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    Thread: Tesla's Major Design Flaw May Cost You $40,000

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      02-22-2012 07:10 PM #106
      Quote Originally Posted by surefooted View Post
      So you think that GM, Chrysler, Ford et al are behind this? If anything, this hurts them. the true cost of this battery issue is public perception of EVs. They all have something coming along. why would they do anything that would hurt the market?

      Their desire to kill off what they perceive as a real threat overrides that kind of common sense more often than you'd think. Happens all the time in the corporate world. The big joke is that these "executive professionals" should have more restraint and intellect, you would think.

    2. 02-22-2012 07:35 PM #107
      Reading through this thread...people blame Tesla for owner neglect and misuse....

      As with those owners many of you don't seem to understand how the tech works or how to care for hybrids and EVs. But you have opinions none the less.


      Quote Originally Posted by Fritz27 View Post
      You're a self-serving Japanese car-hating asshat.
      I drive two Japanese cars.

    3. Member rlfletch's Avatar
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      02-22-2012 07:38 PM #108
      Didn't a similar issue come up with Priuses that weren't driven enough? I seem to remember some old couple complaining about their ****ty mileage but Toyota told them to pound sand as they didn't drive their car enough which ended up killing the battery.
      Quote Originally Posted by Fritz27 View Post
      Mercedes typically makes awful manual transmissions and fantastic auto transmissions. Choosing the stick would be like saying, "Y'know, that Natalie Portman is pretty hot, but if she grew some hair on her legs and had a dong, she'd be just right."
      Quote Originally Posted by jnm2.0t View Post
      Was it parked on the curb on garbage day?

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      02-22-2012 07:46 PM #109
      Quote Originally Posted by chris@revotechnik View Post
      Really? This is even remotely believed? Does the TV on the far side of your house not work right because it is too far from the pole?

      Yes there could be some drop across the extension cord but not enough that i could see it being less supplied power then what the car is using in standby.

      Japanese and US plugs are compatible voltage wise and even plug into each other both grounded and ungrounded. The frequency apparently is off 50 vs 60 (US) hertz but that can be easily sorted by anyone with the budget to ship a damn car across the ocean and a trip to an electronics store, that is assuming the onboard charge controller could not handle it which I"d imagine it would.

      There are Teslas in Japan are they all bricked?


      Not saying they cannot totally discharge but 2 out of the 4 actual examples listed just don't make sense..
      A Tesla charger is not a TV. Try more like power tools or a blow dryer. Now take those and put them on an extension cord - 100'. I've also been in homes that were wired poorly where much the same thing can happen without an extension cord. Voltage drop over long runs can be an issue if not handled properly. It sounds like Tesla was actually smart and completely disables charging if there isn't enough juice available. The alternative would be melting the cord and potentially starting a fire.

      Japans electrical grid is seriously screwed up. It's possible that between driving the car to the docks and then shipping the car to Japan the car was near death on arrival. If the car was in a 50hz region then there would be problems that aren't easily sorted. That's why there was rolling blackouts. He would been to find a transformer or generator to power the car. Who knows what the guy was thinking but depending on the length of drive from the Japanese docks and given that there's no way to just add a little it's possible he ran out of juice before finding a solution because he figured it would be plug and play in Japan. Judging by the Tesla forums and a Google search there isn't an easy way to interface with a 50hz electrical system.

    5. 02-22-2012 07:49 PM #110
      I say good.

      They screwed over the innocent taxpayer for their opulent luxury item, so this is simply karma.

    6. Member rlfletch's Avatar
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      02-22-2012 08:01 PM #111
      Quote Originally Posted by JLJetta View Post
      I say good.

      They screwed over the innocent taxpayer for their opulent luxury item, so this is simply karma.
      The crazy is strong in this thread already...
      Quote Originally Posted by Fritz27 View Post
      Mercedes typically makes awful manual transmissions and fantastic auto transmissions. Choosing the stick would be like saying, "Y'know, that Natalie Portman is pretty hot, but if she grew some hair on her legs and had a dong, she'd be just right."
      Quote Originally Posted by jnm2.0t View Post
      Was it parked on the curb on garbage day?

