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Costly Replacement Charger, after 50,000 miles.

Costly Replacement Charger, after 50,000 miles.

I recently ran into an issue with my charger malfunctioning and needed to be replaced. The car basically would not charge when I got it home. Symptoms looked like the little box on the charge cable would click on and off 4 times before the charge port would glow red. You could see the voltage rising up to 240 when the cable clicked on, then go back to 0 when the cable clicked off. Anyway, the car was flatbed back to Tesla service.

Then I was hit with the issue. The charger needed to be replaced. The thing that blew my mind was that the warranty on the charger expired at 50000 miles, while most other parts in the car expire at 80000. I had just hit 55000 when this happened and I didn't think I would have to foot the bill, which turned out to be $2300, parts and labor.

I don't know whether anyone else has had experience with Tesla warranty replacements of the charger. I found this to be very unreasonable extremely costly. I have had a number of issues with the drive unit (1 replaced under warranty) and I am detecting that the replacement is malfunctioning also. Needless to say, not happy about the warranty program and not looking forward to a drive unit replacement if, nay when it fails again.

mrspaghetti | 16. August 2015

Maybe you should have an electrician look at your charging setup at home. Perhaps you have dirty power. Is there a history of bad luck with other electronic components at your house?

Tâm | 16. August 2015

@ecottd

If yours is 70kWh or above, you've got an eight year, infinite mile battery and drive warranty so you shouldn't worry about 55,000 miles at current.

Now, charger is another thing. There have been many and many threads about extended warranty beyond the initial 50,000 miles, some say it's a waste, some say it's for instances like this.

stevenmaifert | 16. August 2015

Interesting since the charger can be purchased at the Tesla online store for $2,000, which includes installation. Maybe there was $300 worth of labor to remove the failed charger. Makes a good case for getting the Extended Service Agreement.

Greenee | 16. August 2015

Another post recently on a bad charger out of warranty, may want to touch base with that owner. I have 2015 s85d with 6,000 miles dual chargers and just had one of the Chargers go bad and I was replaced under warranty. FYI

notice | 16. August 2015

When you refer to "charger" are you referring to the charger(s) on board the car or a High Power Wall Charger (HPWC)? (Posts in this thread sound confused on this distinction?)

Tâm | 16. August 2015

@notice

HPWC costs $750 and I think Tesla doesn't come to replace it for you. You have to do it yourself or call an electrician.

prp | 17. August 2015

@notice, its a High Powered Wall Connector. It does not charge, rather Connects the cars charger to your power supply. If your charger is blown, replacing or buying a hpwc wont achieve anything.

Bighorn | 17. August 2015

What part is warrantied for 80k miles? Can't think of any.

prp | 17. August 2015

@bighorn, my battery and drive unit are covered for unlimited miles over 8 years. (2015 S85 in australia)

Bighorn | 17. August 2015

@prp
Mine as well. 80k miles pertains to no one, AFAIK.

prp | 17. August 2015

yes good point, didn't read your post that way.
Maybe the OP is mixing up km, as mine has A general warranty to 80,000km

ecottd | 17. August 2015

Hey everyone, just getting back to this thread. To answer some of the questions, yes I mean the charger in the car, not the wall charger or the block on the cable. The 80K warranty on other stuff was something the service tech mentioned to me when I was asking why this wasn't covered. It just didn't make sense to me that this piece would not be warrantied for longer given its importance to actually using the car at all.
No issues with power at the house that I can speak of. I don't think dirty power is the cause, but don't know for sure.

vincent | 02. November 2015

I had the same thing happen with twin charger going bad. $2400 replacement cost. And am still waiting to get the bad charger from Tesla. I will fix myself and keep for replacement when goes bad again

tes-s | 02. November 2015

Seems like a pretty high incidence of charger failure - several posts from people with this problem both in and out of warranty.

TeslaTap.com | 02. November 2015

Two out of 100,000+ does not sound like a lot to me.

If concerned, Tesla does offer a 4 year 50,000 mile extension to the initial warranty.

As others have pointed out, I'm not aware of any '80,000" mile warranty on anything in the car. Perhaps the OP is confused with the 8 year warranty on the motor and battery.

MandL | 02. November 2015

With 47K miles on my Sig #209 and facing the choice of owning the risk of maintaining such an early production car or transferring said risk to Tesla for $4K I decided to trade up (down?) to a 70D. Got a decent deal on an lightly used inventory car and am looking forward to another $10.5K in rebates. And I have parking sensors, auto-pilot, and folding mirrors!

