$8500 For New Tesla Model S Brakes In Canada?

Tesla Model S Kyle long term review ownerA Toronto-based owner of a 2012 Tesla Model S recently publicly revealed that he was quoted a price of $8,500 for the repair of his car’s brakes. This was after taking his Model S in for repairs at a service center, following concerns about a “rattle and softness” in the brake pedal.

It should be stated upfront, though, that the Tesla service center in question ended up waiving the labor costs — bringing the total that the customer actually paid down to $5,824.75. (A side note: the Model S had only slightly over 60,000 miles on it at the time.)

Still, that’s quite a lot of money, isn’t it? Even for a place that’s relatively rough on cars, like Toronto (tons of salt on the roads during the winter).

So, why exactly were the repair costs so high? Our sister site Gas 2 provides more info:

Here’s a list of the items the service center said needed replacing:
Brake caliper assembly with piston (each): $745.00
Rear rotor (each): $331.00
Front rotor (each): $290.00
Parking brake caliper with pads: $1,235.00
While the car was in for service, the upper control arm on the driver’s side was also replaced at a cost of $261.00.

The customer was told that all 4 brake pistons had seized due to a combination of several factors. First, with regenerative braking being normal on an electric car like the Tesla, the mechanical brakes don’t get used nearly as much as they do in a conventional car. The service adviser suggested he treat the car to several hard brake applications each week to keep the braking system in good working order.

Second, salt on the roads leads to corrosion on the brake rotors. Apparently, it can also affect the calipers themselves. Third, the brakes should be serviced by Tesla every year in harsh climates.

While those prices seem quite steep, costs for similar repair jobs on other high-priced luxury cars are often similarly high — despite the presence of third-party repair options for those other brands. While Tesla currently has (and likely will maintain) a monopoly on the repair of its vehicles, the repair costs in question don’t seem substantially higher than those for any other $100,000 car. It should also be noted that Elon Musk has said in the past that he doesn’t want Tesla service to be a profit center — just to cover its costs.


 

Here’s a bit more from Gas 2:

How Teslas perform as they age will become more of a factor in coming years. Decades ago, Toyota and Honda were able to crack the American market because they made cars that lasted much longer than domestic brands. Some of you may remember when a car with 50,000 miles on the odometer was thought of as ready for the crusher. If Teslas get a reputation for being money pits after the warranty runs out, that is going to put a crimp in the company’s plans to sell millions and millions of cars.

A final note here: it should be mentioned that the owner had to wait 3 weeks for his service visit. That’s quite a while to wait for a potentially dangerous issue. That’s an area that Tesla will really need to improve on if there really are going to be millions of Teslas on the roads in well under a decade like CEO Elon Musk predicts.

Are you Tesla obsessed?

Photo by Kyle Field for CleanTechnica & EV Obsession

James Ayre

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.

James Ayre has 4830 posts and counting. See all posts by James Ayre

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onesecond
onesecond
7 years ago

With ICEs we were taught to drive smooth and with foresight to save fuel. Now with EV we should drive like race drivers with quick acceleration and hard stops because energy is recovered and brakes need this to work properly. That’s somewhat ironic.

newnodm
newnodm
Reply to  onesecond
7 years ago

These are regular mechanical brakes, which are not used much by mos drivers.

Harry Johnson
Harry Johnson
Reply to  onesecond
7 years ago

Don’t worry, self-driving technology will soon make it like riding in Grandma’s car again.

Bob_Wallace
Bob_Wallace
Reply to  Harry Johnson
7 years ago

As long as they take us for ice cream like Grandma did all will be fine….

Outside Lane
Outside Lane
7 years ago

$5800 for brake repairs every 60 000 miles? Not so much if you have deep pockets.

h4rr4r
h4rr4r
Reply to  Outside Lane
7 years ago

Only if you never use the brakes, never have them serviced, and never wash the salt out.

Neel
Neel
Reply to  h4rr4r
7 years ago

Agreed! Do the above and you wont have a problem!

h4rr4r
h4rr4r
Reply to  Neel
7 years ago

Just the service would have prevented this.

