It's getting tiresome that any similar issues Tesla encounters are somehow newsworthy... For example fires - according to FEMA, there's ~171,500+ highway car fires per year and if a Tesla ever catches on fire it's big news
1. https://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/a23888636/2017-ford-f-1... "it ate a costly drivetrain part at only 40,000 miles."
"After hitting 40,000 miles, the Raptor began complaining with a noisy, ill-shifting transfer case. The dealer replaced a damaged shift fork, the clutch assembly, and a handful of other worn internal parts under warranty—a fix that took a week."
I like Tesla as much as anyone else here, but that last image, imho, takes a bit of ownership/agency away from the owner of the car. I don't trust any company enough to have a $50k+ asset that _only they_ can work on.
>No ability to take it somewhere else, no ability to diagnose and attempt a fix yourself, you just have to hope that Tesla will fix it quickly for you
Why would a message on a screen prevent you from doing any of those things?
Ok? That computer isn't particularly adversarial. Presumably if you're capable of fixing this car yourself the computers will present you with no difficulty, if you don't know how to fix cars with computers then the Tesla probably isn't for you.
> And there's no way to get diagnostic manuals
Yeah, there is https://service.teslamotors.com/ Or you know, just pay some random guy on a forum $20 for a copy.
Oh, this won't be DRM-bound like half of what it does? If you're sure and not just guessing, good.
> Yeah, there is https://service.teslamotors.com/
Oh, hey, that works outside of Massachusetts now, as of earlier this year. Wonderful. Next up, can you order parts without this procedure yet?: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=19322223
Not any more so than in similarly priced German cars.
>Next up, can you order parts without this procedure yet?
Sourcing parts via official channels continues to be difficult.
> [...] Tesla isn't allowed to operate company-owned service centers in Michigan.
This sort of shit happens to all cars. Although Lexus has been generous with loaner as they try to push you to trade in or buy newer version on Lexus.
I mean, to be clear: You "pay for it" with the fact that an oil change is like $150. But, you'd still get it for any maintenance that is covered under warranty, and its disappointing that Tesla doesn't do the same. One of a myriad of reasons why I'm confused why anyone buys a Tesla.
They're not top spec loaners, generally, but they're usually newer than what you rode in on.
And oil changes are only $70 for full synthetic, though I do the routine stuff myself. But the point is, not everywhere that gives loaners overcharges for routine maintenance. $70 is cheaper than the JiffyLube.
Sure, except certain brands have standard policies to provide transportation assistance for any lengthy (e.g. > 1 day repairs)
e.g. Toyota: http://toyota.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/7653/~/if...
That's surprising. Whenever I take my honda in for service, I always get offered a loaner (even if it's just a couple hours of service)
But he didnt leave car for recall, his car shut down. Sounds like a fob off excuse.
Both my Toyota and ford dealer, for example, rents their cars for competitive rates (compared to the local enterprise). They are nice enough to give you a shuttle service between working hours up to 10mi away, but that cost likely comes out of the Service Center budget (hence the $49 tire rotation service cost)
"This sort of shit happens to all cars" misses the significance of this event due not applying basic statistics. Simply put, readers of this article have far more cars than the writers.
To me the story is about reliability, the changing nature of automotive problems and how they handle customer service.
It's definitely not the only time an expensive car has failed in the first 6,000 miles of use. Also, the author's assumption that ICE cars don't fail while parked is a bit of hairsplitting. This isn't much different from any of the dozen or so times I've driven somewhere and discovered my car won't start when I go to leave.
1. New car,
2. Which cost almost $60,000, with
3. Fewer than 6000 miles,
4. Suffer a catastrophic failure (i.e. couldn't start with a jump),
5. While parked,
6. And had the manufacturer not communicate the source of failure,
7. Or how long it would take to fix?
That, to me, seems almost unbelievable. I have entertained the idea that our family's next car would be a Tesla, but stories like this make me want to wait another generation or longer.