Galve2000 | 02. November 2015

MandL:

Does your 70D have dual chargers?

sorry for hijacking this thread a little, but do you miss the extra kW in your old Signature 85, or is 70D really a better fit so far?

its a very clever way that you solved your "maintenance" issue. I will keep what you did in mind if I ever reach 45,000 miles in my 85D.

stevej119 | 02. November 2015

In reference to those saying this $2300 repair makes the case for the extended warranty, consider that the current price of the Extended Service Agreement is $4000. Your breakeven point during the term of the ESA your repairs is when $4000 (plus the future value of the $4000 paid) in repairs are accrued.

I drive approximately 40,000 miles per year. The ESA would cover me for 15 months. It's a tough call, but I think I'm going to pass on it.

FreshStart_η7 | 02. November 2015

stevej119

excellent points, I had the same thoughts!

tes-s | 02. November 2015

Two out of 100,000+ does not sound like a lot to me.

Seems more like 4 or 5, though I have not been counting. Out of a few hundred people that post to the forums.

eye.surgeon | 02. November 2015

The question has arisen, for those of us with 2 onboard chargers, if the primary one fails can they simply swap them? Given as I never use both chargers that would make the most sense if it were to happen to me.

rxlawdude | 02. November 2015

@Tesla.tap - "If concerned, Tesla does offer a 4 year 50,000 mile extension to the initial warranty."

No, it's not a warranty extension. It is a CONTRACT that does not provide the same consumer protections as under warranty law. It has a deductible for each component that is serviced. It has a no-coverage provision for those who have not availed themselves to 12,500 mile/1 year service intervals (whichever comes first). To date, Tesla has not been anal about enforcing the maintenance requirement but I would not recommend anyone believe that's going to continue going forward as the company finances become more stretched.

Haggy | 02. November 2015

It's definitely more than a couple. There's this one. There was another from somebody who had dual chargers complaining that it costs more to replace a charger than add a second one. Mine might not have technically failed, but needed replacing and it's questionable whether I would have been able to charge in the long run without it. But that's a moot point. Something was wrong within the charger.

What's relevant however is whether the chargers can be fixed or whether Tesla will continue to replace them no matter what. They are electronic components, not mufflers that have to be swapped because there's no other choice. When under warranty, it's a benefit not having to need an electronics technician work on your car when an auto mechanic can get it working faster. It would be interesting to know what is actually going on with the bad units.

If it happened to me out of warranty, I'd insist that they return the old parts to me, which they have to do by law if I ask. I get the feeling Tesla wouldn't like it since they are control freaks, but sooner or later others will have to work on their cars. It's untenable for them to be the only repair facility in the long run.

Solarfan | 02. November 2015

@Haggy,

You are correct about the owner having the legal right to get any non-warranty failed part, including the charger, from Tesla after that part is replaced.

Has anyone recovered a charger and had the failure analyzed and/or repaired? If so, please post the details.

Thanks

SCCRENDO | 02. November 2015

This thread should be made private. I wrote a thread on my master charger being replaced for the second time at 73000 miles. This was done under extended warranty. I was told it would cost $5-6k to replace out of warranty. Glad its only $2k. I was one of those who took the extended warranty for $2500 as they were about to increase the price to $4k.

I am still not convinced this is a widespread problem. We should start a private thread to see how widespread the problem is.

tesladude | 02. November 2015

A question for the OP (if he's still around) or anybody else who's in the same situation with a failed charger. Can you describe your charging habits?

The reason I ask is there is another thread discussing whether it's better to dial down the charging current at home to 30A (instead of 40A). The only benefit of doing so may be prolonging the life of the charger.

Haggy | 02. November 2015

Potential owners have the right to know about such issues before they put down deposits. If it's a major issue, it doesn't benefit anybody to hide it.

Anybody reading this thread who is not an owner has to figure in how many posts there are from people in the forum who had the problem compared to how many vehicles have been produced.

It's hard to extrapolate, and often the service department has a better idea. They spend all day working on the cars and don't plan to spend their spare time reading up on Tesla or reading user forums. Sometimes they are surprised to hear things from customers about so-called widespread problems that they rarely see. I asked the SC when I had a door handle problem if they see them often these days. I was told that they rarely did and the SA was surprised that I asked. I mentioned that it had been listed in consumer magazines as a notorious problem, and not only was he unaware, but it made no sense to him. The SC folks I've dealt with aren't sales people and aren't trying to put a positive spin on things. When they hear something, they tell people to bring it to Tesla's attention if it's a concern.

tes-s | 02. November 2015

At what point does a car company take responsibility for failures that are out of warranty?

My Prius had a headlight fail just out of warranty. Cost me $250. Two years later I got a notice that as the result of a lawsuit about headlight failures, Toyota had extended the warranty on the headlights. Anyone that had paid for the repair would get reimbursed. I sent in my receipt as instructed, and they reimbursed me.

Haggy | 02. November 2015

That often happens because it's cheaper to offer refunds and extend the warranty than it is to continue with a lawsuit and chance losing it. A proactive company will consider whether it's safety related or can damage the vehicle substantially, such as a failing ignition module or coolant system. In those cases, companies are more likely to issue a recall or TSB, but perhaps more often these lawsuits are without merit.