    7. 02-22-2012 08:03 PM #112
      Quote Originally Posted by JLJetta View Post
      I say good.

      They screwed over the innocent taxpayer for their opulent luxury item, so this is simply karma.
      Paging mister Wonka...

      Quote Originally Posted by Fritz27 View Post
      You're a self-serving Japanese car-hating asshat.
      I drive two Japanese cars.

    8. Member Professor Gascan's Avatar
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      02-22-2012 08:10 PM #113
      Quote Originally Posted by JLJetta View Post
      I say good.

      They screwed over the innocent taxpayer for their opulent luxury item, so this is simply karma.
      Wrong, this is Karma.

      Fires are the leading cause of fires.

    9. Member Hawk's Avatar
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      02-22-2012 08:10 PM #114
      Article needs more brick in " ".

    10. Senior Member dunhamjr's Avatar
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      02-22-2012 08:16 PM #115
      Quote Originally Posted by surefooted View Post
      Why didn't someone think to have the car shut down at x% of battery? That's not that hard.
      ah yes so simple... a solution that a team of engineers 100x smarter then you never thought of.

      there are various 'always on' systems in the car. 'always on'... meaning, cannot be turned off.

      please read the article in detail next time.

      the issue is not driving the car beyond its range and running out of juice. its the ever present energy draining sub-systems that totally kill the battery.
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      02-22-2012 08:20 PM #116
      Quote Originally Posted by JLJetta View Post
      I say good.

      They screwed over the innocent taxpayer for their opulent luxury item, so this is simply karma.
      [IMG]http://a.images.******************/instances/400x/15051136.jpg[/IMG]

      not the best ill admit...

      edit: sorry, meme fail.
      Last edited by AHFlynn; 02-22-2012 at 08:28 PM.
      Quote Originally Posted by Cousin Eddie View Post
      Nah, understeering into a tree in a Honda like a teenage girl ruins your street cred. I'd leave the door to show how hard you are.

    12. Member Hawk's Avatar
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      02-22-2012 08:23 PM #117
      Does anyone in The Car Lounge own a Tesla?

    13. Member hugoaswho's Avatar
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      02-22-2012 08:23 PM #118
      lol at all the wannabe engineers in this thread

      Major News at 11 - Rechargeable Battery loses charge if not charged, world stunned...

    14. Member AHFlynn's Avatar
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      02-22-2012 08:29 PM #119
      Quote Originally Posted by Hawk View Post
      Does anyone in The Car Lounge own a Tesla?
      i dont think so, we do have a lot of people though.
      Quote Originally Posted by Cousin Eddie View Post
      Nah, understeering into a tree in a Honda like a teenage girl ruins your street cred. I'd leave the door to show how hard you are.

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      02-22-2012 08:31 PM #120
      Quote Originally Posted by dunhamjr View Post
      ah yes so simple... a solution that a team of engineers 100x smarter then you never thought of.

      there are various 'always on' systems in the car. 'always on'... meaning, cannot be turned off.

      please read the article in detail next time.

      the issue is not driving the car beyond its range and running out of juice. its the ever present energy draining sub-systems that totally kill the battery.
      And why do these sub-systems have to be on all the time? Why can't they be programmed to shut off if the battery gets to critical levels? Whatever complications that would arise from shutting down these sub-systems has to be less damaging then ruining the entire car

    16. Senior Member dunhamjr's Avatar
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      02-22-2012 08:46 PM #121
      Quote Originally Posted by thetopdog View Post
      And why do these sub-systems have to be on all the time? Why can't they be programmed to shut off if the battery gets to critical levels? Whatever complications that would arise from shutting down these sub-systems has to be less damaging then ruining the entire car
      again, if it was that simple, then i am sure they would have done that.

      also remember that some systems draw energy even when they are off.
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      02-22-2012 08:51 PM #122
      Quote Originally Posted by thetopdog View Post
      And why do these sub-systems have to be on all the time? Why can't they be programmed to shut off if the battery gets to critical levels? Whatever complications that would arise from shutting down these sub-systems has to be less damaging then ruining the entire car
      once again, if you have something programed to shut off, you have to have something else running to get it to power back up, all the electrical safety backups in the world won't do any good for this particular problem because they still all rely on electricity to run. That's ignoring the fact that left to its own devices the battery will happily just go dead on its own, batteries just do that.

