High water causing HV battery damage

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superlat

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#1
A hard lesson learned as a Model 3 owner.

I drove through a high water area without realizing how deep the water was. It definitely should be higher than the HV battery level. The consequence was the screen immediately had a message says something like "Service alert: the 12V battery won't restart, please service as soon as possible"...

I dropped off my kid, walked back into the car and it wasn't able to start. Called insurance to get tow truck. Initially I claimed comprehensive. After a few days, Tesla called and said the batteries are all under their original warranty, so they replaced all of them for free (attached a screenshot). However, the turn around time was more than five weeks!

Please, drive with special caution, when you see flooded area. Don't repeat my mistake!!

1561652707811-png.27168
 

lance.bailey

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#2
And to think I joked to my wife that I wasn't able to wash her electric car because, you know: electricity + water ... well you do the math.

Sorry to hear of your 5 week wait, but sure glad that Tesla came through for you.
 

zosoisnotaword

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#3
I didn't realize until now that the parts catalog actually calls out the 75kWh capacity of the long range battery. I don't recall any other official Tesla document that lists the energy capacity.
 

JasonF

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#4
I'm surprised that Tesla covered that under warranty.

Driving through deep water in any vehicle can be destructive. A gas powered car can suck water into the breather tube for the gas tank, destroying both it, the fuel pump, and the charcoal canister (and they probably won't cover any of that under warranty). Even a raised truck or work truck can see its differentials destroyed.
 

MelindaV

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#5
I'm surprised that Tesla covered that under warranty.

Driving through deep water in any vehicle can be destructive. A gas powered car can suck water into the breather tube for the gas tank, destroying both it, the fuel pump, and the charcoal canister (and they probably won't cover any of that under warranty). Even a raised truck or work truck can see its differentials destroyed.
and this specifically is listed as an exemption to the warranty.
Fire, explosion, earthquake, windstorm, lightning, hail, flood, or deer water
 

iChris93

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#8
I'm surprised that Tesla covered that under warranty.

Driving through deep water in any vehicle can be destructive. A gas powered car can suck water into the breather tube for the gas tank, destroying both it, the fuel pump, and the charcoal canister (and they probably won't cover any of that under warranty). Even a raised truck or work truck can see its differentials destroyed.
Not to mention hydro locking and bending rods.
 

JasonF

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#9
Not to mention hydro locking and bending rods.
That's more of obvious the water-is-over-the-hood damage. I was referring to "I think I can make it" damage. Even if the water is only up to the door sills, you can do serious damage.
 
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Rick Steinwand

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#10
I had a "spirited" drive through a flooded street the other day and ripped the underbody cover in front of the rear bumper. My first clue was a dragging sound while driving.

2019-06-30-14-14-25-png.27262


Have plastic anchors on order and there's existing holes along that front edge to repair this and prevent future problems. Will report back when I've completed this.

2019-06-30-13-39-09-jpg.27261


Ideally there'd be a metal strip across that edge to protect it.
 

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MelindaV

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#12
OP didn't drive through deep water (or deer water). The ticket shows that he drove through a "puddle." :) Clearly that's covered.
and their post here read as:
I drove through a high water area without realizing how deep the water was. It definitely should be higher than the HV battery level.
so service entered it in their system as "puddle" as a way around saying there was damage caused by driving thru deep water.
 

jsmay311

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#13
I wish I had a better understand of specifically where water intrusion around the HV battery pack would actually cause problems. I would've thought that most of the pack was water tight(?), and that the most vulnerable areas/connections would be in the "penthouse" at the upper-rear of the pack -- which I would've also imagined would be the area best protected from water if you're driving through it. :confused:

I had a "spirited" drive through a flooded street the other day and ripped the underbody cover in front of the rear bumper. My first clue was a dragging sound while driving.

View attachment 27262

Have plastic anchors on order and there's existing holes along that front edge to repair this and prevent future problems. Will report back when I've completed this.

View attachment 27261

Ideally there'd be a metal strip across that edge to protect it.
Yikes.

The choice of material and overall design in that area (with minimal protection/support for the front edge of the cover) always struck me as questionable.
 

iChris93

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#14
I would've thought that most of the pack was water tight(?), and that the most vulnerable areas/connections would be in the "penthouse" at the upper-rear of the pack -- which I would've also imagined would be the area best protected from water if you're driving through it. :confused:
My guess is that it is supposed to be water tight and that is why they are covering it under warranty... their water proofing failed.
 

Rick Steinwand

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#15
I had a "spirited" drive through a flooded street the other day and ripped the underbody cover in front of the rear bumper. My first clue was a dragging sound while driving.

Have plastic anchors on order and there's existing holes along that front edge to repair this and prevent future problems. Will report back when I've completed this.

Ideally there'd be a metal strip across that edge to protect it.
Update: I arranged for service via the app and asked if a Ranger could do the repair, since I'm ~250 miles from the closest shop, was given a date, then received a text from the local service arranger about 2 weeks ago. Parts were ordered and I was told to expect them in 1 to 2 weeks. :confused:
 

JWardell

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#16
@superlat I'm very curious, how long was your car submerged in the water, and how fast did you drive through it?

The battery should be sealed enough to spend a few minutes submerged, it seems (from watching a lot of Rich Rebuilds) problems come after spending days in water
 

Skione65

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#17
@MelindaV,

First thing I noticed as well. From “didn’t realize the DEPTH of the water I was IN” to “I drove through a ‘puddle’” which is probably what was said to the Tech to increase the ‘odds’ of coverage.

@JWardell,

My guess but OP can opine is that it was ABOVE the door sills for that kind of ingress and damage.

Ski
 

JWardell

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#18
@MelindaV,

First thing I noticed as well. From “didn’t realize the DEPTH of the water I was IN” to “I drove through a ‘puddle’” which is probably what was said to the Tech to increase the ‘odds’ of coverage.

@JWardell,

My guess but OP can opine is that it was ABOVE the door sills for that kind of ingress and damage.

Ski
Yes, but I want to know duration and speed. Unless the water fills the inside of your cabin up to the back seat I don't think depth has so much to do with it.