I have friends who work at luxury dealers and they see this all the time. People will lease/buy $100k+ cars and ruin them by never doing the maintenance. Then complain about the cost to fix the issue they caused.

nakedChimp
nakedChimp
7 years ago

I see an update for the software coming that adjusts the brake workout to the climate the car is being driven in.. I mean, what’s the big deal. In climates like these just let the brakes work besides the regen until they have had their workout for period x.. repeat as needed.
Tesla at least has the tools and infrastructure needed for this implemented already.
If I was in Norway I would start to inquire about something like this now.
No need to let the brake assembly rot away to the point it needs replacement when it can be helped earlier under computer control and made to last.

Steven F
Steven F
Reply to  nakedChimp
7 years ago

While a software patch would help it would affect the range of the vehicle due to less regeneration while braking. The better answer is to address the key difference between the Tesla and ICE cars when it comes to breaks.

In an ICE car normal breaking heats the rotors, calipers and break fluid. That heat drys out the break system limiting corrosion. The breaks can quickly heat up enough to burn skin if you touch them right after parking.

in this tesla the driver rarely used the breaks enough to generate enough heat to dry them out. They were almost always cold and wet. Water built up the break fluid and water got between the piston and caliper housing. The pistons and caliper housing started to corrode and seize.

While water corrosion of the caliper is rare in ICE vehicles it might become more common in EVs. Corrosion of the rotor and pads was probably not a big issue but given a full rebuild of the break systems it is worth it to replace them.

Possible design solutions for this issue are:
1. Better sealing keep moist air out of the break fluid reservoir.
2. install a special filter in the system to remove water from the break fluid.
3. Heat and circulate the break fluid while recharging the battery.
4. Use a more corrosion resistant metal alloy in the break piston and calipers.
5. modify the softare to reduce regenerative breaking until the breaks get up to the desired temperature.

A software change could be used as a quick fix but implementing the other changes in furture EVs could completely eliminate the issue.

Larry
Larry
Reply to  Steven F
7 years ago

Thank you for your “better ideas”

Frank
Frank
Reply to  Steven F
7 years ago

I would not be the least bit surprised if the folks at Tesla are thinking along the same lines.

eveee
eveee
Reply to  Steven F
7 years ago

3 and 5. The brakes don’t have to be hot, just warm enough to get rid of fluid and not necessarily continuously. That’s not much energy.

Mike
Mike
Reply to  Steven F
7 years ago

IIRC, the Chevy Volt has rotors that have a thin layer on them that has anti-corrosion properties.
My Prius has phenolic pistons in the calipers. And as unsexy as drum brakes are, for rear wheels with parking brake, mush easier to maintain over the long haul than rear discs with parking brakes (lessons learned in a ’77 Continental that had rear anti lock disc brakes?…the parking brake mechanism was a major PITA to maintain).
IMHO, instead of sealing, filtering, heating and recirculating brake fluid, is there aNY hydraulic fluid that could be used for brakes that has a high boiling point and does NOT absorb water?

RobS
RobS
Reply to  Steven F
7 years ago

It would make an unnoticeable difference to energy available if twice a week the car automatically elected to forego regenerative braking an use it’s friction brakes for one stop.

Adrian
Adrian
7 years ago

I think that’s about 6x what I’ve ever paid for an all-steel rotor. Granted, I generally do my own wrenching and order aftermarket parts – another area where Tesla is weak, actually. Service information is only available in Massachusetts. (Not really needed for a brake job, but still…)

jeffhre
jeffhre
Reply to  Adrian
7 years ago

Do you consider Brembo to be aftermarket?

Steven F
Steven F
Reply to  Adrian
7 years ago

The corrosion of the wheel rotor was not the main cause of the problem. And the rotor was not the most expensive parts. All of the calipers and pistons in the break system were suffering from internal and external corrosion. When was the last time you had to replace a break caliper or piston?

In normal ICE cars the breaks get very hot during normal use and dry out. In EVs it is possible to seldom use the breaks. As a result this driver never got his breaks hot enough to dry out. An a a result they corroded from lack of use.

Tesla used breaks from a well known break manufacture. The break manufacture and Tesla never expected this much corrosion to occur so fast from lack of use.

