Tesla Issues Response To Model S Suspension Failure Allegations (Update)

JUN 10 2016 BY ERIC LOVEDAY 147

Yesterday, the Internet blew up with erroneous stories claiming that there’s a safety defect related to the Tesla Model S’ suspension.

It all started when the Daily Kanban published a scathing anti-Tesla article (imagine that) that recounts the story of ONE Model S owner who suffered a suspension failure due to “very abnormal rust” on the ball joint. That owner recounts his story here.

Update: Details added below as Tesla made an accusation on the use of the Model S in question that was not accurate, and has also reportedly revised its NDA agreements to clarify that it does not preclude speaking to the NHTSA about any potential safety issues.

Regardless of the fact that just one Model S was involved, the media took this as a chance to pounce on Tesla. Some outlets even went so far as to inaccurately report that the NHTSA had opened a formal investigation into the matter. That’s simply not the case. However, the NHTSA is reviewing this one case (as it does with most every legitimate case), but there’s no open investigation, nor is there a “preliminary evaluation” even available from the NHTSA at this point in time.

If you check out the NHTSA’s site at this link, you’ll notice that there are several front suspension complaints listed. However, most of the listed complaints have a location posted as “Unknown” and/or no listed VIN. This would lead us to believe that the same individual is posting all or at least most of the complains onto the NHTSA’s site. Here’s an example of two such complaints:

Two Sample Complaints For Front Suspension Failure On Model S

Two Sample Complaints For Front Suspension Failure On Model S

Adding more drama to the story is the fact that Tesla is/and has been aware of the potential issue. The automaker issued a Technical Service Bulletin on the matter back in March 2015. The TSB can be found in its entirety here.

However, it was the Daily Kanban’s cover-up claim that really got the ball rolling. According to the Kanban article, Tesla tried to quiet this single Model S owner by making him sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA). But in fact, Tesla did no such thing. Instead, what Tesla did was have the owner sign a Goodwill Agreement, which the automaker explained like this:

“When our customers tell us something went wrong with their car, we often cover it even if we find that the problem was not caused by the car and that we therefore have no obligations under the warranty. In these situations, we discount or conduct the repair for free, because we believe in putting our customers’ happiness ahead of our own bottom line. When this happens, we sometimes ask our customers to sign a “Goodwill Agreement.” The basic point is to ensure that Tesla doesn’t do a good deed, only to have that used against us in court for further gain. These situations are very rare, but have sometimes occurred in the past.”

Update (June 10, 2016):  Despite earlier statements (above) suggesting the “Goodwill Agreement” was A-OK, Tesla is now revising its nondisclosure agreements (via WSJ) and working with the NHTSA to address public concerns that its NDA could be interpreted to indeed discourage owners from reporting any potential safety problems.

“The Palo Alto, Calif., electric car maker revised the agreements to make clear the contracts don’t prohibit customers from reporting suspected safety problems to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, this person (familiar with the matter) said.”

The owner in this specific case (Pete Cordaro) says that he never took the original agreement to mean he could not speak to the NHTA, saying.

“I never thought this prevented me from talking to anyone”

With the false accusations on the defect now flying around on the Internet, Tesla had no choice but to issue a response, which is posted in its entirety below:

A Grain of Salt

The Tesla Team June 9, 2016

A few things need to be cleared up about the supposed safety of Model S suspensions:

First, there is no safety defect with the suspensions in either the Model S or Model X. Since we own all of our service centers, we are aware of every incident that happens with our customer cars and we are aware of every part that gets replaced. Whenever there is even a potential issue with one of those parts, we investigate fully. This, combined with extensive durability testing, gives us high confidence in our suspensions. With respect to the car that is discussed in the blog post that led to yesterday’s news (more on the blog post below), the suspension ball joint experienced very abnormal rust. We haven’t seen this on any other car, suggesting a very unusual use case. The car had over 70,000 miles on it and its owner lives down such a long dirt road that it required two tow trucks to retrieve the car. (One to get the car to the highway and one to get it from the highway to the service center.) When we got the car, it was caked in dirt.

Second, NHTSA has not opened any investigation nor has it even started a “preliminary evaluation,” which is the lowest form of formal investigatory work that it does. On April 20th, as part of what it has told us it considers “routine screening,” NHTSA informally asked us to provide information about our suspensions. On April 30th, we provided all relevant information to NHTSA. NHTSA has since told us that we have cooperated fully and that no further information is needed. Neither before nor after this information was provided has NHTSA identified any safety issue with Tesla’s suspensions. This can be confirmed with NHTSA.

