MS60 dead a second time in 2 weeks

MS60 dead a second time in 2 weeks

After waiting for 1 whole week waiting for my MS 60 to be brought back from the service center in Menlo Park last Friday, I find my MS60 dead again in my garage.

Two Fridays ago it was dead and was towed out on a Monday morning. The service center was excellent, prompt, and conscientious in updating me. It spent 4 days in Menlo Park service. They replaced a faulty drive unit.

I was pleased to have it back last Friday delivered by 2 courteous Tesla employees.

I drove it sparingly over the weekend mindful of not venturing too far from home base.

This morning it is completely dead. Interestingly, the drivers window is open. I am unable to unplug the wall charger. The fob does not work near the wiper even to open the doors.

I was able to reach the Tesla help number but not the service center.

The wife gave me a quizzical look as she drove away in her Prius.

I am annoyed. I am disappointed.

Alex K | 25 mars 2013 | MARCH 25, 2013: This morning it is completely dead. Interestingly, the drivers window is open.

In some other threads people have mentioned that the driver's window being open is a sign that the 12V battery is failing (could also be DC-DC converter not charging the battery). The car lowers the drive's window so that you are not locked out of the car.

You can give the 12V battery a "jump" start by connecting another 12V battery source to the posts that are behind the front nose cone.

gldlcks55 | 25 mars 2013

How does one remove the front nose cone to access the battery terminals ? I looked and could not find instructions on the owners manual

gldlcks55 | 25 mars 2013

Below is the technical jargon from the invoice describing the work performed:

Customer Concern: vehicle unresponsive, check and advise
Cause: verified HViL faults. performed HViL debug procedure. found HViL loop integrity is normal. removed and reinstalled battery. service engineering determined BMS is normal. installed drive inverter HViL bypass. vehicle now responsive. electrical short within drive inverter.
Correction: Drive Unit
verified HViL faults. performed HViL debug procedure. found HViL loop integrity is normal. removed and reinstalled battery. service engineering determined BMS is normal. installed
drive inverter HViL bypass. vehicle now responsive. electrical short within drive inverter. removed and reinstalled rear sub frame assembly. removed and replaced drive unit

I'm not sure what is a drive unit but it sounds like a very important hardware.

And no, the battery was not replaced.

Velo1 | 25 mars 2013

I was one of those finding my driver's side window open, which was traced to the 12V battery not charging. TM Service Center in Denver took 30 minutes to replace the battery and 4 weeks later I have not had an issue. TM was great about it and i could not have been more pleased with the service. BTW - the service center guys accessed the 12V battery by removing the fuse box panel/cover and a few brackets, as the battery is down low close to the fuse boxes. So I don't think removing the nose cone is going to help give access.

I don't know what may be the issue with OP's car, but when I hear the window was down, I'd start troubleshooting with the 12V battery. BTW - it is smaller than what you'd see in an ICE car, perhaps 67% the size.

Velo1 | 25 mars 2013

And yes, along with the window down my car was also dead.

Alex K | 25 mars 2013

Also check out this thread that has a picture of the non-signature nose cone removed. You can see the colored lugs for recharging the battery

This is not the actual battery or terminals, but an electrical access point for the battery terminals.

Velo1 | 25 mars 2013

All I know is what I saw - the service center pulled my 12V out from under the fuseboxes up close to the windshield. However, the two threads linked herein certainly show batter terminals - I think.

Velo1 | 25 mars 2013

I agree with Alex K that these are electrical access points. Too bad we have no documentation to help give guidance, other than these forum posts, as to whether or not it's okay to attempt to jump start the car using these access points.

CC | 25 mars 2013

To remove the entire nose cone, use non-scratch molding removal tool which you can get from amazon.

By using the small hook tool, you can pull the nose cone off by inserting the tool to right bottom of cone, then pull.

gldlcks55 | 25 mars 2013

The tesla tech came and diagnosed a near dead 12V battery. It required a jump start and the vehicle came to life tethered on my portable jump start battery sitting on the frunk. It was driven onto the flatbed to be brought to Menlo Park where it sat and was repaired last week.

The fault this time isupposedly is caused by a faulty UMC.

The tech tried to explain to me that the faulty UMC caused the 12V to go nearly dead.

