The Tesla Bricking controversy could smash Tesla Motors
Yesterday a controversy popped up over the risk of Bricking a Tesla Roadster if it sits idle, parked, and not plugged in for a few weeks. Some subsystems that never turn off will drain the battery pack far enough to render the Roadster an inert hunk of metal and carbon fiber. In the wake of this report we have a duel between websites, possible indiscretions by Tesla Motors, uncertainty over whether future Model S and Model X owners will face the same issue, and public sentiment turning against Tesla.
The issue is that some subsystems in the Tesla Roadster stay on, draining power from the battery, even if the car itself is "off". Because there is no protection against the battery pack being drained completely, this can ruin the battery pack. It's well known in battery pack design that lithium battery cells are permanently damaged if the voltage falls below a low voltage cutoff point, such as would happen if the pack has a constant drain and is not recharged. Tesla has confirmed this can occur, but downplays the bricking risk because they not only warn Roadster owners against this possibility, they also proactively monitor (remotely) the state of charge in all Roadsters to detect ones whose battery pack is dangerously low. One can interpret Tesla's stance as pushing the responsibility on the owner, just as the owner of a gas car is responsible for regular oil changes necessary to avoid damage to the car.