Third, Tesla has never and would never ask a customer to sign a document to prevent them from talking to NHTSA or any other government agency. That is preposterous.

When our customers tell us something went wrong with their car, we often cover it even if we find that the problem was not caused by the car and that we therefore have no obligations under the warranty. In these situations, we discount or conduct the repair for free, because we believe in putting our customers’ happiness ahead of our own bottom line. When this happens, we sometimes ask our customers to sign a “Goodwill Agreement.” The basic point is to ensure that Tesla doesn’t do a good deed, only to have that used against us in court for further gain. These situations are very rare, but have sometimes occurred in the past. We will take a look at this situation and will work with NHTSA to see if we can handle it differently, but one thing is clear: this agreement never even comes close to mentioning NHTSA or the government and it has nothing to do with trying to stop someone from communicating with NHTSA or the government about our cars. We have absolutely no desire to do something like that. It is deeply ironic that the only customer who apparently believes that this document prevents him from talking to NHTSA is also the same one who talked to NHTSA. If our agreement was meant to prevent that, it obviously wasn’t very good.

Fourth, Tesla’s own actions demonstrate just how rigorous we are about bringing issues to NHTSA’s attention. Not only do we regularly meet with NHTSA, we have also shown that we won’t hesitate to conduct proactive and voluntary recalls even when there is only a slight risk of a safety issue. Most recently, Tesla recalled third row seats in the Model X even though not a single problem had been reported by any customer. Before that, Tesla recalled a front seat belt pretensioner, even though not a single injury had occurred. In both of these situations and others before them, Tesla took these actions before anyone reported a concern to NHTSA. We did them on our own, because it was the right thing to do.

There is no car company in the world that cares more about safety than Tesla and our track record reflects that. The Model S is 5-star safety rated in every category and sub-category and Model X is expected to receive the same rating as soon as the government finishes testing. Recently, a Model S was in a very high speed accident in Germany that caused it to fly 82 feet through the air, an event that would likely be fatal in vehicles not designed to the level of safety of a Tesla. All five occupants were able to exit the vehicle under their own power and had no life-threatening injuries.

Finally, it is worth noting that the blogger who fabricated this issue, which then caused negative and incorrect news to be written about Tesla by reputable institutions, is Edward Niedermayer. This is the same gentle soul who previously wrote a blog titled “Tesla Death Watch,” which starting on May 19, 2008 was counting the days until Tesla’s death. It has now been 2,944 days. We just checked our pulse and, much to his chagrin, appear to be alive. It is probably wise to take Mr. Niedermayer’s words with at least a small grain of salt.

We don’t know if Mr. Niedermayer’s motivation is simply to set a world record for axe-grinding or whether he or his associates have something financial to gain by negatively affecting Tesla’s stock price, but it is important to highlight that there are several billion dollars in short sale bets against Tesla. This means that there is a strong financial incentive to greatly amplify minor issues and to create false issues from whole cloth.

That said, sometimes Tesla does make genuine mistakes. We are not and have never claimed to be perfect. However, we strongly believe in trying to do the right thing and, when we fall short, taking immediate corrective action.

Update (June 10th, 2016): After revising its NDA agreement as a result of this investigation, Tesla’s PR department (assumedly acting on behalf of its CEO) had to retract some of the allegation lobbied against the Model S owner (Pete Cordaro) in its blog post…specifically where he lived and his daily usage of the EV.

Via WSJ:

Mr. Cordaro disputed that aspect of Tesla’s statement. “I live on an asphalt road. My Model S has been on a dirt road only once or twice in its existence.”

Mr. Musk said Tesla erred in its claim about the dirt road.

Apparently Mr. Cordaro was out on a Sunday drive, creeping down a dirt road hunting mushrooms in Pennsylvinia woods when he hit a pothole and the suspension failed.  The Model S owner says that “at most” he drove on a dirt road 10 times over the 73,000 miles his EV has travelled.

The LA Times adds from Mr. Cordaro:

“I can’t believe Tesla would make such an outrageous statement that I live on a dirt road when all they had to do was Google Earth my address which they certainly have in their system and see that I live on an asphalt road in the city of Collinsville,” he said. “Nowhere going to or from my house is there a dirt road by my house.”

All things considered, Tesla has a reason to be upset at the turn of events on the actual issue at hand with the reported suspension defect; but they also did themselves no favors in the way they reacted to the situation, and again demonstrated a lack of maturity on the part of management and the PR department.  In the end, the company’s credibility took a greater hit than if they said nothing.

