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Can You Brick A Tesla?

Tesla is currently in a war of words with Michael Degusta, publisher of The Understatement blog. At dispute is the potential to damage the batteries of the Tesla electric cars which have taken the market place by storm. Given that the replacement cost is circa $32k, that's an issue that's going to grab the attention of owners and prospective buyers alike.

What we know is that at least one Tesla owner - and maybe another five - has been presented with a hefty repair bill after their car was left to discharge for a period of time. It appears that having reached zero charge the batteries were then unable to take a further charge. 

Tesla seems to have been somewhat disingenuous with its responses to this problem. Its warranty appears to exclude repairs for failing to maintain a sufficiently charged battery; however there doesn't seem to be an appropriate level of notification to ensure that owners aren't inadvertently discharging their batteries and causing large repair bills. It has also tried to present Degusta's article as a 'shakedown' for warranty money - not my reading of the situation at all.

Whether it likes it or not Tesla has a problem - owners have to make very basic guesses as to the ability of their ride to complete a specific journey and then sit unattended until it will be next required. It is far from the get in and go simplicity of combustion engined cars and almost certain to hurt Tesla and the electric car's reputation. Dramatically in the long term as the cars enter the second hand market.

Tesla needs to build some form of isolation switch for the early (vulnerable) cars and retrofit as soon as possible. Anything less would be unacceptable...


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