Tesla buyer manages to get fully working Model S for just $15,000, thanks to single bad battery cell

A used Tesla buyer managed to get himself a fully working 2014 Model S electric sedan for just $15,000, or about $15,000 less than the going price.

That was all thanks to a company that was able to find a single bad battery cell in the pack.

The company in question is Gruber Motor Company.

Gruber made its name in the Tesla community by reviving Tesla Roadster battery packs — putting back the rare electric vehicle on the road.

We reported on them when their garage tragically caught on fire in 2017, resulting in the loss of several Tesla Roadsters and an original Tzero.

Now they are back in business and they recently shared an interesting story of a customer who brought them a Model S that had a bricked battery pack.

They made a video about the entire project:

The owner bought it used for just $10,000 when most 2014 Model S sedans go for about $30,000.

They didn’t explain why Tesla didn’t replace the battery pack under its eight-year powertrain warranty, but they said the automaker was quoting the new owner roughly $20,000 with labor to replace the battery pack.

That would bring the price to roughly a regular used 2014 Tesla Model S.

Instead, the new owner decided to send the electric sedan to Gruber in Phoenix.

Gruber Motor Company CEO Peter Gruber commented:

He sent the car to us for a main battery repair, we found one bad cell out of over 7,000 cells, and the car is functioning again for $5K.

$5,000 might sound expensive for changing a single cell, but the process of finding and extracting the small battery cell, which is explained in the video above, is actually quite complex, which also explain why Tesla prefers to simply change the battery pack.

The result is that the new owner now has a working Tesla Model S for just $15,000.

Electrek’s Take

While this is not a great look for Tesla, the good news is that such battery pack failure don’t happen often.

Early Model S vehicles received frequent battery swaps. My own 2012 Model S has already had two battery replacements.

However, surveys of early Model S owners showed that battery replacement rates dropped rapidly in the early years of the electric sedan:

Either way, it would be great to see Tesla perform the same repair as Gruber did, but it’s nice to see that there are people out there that are doing the work.

It’s keeping more electric vehicles on the road and it’s helping convert gas mileage to electric mileage.

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