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147 Comments on "Tesla Issues Response To Model S Suspension Failure Allegations (Update)"

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The complaints listed in this article are run-on sentences in all caps. It’s just barely comprehensible the way it is written. Who wrote them, an angry teenager?

Exactly…

All complaints in the NHTSA database are in ALL CAPS.

That’s a function of the NHTSA database, not a function of the person entering the information.

The function of the NHTSA database is to make everybody sound like an angry teenager?!

Yes. Incredible, but yet it’s true.

I can imagine this being the result of failure to think when putting the forms online. The field in the paper version might have been all caps, since most of us write like pigs, and they’ve just don’t the same thing online…

On older databases, it is more expensive to store and search in mixed case. The answer was/is setting the database to store only upper case, and to “fold” lower case and accented characters into upper case.

You have to keep in mind that when a lot of these old gov’t databases were initially created, they were running on servers with less CPU, storage, and memory than your smart phone has.

Whoever heard of daily kanban before this, and why give a sh*t about these guys? It’s going to be obvious that there isn’t any real issue here.

The Daily Kanban is run by two individuals who’ve been in the business (at multiple other sites) for a very long time. They are both extremely well connected and that’s probably why this story spread like wildfire.

Before making any rash judgements, I suggest that you read the “owner-recounts-story-hear” link (TMC forum) in the article above. It appears that a legitimate issue may exist on the mostly aluminum Model S and its steel suspension parts: galvanic corrosion. Per Wikipedia: “Galvanic corrosion is an electrochemical process in which one metal corrodes preferentially to another when both metals are in electrical contact, in the presence of an electrolyte. This same galvanic reaction is exploited in primary batteries to generate an electrical voltage.” The dissimilar metals on the Tesla are the aluminum suspension brackets and the steel upper control arm and ball joint, while salt water spray is the electrolyte. Galvanic corrosion has been a notorious problem in the past on aluminum-bodied cars such as the Acura NSX and the Lotis Elise, and on any boats used in salt water (don’t ask me how I know about galvanic corrosion on slat-water boats). On aluminum-bodied cars, pretty much every bolt, washer, fastener, and adjoining surface must chemically treated or protected with appropriate fasteners that isolate the electrical current between the steel and aluminum. It appears that Tesla did not use steel fasteners that were treated with the proper coating to isolate… Read more »

tesla’s basic survival relies on public relations at this point so you have to be very skeptical of what tesla states. however, the writer of this article seems a bit too willing to uncritically accept anything told to him by tesla. the explanation of the “goodwill agreement” does not seem credible. in fact, it reads like something scripted straight from PR.

this response also makes me suspicious about some of the incidents reported from model S owners that were subsequently “disproved” by tesla based on tesla’s own analysis. it would be good to get outside analysis by the nhtsa rather than relying on potentially self-serving analyses from tesla.

i agree that there should be no rush to judgment until more information is known but for a company that sells $150,000 cars, this kind of thing really makes you wonder…

Objectivity has never been a concern or strong point of this blog. It is pretty much a Tesla advertising system. Just a little objectivity would be greatly appreciated.

Actually a friend of mine purchased a Coda just before it went bankrupt and the dealership couldn’t keep it running correctly so they offered to take the car back and sold him a Volt for a VERY low price. They asked him to sign a similar agreement that they performed a goodwill function and that the price and process of that function wouldn’t be discussed. Same thing. They didn’t want any part of the Coda deal nor the Volt deal to bite them in the butt so the agreement.

Apparently a common practice.

The disturbing portion of the agreement to fix the car is the prohibition to disclose the repair or the events leading to the repair, publically.

“You agree to keep confidential our provision of the Goodwill, the terms of this agreement and the incidents or claims leading or related to our provision of the Goodwill. ”

The NHTSA is right to be concerned about how the NDA obscures governmental oversight in safety matters. This practice must stop.

As Bryan posted just above, this NDA narrowly limited to the “goodwill” issue is standard practice for an auto maker. They said the same on the TMC forum, so I presume that’s true.

Let’s not let the Tesla bashers control the conversation here. Tesla is the injured party; Mr. Niedemeyer has committed libel and attempted stock manipulation.

“goodwill” is an accounting term of art. it represents the intangible value of the company and includes, inter alia, the reputation of the company. the purpose of a “goodwill agreement” is to protect the goodwill value of the company.

