It's a brick.. What's true about this blog???

I'm a reservation holder for a Model S. A friend pointed me to this blogpost regarding the battery warranty that Tesla has.

What's true about this blog? Is it a BS story or do I have to worry?


Sounds bad. Owners should be at least warned what happens with fully depleted battery. I hope that that blog post isn't true, but unfortunately it does sound fake.

I wonder is TSLA's stock price drop over $1.25 is because of this post?

@BYT-I'm sure it is...down even more now (1.82)

Could be a great buying opportunity

@ThomasN, I like the way you think!

Isn't it sad when an article full of crap and fear can cause financial harm just by being published on the web? The pen, er, keyboard is mightier than the sword. And common sense, apparently.

This is true today about anything on the web, the blog has more power then it should and it causes everything from fluctuating stock prices to a bully killing someone socially online and causes young and easily influenced Tweens and Teens to do drastic things to themselves. Sad but true reality!

The PEN is mightier than the SWORD!

According to Stephen Smith of TM.....Tesla batteries can remain unplugged for weeks (even months), without reaching zero state of charge. Owners of Roadster 2.0 and all subsequent Tesla products can request that their vehicle alert Tesla if SOC falls to a low level. All Tesla vehicles emit visual and audible warnings if the battery pack falls below five percent SOC. (stephen.kamichi)

(Crossposting here b/c the other thread is private and this one is public.)

GreenCarReports is covering the story... Which lets me hope that we will have a few definitive statements soon.

The following statement seems to be a bit suspicious:
" A third bricked Tesla Roadster apparently sits in its owner’s garage in Newport Beach, California. That owner allegedly had a similar prior incident with a BMW-produced electric vehicle. He claimed BMW replaced that vehicle, but Tesla refuses to do the same"

As far as I know BMW hasn't made an electric vehicle yet. The only car's that are tested at the moment are EV Mini's. But these are tests and the testers do not own the vehicle.

The link to greencarreports that Volker posted has a discussion under the article were some are saying that it is a BS story and that the battery will remain stable for a lot longer time that quoted in the article.

As the blog post points out, though, the "weeks or months" applies starting from fully charged state. If the battery is low to begin with, it would "brick" far sooner.

I wonder what the Leaf tech is that prevents full discharge, and why TM doesn't have it.

A responsible report would have done a better job of citing sources. This is an owner's forum...we don't have any complaints about this? Unnamed sources don't carry a lot of weight with me. I'm not losing any sleep over this.

Down in the notes at the bottom of the article.
"A written Tesla report on one “bricked” Roadster documents that the vehicle went from 4% full to complete discharge in seven days"

If you are just walking away from your car at 4% then you obviously didn't read the manual or even the forum or listen to a sales rep.
Maybe this was the one that sat in the temporary garage. It did say he took it out for a drive first.... then the car sat for 6 weeks.

I do not ever plan on treating my car like this. Sounds like some of these folks have money to throw around when they purchase a 100K+ car and do not care about it enough to check in and see if it still has a charge at least once every week or two.

This honestly does not sound like a serious problem to me. It's sounds like neglect! lol

Just extrapolating the report. If you parked at an airport with 20% charge it would sit there for at least a months before risking brickville.

I don't know about y'all, but I have no intention of leaving my $100,000 car at the airport for even a day, let alone one month.

"What, you mean I have to change the OIL my AMG Mercedes?! You didn't tell me that if I didn't change the oil it would eventually cause the engine to overheat and crack the block! What do you mean it's not covered under warranty? I need a whole new engine!"

The point I'm trying to make is that we have a lot of a posteriori knowledge about ICEs because we've grown up with them, the problem is that we assume that it's a priori knowledge. Basically, you grew up in a world that changed it's oil so you knew that all along and no one had to tell it to you. Electric cars are new and in 50 years anyone who bitches about damage done through not plugging it in for long periods of time will look just as ridiculous as the guy who doesn't ever change his oil does now.

@phb Amen!


I'm confused by Nissan's comment:
"The Nissan LEAF battery pack will never discharge completely"

Why don't we just take a LEAF battery pack and make an infinite range EV? Apparently it will never discharge completely even if the rest of the universe decays.

AS one of the comments on that blog noted, the LEAF manual contradicts the assertion as well.


After 100 years experience with ICEs you would think that checking the oil once in a while was pretty standard. NOT. My dumbass brother drove his Hyundai Accent until it quit, left smoking in a parking lot. Pushed it to a used car dealer who gave him $150 for the scrap metal. He just never got around to checking the oil level, let alone change it.

Some people will never understand what is required of them when purchasing a car. The same can be said about any other product. Cell phones being dropped in a toilet (little indicator tells the tech it was submerged and isn't covered under warranty), lap tops being left in strange places, i.e. on the beach in the sun, on the roof of a car and then driven off. I can go on and on about the stories I've heard just around my (extended) family. The big difference is that a cell phone ONLY cost 200-300 bucks to replace.

So whether the article is factual or not, I can't imagine anyone other than the extremely wealth (or stupid) who need some one to wipe their backsides, to treat a $60000 - $100000 car with anything but pampering care.

Having said that, I am sure TM will be a little more specific on battery care. Although from another post, the manual states that allowing the battery to go to zero charge will damage the battery. Does it really need to say how much damage? A non sealed lead acid battery will be damaged if the electrolyte isn't topped off and it too will not be covered under warranty.