T__C
T__C
Reply to  Steven F
7 years ago

He must have taken too long a brake.

Mike
Mike
Reply to  Steven F
7 years ago

I dunno. Front rotor at almost 300 bucks. I just searched Rock Auto looking for rotors to fit a 2012 European car (one can search any brand, I’ll use BMW 528 as example), found many choices at half the price.

Neel
Neel
Reply to  Mike
7 years ago

When theres tons of Teslas’ on the road then there will be more Aftermarket cheaper alternatives! Search for a Lamborghini brake rotors..I see more Lambos in Greater Vancouver than Teslas’ but still not much aftermarket parts. We have a Leaf and I just wash the car every week in the winter and every 2 weeks or so in the warmer months.

Mike
Mike
Reply to  Neel
7 years ago

Agreed. In fact, with the direct sales model, the sooner Tesla can ramp up spare parts production for 3rd party sellers, so much the better.

JamesWimberley
JamesWimberley
7 years ago

A lot more parts exposed to corrosion could be made of stainless steel, as has already happened with mufflers.

Roger Lambert
Roger Lambert
7 years ago

Complete hardware failure @ 60,000 miles and with a car that merely has a “rattle and softness”?!? Either that repair shop needs to be prosecuted for fraud, or this should be a 100% warranty repair due to shoddy OEM materials. This smells very rotten.

I’ll betcha he needed a control arm and a brake bleed.

Neel
Neel
Reply to  Roger Lambert
7 years ago

As far as I have looked underneath a Tesla, most components seem to be Mercedes parts ….so Im not surprised with the prices.

newnodm
newnodm
7 years ago

“It should also be noted that Elon Musk has said in the past that he doesn’t want Tesla service to be a profit center — just to cover its costs.”

Think about that statement. The service centers provide warranty repair. How could they be profit centers? Dealers get paid to do warranty work.

The parts for this brake repair could not have cost Tesla even $800 dollars.

Adrian
Adrian
Reply to  newnodm
7 years ago

Brembo calipers don’t come cheap, Brembo asks a lot for that little logo.

Neel
Neel
Reply to  newnodm
7 years ago

I beg to differ….those Calipers are Brembo and they retail for $700-800 EACH!….check with any Porsche/German made vehicles to compare.

Roger Lambert
Roger Lambert
Reply to  Neel
7 years ago

Check with Brembo and see if it is their opinion that very light use at 60,000 miles in a State that uses salt on their roads should result in a need for total replacement.

That’s the point, not that Brembo brakes are expensive.

Steve Grinwis
Steve Grinwis
7 years ago

Just the parts for Brakes on the Camaro SS, is $5600 (which are also Brembos), so $5800 isn’t as ridiculous as it sounds.

http://www.chevrolet.com/performance/camaro-parts/1le-zl1.html

AgentGG
AgentGG
7 years ago

These costs are absurdly high for brake parts. Even on BMWs, Mercedes, and Porsches, one can procure German OEM parts for less than 1/2 of the stated prices. The only reason you pay such prices is for the convenience of buying from the repair shop, who marks up at least 25%. Also, brakes are not hard to fix, even in a hybrid or electric car.

Harry Johnson
Harry Johnson
Reply to  AgentGG
7 years ago

The BMW and Mercedes owners I’ve known usually complain about the very high cost of routine maintenance and repair from their dealer.

Neel
Neel
Reply to  AgentGG
7 years ago

Those prices are inline with BMW/Mercedes/Porches….I manage an auto shop so I know 100%! If they are knock off China made so called oem parts for 1/2 price..lol. Sure brakes are not hard if you have the mechanical know how. I have seen DIY brakes with pads installed backwards, Calipers with twisted hoses, Hydraulic lines loose/cross threaded and leaking and in our shop towed in! I say leave the brakes to the professionals unless you know exactly what you are doing!

Frankenstein
Frankenstein
7 years ago

Not sure why this is even a surprise. Those who know, know that Brembo’s (big performance brakes) cost big bucks. A complete 4-wheel set averages ~$6k. I looked into them for my Audi and they were almost $8k. Most of the incredulous comments here are irrelevant, as this is the norm for any car with them, so not unusual.