Perhaps that’s true in general, but this is a more specific case. In the case in question, as well as the case Bryan mentioned above, “goodwill” refers to an auto maker agreeing to fix a problem, on a car which is out of warranty, at a reduced cost or no cost.

As has been said, the purpose of a goodwill NDA in such a case is to prevent the customer from telling others that the company fixed his car out of warranty, because that could be used at a later date against the company by another person claiming he “deserved” the same treatment.

Again, let’s not let the bashers here trying to promote a smear campaign against Tesla control the conversation. The real issues is how a smear campaign founded on lies is being used to attack Tesla’s excellent reputation. I’d call this a “swiftboating campaign”.

I would have hoped that the serial Tesla bashers on this forum wouldn’t stoop so low as to join in an actual smear campaign. Unfortunately, it looks like several of them are even more despicable than I realized… which, sadly, is saying quite a lot.

The NDA is NOT narrowly limited to the “goodwill” issue. Quite the opposite, in fact. By adding the following clause “and the incidents or claims leading or related to our provision of the Goodwill” into the NDA agreement, Tesla turned this into an very broad NDA.

Where is this “narrow limitation” that you speak of? There is none. The is a blanket NDA that prohibits disclosure under any/every circumstance. Tesla couldn’t make this NDA any broader than it is.

Yes, I think this is part of the reason why this story has legs. Some outlets are reporting that the NHSTA is unhappy with Tesla for this very reason, regardless of the merits of the original claims.

You really put yourself beyond the pale here, sven. Not only are you lying, you’re actually trying to promote a smear campaign, an attack on Tesla’s deservedly superb reputation for safety, and an attack on Tesla’s record of being very proactive in addressing safety concerns before they become a real problem.

It’s not merely that you’re lying here, it’s that you’re actively participating in a deliberate smear campaign designed to damage Tesla’s hard earned reputation.

I seriously hope that Tesla files a defamation suit against the conspirators, including every single person posting here who’s promoting a smear campaign which you know perfectly well is utterly, 100% false.

You’re an angry little troll, aren’t you. Your conspiracy theories are getting more whacky every day. Are you and Rexx-See the same person?

But I guess you have no choice but to troll when you can’t answer my simple question: Where is this “narrow limitation” in this blanket NDA?

Why did Tesla change its Goodwill/NDA under pressure from the NHTSA if the Goodwill/NDA agreement was just like those used by every other automaker? Hmmm?

No, no, and no. There’s no “practice to stop”. A private contract can NEVER overrule government regulatory authority. The agreement itself is pretty clear that its only purpose is to prevent the signer from sharing the terms of the goodwill exchange or repair with others. “Others” can never mean a government regulatory body operating within their legal authority.

Anyone who has had a goodwill (i.e. Out of Warranty) repair made at no charge by a manufacturing has definitely entered into a similar agreement.

You write that like every customer is an attorney and knows the metes and bounds of the law.

Tesla drafted the agreement. Tesla has been admonished by NHTSA for that agreement. It’s clear that Tesla is in the wrong regarding the agreement.

That is factually incorrect. Tesla is using language similar to any goodwill agreement used by any automotive manufacturer. If you disagree, then I challenge you to find a similar agreement from any other auto manufacturer and post it here.

If the language of the agreement needs to be clarified to satisfy the NHTSA, then it needs to be similarly clarified in every auto manufacturer’s goodwill agreement. The Tesla bashers here are using one of their favorite tricks: Holding up a perfectly standard, but obscure, business practice and claiming or insinuating it is somehow “wrong” or “underhanded” just because Tesla is doing it.

Again, let’s not let the Tesla bashers control the conversation here. Tesla is the victim of an orchestrated attack on its corporate image; an attack whose motive is to crash the stock price to benefit short-sellers.

This whole thing is nothing but a pack of lies.

Pushmi-Pullyu said:
“Tesla is using language similar to any goodwill agreement used by any automotive manufacturer.”

Then why did NHTSA force Tesla to change the language of its Goodwill Agreement?

companies are always trying to protect their reputations. i bought a lighting fixture from a company named “flos”, a maker of high end lighting fixtures. the fixture was defective as a matter of design.

after a chain of complaints i was contacted by their attorney who sent me a letter threatening me with legal action were i to “besmirch” the reputation of flos in comments made in public or over the internet. i posted negative comments on the internet along with photos showing the defective lighting fixture.

i never heard anything from flos or their attorney afterwards…like the guy actually thought that i was going to believe the litigation threat…lol!

