Roadside Service Sadness

Roadside Service Sadness

So, I go out to my car (parked on the street in LA in a time restricted area) on the screen I have the message that the vehicle can not be operated, it is disabled because of a faulty 12 volt battery (which was replaced less than 6 months ago) I call Tesla roadside service and they tell me that someone will pick up the car and that they will call Uber if I need a ride home. Where does that leave me in the morning? How do I get to to my appointments?

Getting tired of this cycle. I shouldn't have to keep an extra ICE vehicle around to compensate for down time with my S. Sure these are not "engine" problems but this thing is in the shop more than a 10 year old Range Rover. Make it stop or buy it back. I'm not kidding. I have loved this car for 20K miles but good looks and great driving dynamics mean nothing when your driving a 2009 Honda because your Tesla is broken again. Enough Said!

mikefa | 21 juni 2014

That is unfortunate! ... i think Tesla should give you a loaner during your downtime for recurring problem not fixed right.

J.T. | 22 juni 2014

@jinglehyme I'm sorry for your frustration. Which service center are you using, because this is the first I've heard of Tesla not providing a loaner for this kind of problem?

I would definitely go above the service manager's head to the regional service manager and get some satisfaction.

Let us know how it works out.

EdwardG.NO2CO2 | 22 juni 2014

Sorry to hear your frustration boiling over. I also get the feeling you just want reliability to be perfectly happy.

Although it shouldn't be necessary I carry a booster battery pack in the back (inherited from the ice). When I heard of the 12volt issues I decided that I could cover this issue as well as have a ice car jump for someone I cared to help. It is quite easy to jump the Tesla to get it going (according to this forum) but haven't had the problem yet myself.

I do expect service do get it right so keep the pressure on and try to stay cool. Anger is Not good the blood pressure.

P85D | 22 juni 2014

Sell it, you have a lemon.

carlk | 22 juni 2014

Sorry to hear this but that is life. The 12 volt battery can fail when TSLA goes up if you're shorting the stock.

Captain_Zap | 22 juni 2014

It is interesting that Tesla did not contact you for a pre-emptive 12V change out. I've had Tesla call me and and tell me that my 12V needed replacing. I have Ranger Service so they came to my house and swapped it out in my garage. I wasn't even having issues with it.

My latest battery has lasted much longer than any other I have had. They have changed how it charges and changed to a different type of battery.

AmpedRealtor | 22 juni 2014

@ jinglehyme,

I've followed your trials and tribulations since you took delivery of your car in December of 2012. You seem to have had your share of issues. Was it after service hours that this occurred, hence the taxi ride home? Did Tesla offer you a loaner the next day?

Seems like the 2012 deliveries were especially prone to the 12v issue, but it should not have recurred if you had it replaced only 6 months ago. I took delivery of my P85 in August of 2013 and have not had any 12v issues or proactive replacements in the 10 months I've had the car. Some who have had recurring 12v issues ended up having their traction battery replaced.

Have you escalated your issues to the regional service manager? Have you tried contacting Jerome Guillen?

Deep South Tesla Fan | 22 juni 2014


Having no problem with it but at regular 6,000 mile service by Ranger
in my driveway, they changed the battery too.

SCCRENDO | 22 juni 2014

If you get towed after hours it's obviously difficult to set up a car. The time I was towed for a flat my car was ready the next day so I just got a ride to pick it up. I suspect if one does not have a car and really needs one you could rent one and bill it back to Tesla. Not sure if anyone here has had that experience.

jinglehyme | 23 juni 2014

Ok, so Tesla did come through, with a better than expected result. But it wasn't fun to think of getting a ride home from Uber. I was offered a car in the morning, but not a loaner. Just an Enterprise tin can with the hassle of dealing with Enterprise (they pretty much suck). I choose to be be EV-less for the day. And drove the forementioned Honda.

The 12 volt battery had been replaced before. This time, they replaced the 85w high voltage battery - that's right the primary battery. Hmmmmm. And they did it on a Sunday. That's pretty cool.

Remember, at the end of the day, I still love my car. Just not the downtime that comes with an early VIN.

J.T. | 23 juni 2014

@jinglhyme Thanks for the update. Hopefully you'll have some uninterrupted bliss from now on.

BobN @US-CA-SoCal | 23 juni 2014

Not to mention a late-version primary battery and 120 kw charging!! Fingers crossed for you.

AmpedRealtor | 23 juni 2014

@ jinglehyme,

Please check the battery sticker and let us know what version of the battery you received. You likely had an A or a B version, but my bets are on an A. You can find the sticker on the battery pack section closest to the front passenger wheel well. Raise your suspension to very high, turn your steering wheel all the way left (counter clockwise) to open up the wheel well, and stick your head in there.


AmpedRealtor | 23 juni 2014

I meant your original battery was probably an A or a B, hopefully the new one is a D or E.

jinglehyme | 23 juni 2014

I had a "B" battery - but will check the new one when it comes home for dinner.

