A Scottish couple recently experienced an unexpected and costly ordeal when their Tesla electric car suffered extensive damage during a rainstorm. Johnny Bacigalupo and Rob Hussey, owners of a Tesla Model 3, were shocked to receive a repair bill totalling £17,374 (RM100,306) after their car malfunctioned following exposure to heavy rain.
According to a report by Edinburgh Live, the couple had driven their Model 3 to a restaurant during torrential rains in the Scottish capital. However, upon attempting to drive back home, the car failed to operate. After a five-hour wait for roadside assistance, the car was transported to Tesla Edinburgh for assessment and repair.
Several days later, they were informed that the car’s battery had been damaged due to water ingress, resulting in the substantial repair cost. To their surprise, the extensive repair was not covered under the car’s eight-year warranty.
Bacigalupo and Hussey expressed their astonishment at the repair bill and sought answers from Tesla regarding the incident. They were informed that the battery had been submerged in water, with the automaker attributing the issue to Scotland’s adverse weather conditions.
“After finally getting to speak to a manager, he told me it had water in it due to the fact the weather in Scotland has been so bad. That was the issue,” said Bacigalupo, highlighting the blame on the Scottish climate.
The incident has raised questions about the vehicle’s suitability for the rainy Scottish landscape, as owners generally expect their electric cars to withstand regular rainstorms without incurring significant damage.
Furthermore, concerns have been raised regarding the repair cost, considering a previous statement by Tesla CEO Elon Musk in 2019 suggesting a significantly lower cost for replacing battery modules. The discrepancy in the repair cost has sparked a debate among Tesla owners regarding the acceptability of such high repair bills.
In response to the incident, a Tesla customer relations email has confirmed that a complaint has been lodged and will be thoroughly investigated, with a formal response expected in due course.
This incident serves as a reminder of the ongoing challenge of ensuring electric vehicles can handle adverse weather conditions and raises questions about the costs associated with repairing critical components, such as batteries, in EVs. With the Model 3 officially being launched here in Malaysia, do you think owners would face such issues with our weather?