. It also emphasizes the importance of Right to Repair legislation.
A Tesla driver's dilemma
A Tesla Model 3 driver accidentally drove over some debris in the road which struck and damaged the electric car's coolant system. This caused coolant to leak from the battery pack.
The driver had the vehicle towed to a Tesla service center. There he was told that the battery pack could not be repaired and would have to be replaced. He was handed an estimate for the shocking cost of $16,000. Even worse, his insurance policy would not cover
Car dealerships only realize a slim margin of profit from the car sale itself. They compensate for this with after-sales and in-house repairs. Tesla, along with other automakers, offers a direct-to-customer sales model.
As the company expands its services, it’s becoming more clear that consumers will continue to see high costs.
Not wanting to foot a five-figure repair bill, the driver started searching online for a more affordable alternative. He came across Rich Rebuild's YouTube channel. The video showed how Electrified Garage was able to repair the damage without replacing the battery pack.
Battery packs for electric vehicles are known to be expensive. They hold their value even when used. Refurbished packs are often sold on eBay and other retailers for thousands of dollars.
Though the Tesla engineer at Electrified Garage was located a few states away, it still seemed worth a try—and it paid off. The team at Electrified Garage was able to thread a basic brass fitting into the battery pack housing to fix the broken part.
The total cost of getting the Tesla back on the road, including diagnosis and labor, came to approximately $700. The Tesla driver's experience demonstrates why Right to Repair legislation matters.
Right to Repair allows owners to repair their vehicles and property themselves or through a source other than the original manufacturer. It’s unknown whether the lessee of the Tesla Model 3 will be on the hook for getting a third-party repair.
Currently, Tesla has an "Unsupported or Salvage Vehicle Policy." This means the company can permanently disable access to its Supercharging network to protect its vehicles and repair technicians if they find any unsupported repairs.
This has resulted in significant pushback from consumers. It’s frustrating to see a simple problem cost almost half the price of a completely new vehicle to fix. You can expect to see more discussion around Right to Repair to address these concerns.
Jane Lu is excited about writing and digital media. She has published blog posts for SAP’s Digitalist Magazine with a focus on emerging technology and trends. When she’s not writing about car insurance or upcoming vehicles, you can find her drawing on a graphics tablet or trying to find new places with good french fries.