TeslaLandShark | 23 juni 2014

@BobN - that's the first thing that comes to my mind every time I read about an owner getting a main battery replacement!

jinglehyme | 23 juni 2014

More Sadness - It looks like they replaced my primary battery pack with a Re-manufactured B. It could have come from a car with 1,000,000 miles on it for all I know. - I'm going to have to do some research on this. Any ideas?

J.T. | 23 juni 2014

@jinglehyme I think if it were me it would be an appropriate time to throw a fit. YMMV.

jinglehyme | 23 juni 2014

Talked to the Centinela Service Center - he says they always replace with re-manufactured batteries when a car has over 4K miles.

I think this is shitty! Tesla's entire resale and valuation system is based on battery prowess, and not knowing where this used battery came from goes entirely against the grain. The service center told me I was getting a new battery - they never said I was getting a used battery - I would have pitched a fit. With all the problems I have had over the last year and a half - I kinda got excited about the new battery - only to find that it is someone else's former problem. Just think, my old battery pack with 20,000 miles on it could end up in a car with only 5000 on the odometer. Smells Fishy. And quite frankly unethical.

Red Sage ca us | 23 juni 2014

Uhm... Does it work?

And... Is it still under warranty?

If so... What the problem is...?

Captain_Zap | 23 juni 2014

I'm not comfortable with this concept either. This is where traditional ICE vehicles and BEVs definitely diverge.

Does your re-manufactured battery have a new 8 year unlimited (or 100k) mile warranty based on the replacement date?

What do manufacturers do when they put a "new" engine in an ICE under warranty? I don't believe that they roll back the odometer, or do they?

If you have a warranty replacement on for an ICE are they allowed to use a remanufactured engine?

To what degree are they remanufactured? Is it your original battery pack with a component replaced? Is it a new drive train in an old case? Does it have new cells? Lots of questions need to be answered.

Red Sage ca us | 23 juni 2014

I'm really just saying... In my guise as a Certified Tesla Motors Apologist Fanboy... That the company that sends sheet metal in one end of a factory and drives cars out the other end... A company that literally assembles every aspect of a battery pack on site themselves, not farming them out to someone else... Is probably a bit more adept than other manufacturers would be at providing viable, usable, reliable 'remanufactured' components.

That is, if their own internal engineers are satisfied with the characteristics of the battery pack, it will likely far surpass your actual needs. Reportedly, there is a guy who repairs battery packs in the Toyota Prius by replacing the individual cells by hand for all of three hundred bucks. No one has any complaints about his work, as it revitalizes a dead Prius battery pack allowing for years more service. Somehow I'm rather certain that Tesla would do a better job than anyone el
I... don't think so. Tesla has been known to ship failed components back to the factory for inspection. The Service Center may have had a backup battery pack on hand, in storage, on the shelf, that happened to be refurbished, certified, and cleared for use in another car. New as the day it was born, so to speak. If you literally feel you deserve an absolutely brand, spanking, new battery pack, fresh off the line -- make sure that Tesla is aware of that requirement. But be prepared to wait -- a while - to get to provide you a 'new to you' battery pack.

jinglehyme wrote, "More like my old one that failed."

I... don't think so. Tesla has been known to ship failed components back to the factory for inspection. The Service Center may have had a backup battery pack on hand, in storage, on the shelf, that happened to be refurbished, certified, and cleared for use in another car. New as the day it was born, so to speak. If you literally feel you deserve an absolutely brand, spanking, new battery pack, fresh off the line -- make sure that Tesla is aware of that requirement. But be prepared to wait -- a while - to get it.

PBEndo | 23 juni 2014

I recently received a "remanufactured B" as well. It seems to perform just fine and charges to higher "rated miles" than my old battery. However, I did wonder what the true status of the remanufactured battery is so I understand your frustration.

Mine was replaced in about 14 hours from when it was towed so they must have had the replacement pack on hand.

Before purchase, and shortly thereafter, my biggest concern was with the longevity of the battery. Even though I ended up with a battery replacement, my biggest concern now is with the rest of the car. The battery warranty is 8 years, but the warranty for the rest of the car is only 50,000 miles. I took delivery March 13, 2013 and have over 27,000 miles logged on mine and almost 4000 on loaners. At this rate, I should hit 50K and run out of warranty in about 1 year (depending on how many loaners I may need before then!).
The extended warranty isn't available in Florida, so I will be driving without a net soon.

jinglehyme | 23 juni 2014

Mine was also replaced the same day - on a Sunday, which was cool. But there is nothing stating that the warranty of the remanufactured battery has started over as new - That would be nice if true.

I have also put numerous miles on loaners. Sad but true. If the problems continue, I seem to have no choice but to invoke the California lemon law.....

Do you frequent the superchargers? Could this be a symptom.

NKYTA | 23 juni 2014

I understand the frustration, but can't relate emotionally.

I have to be happy with my (finely functioning) "A" battery.

PBEndo | 23 juni 2014

I do not frequent the Superchargers. I had mine for almost a close to a year before my first Supercharge. I also rarely did a max charge.

I never expected the warranty to start over. Why would I be entitled to an additional year of warranty coverage?

