Banner Vehicles July 2019

Another Tesla Story

A negative Tesla story emerges.

There was a report recently in Canada about an owner of a 2013 Tesla Model S who claims he was locked out of his vehicle after the battery pack died due to a HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) design flaw.

The 2013 Tesla Model SThe story states that he could not access the inside of the car to retrieve the ownership papers to sell the vehicle he had decided not to fix.

The vehicle was purchased new and it had been serviced in the recommended regular cycles, so the claim is that there is a design flaw in the 2013/14 Tesla Model S HVAC system that drips water onto the battery pack, leading to rust and eventually causing failure of the batteries.

A Tesla Battery PackSo far, the response from Tesla, has been a refusal to replace the battery, The reason given is because the battery issue was discovered after the vehicle's warranty expired.

The owner however, claims that the issue must have started while the vehicle was under warranty. The owner is now in contact with Transport Canada who is now investigating the problem.

Currently, we can see, the owner has taken to social media to publicise his grievances, so Tesla's response has been to disable the Model S remotely.

It appears that there are other Tesla Model S owners with similar problems and according to the owner, Tesla will not be able to sweep this issue under the carpet as consumers do have rights for redress.

Social MediaTransport Canada offers automotive consumers the ability to contact the vehicle regulator where they can fill out a vehicle defect complaint form. The service has, previously, led to a defect notice on the Kia Soul, whose heated seats were burning occupants.

It's a little unclear, whether or not Transport Canada is close to taking any action for the 2013-2014 Tesla Model S and no investigation is underway for this issue in the U.S., according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The article we read said it had looked through the complaints section of the Canadian Transport regulator's website and it did show that at least one other owner had a similar issue. That was filed in April 2021, the complaint stated that there was water intrusion to the battery causing failure, but was told that it was not covered by Tesla's warranty. Some automotive forum posts look like they may be describing issues that are similar to this one.

As for this owner being unable to open the door on his Tesla to retrieve his paperwork, we read he paid $40.00 NZ for new ownership papers from Transport Canada. This owner now claims that he will be selling the Tesla Model S for around $26,000 NZ.

It's unclear what a new purchaser will do with the car, but a new battery pack will allegedly cost $33,000 NZ. Not sure what costs are involved to fit a new battery.

We are not sure we can find any 2013 Model S Tesla's for sale in New Zealand. The best we can see is a price for a few 2014 Model S for sale in NZ ranging from $60K to $70K. However, that might not be a bad deal, since similar models are selling for $63,000 NZ plus in Canada.

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