To add insult to injury, the owner of the car mentions that Tesla was originally planning to keep the Model 3’s damaged battery pack. That was until he referenced a consumer protection act provision put in place by New Jersey which prevents automotive service facilities from refusing to return a replacement part under most conditions when requested by a customer—most notably when the replacement part isn’t sold as an exchange (with a core charge).
Normally, this is where we would ask Tesla about this, but since it dissolved its public relations department, there’s nobody to officially comment.
Tesla was then reportedly willing to return the pack, but apparently still questioned why he would want it. Given that the new pack was $16,000 and a new Model 3 cost just more than twice that, it’s clear that the old pack was still valuable. A quick search on eBay confirms this, as used cell modules sell for thousands of dollars.
Benoit and the team at Electrified Garage are huge proponents of Right to Repair and say that this is a lesson on that very subject. But we also see it as a lesson in engineering. Was the coolant flange designed like that due to cost restrictions? Should it be integral to the pack structure if it can break so easily? Is it not cost-effective for Tesla’s battery plant to offer pack transplants for recycled cells?
No matter the reason, it’s borderline infuriating to see such a simple problem nearly total a brand new car.
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