Statistically, a few hundred thousand model 3s have been delivered and many are well past 6k miles. I think you should wait and hear what Tesla’s reaction is before writing them off.
Things you should consider are:
- they have sold so many cars in the past 2 years that service center growth is struggling to keep up and wait times are long
- Tesla vehicles cannot be serviced easily by third parties so you have no option if Tesla says something you don’t like or wait times are long
Choosing the one broken car out of hundreds of thousands delivered as a reason to not buy one doesn’t make much sense. All manufacturers deliver defective vehicles. Looking at statistics on how many are defective per capita from each manufacturer would be a more reasonable course of action.
With any another car, the car would fail to start with a generic idiot light. You would then arrange to drop it with the dealer with no expectation of diagnosis on the spot. Later they would call you up and let you know.
No manufacturer is immune to problems, even with very new cars.
In this case the major difference is the car proactively notified the owner of the problem.
Most cars will absolutely not die while parked or turned off (I'm sure some will, but it won't be a common occurrence).
Most luxury brands will offer full service and a loaner (this is a 57k vehicle, well into M3/RS4/Porsche/AMG territory, which are considered premium vehicles on already luxury brands)
It's interesting that Tesla says this about the dual-motor version:
> Tesla All-Wheel Drive has two independent motors.
> Your car can drive on either motor, so you never need to worry about getting stuck on the road. If one motor stops working, you can safely continue to your destination with the second.
Why do you think that? I think it's most likely that a normal car would still start, possibly needing jumper cables if there are battery issues.
This week a local freeway was shut down when a driver travelling down it noticed smoke coming out of the air-conditioning. He started to slow down, but then it caught alight. The scary thing was fire took hold so quickly he suffered burns before he could get out. That is the only time I've read about such a thing in the mass media. Which is an interesting statistic in itself - because I heard anecdotes about others peoples cars catching on fire while they were driving them several times. This particular time it shut down an inner city free way for a few hours - so it made the news.
And so it will be with this particular failure. I'm sure the only reason we heard about it is because it's a Tesla. Modern internal combustion engines are entirely computer controlled. They are far more complex to control that battery + electric motor, so the computer systems and sensor networks they have are commensurately more complex. They will not be going anywhere if that computer system fails - jump start or no jump start, so this sort of failure is not peculiar to EV's. Given the millions of cars out there I have absolutely no doubt coming back to a parked car only to discover the ECU has failed has happened many times. I also have absolutely no doubt I would not have heard about it. After all no one died, and "car won't start" is hardly news worthy unless it is a Tesla.
It may be there is a systemic fault with Tesla's - but there is no way you can tell from this one blog post. As for the bad dealer - I'm sort of surprised you think it is somehow exceptional.
That ONE Tesla failed with fewer than 6,000 miles is not surprising or remotely concerning.
No, I haven't had a car fail with fewer than 6,000 miles. But if I'd bought a Model 3, that would almost certainly still be the case as well because of the tens of thousands sold to date this appears to be fairly uncommon or we'd have heard about it by now.
I'm not certain what the big deal about it failing "While Parked" is. A breakdown is a breakdown.
I have around 20K miles on my Model 3 and so far haven't dealt with any service/maintenance. I took the car to les schwab to make sure the tires are good, and that's been it.
Shit happens to cars, they're usually the most complicated piece of technology the average person owns. It takes time to perfect a production line and service line, but Tesla really needs to have a perfect support line and it's unfortunate they don't.
Yeah, it "just happened" to be one owned by Car and Driver. If they are seeing this sort of failure with review models, you can be sure that the real failure rate is big.
Everything that happens with Tesla gets amplified 10 fold. If the failure rate was "big", I'm certain we'd have heard about it by now.
Regardless, this isn't a special review unit, C&D leased the Tesla from the dealer like any other schmuck, it was just luck of the draw.
Well, one reason people do that is because of the ridiculous things everybody has been saying for years - like how electric cars are inherently way more reliable than ICE vehicles.
