Tesla Owner’s Battery Damaged by Water Ingress, Not Covered by Warranty

A Scottish couple recently found themselves in the spotlight for an unfortunate and costly incident involving their Tesla Model Y’s battery replacement. Johnny Bacigalupo and Rob Hussey shared their discontent when they were quoted a staggering £17,374, approximately US$21,200, to replace their EV’s batteries due to alleged water damage incurred while driving in inclement weather.

Details of the incident

The trouble began during a rainy evening in Edinburgh, where the couple had ventured out for dinner. Initially, their Model Y had no issues en route to the restaurant. However, when they attempted to leave, the vehicle refused to start, leaving them stranded. Frustratingly, they had to wait almost five hours for a Tesla support tow truck to reach them.

From the outset, Bacigalupo and Hussey claimed that Tesla’s customer service department was far from satisfactory. Their experience was marred by difficulty in getting assistance promptly, including a failed collection attempt before their car was finally picked up by a Tesla-approved firm and delivered to Tesla Edinburgh.

 Costs and Cause

Bacigalupo described the shocking moment when they received a call notifying them of the battery damage due to water ingress. To their disbelief, they were informed that this costly repair was not covered by the battery’s 8-year warranty. The estimated repair cost  turned out to be exorbitant £17,500, leaving Bacigalupo  at a loss for words.

Notably, Bacigalupo had initially expected a much more modest bill, somewhere in the range of £500 to £1,000. In his state of shock, he reached out to a manager to inquire about the exorbitant cost, seeking an explanation. The manager attributed the issue to the relentless Scottish weather, suggesting that water ingress was to blame. While he conceded that it wasn’t necessarily Bacigalupo’s fault, he maintained that it fell outside the scope of Tesla’s warranty. Bacigalupo remained skeptical, doubting the manager’s explanation by citing that he had never heard of such incidents with other luxury car brands like Range Rovers and Mercedes.

The couple acknowledged that certain parts of Scotland had been under a special weather advisory, but they firmly stated that the rain in Edinburgh was far from unusual. This unfortunate ordeal has left Bacigalupo questioning his decision to purchase a Tesla, given the dismal customer service and the tremendous stress it has caused.

Tesla’s policies & history with similar complaints

Ultimately, Tesla has yet to comment on the situation faced by Bacigalupo and Hussey. Nevertheless, reports indicate that other Tesla owners have encountered similar issues related to water ingress. Tesla’s warranty explicitly excludes coverage for water damage, thereby placing the financial burden of repairs squarely on the owners if their batteries are compromised by water.

Some experts have suggested that Tesla’s batteries may be more susceptible to water damage compared to those of other electric vehicle manufacturers. This vulnerability could be attributed to Tesla’s unique battery pack design, which positions the battery cells closer to the ground.

Tesla’s customer service track record has faced criticism in the past, with numerous owners voicing grievances about the difficulties in reaching Tesla’s customer support and the slow response to problems. This unfortunate incident involving Bacigalupo and Hussey further underscores the importance of robust customer support in the electric vehicle industry, particularly given the unique challenges associated with cutting-edge EV technology.

Originally posted 2023-10-17 05:37:55.


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