Can someone explain to me why it would do that if I have a approximately 90 % charge (180 miles) on the vehicles' main batteries ? I know the main battery and 12 V battery are co-dependent. I'm just not sure why the 12V discharged almost fully due to a bad UMC even if the main battery was almost fully charged ?

The tech assured me that vehicle would be returned to me even by the end of the day.

I sure hope so.

Velo1 | 25 mars 2013

So did the jump start involve the electrical access terminals just behind the nose cone?

These issues with the 12V battery are revolting :) | 25 mars 2013

@gldlcks55 "The tech tried to explain to me that the faulty UMC caused the 12V to go nearly dead."

It seems strange to me as well, as I thought the UMC (Universal Mobile Connector) only powers/charges the main battery, and the main battery charges the 12V battery. It will be interesting to see what's on your paperwork when it gets returned. I hope you'll share it too!

paulwireless | 25 mars 2013


I am sorry your having this issue but take solace in the fact that your sorting out a real car and able to write post about real world experience. I'm sitting waiting for a delivery button and only have your post and others to live through. By chance is yours a 60 and has this been a problem of 60s or have there instances where this has happened to 85s.


60kW, red/tan, all options expect jump seats

gldlcks55 | 25 mars 2013

Yes it did. Once the electrical posts were accessible, they connected my portable jump start battery to it and my MS came to life. As soon as my portable battery was disconnected the vehicle went dead. So we had to keep it tethered to the portable battery again and the portable battery was placed in the frunk. My MS was then driveable and driven up to the flatbed.

gldlcks55 | 25 mars 2013

Mine is a 60kw. I had it for 3 weeks with no problems. Not sure about troubles with 85's. I must say though that Tesla service personnel have been responsive.

Jason-Tesla | 25 mars 2013

Also found my 60 shutting down on me because of a dead 12V...on the road!
Tesla sent a tow truck, got it fixed, and returned it to me within 24 hours. But how embarrassing to have an $80k paperweight. A work of technological wonder brought down by a 12V battery. I can only imagine the nay-sayers going wild on blogs who got a snapshot of my scratchless/dentless EV on a tow truck.

GLO | 25 mars 2013

Ours is a 60 (picked up in Jan) and the touchscreen and stearing column screen were completely dark the other day. We rebooted the touchscreen/computer and it came to life and has been fine since then. The window was up and the doors opened so it was a completely different scenario. Though we will be on the lookout for a situation similar to yours.

Velo1 | 25 mars 2013

@gldlcks55 - thanks. I have thought about buying one of those portable jump-start battery packs, but didn't know if it would work with the Model S - sounds like it will, if I can remember how to pop off the nose cone.

FYI - my S is 85 kW battery, so the issue with a handful of the 12V batteries dying is not unique to 60s or 85s. I can only assume TM has this issue high on their radar, otherwise it will continue costing them a lot of time and resources.

@paulwireless - pull the trigger, as this is the most awesome car ever!

Sudre_ | 25 mars 2013

Excellent post. Good information for everyone to note. Thanks gldlcks55.

gldlcks55 | 26 mars 2013

Tesla Service Center updated me last night about the status of my MS. It was a quick diagnosis and fix this time. Two issues were resolved. A faulty UMC and a nearly dead 12v. No inverter issues. the nearly dead 12V is an offshoot of the initial problem 2 weeks ago when the car was not driveable and sat in my garage. For some reason it discharged to a point where it could not be recharged anymore by the main battery. They admitted that it should have been replaced along with the drive unit during the initial repair.

Below is the technical jargon:
Customer Concern: Perform Ranger service. Red charge port ring, vehicle is unresponsive. Check and advise.
Cause: Verified vehilce is unresponsive and 12V voltage is very low (4.02 volts). Jumped 12v battery and rechecked, vehicle is now responsive but is not charging via UMC. Found UMC indcator flashing red 3 times indicating UMC contactor malfunction.
Correction: UMC General Diagnosis
Replaced UMC cable and 12V battery. Recheck, vehicle is now charging as designed.

Vehicle is fixed. Apologies accepted. Now just waiting for the vehicle to be returned.

As a side note, I'd like to mention that the forum has been a source of support. This thread was titled "dead calm" more as a reference for me the owner rather than for the vehicle. Tesla had 2 chances to shine with exemplary customer support. And so far, they have come through.