      What everyone is suggesting is that they have a hard mechanical stop to current flow, which would be the same thing as unhooking the battery, which would be relatively simple even as is.

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      02-22-2012 08:55 PM #123
      Quote Originally Posted by NashGTI View Post
      once again, if you have something programed to shut off, you have to have something else running to get it to power back up, all the electrical safety backups in the world won't do any good for this particular problem because they still all rely on electricity to run. That's ignoring the fact that left to its own devices the battery will happily just go dead on its own, batteries just do that.

      What everyone is suggesting is that they have a hard mechanical stop to current flow, which would be the same thing as unhooking the battery, which would be relatively simple even as is.
      I am not an electrical engineer by any means, but there must be a way to have the battery shut off. Even if they built in an automated mechanical device under the hood that physically disconnected the battery when the charge got critical. ANY solution, no matter how convoluted expensive or difficult (maybe the car would shut down then have to be towed back to a Tesla dealer to be re-started) is better than the entire car being ruined because the battery got drained too far

    19. Member Professor Gascan's Avatar
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      02-22-2012 09:02 PM #124
      Quote Originally Posted by thetopdog View Post
      I am not an electrical engineer by any means, but there must be a way to have the battery shut off. Even if they built in an automated mechanical device under the hood that physically disconnected the battery when the charge got critical. ANY solution, no matter how convoluted expensive or difficult (maybe the car would shut down then have to be towed back to a Tesla dealer to be re-started) is better than the entire car being ruined because the battery got drained too far
      Two issues: An automated device to physically disconnect the battery would need battery power from somewhere to work. You would also need said power to reconnect it. Likewise, as has been mentioned, the battery will naturally go dead, on its own, with no external influence.
      Fires are the leading cause of fires.

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      02-22-2012 09:03 PM #125
      There's all kinds of warnings including the one that if active will call you and tell you hey dude you forgot to plug in your plug in car. Honestly, if my car contacted Tesla and said that it was dying and Tesla was able to save it, I'd say that's pretty bloody nice.
      The entire car isn't ruined, it's the battery pack. There should be some kind of storage mode, but even then the battery will still not like sitting and not being used. The lil battery on my bikes and snowmobiles didn't like sitting around waiting to be used even when disconnected from everything, why would a big ass battery used to power a car be any different?

    21. Senior Member dunhamjr's Avatar
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      02-22-2012 09:07 PM #126
      Quote Originally Posted by thetopdog View Post
      I am not an electrical engineer by any means, but there must be a way to have the battery shut off. Even if they built in an automated mechanical device under the hood that physically disconnected the battery when the charge got critical. ANY solution, no matter how convoluted expensive or difficult (maybe the car would shut down then have to be towed back to a Tesla dealer to be re-started) is better than the entire car being ruined because the battery got drained too far
      no EE, no comment then
      (i studied ee/eet in college)

      batteries will still die even when absolutely disconnected from ANYTHING.

      just think of having a regular gas car. if it sits long enough it will have a dead battery.

      or get away from cars totally... that flashlight sitting in your drawer unused? it too will eventually have a dead battery.

      same thing with an electric car, but its a much bigger deal to kill that battery.
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    22. 02-22-2012 09:09 PM #127
      It took four men two hours to drag the 2,700-pound Roadster onto a flatbed truck
      This is the part that sounds like total BS to me. I have a very easy way to drag a dead 2,700-pound car to a flatbed tow truck:



