"My heart missed a beat, honestly."
A couple in Scotland are as mad as a wet hen after Tesla flatfooted them with a £17,000 bill (that's about $20,693 in USD) for repairs to their vehicle's battery that apparently experienced water damage after driving through rainy conditions, Edinburgh Live reports.
"I was flabbergasted and couldn’t really find my words," Tesla owner and Edinburgh resident Johnny Bacigalupo told the news outlet about his huge repair bill. "I honestly can’t believe that this has happened. When I first got the call I thought we would get bill[ed] for £500 or £1000. When they said over 17 grand — it’s absolutely obscene. My heart missed a beat, honestly."
The car wouldn't start after dinner. Roadside assistance picked up the car for service, Bacigalupo told the site, and a Tesla representative called him later and said the battery had been submerged in water and the repair bill was not covered under warranty.
"I’ve been driving for 30 years and this is my most premium car to date and this is what it does when Edinburgh’s roads get puddles or a little wet!" Bacigalupo groused.
Edinburgh Live doesn't specify which Tesla model the Scottish couple owns, but there have been previous reports of older Model S vehicles in particular running into serious trouble after being driven through rain.
In 2021, a Hong Kong Tesla owner was also slapped with a hefty battery repair bill for his 2016 vehicle because the battery got wet. The owner claimed he never drove through floods and only in heavy rain with his car, which was under warranty at the time.
Also in 2021, a Tesla owner in America also received a big bill after his 2014 Model S stopped working. It turned out that water had gotten into the drive unit and damaged it. A week prior, the owner had driven in heavy rain but not in flooded conditions. Tesla refused to honor the warranty on the vehicle and pay for the $8,000 repair costs.
All told the rain issue typifies a quality control issue at Tesla, which has been ranked relatively low in reliability as its vehicles have been tested in real world conditions.
While Tesla celebrated its phenomenal growth over the years, with its 5 millionth car coming out of the assembly line in September, will quality issues persist as Teslas becomes more common on our roadways? Only time will tell.
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