Tesla blocks woman from charging her car

Some bad information led to Tesla removing a supercharge feature for an Arizona woman.
Published: Sep. 15, 2023 at 9:55 AM CDT
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SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (Arizona’s Family/Gray News) - An Arizona woman’s key system and charger no longer worked on her Tesla when she got it back from repairs, and she struggled to get the company to fix the problems.

Erine Erickson said she loves her Tesla Model 3, but the electric vehicle had to stay parked in her garage for a while.

“It’s, you know, 3,000 pounds of metal in a parking spot downstairs,” she had said.

Erickson’s problem started last month when the battery 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 said 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.”

Tesla had intentionally deactivated Erickson’s supercharger feature for safety reasons. When replacing Erickson’s battery, the company said 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.

Carfax’s information was wrong because an insurance company provided incorrect information. Erickson’s car was never totaled; 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 had said.

Even with that proof, along with Carfax correcting Erickson’s car from a salvage title to a clean title, Tesla would not restore the supercharging feature.

“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.”

Arizona’s Family On Your Side reporters 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.

“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.