Article and Video on a 2015 Tesla with 450,000 miles: Battery and Repairs

Discussion in 'Clarity' started by KentuckyKen, May 23, 2019.

  1. KentuckyKen

    KentuckyKen Well-Known Member

    Here is a link to an interesting article and video from on an early 2015 Model S with over 450,000 miles. It has info on owner and warranty repair costs and battery health and replacement over a rather grueling charge regimen over the 450,000 miles driven.

    Since even this early production car without the latest tech did rather well, it makes me optimistic that liquid cooled Panasonic cells with decent BMS should hold up well in the long run. And this car was treated to much harsher driving/charging cycles than what almost any of us put our Claritys through.

    “Hope springs eternal.”
  2. Lowell_Greenberg

    Lowell_Greenberg Active Member

    Well it did need a front drive replacement and it is on its third battery- even though the second one was replaced due to a defect. Battery range did maintain fairly well over the first 200k. To be honest- I think Tesla's unlimited mileage warranty is why this car is still on the road.

    Hyundai offers life time battery replacement on the Ioniq. I don't know the details, but given the lack of moving parts and the fact that there is still a driver incentive to treat the car well even with the lifetime guarantee- perhaps Honda should do the same retroactively on the Clarity:)

    Now.. what are the chances of that...

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  3. 4sallypat

    4sallypat Active Member

    Well summarized!

    Honda may change it's battery warranty in the future depending on what the warranty results come of it.

    Have any of you had the older Honda dreaded transmission fault that caused such an uproar in 2000-2002 Accord, Odyssey, and Acura?
    Honda issued a extended warranty (7yr/100k) and an offer to reimburse and make good on their faulty trannys.
    And now, the newer Hondas come with lifetime tranny warranties.

    So I am confident Honda will stand beside their cars just as in the past....
  4. Mark W

    Mark W Active Member

    My estimate - .001 %

    I am in the camp of worrying about the battery long term. I guess this is because we ran into this problem with the battery in a 2004 Prius that we bought used for my daughter back in 2015 (I think). In 2017 it needed it's battery replaced. To get a new battery from Toyota put in would have been more than the car was worth. Wound up getting a deal on a refurbished one from NAPA because I know someone there for $1400. That battery died about a year later. Got it replaced because of my connection, but we sold it fairly quickly after that.

    I tend to keep my cars for 10 - 15 years typically, so I hope the Honda battery is a good one.
  5. Robert_Alabama

    Robert_Alabama Well-Known Member

    I am on the hopeful side with battery longevity. I have a 2012 Chevrolet Volt with nearly 80k, of which about 62k is on the battery. It seems to still have just as much range as it started with (so any degradation is in the amount of the battery being reserved from daily use). I bought it after sitting on the lot for over a year in July of 2013. Sitting on the lot didn't seem to hurt the battery, but the car had 800 miles on it from being test driven/demo, etc so that may have helped. It still has 40 miles of range in summer weather. I am really hoping the Clarity follows this trend.
    Last edited: May 23, 2019
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  6. Lowell_Greenberg

    Lowell_Greenberg Active Member

    I know exactly how you feel. And you know I was joking. But...a lifetime battery watranty might stimulate demand, offer a competitive advantage and only slightly increase warranty costs. And if their battery tech is really good for the lifetime of a car- which some might define as 200k- why not?

    Also, why should someone in CA have a better emissions and battery warranty than some one in Alabama? Why not at least offer the CA warranty nationwide. Cars are built to the same quality standard regardless of where they are sold, aren't they?

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  7. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    Tesloop's Tesla cars are, to use a horse analogy, "rode hard and put away wet" every working day. Subjected to commercial use, they are charged to 100% daily and are regularly -- perhaps always? -- fast-charged at Supercharger stations. Both of these conditions are very much against both group wisdom of BEV owners and against Tesla's advice.

    The industry standard for plug-in EVs is that the battery pack should have no more than 20% degradation in capacity (and range) within the warranty period. According to a comment on this subject over at IEVs News, the worst Tesloop battery pack degradation has been only 9% -- less than half what would warrant replacement, despite Tesloop's hard use of the packs. (I hope that's correct; haven't read the claim for myself.)

    I think it's truly amazing just how well these battery packs have stood up to such use and abuse, and I consider it a testament to Tesla's superior EV tech.

    What has been reported was that it was, apparently, a failure of imagination on the part of whoever designed the software for the Battery Management System (BMS). Tesla battery packs were never designed to charge at Superchargers on a daily basis for months and years, and after some years of that, the state of the battery pack exceeded the parameters of what the BMS software was designed to handle. So the pack experienced what has been described as a "firmware failure", and Tesla engineers had to use an OTA update of the fleet BMS software to make sure that would never happen again. But the Tesla service center went ahead and replaced the pack, rather than make Tesloop wait for the OTA update. (It's also likely that Tesla engineers were eager to do a detailed analysis and teardown of a pack which had been subjected to such hard use over a long period of time.)