      Off the top of my head, I cannot recall ever seeing a flatbed wrecker that didn't have a winch on board for this exact reason.
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      02-22-2012 09:09 PM #128
      Quote Originally Posted by Professor Gascan View Post
      Two issues: An automated device to physically disconnect the battery would need battery power from somewhere to work. You would also need said power to reconnect it. Likewise, as has been mentioned, the battery will naturally go dead, on its own, with no external influence.
      This is how I'm envisioning it: The battery has a system that monitors charge level, when it gets to a certain critical level (3% or whatever, still plenty of charge left to run the automated system that disconnects the battery) the battery disconnect happens. Then the owner can have the car flatbedded to the dealership where an external source of power can be used to reconnect the battery (or it can be done manually). A pain in the ass sure, but MUCH less of a pain then shelling out $40,000

      And I"m aware that batteries go dead on their own but I would think a battery robust enough to power an entire car wouldn't go dead all that quickly if left alone without all the other power-draining subsystems connected

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      02-22-2012 09:12 PM #129
      Quote Originally Posted by dunhamjr View Post
      no EE, no comment then
      (i studied ee/eet in college)

      batteries will still die even when absolutely disconnected from ANYTHING.

      just think of having a regular gas car. if it sits long enough it will have a dead battery.

      or get away from cars totally... that flashlight sitting in your drawer unused? it too will eventually have a dead battery.

      same thing with an electric car, but its a much bigger deal to kill that battery.
      As I said above, I would think that the battery would last a lot longer than a couple months if all the other systems running that provide constant drain on the battery even when the car is off were disconnected. I've left all sorts of electronics unplugged for months or even years and their batteries still worked when I recharged them. Correct me if I'm wrong, but it is my understanding that the systems that are constantly running in the car (even when the car is off) are the reason the battery goes from good to brick in such a short period of time

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      02-22-2012 09:12 PM #130
      Quote Originally Posted by thetopdog View Post
      I am not an electrical engineer by any means, but there must be a way to have the battery shut off. Even if they built in an automated mechanical device under the hood that physically disconnected the battery when the charge got critical. ANY solution, no matter how convoluted expensive or difficult (maybe the car would shut down then have to be towed back to a Tesla dealer to be re-started) is better than the entire car being ruined because the battery got drained too far
      You can run a driver controlled battery master switch to control a battery contactor if you so desired. Or you could make it automated, and a certain voltage would auto trigger the contactor to remove the connection between the car and the battery.

      Or you can follow directions.
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      02-22-2012 09:15 PM #131
      Quote Originally Posted by Brendan@bwalkauto View Post
      You can run a driver controlled battery master switch to control a battery contactor if you so desired. Or you could make it automated, and a certain voltage would auto trigger the contactor to remove the connection between the car and the battery.

      Or you can follow directions.
      The above is exactly what I'm talking about. And I don't really put the blame on the owners for not following directions because they directions from Tesla were intentionally vague

    27. Member AHFlynn's Avatar
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      02-22-2012 09:18 PM #132
      Quote Originally Posted by [spoon] View Post
      There's all kinds of warnings including the one that if active will call you and tell you hey dude you forgot to plug in your plug in car. Honestly, if my car contacted Tesla and said that it was dying and Tesla was able to save it, I'd say that's pretty bloody nice.
      The entire car isn't ruined, it's the battery pack. There should be some kind of storage mode, but even then the battery will still not like sitting and not being used. The lil battery on my bikes and snowmobiles didn't like sitting around waiting to be used even when disconnected from everything, why would a big ass battery used to power a car be any different?
      and then if i didnt pick up they fly out to plug it back in? that would be awesome.

      i might try that just for fun
      Quote Originally Posted by Cousin Eddie View Post
      Nah, understeering into a tree in a Honda like a teenage girl ruins your street cred. I'd leave the door to show how hard you are.

