2/23/2012

Problem with Tesla Motor's $40,000 batteries

Apparently this problem has occurred at least five times in the short time that the Roadster has been in service. Between 2008 and December 2011, Tesla has sold more than 2,100 Roadsters in 31 countries.

Tesla Motors’ lineup of all-electric vehicles — its existing Roadster, almost certainly its impending Model S, and possibly its future Model X — apparently suffer from a severe limitation that can largely destroy the value of the vehicle. If the battery is ever totally discharged, the owner is left with what Tesla describes as a “brick”: a completely immobile vehicle that cannot be started or even pushed down the street. The only known remedy is for the owner to pay Tesla approximately $40,000 to replace the entire battery. Unlike practically every other modern car problem, neither Tesla’s warranty nor typical car insurance policies provide any protection from this major financial loss.

Despite this “brick” scenario having occurred several times already, Tesla has publicly downplayed the severity of battery depletion risk to both existing owners and future buyers. Privately though, Tesla has gone to great lengths to prevent this potentially brand-destroying incident from happening more often, including possibly engaging in GPS tracking of a vehicle without the owner’s knowledge. . . . .

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3 Comments:

Blogger drjim said...

Quite a lot of discussion going on about this over at "The Truth About Cars".
Typical Elon Musk stuff...."You're too STUPID to use our product".
I have several friends who work at SpaceX, and it's almost the same over there.

2/23/2012 2:55 PM  
Blogger Ken Jacobs said...

Tesla has responded ...

http://www.teslamotors.com/blog/plug-it

2/26/2012 10:07 AM  
Blogger John Lott said...

Dear Ken:
As far as I can tell, the Tesla response says that the post is correct: "we ask that you remember to charge it." They argue that this isn't a big problem for the wonderful car that you are receiving, but they are still conceding that the point is true.

2/28/2012 12:45 AM  

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