    A caveat: What I'm summarizing is my best recollection of an early diagnosis which was, if I recall correctly, reported by a mid-level Tesla technician. It has never been confirmed by Tesla officially, and it's possible that some other cause was found after a more detailed examination.
    Last edited: May 23, 2019
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  8. 2002

    2002 Well-Known Member

    I think I may have read somewhere that California requires manufactures to provide longer warranties.
  9. Lowell_Greenberg

    Lowell_Greenberg Active Member

    Yes. I guess my point was that auto manufacturers have to honor CA emissions standards and warranties in 16 states. Since in the case of the Clarity the emission standards are met nationwide, it would make sense to offer CA emissions warranties in all states.

    This may impact the price of a Clarity, but currently other state's driver's are in effect "subsidizing," drivers in 16 states. But really, the bottomline is that the federal government should make CA's stricter emission standards nationwide.

    And it should be no surprise that the Trump Administration is challenging the CA exemption. They will do everything in their power to destroy the climate.

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  10. 2002

    2002 Well-Known Member

    I suppose they could charge extra in the states with higher standards and warranties. But that might effect sales in the very states where they need sales most which is the ten ZEV states. From a bottom line viewpoint it's better to let the less important states help subsidize. Sort of like retailers who could charge extra for paying with credit card but most don't, as they don't want to lose sales from their most important customers (credit card paying customers spend much more than cash customers). So cash customers wind up subsidizing those who pay with credit card. I'm not saying any of this is right, just to quote Walter Cronkite "And that's the way it is".
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  11. insightman

    insightman Well-Known Member

    Today, with just under 90K miles on the odo, the air-cooled, NiMH IMA battery in my beloved gen-1 Insight died. The first IMA battery lasted 8.2 years on its 8-year warranty. This second one lasted 4.5 years on its 3-year warranty. When the IMA light popped up on my dashboard, my Insight sent me a message--a message that I need to write many more letters to Honda to get them to sell me a Honda e to replace my Insight. This time I'll try installing a new battery myself before putting this great car up for sale. It's been a really wonderful 14-year partnership, sigh.
  12. MPower

    MPower Well-Known Member

    Condolences, @insightman. Looking forward to its third reincarnation. Until then RIP.
  13. KentuckyKen

    KentuckyKen Well-Known Member

    Sorry to hear that, at least he went out with his boots on.
    We can only hope our Claritys last as long.
  14. Ken7

    Ken7 Active Member

    With only 11,000 miles on my Model S, I’ll be underground by the time mine hits 450,000 miles.
  15. fotomoto

    fotomoto Active Member

    Time and temperature seem to be the two biggest factors for battery longevity.

    I know that might sound a little funny (the time part) but I'm referring to stories like these. Saw the same thing in the Prius world. Early on, taxi companies, especially up north, racked up just as of an impressive record on their original batteries as these Teslas. Then there are stories like my Prius that lost the original battery at only 50k miles but..... it was 10 years old (8yr warranty) and spent most of its life sitting unused (approx. 4k miles/yr) in the Texas heat.

    Lots of data backing up the affects of heat including the infamous Gen1 LEAF battery fiasco. As a chevy battery engineer told me in person nearly a decade ago during the pre-production Chevy Volt promotional tour, "If you're comfy, the battery is comfy".
  16. akcoffee

    akcoffee New Member

  17. insightman

    insightman Well-Known Member

  18. Mark W

    Mark W Active Member

    So, was this 90k miles on the second battery, or total? Did Honda replace the first one?
  19. Mark W

    Mark W Active Member

    Interesting. Didn't know about Bumblebee. I actually didn't know there was anyone that was providing replacement hybrid batteries with new cells. Looks like reasonable prices. What have you guys heard for feedback regarding bumblebee? Feedback that I had heard about other rebuilt hybrid packs seems very mixed, sort of a crapshoot that did not inspire confidence in the length of time a remanufactured battery would last.

    Has anyone heard about bumblebee eventually providing replacement batteries for BEVs?
  20. insightman

    insightman Well-Known Member

    Because the original battery failed just two months after the 8-year warranty expired (at around 65K miles), Honda heard my plea (there was even an official plea form to fill out) and paid more than half the cost of the battery and all of the cost of installation. The replacement battery came with a 3-year, 36K mile warranty. If Honda had covered the entire cost of the replacement battery, I was told there would have been no warranty. That somehow seemed like a benefit at the time, but the replacement battery outlasted the time clause, so no benefit for me.

    I've had two of these Insights, starting with 2000 #221. I sold that one in 2007, just before the battery conked out. I've never done any work on them myself. Except for the batteries (HV and 12v, too) all they needed was routine maintenance and I let the dealer do that. So I think I'll enjoy burrowing down to the battery, yanking it out, and replacing it. I'll wear gloves.
    Last edited: May 28, 2019
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