It's like how certain people get enraged over short sellers influencing stock prices, and somehow it doesn't occur to them that way more information is distorted in favor of public companies.
And sure, there's no reason to think it was a special unit, but that's the best case, and it's not rational to assume the most likely case is the best.
As in any test methodology, if your random sample has problems, it's a bad sign for failure rates for the batch.
It is possible this, or the head gasket problem, was related to a previous warranty repair being done incorrectly - originally it had an internal engine problem, which did not leave me stranded but sounded terrible and scared me that the dealer would blame me and not honor the warranty.
And "coincidentally" I have read quite a few times recently that Honda is struggling with reliability in recent years.
I am probably not going to own a Honda again, but I would still be more comfortable with one than a Tesla simply because of the local dealer service.
(also, 1 and 3 are the same thing.)
And yet Toyota is considered one of the good brands.
I know most of us at HN--me included!--want Tesla to succeed, but I am again surprised that people are so quick to write off a brand new, low-mileage Model 3's catastrophic failure with no apparent cause. I have to wonder if it's because, when we saw the word "catastrophic" in the headline, we assumed it would be due to a battery catching fire, or autopilot steering the vehicle into a Jersey barrier.
Toyota Highlander sales figures: https://www.goodcarbadcar.net/toyota-highlander-sales-figure...
Tesla Model 3 sales figures: https://www.goodcarbadcar.net/tesla-model-3-sales-figures-us...
Price of top-end Highlander: https://www.google.com/search?q=how+much+is+a+toyota+highlan...
That's not the price of the top-end Highlander, which is the AWD Platinum, which is $48,800 (without any options).
The highest priced Model 3 is the Performance, at $56,990 (before $1,875 tax credit)
Equivalent pricing for top-spec (non-hybrid) Highlander and Model 3 in Canada is $52,100 and $75,990, respectively.
We have not had any issues so far. Let’s not freak out at every Tesla is bad story.
Simply drive one and see how much it changes your life as it has mine. Then decide what’s good or bad for you.
Always remember doom and gloom stories sell more than successful ones.
Either you had a very boring life or you always talk like you are in a TV advert.
If my car has suffered a failure and will no longer drive, I'm likely to consider that catastrophic as well, especially for such a new, expensive car.
My daughter's VW had trouble and the engine died while she was doing 70 miles an hour. She pulled over, got out and watched it burn to the ground in front of her. I'm not even sure I'd call that a catastrophic failure, but it's a lot closer.
When I hear something is catastrophic, I expect it to be more interesting/ impactful than a failure to move.
I was mostly being tongue in cheek in my original comment, but seriously, what happened is his car wouldn't start and had to be serviced. If this were any other make/ model of car it wouldn't be a story.
So for diagnostics other than tires, wheels, and brakes, we are talking about a system that can prevent at most 4% of accidents, and probably much, much less. Given the huge number of false positives, I'd much rather cars notify the driver in detail (not just a vague "check engine" warning) and let the driver decide how to proceed, rather than irrevocably disabling themselves.
Consider: we could also probably eliminate 20% of accidents by prohibiting drivers from driving in wet conditions, but instead we reasonably instruct drivers to drive more cautiously and accept that some wetness induced accidents will occur nevertheless.
I’m pretty sure if there are 20,000 serious accidents per year and some lines of code alone prevent 100 (0.5%) that’s noteworthy.
Second, you keep suggesting that I made claims about this being "trivial" or "noteworthy". I did not. I made a claim about what would be a good system, not the notability of the absolute number of accidents stopped.
I will not consider this. Because it sounds ridiculous. Prohibiting whom and how exactly, from driving how/what?, and how wet? And how do you measure that? And at the cost of what?
My car just threw a CEL and it was because I put low octane gas in. I knew this but also found this by using the handy Forscan app
Eventually had a redneck guy working out of the back of his pickup truck have a go at it. After hearing about the history he spent hours unplugging, cleaning, and replugging every single wire connection and socket. And the light stayed off.