In many ways, it's consumers who get affected the most negatively by many of these lawsuits. If a manufacturer lets the service center shotgun a repair, it might mean that 90% of the replacements of a component weren't necessary. But a lawsuit that shows a high volume of the part being changed could use that to allege that the part must be defective. That makes manufacturers weary of replacing anything unless there's clear evidence that it failed.

bish | 02. November 2015

@tesladude

I charge my car at 30 amps and my charger failed.

SCCRENDO | 02. November 2015

I have charged at 40 amps for the life of my car and had charger failures at 14k and 73k miles.

hpjtv | 03. November 2015

If you have dual chargers, it's possible to bypass the main charger and go directly to the secondary charger. There's still a fee for doing it but it's cheaper than replacing the main charger.

davidahn | 03. November 2015

It's true that Tesla is a business, not a nonprofit, and while we would love to get lifetime free repairs, free new batteries, and a free Tesla vehicle every 2 years, Tesla wouldn't stay afloat very long.

OTOH, seems an essential part like a charger should be covered for at least 4-5 years, otherwise it makes it much harder to make a case for a BEV over ICE cars.

sargonkhizeran | 28. April 2016

I have a 13 P85 and my home charger failed this past week with 65k miles on it. Had to pay deductible with the extended service and they are replacing it, getting a new cable too because they thought that was the initial problem.

electric pilot | 25. Januar 2017

Can someone who's had their dual chargers swapped when one fails tell me which service center did this for them? The Chicago service centers said they haven't done it and don't think it can be done. However, people have said they got it accomplished for a fraction of the $2500 they are asking to replace the unit.

Ma Tes | 18. Dezember 2018

Summer 2014 Model S 85 (without Dual Charger option) 54k miles
Predominantly AC charged at 32amp 240V at home without issue.

Problem at Supercharger last month and again at this month.
Flashing blue light at port with "Charging stopped" message after a minute or so at different stalls and Supercharger locations on the East Coast.
Without explanation, connection sometimes achieved after multiple trials (>10) at the same and/or alternate stalls ultimately allowing supercharging.
Long hold times and discussions with Tesla Support only recommending scroll wheel reset "if it happens again."

Service Center now stating that "Charger needs to be replaced" at a cost of $2500 (a couple months and a couple thousand miles out of warranty). I tend to agree with above posts that this is most likely a bypass switch issue than core master charger problem but repair of the charger itself not offered; replacement of the entire charger is required.

Feel obliged to share with this helpful Forum and add to the cumulative knowledge base.
It appears that this is not such a unique problem in the early adopter years.

Advice and similar experiences welcome.

jordanrichard | 19. Dezember 2018

Mar 2014 S85, at about 60,000 miles, charging at home, got yellow ring, msg on screen "Unable to Charge", though it was charging at 30a vs the normal 40. Did the whole unplug and plug in bit. Did a reboot, went over to friends house, using their cord, same thing. Drove to then the nearest supercharger (22 miles), no problem charging. This confirmed my sinking suspicion that it was the onboard charger. Service center remote diagnosed it as a faulty charger. $2,200 out of the door. Presently at 136,000, knocking on wood, still no issues.

To put things into perspective, thus far I have saved over $14,000 in gas costs.

co2schmidt | 09. Januar 2019

2013 S85 with 57k miles, very similar scenario as Ma Tes, also starting in Dec, twice in 2 different Super Chargers in Colorado. initially no problem charging at home 30 amps, after 3 weeks, suddenly could not charge at home. bought extended maintenance agmt and all previous repairs (mostly minor) have been repaired w/o exception w/o charge to us. really upset by this apparent major shift.

milesbb | 09. Januar 2019

Are you asking for the parts when they replace the charger?

jordanrichard | 10. Januar 2019

co2schmidt, of course those things were repaired w/o exception w/o charge to you. You already paid for those repairs in advance, unless the total repair costs exceeds what you paid for the warranty, you paid for those repairs.

Silver2K | 10. Januar 2019

Jr, a car similar to the MS normally gets 20mpg or less.

136k/20 = 6800 gal. X average of $3 = $20,400 +$5k (misc maint like oil changes and brakes) = rougly $25 - home charging costs

Silver2K | 10. Januar 2019

Oh I forgot! Can you use my referral code for doing the math?

Regards,
Tesla-nomics

ATCRomes | 10. Januar 2019

Is this only happening to dual charger equipped Model S?

rbrewer | 16. Mai 2019

It happened to my 2013 S85 at 100k miles. They didn't have to but they comped me the replacement charger.

plusplusjames | 16. Mai 2019

My chargeport failed 8,000 miles out of extended warranty. $800 to replace.