Haggy
Haggy
7 years ago

It’s not a matter of how these prices compare to the same work on other high end cars. It’s a question of why it was needed at all. With a conventional car, it’s expected to need new pads at 60,000 miles or sooner. It’s expected that the rotors will need to be turned at that mileage. It’s expected that the calipers and everything else will still work.

With an EV, it’s expected that due to regenerative braking, there should be very little wear at 60,000 miles. Since the mechanical brakes get so little use, a driver shouldn’t feel problems from mechanical brakes, since the car can almost stop itself without them, and pressing the brake pedal at the end essentially holds the car in place. That’s not true for somebody who uses the brakes heavily, but the implication of the article is that this person doesn’t do that. If the driver doesn’t use the brakes heavily, it would seem as if the rotors could be turned for $10 each. Tesla service centers most likely aren’t even equipped for that, since their answer for everything is to replace parts. It seems extremely unlikely that the metal parts of the calipers would have any wear at that interval and a rebuild kit should be all that any competent mechanic would need. Many mechanics don’t do that sort of work these days because their time is worth more than the cost of calipers. But that argument can’t be made for $750 calipers.

The bottom line is that Tesla makes it clear how few things are expected to wear out in the vehicle’s lifetime, and that includes brakes that should potentially last an original owner for as long as he keeps the car. This is a case where lots of things are being replaced that I suspect should be repairable for relatively little money. I know what it’s like to have a dealership want to charge me $600 for something I could do myself for under 10 cents. This strikes me as something less extreme than that, but not something that should be expected because of what Mercedes charges.

Roger Lambert
Roger Lambert
Reply to  Haggy
7 years ago

Hear, hear.

eveee
eveee
Reply to  Haggy
7 years ago

We know why they failed. Stated in the article. Salt corrosion to the rotors and calipers combined with infrequent service under those conditions. There is one other, that EVs require some occasional hard braking to heat up the fluid to get water out. I suspect there needs to be some design to eliminate that last one. Tesla will have to improve that.

neroden
neroden
Reply to  eveee
7 years ago

Tesla made numerous design errors because they weren’t thinking about salt exposure properly. It’s a problem. I still think *most* of the car is going to be way more salt-resistant than average due to the construction (with a covered underbody, etc.) but anything in the wheel wells is at risk of early failure in areas which salt the roads.

eveee
eveee
Reply to  neroden
7 years ago

Yes. The suggestions above are a good idea. A water separation device or system should be designed. Even a software fix to stall regen until breaking warms brakes occasionally. Heating while charging. All possible solutions. Tesla should get on it. You have 3 solve these things to be the worlds best and most advanced EV maker

Haggy
Haggy
Reply to  eveee
7 years ago

That’s sort of done anyway. If the car is started in the cold before the battery is warm, regen will be limited substantially if not completely. If he’s in a cold climate, then chances are that when he started his drive each morning, it was virtually without regen.

Mike
Mike
Reply to  Haggy
7 years ago

Does he park in a heated garage that does not deal with humidity control?

Haggy
Haggy
Reply to  eveee
7 years ago

Brake fluid does accumulate moisture over time, but Tesla’s recommended standard service includes a complete flush and replacement of the brake fluid at two years or 24,000 miles. If he had his annual maintenance, it would have cost him $500 in 2014 assuming he didn’t prepay. That would have included the brake flush as well as far more, including a complete inspection that would have entailed taking a substantial part of the car apart to check every facet. It would have uncovered corrosion when the brake calipers were serviced, and that would have been fixed under warranty. In other words, there wouldn’t have been an extra charge for the brake service since it would have been included in the annual maintenance. The inspection and maintenance for that price is for the entire car.

If he had his recommended maintenance in 2014, I don’t see why the subsequent two years would have been worse than the first two years. Brake fluid degrades over time and time is a bigger factor than use in a car like that.

I would say to anybody who has a 2012 Tesla Model S who is approaching 50,000 miles that its time to take your car in for the four year service prior to the warranty expiration so if there’s anything that’s not up to standard, it will be fixed. I find it extremely hard to believe that he had his annual maintenance and inspection 10,000 miles earlier, which also would have included the brake flush, and this happened.

