Tesla Roadster

Tesla Motors downplays risk of bricking a Roadster

Reports are circulating claiming a Tesla Roadster design flaw can destroy the battery pack, at a large cost to the owner. Tesla dismisses the problem, saying they've designed in safeguards to prevent it from happening.

Last night a blog post by blogger Michael DeGusta (reposted by Jalopnik) went into great detail explaining how several Tesla Roadsters were made into inoperable bricks after sitting idle for a few weeks. He even has an unnamed Tesla service manager as proof, so the story must be true, right? The Internet being what it is these days, Twitter is full of links to various news articles and posts weighing in on the story.

To start with some basic facts, all cars will have problems develop if they sit idle. In a gasoline car the various fluids can seize the engine, at which point the engine replacement cost is expensive. Batteries, in particular, run down, and can run down to where it would damage the battery. Are we to be surprised that an electric car, if left idle for awhile, would not see a problem develop?

By the way "Brick" is technoslang for a previously operable device that's now inoperable. An example usage is "I jailbroke my iPhone and now it's bricked".


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This is great news actually as finally consumers are understanding something they've always known with their rechargeable batteries, they loose juice if you don't use them... And the same holds true (pun intended) with electric cars. The Tesla Roadster is not a garage queen. It's a drivable car. Owners need to use them regularly and get exhilarated. If you are serious about collecting cars, you also keep their batteries humming, classic or modern.
$40k for new batteries is an expensive lesson to learn. What I take from this is that the main problem with electric vehicles is education. Consumers just don't fully understand what they are and how they are different from a gasoline-burning car. When I buy a new car, I go through the manual. I went through my Nissan LEAF's manual twice and have a .pdf copy on my mobile devices for quick access. So I am aware of long-term storage precautions. I'm sure that Tesla will have a remedy for battery/car long-term storage in the newer models because they don't want to babysit every one of their cars when mass production and selling begins. Right Tesla?
I could not agree more with Brian - education is the key here! Can you imagine an article criticising BMW for a desing flow resulting in engine damage when consumer fills in a diesel car's fuel tank with a regular gas? Whoever brings news to the public really needs to do their homework first.