Last year, one Tesla owner ended up canceling his holiday plans when his Model S wouldn’t charge on Christmas eve. After a bit of back and forth with the automaker’s service department, it turns out that a message most Tesla owners will see at some point could indicate a major problem. And the real issue is that they may not know it’s a problem until they’re literally left out in the cold without a way to recharge.
Cold weather and cars don’t always mix very well. Domenick Nati found out the hard way on Christmas eve hen he plugged in his Tesla Model S . He says that the car simply wouldn’t accept a charge in sub-zero temperatures. After leaving the car for hours and then days, the dash continued to simply say “Battery is heating – Keep Charge Cable inserted.”
According to messages between Nati and a Tesla service center, that message can be an indication that there’s a problem with the battery coolant heater. Of course, the only way that an owner might know that there’s a problem is likely to be when the heater fails completely. In Nati’s case, it literally ruined his holiday plans and left him with a bill of $825.25 for a new battery coolant heater.
More: Tesla Owner Says He Was Left Stranded On Christmas Eve After Car Wouldn’t Charge In The Cold
@domnatishow UPDATE: Shocking interaction with Tesla service! They sent an estimate of nearly $2,000 and said my battery heater is broken. The notification on my screen said the battery is heating which was not true and their response regarding this false notification was very disappointing. #tesla #ev #cold #winter #winterweather #storm #christmas #christmaseve #coldweather #weather #blizzard #wow #car #cars #elonmusk #help #stranded #how #electric #electriccar #teslas #teslamodel3 #charge #mad #fail #merrychristmas #twitter #truck #trucks #storm ♬ original sound – Domenick Nati
Actually, the total came to $1,944 but more than $1,000 of that was for unrelated suspension parts that the car also needed. Thankfully, Nati says that the service center ultimately replaced the battery coolant heater for free. On top of that, it sounds like the whole situation may have just solved the problem for other Tesla owners.
According to Nati, “my situation… sparked an email thread amongst the engineers to change the alert when the battery heater is not working.” He clarified to Carscoops that the GM at the service center didn’t put that in writing. We reached out to the shop and employees there declined to comment on the situation.
The general manager also failed to respond to a request for comment. In fact, Tesla itself failed to comment after we asked about this whole thing. Hopefully, we hear news in the near future of a more appropriate message alerting the next owner of a failing battery coolant heater to the issue before they’re stuck in the cold.