If he wants to claim that he had his four year service less than 10,000 miles earlier, then I’d say there’s even more to be upset about. Although I don’t think it should have failed in any case, I suppose the moral of the story is that it’s worth spending a few hundred dollars on annual service prior to the warranty expiration.

eveee
eveee
Reply to  Haggy
7 years ago

Well duh. Lack of service is costly.

I was just responding to the design issues. The reason the maintenance is shorter intervals is because water does not get purged from brake fluid as well as ICE because the brakes don’t heat up as much with regen. Car makers are usually striving to reduce maintenance and increase reliability. This is an area that needs improvement.

Haggy
Haggy
Reply to  eveee
7 years ago

Brake fluid is scheduled to be changed more often but brake pads are expected to be changed far less often. Maintenance overall should be lower, especially with respect to those features that differ between an EV and an ICE. Of course, if your door handle fails out of warranty and it costs you $1000 to fix it, it won’t be pleasant but it won’t be because it’s an EV.

Steve Grinwis
Steve Grinwis
Reply to  eveee
7 years ago

2 years of the standard brake fluid change interval on lots of cars, especially German ones…

eveee
eveee
Reply to  Steve Grinwis
7 years ago

Seems short compared to the rest of EV maintenance. Any idea why electric braking hasn’t caught on?
https://www.scania.com/global/trucks/safety-driver-support/safety-security-systems/ebs/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brake-by-wire

Steve Grinwis
Steve Grinwis
Reply to  eveee
7 years ago

Do you really want to try out the new braking technology from the company that screwed up door handles?

eveee
eveee
Reply to  Steve Grinwis
7 years ago

The Model S brakes are Brambo. Electric brakes are made by Scania. They are used in trucks today. I thought cost and volume might be barriers.

Bob_Wallace
Bob_Wallace
Reply to  Steve Grinwis
7 years ago

I doubt the company that built the door handles for Tesla also build brakes.

Neel
Neel
Reply to  eveee
7 years ago

There’s nothing that you can do to the fluid that will eliminate water, Brake fluid is Hygroscopic fluid that is designed to absorb moisture so it doesnt seize up your master cylinder. The answer is to flush the brakes every year, regardless of mileage. I have my ICE Toyota for 136K with still the original brakes and with 90% remaining. I serviced the brakes every oil change. The Leaf we have I just do it every 6 months. Even if everyone did it once a year they could double their brake life of any car.

neroden
neroden
Reply to  Neel
7 years ago

Hmm. In the long run, I’m suspicious we’ll end up eliminating brake fluid entirely and having 100% electric brakes.

It appears that there is no legal requirement to have hydraulic brakes, at least not at the federal level.

Imagine the simplifications from having a pure electric brake system. I suspect some form of redundancy or failsafe design would have to be installed so that the brakes would not have multiple single-point-of-failure risks. Perhaps a small battery attached to the brake motor in each wheel well, sufficient to brake the car from 90 mph to 0 mph once, kept as a reserve in case of main electrical system failure?

Neel
Neel
Reply to  neroden
7 years ago

For sure electric brakes would make a difference because the master cylinder on all hybrids and EVs’ are already electric since there is no vacuum supply of any sort for the regular brake boosters.

eveee
eveee
Reply to  Neel
7 years ago

Seems like brakes can deal with some water, just not a lot over time, and performance degrades. Most people don’t flush brake fluid every 2 years, yet get by although this can lead to corrosion and expensive repairs later.

Don’t know what the solution is, but hydraulics system is relatively high maintenance compared to other EV systems. Seems like an opportunity for improvement.

So called brake by wire and electronic braking systems exist and are being used today. Don’t know what the catch is with autos.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brake-by-wire

https://www.scania.com/global/trucks/safety-driver-support/safety-security-systems/ebs/

Neel
Neel
Reply to  Haggy
7 years ago

So you expect a Dealer to fix your car for 10 cents and then who is gonna pay for the $40/hr technician, the $5000 hoist, the $10,000 worth of tools the technician uses!!?????? I agree it should not be gone at this mileage that would be TRUE only if THE OWNER TOOK CARE OF HIS CAR!!! Wash the car underneath too and the wheels/brakes, get the brakes serviced/lubricated every 20K, this would not have happened! I have lived in salty winter areas and I know first hand.