P.S. This thread is also in the TMC Model S forum.

TikiMan | 26 mars 2013

I had a few issues with my 12-volt on my P85 back in December, and January. In both situations it didn't kill my MS, I just received a warning on my touch-screen saying "Replace 12-Volt Battery", otherwise everything worked fine.

I was told back then that Tesla had received a bad batch of 12-volt batteries. The one I have now (my third) has been working fine for three-thousand miles.

Mliss | 29 mars 2013

I have also made this same post under a similar thread to let people know what I have seen:

I have VIN 6672 which was delived on 3/15/2013. 85Perf, blk/blk/carbon fiber, all options except addl seats.

All appeared ok during my first week.... love the car. I went out of town on the 23rd. I left the car off the charger. I accessed the car a couple of times between 3/23 and 3/25 and watched the "range" decline from roughly 230 miles to about 210. I have some very technical programmers rewiring my crestron system this week, so on Tuesday 3/26, I asked them to plug in the vehicle. All seems ok. Pulsing green. Vehicle reports it is charging and then fully charged. On 3/28, I cannot connect with the car via the iphone app and my onsite programmers report the "car is dead" with the driver's window rolled down. Sounds like a dead 12v battery. Car is kept in a temperature controlled garage at 65 degrees - so temperature is not an issue.

I called Tesla SC in Chicago. They are trying to get out to my house on the 30th or 31st.

I love the car, but I am pretty disappointed with the experience.

I will re-post this as a new thread but wanted to keep the continuity of this topic here. If you have any ideas for me, please let me know (we have tried rebooting the screens - no response).


joe.white | 1 avril 2013

My two week old P85 delivered 3/17 suffered the 12V battery problem this weekend. So it's still a problem.

Mliss | 2 avril 2013

Mine is still at the SC in Chicago. That cannot figure out what is wrong. My issue is apparently intermittent. The bad news is they can't pin down what is wrong because the car is technically functioning perfectly in the SC. The good news is that Tesla is not giving me back the car until they figure out what happened... most other car companies would say "seems to be working fine - come pick it up". Will post more when I find out more.

mrspaghetti | 2 avril 2013


I think consensus "best practice" for forums like this is not to post the same thing on multiple threads. If you want to share related stories from different threads you could post links instead. Then people don't have to visit 6 different places to make sure they didn't miss any responses to a topic they're trying to follow.

Brian H | 2 avril 2013

Didn't someone's intermittent "sleep" turn out to be a DC/DC converter problem?

joe.white | 3 avril 2013

Two weeks in on a Saturday my Tesla went dead while away from home. Apparently the 12V subsystem problem. A Ranger came on Monday and replaced the battery. Unfortunately 2 days later it died again and had to be towed from a parking lot. So while I am understandng of a part failing whether it be battery or some other portion, what is NOT acceptable is the obvious inability of Tesla to properly diagnose the problem. Whether due to lack of tech training or lack of proper diagnostics. These two episodes have now cost me at least 7 hrs of my time in the first two weeks of operation.

pilotSteve | 3 avril 2013

@BrianH - yes that was me. My car (sig) was delivered mid December 2012 and my VIN is under 1000 so I have a somewhat early car. The engineers determined, from my car's error log, that the DC-DC converter shut down when the battery coolant loop temperature went above something like 40°c. That is incorrect and need to be modified per a factory service bulletin with updated firmware.

Not sure at what production date/VIN the factory was sending out cars with this new firmware but clearly there are lots (1000s?) of cars that might have this problem.

Mliss | 4 avril 2013

@mrspaghettihead - please give it a rest and stop attacking me on every post. If you keep it up, I will ask that your posts be flagged / banned. If I want to post regarding my issue on 5 threads that is my right.

@joe.white I feel your pain. Mine has been at the Chicago SC since Saturday and dead since a week ago. I have spoken to them every day and they have essentially told me "we are trying to get it to fail here in the shop but we can't". They have been very nice about it and so have I, but it is very frustrating not to have the car and not to have a diagnosis. Finally last night I received a call from the Chicago SC that said, we have been reviewing this with engineering and they now feel that the best course of action is the replacement of certain connectors. They were not specific about which ones. They indicated that the parts are on order and expected on Friday. They asked me if it was ok to get the car back early next week... I was thinking "no it is not ok - please give it to me on Friday afternoon" - but I said "ok please try to have it completed on Monday". I did ask them to make sure that they updated to the latest firmware and test it before returning it to me.

