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The 8-year battery warranty: how?

The 8-year battery warranty: how?

I dont recall seeing this topic here.

I know this much: Tesla offers an 8 year warranty on its car batteries.
So, when your battery pack packs it in in say, just under 8 years, and it is covered under warranty, what are they going to do?

Batteries will be different by then, different chemistry, maybe different size.
So different hardware.

Also software improvements will have happened, and your S40, 75 or 100 may not be upgradeable.
So how is Tesla going to honor your warranty short of providing another complete car?
Or a recycled pack from a wreck.

Our friends cannot supply body parts, rivets etc in a timely manner, how long do you think your car will be off the road waiting for a replacement battery?
Are they going to make replacements already prior to each iteration becoming obsolete? I don't think so, as:
1: they are not known for stocking parts inventory
2: the spare batteries will die of old age when kept as spares.

Thoughts?
R

murphyS90D | September 4, 2017

They will ship your battery back to California and rebuild it, just like they do now. Panasonic is not going to forget how to build the cells that are in your battery. They only have to supply a battery repair that will last to the end of the 8 years. A new battery good for another 8 years is not going to happen unless you pay for it.

tes-s | September 4, 2017

There will be plenty of battery parts available from wrecks, floods, etc.

Ross1 | September 4, 2017

@tes-s
Certainly, but does consumer law require new parts for old,
and BTW batteries have limited shelf life as inventory stock

georgehawley.fl.us | September 4, 2017

Interesting questions. There's nothing that says they can't rebuild the battery pack. Assuming that is feasible, they can replace the 18650 cells with current product and you will gain maybe 6% in battery pack capacity but it might not be accessible without a software change. In the case of older models like The S40 it might cost less to pop in a 60 kWh pack from inventory. Just guessing. Why not ask Tesla? A bigger question in terms of volume is what do they do 5-10 years from now when there are enough cars that are old enough to experience significant battery degradation? Tesla will have to have a replacement offer strategy by that time at which point 18650s may be obsolete.

p.c.mcavoy | September 4, 2017

@Ross1- Exact terms of warranties vary based upon local laws, with there potentially be some differences in consumer protection even between states in the US. As I'm based in the US, I only have a copy of the NA warranty agreement from the purchase of my vehicle. It has the following statements:

Basic terms of warranty coverage section: "Repairs will be performed using new or re- manufactured parts at the sole discretion of Tesla. "

Battery and Drive Unit Limited Warranty section: "If your Battery or Drive Unit requires warranty service, Tesla will repair the unit, or replace it with a factory reconditioned unit. When replacing a Battery, Tesla will ensure that the energy capacity of the replacement Battery is at least equal to that of the original Battery before the failure occurred. "

I have not experienced any failure with my main battery pack to date. I do know one owner that has, plus have seen several here on the forum describe the process today. That process is as others her have stated where Tesla will swap in a "loaner" battery pack and return your battery to be repaired. Typically I hear people make comments of this potentially being something like a 6 month process. During that time you are able to continue to use your vehicle while your original battery accumulates zero miles.

Given that's the process that Tesla is using today for warranty repairs, I would not expect it would change anytime soon. As others have stated, I' sure that there will be the ability to make the current cells for quite some time.

The obsolescence issue that is more likely, and I honestly haven't decided what my views on it will be, is more a case of individual microprocessor chips becoming obsolete. I know the company which I work for is now starting to deal with the need to do replacement controllers for some of our first electronic products used on industrial equipment where were the original chips are not longer available and new controllers are needing to be qualified as "transparent" using currently available chips.

Anthony J. Parisio | September 4, 2017

Ross1,
Who told you that lithium batteries have a limited shelflife? From everything I have read lithium batteries kept at 50% and connected to nothing seem to have an almost unlimited shelf life. I am not worry about storing batteries and shelf life. Use seems to be the only thing that destroys a lithium battery.

mychol | September 4, 2017

I Remember Elon speaking to being able to change your existing pack and upgrade it whatever is available at the time. Software should not be an issue as I am sure Telsa will design changes to incorporate backwards compatibility.
Kinda like Apple does in their OS.