Haggy
Haggy
Reply to  Neel
7 years ago

I never said anything like that. I expect to be able to pay a reasonable price for parts and labor. I don’t want a company to charge me $500 to replace a part because they sell things only as a unit when a ten cent nut can do the same job. If I do it myself, they still have to pay for their tools and their lifts so none of that’s relevant.

Neel
Neel
Reply to  Haggy
7 years ago

Thats business…why would they do it for next to nothing then theres no point to have a service shop available. Brembo calipers don’t have any kits readily available and they are 4 & 6 piston calipers. If you can fork out $70-100K for a car then u expect it to have high maintenance costs. Whats reasonable?? Civic prices?

Haggy
Haggy
Reply to  Neel
7 years ago

It’s clear why they have a service shop. Things go wrong and need to be fixed. But they also pledged not to run the service department as a profit center. They aren’t supposed to make money. They feel that it’s a conflict of interest to make a car and benefit when something goes wrong with it. Elon Musk made all this clear. It should be easy enough to find if you search for it.

Bob Martin
Bob Martin
7 years ago

If this guy drives like my wife……well need I say more. I’ve got 50K on mine and last check all was just fine, with hopes of 100K for breaks which I rarely use.

SkyHunter
SkyHunter
Reply to  Bob Martin
7 years ago

That is the point, you need use them occasionally to keep the calipers from drying up.

h4rr4r
h4rr4r
Reply to  SkyHunter
7 years ago

Or you could get the service like Tesla said too.
This guy spent $5800 to save $500.

harisA
harisA
7 years ago

I had a Honda in Philadelphia (1980’s) for six years and a VW Golf in Denver (1990’s) for five. Never had a ‘snow related’ problem! Drove both to 125k miles.

Although some Mercedes and BMW’s owners I knew did have these kind of experiences.

No excuse for shoddy work or unscrupulous service centers in this day and age.

Modok EvilMastermind
Modok EvilMastermind
7 years ago

Sounds like a significant design flaw to me. Hopefully, the Model 3 will get some incremental improvement in some way (less corrosive parts or occasionally less regenerative braking via software). As far as repair costs it does not totally surprise me that those brake are expensive to replace…welcome to the luxury car market.

The outrageous part is the amount of time it took to get this serviced. That is crazy sauce if you consider how many Tesla’s will be zipping around in two or three years.

neroden
neroden
7 years ago

Get the aero wheels and your brake rotors won’t be exposed to the weather. I did this. Apparently everyone else was obsessed with “pretty” wheels instead…

Mike
Mike
Reply to  neroden
7 years ago

Great observation. As a M3 reservation holder, I’ll be looking for wheels that deliver the best energy economy. …..I figure a solid disc of some description.

Colin Genge
Colin Genge
7 years ago

My Honda Accord went over 300,000 Kilometers (180,000 miles) before I got my first brake job and even then there was only 60% wear. Although much was highway miles, I drove the manual transmissioned car super hard. With regenerative braking, I’d think Tesla’s brakes should last as long. If not, Tesla should buy a Honda and see how they do it.

Joe Viocoe
Joe Viocoe
Reply to  Colin Genge
7 years ago

This is a single instance. There is no trend showing Tesla needs brake service more often.

Steven F
Steven F
Reply to  Colin Genge
7 years ago

It wasn’t the pads or rotor that cause the service visit. It was corrosion in the hydraulic system that cause the owner to bring it in for repair. hydraulic system corrosion is very rare even on cars with over 200,000 miles. In normal cars the breaks to all the work and get hot. very hot. And that heat drys out the hydraulic system. .

In EVs regenerative breaking does most of the work. And as a result the breaks can as a result stay cold and wet for prolonged periods of time. Moisture in the air condenses in the break fluid reservoir and then eventually gets the entire interior of the hydraulic system wet and corrosion starts. The owner didn’t bring the car in for a break pad or rotor replacement.

Bob_Wallace
Bob_Wallace
Reply to  Steven F
7 years ago

(Brake, not break.)

