Tesla Support w/ Battery Issue

mbrucem

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#1
If you have been following me on twitter (@mbrucem), you will know of my trip from Fremont to MN, and the issue that I had on the 3rd night in Council Bluffs, IA.

Net: Tesla service has been great, but the towing partners might need an upgrade. My car is in service and I will likely have it back in a day or two.

I apologize in advance for the length of this. Also:

  • I cannot stress enough that this issue is on the 12V battery... not the battery that drives the car.
  • The car cannot work without a working 12V battery
  • Tesla has been SIMPLY GREAT in helping solve this.

Situation: 3rd night, arrived hotel 10:45 pm with 98 miles of range. No destination charger. Dangerously cold (-15F). Started pre-heat from the App at 6:45 am. Went to get into car at 7 (to meet some people waiting at the Supercharge there... New Years Day, -15F, they must have wanted to see the car). Car opened, but would not engage. 12V Battery Issues. System stated that I needed service and not to drive the car (sorry, no screen shots, but I was working to solve and it was *#$%@ cold).

1) I called Tesla Customer Care at 7:10 am. Got someone right away... in fact, he has stayed with me thru the whole situation.
2) He could see my car online, checking range (now 94 miles), etc. Saw the warning, and the Tire Pressure Warning as well (tire pressure dropped from 43 to 35 in all tires in one charge... that is how cold it was.
3) Warning changed to Car Shutting Down, Pull Over (no I wasn't driving).
4) I grabbed my suitcases out of the trunk, knowing that if the car closed, I would not be able to get back in.
5) Car shut down (no screen), doors locked - I guess this was a dying wish of the car to protect itself.
6) Tesla rep said car needed to be sent to Kansas City (nearest service center, which would fix the car and then ship it to me - I requested that she be shipped to MN (where I live). Took 20-30 min (it was New Year's Day), but the rep got the exception to tow (flatbed, remember) to MN.
7) Tesla started calling MULTIPLE, and now seeing the service record at the shop - everyone - to try to find someone. Preferred suppliers said 2-4 hours. Fast forward 8 hours, still no tow. I sent a tweet to Elon and Jon

* See first picture - crazy, but Jon answered my tweet

8) Towing company came, opened Front Trunk (see Trevor's video of how/where), and the we removed plastic parts to get to battery to try to power it up (and put in Transportation Mode). Now 6:30 pm, 11 1/2 hours in.

* See 2nd picture.

9) Impossible to put in Transport mode, so my Tesla Service Rep is talking to the Tow guy to use skakes or another tool to move the car. He does not have these (all Tesla certified towing companies need to have these. We tell him to leave as I will not let him drag my car out (she was nose in, and not in transportation mode).
10) My Tesla rep needed to go home, but stayed 2 hours longer and then handed me to the supervisor - no issues here at all.
11) They paid my hotel, dinner, and rental car.
12) They found another towing company... in Minneapolis (4 hours away), to come the next day.
13) I left the key and tow hook with the front desk (they couldn't drive the car anyway) and took off for home, stopping 1/2 way as my son was leaving on a 3 week trip and then to college and I wanted to see him.
14) Tesla called me multiple times, and any time anything happened to keep me in the loop.
15) 11:30 am today, MN Towing company arrives and used Go Jacks and Lift Dollies (I asked) to get the car on the flatbed - if you don't know, you CANNOT tow this car in a conventional manner.
16) They sent me pics.

* See 3rd Picture

17) The called me to tell me that the car would be at the Minn Store around 5:45. My wife and other sons went to see the car.
18) Car arrived after 6 - they close at 6 - but the stayed open, got the car in. plugged it in, and let me family sit in it (total love at first sight).

* See 4th Picture

19) They have started diagnotics, but believe they know the problem.

* The 5th picture is just eye-candy of the car parked. Isn't she beautiful???

AMAZING: Two of the Eden Prairie Engineers/Techs spent 6 weeks working on the factory line on the 3's to learn the car. Seems all Service Centers sent people.

AMAZING 2: They have spare parts, sent in bulk, for many common issues (potential) on the Model 3.

AMAZING 3: The same rep has stayed with my for 2 days.

AMAZING 4: The Service Center had all of the information from the -1800 Tesla calls. No need ot start over.

Thanks for reading this long thread. I will keep you up to date if enough people are interested.


image4.png image5-1.jpeg image1-3.jpeg image2-2.jpeg image3-2.jpeg
 

Poobah

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#2
Thanks for the great write-up! It looks like you went thru hell and back, but it also appears as if Tesla was right there with you all the way. I remember reading that you can't tow a Tesla like a "normal" car. Your article helps drive that point home.
 

TrevP

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#3
I've been following the Twitter feed right from the start. Glad to see things are working out and Tesla doing their part. If anyone ever has serious issues you should always ping @jonmcneill on Twitter. He gets *stuff* done ;)
 

3V Pilot

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#4
Wow, sorry to hear of your troubles but thanks for a detailed account of what happened. Sounds like Tesla is really trying hard to accommodate Model 3 owners in the same way they would take care of others. That is great to know!
 