Are you sure he didn't just leave that particular light unplugged?
The diagnosis however is available for retrieval via industry standard connector - OBD2.
Edit: All of them will fail you -> All of them can fail you. Not all codes will trigger an immediate fail in CA smog testing anyways, depending on if they are manufacturer specific, or what they effect. I passed my most recent smog with a few codes.
I’m reminded that many gas engines can drop into a degraded mode and still run when there is a problem like a sensor failing. Even a small oil leak can still be driven with. Degraded but not stranded.
If they can do all this real-time surveillance, why not have a conditional somewhere to send a loaner for the case when you sold someone a lemon?
Of course, having a defect in a basically new car is very annoying, but that is the curse of any technology. At least with an almost new car, there is little argument about whether it is carried by warranty. Tesla will either fix it or give them a new car and then they can hopefully enjoy it.
As just one example, I was unable to start my new model 3 on a cold morning after owning it for 3 months (which in itself is horrendous). The entire system shut down and would not start. This was particularly problematic for me as I am required to get into the hospital in under 30 minutes in order to treat stroke patients. As such I ended up having to use an uber to make it to my surgical list.
As is typical for uber, it was impossible to get hold of a human to resolve the situation and the replies (from whatever it is that replies to you on their app) refused to help me unless I waited at my car for their service to show up.
When I finally got hold of someone I was told that in order to prevent this, I should prewarm the car using the app prior to using the car. No-one ever explained this to me prior to this happening.
I would like to say this has been the only incident but there have been innumerable problems at every point as a new owner.
They gave you a bullshit answer - the car would have had to start to pre-warm too.
The advice I would give is not to park with a low battery in cold weather, since it will lose range.
That said, the car should warn you:
There will be significantly less energy available
from your battery if it gets colder.
We recommend charging now.
Here's the patent for all the gory details:
The fact that this part has a "problem" probably means that it was triggered, e.g., maybe some type of false collision detection, short circuit or other failure which ended up triggering the disconnect.
It may have been catastrophic for his afternoon plans, but the car has clearly be repaired.
That alone is worthy of a blog post on the front page if it were true (it's not).
If anything other than your blinker blinks more than a handful of times past startup, something is very very wrong.
steady light: maintenance
flashing for a time: issues on the emissions controls, you risk on the long run to damage the converter or stuff like that
fixed flashing light: something seriously wrong, like a misfire or worse, running the engine is actively damaging it. car runs in protected mode as not to leave you stranded in a dangerous situation, but you are not supposed to run it.
what's your car if I might ask?
Have the vehicle checked as soon as possible by an
authorized Mercedes-Benz Center. An on-board diagnostic
connector is used by the service station to link the
vehicle to the shop diagnostics system. It allows the
accurate identification of system malfunctions through the
readout of diagnostic trouble codes. It is located in the
front left area of the footwell next to the parking brake.
They don't recommend towing the vehicle. There are surprisingly few conditions mentioned in the manual where a tow to the service center is recommended: brake system failure indicators, and visibly dangerous tire damage/vibrations.
There is however substantial discussion of towing methods and proper towing procedure, mentioning significant risks of damage when done incorrectly. So we see, towing isn't some kind of panacea the manufacturers are eager to suggest - the process may break things like the transmission or body if done incorrectly, especially over long distances.
It's a noteworthy difference in the failure modes of Teslas (and perhaps EVs in general) vs. conventional ICE vehicles.
ICE vehicle drivetrains often fail more gracefully. The first vehicle I purchased, to rebuild before getting a driver's license, had a broken con-rod, yet it still drove noisily with a hole in the side of the engine block.
ICE vehicle manufacturers do not actively disable a vehicle in a CEL-triggering condition. They want nothing to do with potentially pro-actively stranding someone, which could be a life-or-death situation like a snowstorm, just because some sensor is malfunctioning on an otherwise perfectly operable automobile.