Even though I have had a lot of problems, the service centers have really done a great job of trying to fix the problems with minimal aggravation to me. They aren't perfect, but they are a pleasure to deal with. I am sure I would qualify for lemon law protection based on the number of problems and time in service, if I chose to pursue it'll. However, I never considered it since they are working so hard to make things right. I always felt the lemon laws were "punitive" or a "last resort" for customers with problems that were not being addressed.

PBEndo | 23 juni 2014

Sorry for the typos, using my iPad.

AmpedRealtor | 23 juni 2014

Now might be a good time to email

mbirnie51 | 23 juni 2014

Vin 11XXX, no problem yet with either 12volt or 85Kwh high voltage battery. I think TESLA should be extra cautious with any battery replacement and assure the owner that "the clock is reset" especially IF the owner has had multiple trips to the SC for the same problem. At first blush...I concur with jinglehyme...his ownership experience should not be to endure this type of malfunction. TESLA..please step up with your usual great customer service.

Brian H | 23 juni 2014


Except for the wandering dupe copy-paste. ;p

Anybody know what is TM policy on warranty period calc on remanufactured batteries?

Def'n, "remanufacture": 1.To make a system or subsystem that meets the standards of one newly manufactured by disassembling a used one, cleaning, inspecting, replacing worn and defective parts, and reassembling

jinglehyme | 24 juni 2014

BTW - I'm a big Tesla fan. And I get withdrawals when it's not in the driveway. My anger comes from the fact that my experiences with the service centers have ranged from excellent (San Diego, ) good (Centinela), to tragic (LA) and ever worse (Van Nuys). In the case of the latter two, my car was damaged by service center team members. Think scratched paint, greasy hand prints, spilled liquids, dirty and damaged leather, missing parts, car out of alignment, tires not balanced, steering wheel off center etc and you get the picture. When you relinquish your vehicle for repair, it should not be returned to you with new problems and the repair should permanent. To this day, the sunroof only opens about only 60% percent of the time, leaks air, and squeals and clunks the times it actually does open.

LEvans | 24 juni 2014

Does Tesla corporate follow up with a survey after you take the car to SC? Might be something Tesla should consider doing to gauge customer satisfaction levels of different service center.

Each time we take our Mercedes in for service I get one survey from Mercedes and another from the dealer and if I have any issues they follow up to see what they can do to make things right.

Seems like something similar would have helped @jinglehyme and it also gives Tesla corporate some idea about how the different SCs are run.

NKYTA | 24 juni 2014

I got an email with a link to a brief survey after my last visit to the SC in Burlingame, CA.

PBEndo | 24 juni 2014

@jinglehyme I have had some good and some bad as well, but my "bad" wasn't as "bad" as yours. I did however, have a downward spiraling repair saga. A minor paint problem turned into 2 repairs that were worse than the original problem and even spread to adjacent panels. The 3rd repair finally got it right. I admit I would prefer to not have a brand new car repainted 3 times immediately after purchase. But at least the SC was eager to get it right. They never once gave me any resistance about fixing the problems.

I also had multiple pano roof problems with some attempts at repair making it worse, but none sound as bad as yours (mine always opens).

@WEB_SRFR I usually get a survey, but not always.

jinglehyme | 24 juni 2014

Yes, they have started to send out surveys on the west coast - in the early days when most of my real problems happened they didn't even give you paperwork. I know that every effort is being made to improve relations with owners - but I can't erase the history of my experience. Most of the folks have been pleasant enough - just not fully trained or experienced enough to understand the expectations of owners of higher-end vehicles.

The car is great - its the ownership experience and dependability that just don't add up. I'm sure in a few years, they will step it up.

jajabor | 24 juni 2014

It's hard to believe what you are describing! So far my experience (I think most people will agree with me) with Tesla is A++.

Few weeks back my car was at the local SC overnight. When I dropped the car they gave me an almost new Audi A4. In the evening they dropped off a P85 loaner at my house and drove the Audi back. You know what they told me? They said, we are sorry you had to be without a Tesla for half a day. Next day they delivered my car and took the loaner P85 back.

Red Sage ca us | 24 juni 2014

Brian H: Sorry about that copy & paste episode. The button underneath the scroll wheel on my mouse has become extremely sensitive of late. I copy each of my posts to a text file so I can save them for archival purposes. A single click does a 'paste' wherever the cursor is, before I can scroll down to the SUBMIT button at times. I'll have to grab one of the other half dozen or so mice I have lying around...

SCCRENDO | 24 juni 2014

At Costa Mesa I always get an email with a short customer service survey. In general I get irritated at these continuous surveys we need to fill our but have always filled out the Tesla survey giving the highest praise to the staff at Costa Mesa, particularly Brandon Sangster. There are a few lines for comments and at my last visit took the opportunity to mouth off about that nickel and dime Enterprise organization.

AmpedRealtor | 24 juni 2014

@ jinglehyme,

Have you expressed your dissatisfaction to anyone higher up at corporate? If so, what was their response?

jinglehyme | 25 juni 2014

George from the Centinela service called this afternoon to see if things were OK. I brought him up to speed on my history early on with both LA and Van Nuys. I appreciated his concern and thanked him for checking in. With any luck I'll avoid the service centers for a good long while. And soon the smile will return to my face.