Tesla blocks Scottsdale woman from charging her car

Company mistakenly insisted her car had been totaled
Some bad information led to Tesla removing a supercharge feature for a Scottsdale woman, so she called On Your Side.
Published: Sep. 14, 2023 at 5:08 PM MST
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SCOTTSDALE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) — A Scottsdale woman brought her Tesla in for repairs. When she got the car back, a key system no longer worked and she couldn’t get Tesla to fix the problem. That’s when she called in On Your Side.

Erine Erickson loves her Tesla Model 3. But these days, the EV stays parked in her garage. “It’s, you know, 3,000 pounds of metal in a parking spot downstairs,” she said.

Erickson’s problem started last month when the battery on her Tesla died. She took it to Tesla, and they replaced the battery for free under their warranty. However, during the process, Tesla technicians turned off the key feature that allows Tesla drivers to supercharge their vehicles in 15 minutes. Erickson says she didn’t find out until she stopped at a supercharger station and could not charge her Tesla. “That’s when people saw me and came up to me and people were trying to troubleshoot it,” she said. “But nobody had ever seen anything like it.”

Turns out, Tesla had intentionally deactivated Erickson’s supercharger feature for safety reasons. Here’s why. When replacing Erickson’s battery, Tesla says they discovered that Carfax listed her car as having a salvaged title due to being totaled in a collision. As a result, Tesla removed the supercharger feature as a safety precaution.

But Carfax’s information was wrong because an insurance company provided incorrect information. Erickson’s car was never totaled. In fact, there was just minor damage from a fender bender. “I am just hoping for some attention at Tesla and for somebody to look at all of the proof that I provided, from the insurance company, from the collision center, from the DMV, that my car is obviously not totaled,” Erickson said.

But even with that proof, along with Carfax correcting Erickson’s car from a salvage title to a clean title, Tesla hadn’t restored the supercharging feature and they hadn’t helped Erickson at all. “I wouldn’t characterize it as customer service,” she said. “I mean, there’s not a way to email them. There’s a way to communicate on the app but they don’t respond.”

So, On Your Side reached out to Tesla and explained the issue. And great news: Tesla realized Erickson’s car was never totaled and reactivated the feature that allows her to supercharge her car. Erickson says it only happened with help from On Your Side. “I’ve looked back, I’ve sent over 30 emails, every single day I’ve been dealing with this and rarely getting a response – it was when you all got involved that something finally happened,” she said.

We’re glad we got Tesla to fix the issue but Tesla did not make it easy. Elon Musk did away with the company’s PR department.

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