Requiring a tow is a self-evident condition. It's been generally left up to the owner to decide if they want to risk potentially costly repairs driving with an indicator light flashing.
If you read my comment, it clearly states that few parts of the manual explicitly recommend towing. But some do, and none of them are surrounding CELs. Which makes it rather clear that a CEL condition doesn't warrant an immediate tow, unlike the brake system light or dangerous tire wear/damage where they do recommend a tow.
A charitable interpretation of my comment would accept that nowhere else was there a section about blinking lights recommending towing. Grasping at straws? Are you kidding? You suggested I look in an owners manual, that's precisely what I did, and you're unhappy with what it states.
Instead of making me do the legwork of disproving your claim, the onus is really on you to back it up so why don't you materialize an owners' manual explicitly recommending towing when a check engine light starts flashing?
> no wonder they had to add the blinking failure mode, there's truly irresponsible people out there
I don't appreciate your borderline personal attack, are you implying I'm an irresponsible person?
I talked about blinking lights
your car doesn't have the blinking mode for engine check
I and another commenter both explained that blinking lights were specifically added to disambiguate between critical and non critical issues
these issue are deemed critical specifically because they are immediate danger of engine damage
blinking lights were specifically added because people were ignoring static check lights
your vintage car comes from an era before the disambiguations, fair enough, still not the common case today.
the respondible thing to do if your car passes the fuel and fuel cap test is to stop it and call a tow truck, specifically because as the manual started the light cover issues that might cause an engine seizure.
it's likely my fault for not disambiguating towing and tow truck early in the discussion, we have two different words for that here. (traino vs rimorchio)
The fact that loaners are not available as readily is probably an unfortunate side effect of the Model 3’s success; however, many companies don’t offer loaners for vehicles in the price range (starting <$40k), but I think Tesla should do better especially since most with options are selling for the same money as the MB, BMW or Lexus compacts.
Obviously being an electric car it fails as gracefully as an ICE car with a fuel system issue.
What the?! Sounds sorta awesome.
tl;dr There is a "pyrotechnic charge" to disconnect the battery in case of danger.
I would guess the Tesla constantly checks the isolation between the high voltage system and the car chassis. If it is ever compromised, it blows single-use pyrotechnic fuses as a safety measure (to protect a person who may have their hands in the high voltage system).
That event then makes the car useless till serviced.
Since it is a kind of 'catch all' event, it happens quite frequently, so it was worth Tesla building an error message into the app for it.
Now if the failure mode had been the opposite this would be an entirely different story, even possibly brand ruining.
You are being downvoted, but poor customer service is a real reason to avoid certain car brands..
Luxury car was a fight but they caved relatively quickly. Ford is an ongoing saga that has now taken longer to simply prove there is a problem than it took for luxury car to resolve the whole ordeal. Kia would likely be worse since they were selling Stingers at a huge markdown for awhile. I'll pass and stick to Toyota which hasn't had any major reliability problems in the past decade on their vehicles and have great service centers (in my very large metro area)
I love the technology that Tesla is producing. But I hate the risks associated with using such technology
Why would you expect that from Tesla? Its part of every decent insurance in Europe.
because literally every manufacturer that sells cars that are more expensive than economy sector vehicles offers loaners at their dealerships fairly casually (in the US).
Granted, it's usually a function of the individual dealership, but it's extraordinarily common.
>Its part of every decent insurance in Europe.
it's a common coverage in the US, too. What's uncommon is involving insurance for warranty work. It'd be more common if the repair work triggered some kind of extended insurance contract from a third party.
Can anyone shed light on if this is a widespread issue, or is this an edge case? This article reads like a rant.
Not too long ago, you discovered out your vehicle was dead because it wouldn't start. It would flash a light if you were lucky.
This time, there was no offer of a loaner or any kind of temporary transportation
That sucks, maybe the only notable comment in the entire article.