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      02-22-2012 09:19 PM #133
      Quote Originally Posted by thetopdog View Post
      I am not an electrical engineer by any means, but there must be a way to have the battery shut off. Even if they built in an automated mechanical device under the hood that physically disconnected the battery when the charge got critical. ANY solution, no matter how convoluted expensive or difficult (maybe the car would shut down then have to be towed back to a Tesla dealer to be re-started) is better than the entire car being ruined because the battery got drained too far
      That is essentially what the car does though, it shuts itself off if the battery level gets too low as a way to notify the driver that the vehicle needs to be charged.

      What is being demanded is a way to circumvent the laws of physics. Anything automated means electrical, electrical means its using the battery power unless it's plugged in. Anything that completely cut power would have to be a strictly mechanical system, no automation to it. That system is already there in the form of simply unplugging the battery.

      To be realistic though, you can never underestimate the stupidity of people. Even if you had a self demolishing circuit, some moron would wait until that eventuality, and then wait another six months only to b!tch about his car being junked.

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      02-22-2012 09:23 PM #134
      Quote Originally Posted by NashGTI View Post
      That is essentially what the car does though, it shuts itself off if the battery level gets too low as a way to notify the driver that the vehicle needs to be charged.

      What is being demanded is a way to circumvent the laws of physics. Anything automated means electrical, electrical means its using the battery power unless it's plugged in. Anything that completely cut power would have to be a strictly mechanical system, no automation to it. That system is already there in the form of simply unplugging the battery.

      To be realistic though, you can never underestimate the stupidity of people. Even if you had a self demolishing circuit, some moron would wait until that eventuality, and then wait another six months only to b!tch about his car being junked.
      douglas adams -

      "A common mistake people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools."
      Quote Originally Posted by Cousin Eddie View Post
      Nah, understeering into a tree in a Honda like a teenage girl ruins your street cred. I'd leave the door to show how hard you are.

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      02-22-2012 09:25 PM #135
      Notes

      Other All-Electric Vehicles

      While discharge issues are inherent to lithium-ion battery technology, it's beyond the scope of this article to address the ramifications for electric vehicles in general. Regardless, a company's battery management system and obviously their marketing and handling of the situation can vary.

      The Nissan Leaf is currently the only other widely available all-electric vehicle in the US. A Nissan Leaf sales specialist was emphatic that their vehicle did not have the discharge problem. The Leaf warranty [Full PDF: Page 9] does however state that the owner must plug in the vehicle within 14 days of reaching zero charge, which does appear to differ from Tesla's manual that says the owner must do it immediately. [Page 5-2, Column 1: PDF]

      Personal Note

      I've paid $5,000 for a Tesla Model X reservation. Either these issues will be resolved by the time it's ready, Tesla will be gone by then, or I'll most likely give up my spot and get a refund. No one has paid me to write this article. TheUnderstatement.com has no ads or sponsors.

      1. A written Tesla report on one "bricked" Roadster documents that the vehicle went from 4% full to complete discharge in seven days.

      2. Mr. de Vries also pointed out that at below 4% charge the car displays a visual "Plug me in" warning on its screen with an accompanying audible alert. This would seemingly only help owners who are actually sitting in the car.

      3. This would seem consistent with the language of the agreement [PDF], which actually stipulates that the replacement battery cannot be used while the car is still under warranty.

      4. Roadster owners have the ability to turn the GSM connection on and off via the vehicle's settings screen.

      5. There appears to be no reference to Tesla having the ability to track a vehicle's location at its discretion in either the data recording section of the Roadster Owners Manual [Page 1-2, Column 2: PDF] or the addendum that covers the GSM connection [Page 9: PDF].


      Horse s***. Don't make an argument about a "design flaw" attributed to Tesla if you aren't willing to understand the inherent disadvantages to Li-Ion battery power. And clearly the Leaf has the same "problem" - their manual just puts a time on it. Tesla basically says to not be a dummy and immediately plug it in when it's low.