Lovesword

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#6
This is simply a road bump. This car is SIMPLY AMAZING. Better than my BMW. Once you go Tesla, you... we really need a good rhyme here!
Tesla is the BEST-la! (I immediately regret posting this)

Edit to add: Love your story, thank you for sharing. So glad everything is getting worked out and love your positive outlook and approach.

My one regret is not knowing your Model 3, er I mean you...were stranded in council bluffs, I would have driven the 4 hours to see it....er, I mean rescue you! :D
 

JWardell

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#12
It’s frustrating just reading along with your experiences, I’m sorry you have to go through all this for what is simply a 12v charging system problem.

It is very clear that for now every owner should carry a USB chargeable jump start battery with them. At the minimum it would be enough to get in to the car and enable tow mode, at best it may get the whole system back on its feet and significantly reduce any delay.
 

Brokedoc

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#13
It’s frustrating just reading along with your experiences, I’m sorry you have to go through all this for what is simply a 12v charging system problem.

It is very clear that for now every owner should carry a USB chargeable jump start battery with them. At the minimum it would be enough to get in to the car and enable tow mode, at best it may get the whole system back on its feet and significantly reduce any delay.
It doesn't seem like the USB jumper would have helped here. The tow guys followed all of the instructions to get to 12v and still couldn't get the car in tow mode.

With the brutal cold that most of the US is experiencing, many 12v batteries are failing. I went to Costco yesterday to get a replacement for my sister's failed battery and they were sold out!
 

MelindaV

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#14
First, fantastic response from Tesla!

for those critical of the schedule to deliver NEAR Tesla first, this is exactly what they were attempting to isolate to service centers closet to Tesla and eliminate occurrences like this across the country. They have much more ability to deal with these issues within CA than middle of the country.
 

mbrucem

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#15
We’re gonna need a new thread for slogans lol.

I apologize for leading you all astray by starting the whole slogan thread hijacking. Sorry @mbrucem!
Actually, I think this is awesome! Telsa owners/future owners are fun, leading edge people. I shared what happened not to scare people, but to let them know how great Tesla has been with this thing. That the thread has taken a life of its own (I did ask for it), shows how great the M3OC group is.
 

mbrucem

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#16
First, fantastic response from Tesla!

for those critical of the schedule to deliver NEAR Tesla first, this is exactly what they were attempting to isolate to service centers closet to Tesla and eliminate occurrences like this across the country. They have much more ability to deal with these issues within CA than middle of the country.
All true! But they need this learning too. Glad to be a part of it. Lucky to be, actually.
 

Lovesword

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#17
Actually, I think this is awesome! Telsa owners/future owners are fun, leading edge people. I shared what happened not to scare people, but to let them know how great Tesla has been with this thing. That the thread has taken a life of its own (I did ask for it), shows how great the M3OC group is.
What did I expect? This guy buys a brand new Model 3 and has his own mini version of “production hell” bringing it home and smiles about it! Me hijacking his thread is laughable!

In that case... A117CAD4-EA7D-4205-931E-F89A3511462C.jpeg

Note: I didn’t finish this meme as he says something pretty vulgar. (But funny IMO)
:)
 

mbrucem

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#18
Love Ricky Bobby - "If you ain't first, you're last!" Tesla is first!

Love your idea and think it works - "If you don't like Tesla, ... " But finish the meme. Brilliant. I will use this.

You made my day. really, with your last post. My grandfather always said that 'attitude is everything' and I try to live by it. You can only control what you can control (like Jake & Elwood Blues standing calmly in the elevator at the end of the movie with total chaos around them and 100's of people trying to catch them... the elevator would only move so fast no matter what they did, so might as well enjoy the ride!).

Everything in life is either a great adventure or a great story... this is both!!
 

voip-ninja

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#19
Thanks for sharing your experience, not the kind of exposure Tesla wants on rollout of the Model 3.

Tesla already have tons of experience running their cars in extreme low temperature climate as they are quite popular in Nordic countries due to generous subsidies. I would have thought that they had all of this stuff behind them.

Hopefully will be sorted out by the time I get mine, but me parking it outside overnight when we get a rare sub-zero temp drop would be unusual.

When you get the car back it would be really helpful to share what parts if any they replaced. My guess would be this is a software problem and that the on-board charging system for the 12V did not keep up with the temperature situation.

2nd most likely problem is a hardware failure in one of the charging components or a factory new 12V that had a bad cell in it.
 

Maevra

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#20
So sorry you had to deal with the 12V issue @mbrucem but glad you were taken care of and most importantly that you got home safe and sound, especially given the freezing conditions and all the hassle. And your attitude through it all has been amazing! It would be so easy for anyone to push this into a very negative space as fodder for the naysayers, but I applaud and admire your patience and positivity throughout the whole ordeal.

Did they mention what they think was wrong with the battery since their last update?
 
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