Tesla knows and has talked about a car's use being in the area of 20 years, I expect they will plan for that.

And besides, if it takes a year to rebuild, you're not wearing out your battery.

Ross1 | September 4, 2017

Anthony: who told me?
1: I thought it was a given.
2: We had a discussion here about 5 year old Leafs still brand new unsold in AUS. The batteries are the most vulnerable part. (Are they Li-ion?)
3: I have some Makita tools. When the batteries are fitted to the tools they hold charge for a long time, but when charged and disconnected from the tools they go flat in a couple days.

Anthony J. Parisio | September 4, 2017

Ross1,
1 Not a given things have changed a lot in five years.
2 Leaf batteries are always on and not thermally managed.
3 Your tool's batteries can not be lithium, cobalt, manganese, nickel batteries such as in the Tesla

Anthony J. Parisio | September 4, 2017

P.S. Really this battery stored with only 50% charge seem to stay that way for years.

TeslaTap.com | September 4, 2017

@Ross1 - Please don't compare automotive grade batteries Tesla uses with other batteries. Hand tools and phones (that have lithium batteries) often have cheap charging/discharging methods that destroy the battery in normal usage in a few years. Those batteries are often made to the cheapest standards too. In many cases, you wonder if the short life is by design so you'll have to buy a new phone/laptop/tool - especially for those products that have a non-replaceable battery . Often the warranty is only 1 year, an indicator of a possible cheap battery/charger design.

As for the Leaf's early batteries, as Anthony points out, it was designed quite poorly and suffers from quick degradation over 2-3 years in higher temperature areas.

Anthony J. Parisio | September 4, 2017

TeslaTap.com Has made another good point. Cell phones and power tools are charged to 100%. Many power tools are often discharged to 0%. This absolutely destroys the battery sooner than they should be. No lithium battery kept between 20% and 80% of charge should last only three years.

Run4Waffles | September 4, 2017

+1 @TT and @Anthony

georgehawley.fl.us | September 4, 2017

All batteries self-discharge over time, if left unconnected.

Here are some rates of discharge: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self-discharge

kerryglittle | September 4, 2017

On the battery subject has anyone other than me ever thought that there has to be a better ( not invented as of yet) battery or an energy source to power cars? Been thinking about it a lot for some reason. I mean if anyone it would be Elon that just wakes up one morning and say, "what if????" Technology changes daily and things we never dreamed of happening are now a reality.

kawdennis | September 4, 2017

My main Battery Pack went out the 1st week of January 2017, they put in a loaner pack a week later My battery has not been fixed yet Iam still using the learner pack

Ross1 | September 4, 2017

learner

reed_lewis | September 5, 2017

Would a learner pack be like a training pack?

Rocky_H | September 5, 2017

@kerryglittle, Quote: "On the battery subject has anyone other than me ever thought that there has to be a better ( not invented as of yet) battery or an energy source to power cars? Been thinking about it a lot for some reason. I mean if anyone it would be Elon that just wakes up one morning and say, "what if????" Technology changes daily and things we never dreamed of happening are now a reality."

You think no one is working on that right now? I assure you a lot of people are constantly working on that and have been for many years. This is the main thing that is great about electric cars. The batteries aren't just an automotive technology. The entire multi-billion dollar worldwide mobile electronics market ALWAYS wants better battery technology. All cellphones, laptops, tablets, etc. always want better battery life that is cheaper, lighter, holds more energy, etc. etc. So these kinds of advances are always being researched and developed. Electric cars will get these kinds of benefits as newer and better battery technology is discovered without having to put in all of the cost and time to develop it.

Rocky_H | September 5, 2017

This also seems like one of those questions where I think the answer is: "Why does it matter?"