Colin Genge
Colin Genge
Reply to  Steven F
7 years ago

Tesla needs to design brakes that don’t corrode then, now that they know there is not enough heat to keep the lines cool. All stainless.

GranFaloSentado
GranFaloSentado
Reply to  Colin Genge
7 years ago

Correction: BREMBO needs to redesign their brakes so they don’t corrode in EV cars.

Tesla chose the best brakes in the market and they didn’t perform as they should. So who is to blame? Obviously the brakemaker.

Bob_Wallace
Bob_Wallace
Reply to  GranFaloSentado
7 years ago

Someone will build an EV-appropriate brake. If Brembo wants the business they better get cracking.

What would it take? Materials change or a software fix that used the mechanical brakes from time to time? (Like the way the Volt runs its ICE from time to time to get rid of fuel before it goes stale.)

Haggy
Haggy
Reply to  Bob_Wallace
7 years ago

Part of that would depend on whether it’s a widespread problem. Although I don’t think this should have happened, I also haven’t read of another instance, and that’s with over 100,000 on the road. Not all are from 2012, but many have much higher mileage and are used in more extreme conditions. By 2014, the Model S became the best selling car in Norway. I believe they have snow there.

I would have expected many threads with complaints in Tesla forums if this were a common problem. Given that it’s not the case, I think Brembo could make a good argument that their design is appropriate.

As for a “software fix” it would be a matter of occasionally switching the setting for regen from normal to low. The car would be less efficient, but the amount he spent on repairs would pay for 14 years of electricity with standard regen.

Steve Grinwis
Steve Grinwis
Reply to  Bob_Wallace
7 years ago

I’d bet dollars to donuts that this guy didn’t change his brake fluid like he was supposed to, every two years.

neroden
neroden
Reply to  Bob_Wallace
7 years ago

The problem apparently relates to the use of water-absorbing fluid in the hydraulic system, which is done to prevent a *different* problem…

… in my mind, it raises the question “Why are we using hydraulics?” Surely an *electromechanical* brake could be designed with no hydraulic components.

Tesla, feel free to use my idea for Model 3. Pure electromechanical brakes on all wheels. No brake fluid. No master cylinder. No reservoir…

http://cartech.about.com/od/Safety/a/Brake-by-wire.htm

You’d need to do quite a lot of redundant and failsafe design, but damn, it would be so foolproof when you finished it.

Carl Raymond S
Carl Raymond S
Reply to  neroden
7 years ago

If I remember from learning this stuff 30 years ago, the advantage of hydraulic brakes is the reliable transmission of equal force to each brake cylinder.
Could the same thing be achieved electronically? I don’t doubt, but it would be like astronauts using a zero gravity ballpoint in lieu of a pencil.
Having said that, it would obviate existing anti-lock systems, so you are killing two birds with one electronic stone.

Haggy
Haggy
Reply to  Steven F
7 years ago

He also likely didn’t bring the car in for the brake flush at recommended intervals. His most recent one would have been 10,000 miles earlier and while under warranty. The warranty wouldn’t have covered the brake flush, but annual maintenance would have included it, and that would have been as low as $475 depending on whether or not he prepaid.

Roger Lambert
Roger Lambert
Reply to  Steven F
7 years ago

” It was corrosion in the hydraulic system that cause the owner to bring it in for repair. ”

Does this explain the need for complete replacement of calipers and rotors?

$8500 will buy you at whole 3-year-old Leaf. Which don’t have this problem, strangely enough. How can that be?

Neel
Neel
7 years ago

Yes! Back east(Canada) the rust loves cars!!! Its a super hard on the metal components of cars. We get cars from there from people moving to BC and its like what the hell….did u drive/park in the ocean for the past year! Its horrible. But for price its the same as BMW/Mercedes that come through our shop. I used to live in Calgary, AB, and I would wash my car outside and Underneath with a pressure washer after every snow storm. It sure thanked me and made my job easier working on the car in the future times when it needed repairs. And believe it sure made a difference. I wish I had pictures of the car, but its sold long ago.

JR250
JR250
7 years ago

For $331, I can buy all 4 rotors and pads…. for 2 cars. Charging $331 for a single, rear rotor is outrageous.