Oh well, I've ranted long enough. Stupid people should not be allowed to handle equipment beyound their mental capacity. I hope I'm not that stupid.

How many "middle-class families" leave a car idle for months on end?

Is it reasonable to expect that you can simply ignore a manufacturer's instructions on safe operation of a product and then, after destroying the product through irresponsible abuse, ask the manufacturer to pay for your folly?

I have zero sympathy with this guy, too feckless to follow basic instructions on the care of an expensive item, and too quick to cry "victim" rather than fess up to his own stupidity.

Why can't people own up to their own mistakes, instead of finding someone else to blame?

@Robert - Culture of entitlement and irresponsibility.

All that is true, but TM should be explicit. "NEVER allow the battery to fully discharge. It will be destroyed, and not replaced under warranty." Make it firm and fudge-free.

+1 Brian H. If this blog is even close to true, I'm with you. Black box warnings up front along those lines. I for one DO plan to leave the car at the airport, and while I plan to find a lot with a charger, at 300 mile range, and 30 miles from the airport, I should have over 200 miles of discharge to go and have more than enough juice to get home. Still, I like the option for the car to text me if something anomalous comes up. Firmware options to 'reserve' the last 10% of the battery and/or automatically change the car to starvation mode would help too.

For Sig money, they should pay the AAA recharge trucks to come to you and charge it. :-)

Five roadsters out of over 2000 is less than 0.25%. The article has made a mountain out of a mole hill.

The thing I find wierd is that, you would think, as a final safety measure, the car should be able to turn itself off completely at an extremely low charge. Yes, this does mean that the temperature control system for the battery will be shut off, and the battery could be damaged by the exterior climate conditions, but it still seems better to risk this rather than run up against the 100% certain eventual battery death.

I wonder is Model S will have a cut-off switch which separates the battery from rest of the car if it gets really low state of charge. It is designed to be swappable and I bet it would not be a good thing to have electronics running with just plain plugging off the battery (like having your PC unplugged instead of shut down).

Completely separating battery would slow down the battery discharging quite a bit even if it is still discharging. Then all that remains is "shelf" discharging. Connection could be re-established from outside of battery by plugging it in again.

Anyway, Tesla should replace battery by warranty if there is "force majeure" case of letting it unplugged too long. Like someone got in a accident and is in coma for month or two. Also clear warning what will happen if it gets drained completely is in order. It is a limitation of the tech that car owner needs to be clearly aware.

People comparing this to oil change: Oil can be replaced without damaging engine if the car has been stationary too long. It doesn't cost you $40k to do that. Also you don't require oil change every time after just two weeks after a long trip. Plugging in is not comparable to that.

Some of you are missing the point.  What this 'brick' blog is simply pointing out, is that owning an electric car requires lots and lots of maintenance!  In order to make sure your electric car continues to work, you need to.. uh.. plug it in - every single night! Well, first of all, you need to park it in or near your garage.  Try that trick late on a Friday night!  Then you've got to find that charging doo-hickey, and plug that thing in.  And God help you if you don't pay your light bill!  Or if you plug it in using some extension cord you got at the dollar store that can't handle all that 'lectricity.  All this is simply too much!  Especially when you compare it with the simple maintenance you need for a good old gasoline car. 

Gasoline cars require very little maintenance.  All you have to do with that one is ... get some fresh oil!  ...

And get a lift and jack the thing up in the air.  Or you can live on the edge like I do and use the tire jack to lift it.  Heck! It hasn't fallen on me yet!  And then all you have to do is get out the old 13mm wrench, and darned if that bozo at Spiffy Lube didn't halfway strip it, but that's ok I've got vice-grips and then all you have to do is get a tray or bucket or something that will slide under there that you don't mind being covered with dirty oil all the time and then whip that little bolt out of there and get out of the way because that dirty oil's a comin' ... And then all you do is wait for a while underneath the hot, greasy car until all that oil comes out, and then reach up there just like Houdini and grab that filter and turn that thing while your arm has more angles than a geometry book... And then all you have to do is get another filter and put a little fresh oil on that seal so it doesn't leak, and reverse geometry that arm back up in there and put that filter back in and try to get that angle right so you don't strip it and then put the bolt back in and get some more oil and put some in according to how much the manual says and then put the car back down and then use that dipstick to check the level and try to figure out where the level is and if there's not enough then you simply add a little fresh oil and if there's too much...well did I mention I have vice grips?  Don't want to blow a seal... And then you're done! Simple.  ..  ... except you gotta get rid of that old oil in the tray... So you just have to get a gallon milk jug or two and a funnel... And now your car is running so nice that you don't mind sticking that oil jug on the front seat and taking it down to the old Spiffy Lube, where they will take it off your hands for a small fee.  And while you're out you can throw away the old filter and head for Pop Boys for another new filter (the new, improved, extra special kind for an extra buck) and a dozen more quarts of fresh oil.  Simple!

"Plug it in" ???!  Whaddaya think I got all day??

It was my understanding that the Model S does not manage the temperature of the battery pack unless the car is "on" (driving, etc.) or unless the car is plugged in.

That might not be true for the Roadsters. The TM statement did make it a point to say that "Roadster 2.0" users didn't have to worry. Some of the examples in the original blog post mentioned earlier versions (#340). Perhaps they changed something between versions that significantly lowers the risk of becoming a brick?

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