual" power loss in the battery is "normal" or is "significant enough" to fall under warranty? I.e. what is significant enough?
     
  12. bonnie

    bonnie Oil is for sissies.

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    If you spend some time reading the threads at Battery Discussion, you'll see that failure of cells/sheets in the battery have historically been covered by Tesla under warranty and is information that owners can pull from their car logs. This is different than gradual loss of power or energy.

    It's a pretty black and white discussion.
     
  13. stopcrazypp

    stopcrazypp Well-Known Member

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    Like bonnie says, a sheet or cell dying will obviously trigger the warranty (even though it may not bring down the total pack capacity a huge percentage). If a sheet or cell dies, the battery monitor will see an immediate step loss in capacity (it should be able to also tell which sheet is the culprit), not a smooth (almost unnoticable) decline.

    I don't think any manufacturer will put a set percentage for replacement because an unbalanced battery may also result in a significant but temporary decline in capacity (until you balance it again), looking at the Roadster Battery Study.

    More details on the Roadster battery is here:
    http://www.teslamotorsclub.com/showthread.php/6491-Roadster-Owner-Based-Study-of-Battery-Pack-Capacity-Over-Time

    Battery degradation summary here:
    http://www.teslamotorsclub.com/showthread.php/6491-Roadster-Owner-Based-Study-of-Battery-Pack-Capacity-Over-Time/page12?p=147929&viewfull=1#post147929
     
  14. jerry33

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

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    One to two feet is perfectly reasonable. In the Midwest, water doesn't drain into the soil very easily so when it rains the water often gets up to or a bit over curb height. Any car should be able to go through water like that because if not, you won't be able to make it to and from work on any rainy day--not a good situation.
     
  15. GSP

    GSP Member

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    Thanks for all the great info! Interesting about the "trail-rated" Jeep.

    Interesting thing about my experience was that I had no choice but to continue through the water, and I was driving on an interstate highway, the last place one would expect to have to ford a creek! The construction company was at fault, in my opinion.

    Here is a link to GM's test:

    Video Details

    My Volt is doing fine over a year later, and I did not hear about any other cars being damaged either. There must have been several thousand cars forced to ford as I was.

    GSP
     
  16. CapitalistOppressor

    CapitalistOppressor Active Member

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    The battery warranty is voided if the battery is "immersed" in water. At least some definitions of "immersed" mean "covered completely" and it's very unlikely that a court would void the warranty for fording a reasonable stream (12" seems reasonable to me for a sedan, but I am sure there are industry standards).

    As a practical matter, I believe Tesla is referring to a flood event where the car gets flooded with water. When you are properly fording a stream a car will naturally make a wake, and turbulence will keep the water from really filling all the available space under the car. As long as you keep moving (and don't float), you should be fine. If you float, or stop the vehicle the water will work it's way into all available nooks and crannies, and you give it the opportunity to defeat the weather seals and get into the cabin. If that happens, you deserve to get your warranty voided.

    I'd welcome hearing from a Tesla rep on this, but I seriously doubt that having your battery destroyed by water damage will be a serious issue going forward.
     
  17. GSP

    GSP Member

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    I would bet that you are correct about submersion in a flood being much more damaging than fording an equal depth of water. Sounds like a reasonable interpretation of Tesla's warranty language as well.

    GSP
     
  18. CapitalistOppressor

    CapitalistOppressor Active Member

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    I don't think that "two feet" means what you think it means. 24" is higher than the tires are tall. Most cars will float in water that high.

    In off roading applications you are generally considered safe in water that as is deep as your axles. But sedans aren't off road vehicles, and once you move up past 6"-8" you are in a danger zone (most bigger 4wd vehicles can go up to 18"-20" but can get swept away if the water is moving). I've personally seen a Chevy Malibu float by in water that was 20" deep. Anyone who drives a Model S into 24" of water deserves to get their warranty voided.

    EDIT: FYI curb height is about 6" or so. I agree the Model S should be able to handle that. If you raise it up on the air suspension you are prolly ok in water that is 8"-10" deep and might be able to ford a standing puddle that is 12" deep, but the water would certainly ride up over the hood and possibly up your windshield as well. You'd look vaguely porpoise-like if you choose the Dolphin Grey.
     
  19. stopcrazypp

    stopcrazypp Well-Known Member

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    #19 stopcrazypp, Aug 5, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2012
    A typical curb is only about 6 inches high. 1-2 feet is 12 -24 inches high. 1 foot would reach about the wheel hub of a typical car and if you are wearing standard ~1 ft tall rain boots your feet would be wet. 2 feet would reach the top of the wheels (they would be completely immersed). I doubt you regularly have to ford water that high!

    That's the same water trough video I linked. The water at the highest point only went up to about 1 foot (can still see the wheel hubs in the side shot). The water spray in the front is misleading because that is just water displaced by the front belly pan and not the same as going through water that is actually at that height.

    I think CapitalistOppressor makes a good point about fording water and a car sitting in a flooded area. Having the car sit gives the water the chance to seep in. When you ford water you create a wake of displaced water, so it has less chance of seeping in (depending on how long the flooded path is).

    Looking specifically at the Model S, the ground clearance is 6 inches (7.3 inch maximum adjusted to the tallest height), battery pack height is about 4-5 inches. So you have about 10-11 inches before the battery is fully immersed (11.3-12.3 inches if you adjust the height).
     
  20. GSP

    GSP Member

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    Good point about the water looking deeper at the front of the car. This is what stuck in my mind as I remembered the video and gingerly approached my forced march through the water.

    GSP
     

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