Tesla Electric Cars and the Right to Repair Movement

On Friday, US President Joe Biden signed an executive order directing the Federal Trade Commission to draft new regulations. The new regulation limits device manufacturers’ ability to restrict independent repairs of their products. Presently, a significant number of vehicle owners have shown a huge interest in the right to repair movement. The sparked interest is due to a YouTuber, Rich Benoit showing how he fixed a Tesla Model 3 damaged battery pack for just $700 after the vehicle’s owner was quoted $16,000 for a repair by Tesla. Rich Benoit and Steven Salowsky from the channel Rich Rebuilds posted the video on Sunday. Their video sparked conversations about car consumers’ right to repair.

Tesla’s Huge Charges for Car Repair

Tesla electric car owner Donald Bone propelled the right to repair initiative. While driving his new Tesla Model 3, Bone hit some debris on the road, causing damage to the battery pack. Donald Bone expected to pay a few hundred dollars to get it fixed and took the Model 3 to his local Tesla service center, as any responsible owner would do. However, Tesla could not service this part and told Bone he would need to have the entire battery pack replaced for $16,000. Unfortunately, Bone’s insurance policy didn’t cover comprehensive claims for road debris, meaning he would need to pay the bill.

Donald Bone was shocked and had no other option but to go with Electrified Garage- an independent Tesla repair shop owned by Rich Benoit from YouTube channel Rich Rebuilds, to see if he could get a cheaper quote. Fortunately, the third-party repair shop found a much more affordable and simpler solution. The repair shop owner, roved the nipple and threaded it back to the battery pack housing using a brass fitting. This simple fix cost just $700, including labor costs while, Tesla wanted to replace the battery pack for $16,000

In another similar case, Tesla quoted another customer $20,000 to have the battery replaced in a Model 3. The Model 3 was two months out of warranty when the car was worth $25,000. Bone’s experience certainly makes a strong case for the right to repair movement. It allows independent repair shops to acquire the data and tools needed to service today’s vehicles.

Tesla against Right to Repair Initiative

Tesla has previously released the parts catalog for its vehicles to the public and the new Do It Yourself maintenance instructions for its cars. However, when it comes to more in-depth service, repair information, and access to parts, Tesla has been difficult to work with over the years.

The automaker Elon Musk urges Tesla owners to vote against the right to repair movement and spread the information. He also notes that NHTSA supports its view to prevent the right to repair movement. Tesla claims that the right to repair initiative could make Tesla electric cars more vulnerable to cyber threats and attacks.

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