Joe - my suggestion is that you have your Service Center call the Chicago one - your problem may be the same as mine and, if so, maybe you can be spared some time. Please DO post the ultimate resolution to your issue to benefit everyone who may come across this issue later (not that we can easily search the forum)

joe.white | 4 avril 2013

Easy way to search the forums using google's site restrict: [your query goes here, minus the brackets]

mrspaghetti | 4 avril 2013

@Mliss - I don't know what you're talking about. Would you please post a quote from me that you perceive as an attack? Because I re-read them and I cannot find what you are misinterpreting.

Sudre_ | 4 avril 2013

I guess the silver lining is the unfortunate folks with dead cars are helping Tesla create a trouble shooting list for future buyers. Just sucks to be the first person to have the problem.

jjaeger | 4 avril 2013

5 threads? That does seem excessive. Oh well - to each his own.

Brian H | 4 avril 2013

Your multiple posts are a PITA. Lay off. All flagged.

Opus | 7 avril 2013

Our five day old MS (picked up at the Factory 3/29 ) suffered the 12v battery problem this week. First we got the warning. A couple of calls over to TMI first suggested that they would come pick it up, but after a later review of the telemetry they said we could drive it after rebooting the screens. The next day, the MS was dead. The doors wouldn't open, etc. TMI picked it up that day (NOT on a flatbed, btw), and had it for 2 1/2 days before replacing the battery.

Two days later all seems well. Still a bit leery, but it looks like replacing the battery did the trick. Great fun driving it on a mostly empty 101 on a Sunday morning!

Isn't there some way they can test the battery at the Factory?

jjaeger | 7 avril 2013

Nick - how are you doing? we missed you. New handle hey?

riceuguy | 7 avril 2013

Tripat, does it seem like gldlcks55 really wants his money back? The batteries aren't made by Tesla, and Tesla has acknowledged they got a bad batch. Move along.

mrspaghetti | 7 avril 2013

@riceuguy +1

I haven't heard (or read) of an instance yet where someone who actually purchased the car was so upset with the it that they wanted to return it. The only ones who seem to be losing sleep in their anger over the car are trolls who surf the Tesla forums searching for validation of their EV hatred.

mikhaila | 7 avril 2013

Have you ever owned Jaguar or a Range Rover?

mikhaila | 7 avril 2013

Oh and in my BMW high pressure fuel pump was replace twice, 9 injectors were replaced (first 3 and then all 6) Car was not drivable at each occasion. That does not count issues with seat heaters and other minor things.

riceuguy | 7 avril 2013

"The height of idiosyncrasy?" Ok folks, let's just ignore Tripat at this point; it's not worth trying to rationalize wtih it (him/her? It's Pat!).

dborn | 7 avril 2013

Tripat = Nick.

mikhaila | 8 avril 2013

You dont get it. If i wanted reliable car I'd get Lexus. Perhaps even a hybrid Lexus. You are barking wrong tree - people here want to get rid of GAS. And Tesla is the only long range luxury car available. It's like buying first generation computer on v1 software. Bugs are expected. Early adopters don't care. If you are not an early adopter move on there is nothing to see here. But don't expect crazy geek to get you preaching on reluability.

joe.white | 15 avril 2013

Update: I'm still waiting for the formal report of what they did but it involved some KET? connectors and problems in the High Voltage Interlock Loop.

gary.johnson | 15 avril 2013

I too had my MS60 for five days before it died. After another five days at factory, it was diagnosed "performed DCDC connector fix for HVIL.". (They knew the connectors were a problem before they built the car?). Very disappointed by the whole experience.

It took 4+ hours to get a tow, rental place closed before tow arrived so no rental car, five days to fix, then the car sat in rain before I bummed a ride to pick it up at the factory (no one available to deliver). Growing pains I know, but really? At least wash the car before I have to come get it. And maybe charge it. With no rental, picking up myself, I saved Tesla $50/day, while finance charges cost me $40/day. Not the best way to impress an apprehensive spouse.

Now I have to drive to Menlo Park to buy premium carpets while I live/work five minutes from the Santana Row store and 15 minutes from the factory?

That said, it's still the most fun ever!