      Use your brain and plug the damn car in. If you are going to be away for a few weeks just make sure it has a full charge if you want to be careful about it. I envision that the folks making these sorts of spurious cries are the same type of people who were afraid of the first horseless carriage.

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      02-22-2012 09:29 PM #136
      Quote Originally Posted by thetopdog View Post
      And I don't really put the blame on the owners for not following directions because they directions from Tesla were intentionally vague
      I hate statements like that. From the owners manual (posted on page two):

      "Failure to charge immediately could result in the battery level falling to a critically low level and it may not be possible to recharge it. Note: If the Battery reaches 0% when driving in Range mode or after you’ve cycled the key to access final reserve, there is no reserve and you must charge the Battery immediately. FULLY DEPLETING THE BATTERY WHILE IN RANGE MODE OR IN RESERVE, AND NOT CHARGING IT IMMEDIATELY, CAN DAMAGE THE BATTERY. Caution: Damage to the Battery caused by failing to charge it immediately when its charge level falls to 0% is not covered by the New Vehicle Limited Warranty. If you are unable to charge the vehicle, contact Tesla Motors immediately."

      That's not vague, intentionally.

      Also, if your SOC was 0% useable and you threw the "battery master" you still have a pack that is discharging. Given what I see constantly in the dealer world, even with a system like that, packs will fail, brick up, and then the person will complain "but I threw the dang switch!"

      So, like I said, education is key.
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      02-22-2012 09:32 PM #137
      Quote Originally Posted by thetopdog View Post
      As I said above, I would think that the battery would last a lot longer than a couple months if all the other systems running that provide constant drain on the battery even when the car is off were disconnected. I've left all sorts of electronics unplugged for months or even years and their batteries still worked when I recharged them. Correct me if I'm wrong, but it is my understanding that the systems that are constantly running in the car (even when the car is off) are the reason the battery goes from good to brick in such a short period of time

      Again....you are not understanding the difference between the type of batteries used in these cars. They're not comparable to items like the batteries in your remote, walkman, etc.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lithium-ion_battery

      "

      • Avoid deep discharge and instead charge more often between uses, the smaller the depth of discharge, the longer the battery will last.
      • Avoid storing the battery in full discharged state. As the battery will self-discharge overtime, its voltage will gradually lower, and when it is depleted below the low-voltage threshold (2.4 to 2.9 V/cell, depending on chemistry) it cannot be charged anymore because the protection circuit (a type of electronic fuse) disables it.

    33. Member 302W's Avatar
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      02-22-2012 09:37 PM #138
      Seems sensationalist
      Quote Originally Posted by Dave Zero View Post
      1988 is not an 80's car, it's an early 90s car but whatever.

    34. Member AHFlynn's Avatar
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      02-22-2012 09:38 PM #139
      Quote Originally Posted by 302W View Post
      Seems sensationalist
      very. and coming from a guy who writes for the understatement.
      Quote Originally Posted by Cousin Eddie View Post
      Nah, understeering into a tree in a Honda like a teenage girl ruins your street cred. I'd leave the door to show how hard you are.

    35. 02-22-2012 09:56 PM #140
      Who Is Trying To Smear The Tesla Battery Problem Whistleblower?



      http://jalopnik.com/5887499/who-is-t...-whistleblower

      Tesla Motors' response to this morning's revelation that Tesla Roadsters carry a devastating design problem that could lead to the cars becoming "bricked" — i.e. so drained of battery power they are unusable and require a $40,000 replacement — has been to insinuate that the problem was with the owners and not the car.

      Now Tesla Motors, or a pro-Tesla individual close to the company, appears to be trying to smear Max Drucker, the owner who spoke out about the problem, by leaking confidential documents and insinuating that he's doing a "shakedown" despite the fact that Drucker doesn't appear to be asking for any money.
      Bowtie wearing, tattooed, Mustang (for now) driver

      Quote Originally Posted by JalopnikMatt View Post
      Yeah, I've bypassed y'all and go straight to r/cars.

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