You will get a loaner Tesla (probably nicer than yours) or at least a loaner battery in your car while they take however long they need to fix it. That's a nicer situation for you anyway, and they'll eventually return your car or battery with it back up to working condition. What difference does it makes how they did it or what kinds of parts they used?

reed_lewis | September 5, 2017

In my mind, if in 7 years my battery fails for some reason, and I get a replacement (or repaired) that works as well as the battery I had before it failed, I will be happy.

This means that for 8 years (at least), I do not need to worry about the battery or motors or the control systems that run those items.

I certainly do not expect to get a batter battery than what I had before. If it does happen, then great, but I do not expect that.

Haggy | September 5, 2017

The length of the warranty doesn't mean that your battery is likely to fail at about 8 years any more than you'd expect the rest of the car to fall apart after 4 years or 50,000 miles. A warranty should be long enough to shake out any manufacturing defects. You can read other threads about cars with hundreds of thousands of miles on them that have been charged more times than almost any owners are likely to do in 8 years and they do just fine.

Ross1 | September 5, 2017

Reed:
I am thinking Tesla will be unable to replace old batteries with new technology, so your whole car would maybe need replacing, with someone else's old tradein.
Not so simple.

The flying hippie | September 5, 2017

They seem to be all out of loaner packs these days. Mine (Dec 2014 S85) died in June and they gave me a 100D until I get a new pack. As far as I know they haven't even removed the dead battery from my car yet and have indicated they are 95% sure I'm getting a new battery so maybe they changed the process. Could the current cost of battery pack production be low enough that the manual labor involved in rebuilding a pack is cost prohibitive?

TeslaTap.com | September 5, 2017

@The flying hippie - I suspect there are some rare situations that require complete battery replacement. For example, if the liquid cooling pipes failed and leaked fluid throughout the battery pack, I suspect it's a goner. Not that I've ever heard of this happening, but I'm sure there are a few situations where the pack must be replaced rather than repaired. Sounds like a great deal getting a 100D while your car is in the shop!

jordanrichard | September 5, 2017

Flying hippie, when you say your battery "died", exactly what happened. Were you driving along and your battery said "I am out of here" and just stopped your car in it's tracks?

The flying hippie | September 6, 2017

@jordanrichard It was parked in my driveway and when I got in it wouldn't turn on. No drama or anything. Only stuff connected to the 12V worked like the door locks and power windows. They put it on a flat bed and took it away, next day I had a loaner.
@TeslaTap.com Now that you mention it the service center did mention something about humidity detected in the pack which caused it to shut down back in June.
They just called me with an update. Basically they don't know when exactly but I'll be getting a new 85kWh pack and not a rebuild. He mentioned there could be more delays due to the Houston situation but estimates another 4-6 weeks. In the mean time I'm not the least bit disappointed in the 100D. Service has been good at calling me every two weeks or so just to keep me in the loop even if it's to report they don't know anything new so that's appreciated. Although the 100D is awesome I still miss the old 85 and looking forward to being reunited.

tes-s | September 6, 2017

I hope the Houston delay is not waiting for a salvaged battery pack to put in your car. :)

Haggy | September 6, 2017

Even if Tesla stopped making the battery, chances are they (or Panasonic in this case) would sell to private companies that remanufacture Tesla batteries.

hsuru4u | September 7, 2017

after 8 years they are under no obligation to have those battery packs avail anymore.Of course people will be pissed off but tesla is used to that and in 8 yrs wont care much.

Ross1 | September 8, 2017

Actually it is funny we should be concerned about an event 8 years down the track, when within a short time we are going to get nuked anyway.

Reminds me of "On the Beach" by Nevil Shute starring Gregory Peck/ Ava Gardner.
People continued to plant gardens and stuff til the day they died from nuclear fallout.
We named our Airbnb "On The Beach Cottage" btw.

tes-s | September 8, 2017

8 years used to seem so far away. Now that I am half-way there, it seems closer... :)

Still not worried about it.

tes-s | September 8, 2017

8 years used to seem so far away. Now that I am half-way there, it seems closer... :)

Still not worried about it.