May ended with blast for one Tesla Model S owner who experienced a lightning strike somewhere around the car at the Tesla Supercharger in Columbus, Georgia (see video below).
According to the video description (and story on Teslarati), the Model S went nuts and was unable to disconnect from the charging station.
Sarah Day, Model S owner and video uploader, stated:
"Lightning struck near my Tesla while supercharging. The car went nuts and the 12v battery almost died. It couldn’t even be towed because the supercharger cable couldn’t be disconnected."
"I heard the crash, and just a second or two after about 9 errors popped up on the dashboard. Some of them were low charge warnings, saying it would disable some functions. Others were on how the car needs to be serviced. I was also getting that the car can’t be charged, and that the 12 volt battery is low."
"After the storm died down I got out of the car. The charging port wasn’t lit up, and when I tried to remove the cable it wouldn’t come out. I still had most of the functions in the car, including the touchscreen. The other car that was charging just a couple stalls down from me was completely fine and drove away, though I didn’t get to talk to that owner afterwards."
Well, when you can't disconnect the car and see bunch of errors with low 12 V battery, then you've got a problem.
"Sarah called Tesla but had trouble getting through due to high call volume. The company agreed to send a tow truck, but before it got there, the 12 volt battery failed and the touchscreen shut down. When the tow driver arrived, he attempted to charge up the battery but it took two attempts before the touchscreen came back to life. Even then, the charging cable still would not disconnect from the car. Sarah couldn’t get the sunroof to close, either."
We are hoping to get more info on this to see what actually happened to the car, but a big positive is that, according to Sarah, "Tesla customer service was amazing".
"The local Tesla service center will send a technician Monday morning to get the charging cable disconnected and bring the car in to be checked over. Sarah was told that each Supercharger has multiple relays and sensors to protect the cars from surges. At this point, she has no explanation for why her car was disabled, but expects a full report on Monday. She has complete confidence in Tesla service personal to identify the problem and get her car functioning properly again.
“They usually are pretty thorough with their descriptions of what went wrong. I’m hoping that it’s something simple. The technician in Marietta says the car may have sensed the large external voltage spike and disconnected everything as a safety precaution, but I don’t know if that would cause the charging port to malfunction.”