Reply to Sven.

Apparently, anyone has heard of these guys. And if they write for Forbes, I’ve probably seen their their work and thought “wtf? what is this sh*t?”

They’re making a big stink about it based on ONE incident. This is why I’m skeptical. If they’re any reputable publisher, ONE out of hundreds of thousands mean nothing.

As for galvanic corrosion, any hobbyist plumber / electrican knows about them. It’s hard to imagine Tesla didn’t. It is possible that some defective parts were used. I’d wait for the official word from independent sources. But if it turns out Tesla didn’t account for it, oh boy, that will be a stinker. Until then, this kanban article based on ONE is BS.

Based on the very lengthy discussion on TMC, I doubt galvanic corrosion is the issue, or at least not the cause of the problem; it may be one of the result.

The actual cause seems to be loss of the rubber boot protecting the ball joint, probably followed by exposure to salt from the roads, water, and loss of the seal keeping the lubricant in the joint.

Why the boot was lost is a matter of contention. Was it normal wear-and-tear, or was it a result of someone abusing his premium car by frequently driving it as if it’s an off-road vehicle?

I dunno… and neither do you. What those of use who have read the entire TMC forum thread in question can say is that the complainant is not a credible witness, for reasons I’ve explained at length in an earlier post here.

But again, I can’t see why that should be an important consideration here. The car was out of warranty, so whether or not the guy was abusing his car is rather irrelevant.

And again, the real issue here is an orchestrated attack on Tesla’s credibility, a smear campaign based on nothing but lies and manufactured evidence.

“I dunno… and neither do you.”

Of course we don’t know. And neither does Daily Kanban. Some BS article based on ONE instance loses all credibility. What kind of 3rd grade reporting is that? If there was any credibility with Kanban, one should definitely carefully examine their articles instead of taking them at face value.

Reading all the complaints listed, I swear to god the same person logged all 21 complaints. The last one is particularly hilarious:

CAR WAS PARKED IN THE PARKING LOT . WHILE BACKING THE CAR, IT SPIN FAST OUT OF CONTROL EVEN THOUGH BACKING WAS STARTED AT A VERY SLOW SPEED . CAR STOPPED AFTER HITTING FOUR VEHICLES DIRECTLY, AND ONE OF THE VEHICLE HIT OTHER TWO VEHICLES. MAJOR DAMAGE ON THE TESLA CAR IS ON DRIVER SIDE AT BACK, WHERE IT HIT OTHER CARS. IT SPIN ALMOST 180 DEGREES FACING IN THE OPPOSITE DIRECTION. IT HIT THE CARS ON BOTH SIDE OF THE PARKING LOT LANE .IT ALL HAPPENED IN 2 TO 3 SECONDS. I WONDER, IF THERE IS AUTOMATIC CONTROL IN THE CAR SO THAT IT DOES NOT GO FAST WHILE REVERSING , AS ACCELERATOR SEEMS TO BE VERY SENSITIVE, OR DOES IT GET STUCK? FLOOR MATS IN THE CAR WERE ORIGINAL AND CAME WITH THE CAR.

I don’t even think what he describes is even possible.

bro1999 “Reading all the complaints listed, I swear to god the same person logged all 21 complaints.” Yes, that appears to be the case. This person, who has been banned repeatedly from the Tesla Motors Club forum, but keeps registering under new (sock puppet) names — including Lucille, Loose Wheel, and according to some forum members originally posting as “Keef Wivaneff” — appears to be a true nutjob conducting a one-man (or one-psycho) crusade against what he claims is a string of “dozens if not hundreds” of failures of the Tesla Model S suspension system… which he then goes on to claim is responsible for most of the deaths of people riding in a Model S, which he seems firmly convinced is a lot more than the actual five people who have died riding in a Tesla… apparently Tesla is really good at suppressing facts! According to the nutjob, thee two Model S’s which drove off cliffs were a result of the suspension snapping and a wheel seizing up! Amazing how that escaped accident investigators… 😉 As an aside, I seem to recall a certain “Keef” who posted equally ludicrous Tesla bashing claims on Seeking Alpha. Funny how the same… Read more »

Anyone who claims they were driving down a road at 5 MPH is pretty much a liar anyway.

Well, there are dirt roads and there are goat roads like the one I grew up on the end of. It wasn’t particularly long in length but it was pretty much just a sequence of ruts. Low riding vehicles (like my friend’s Corvette) routinely had to be dragged back out after high-centering.

In that kind of situation 5mph is probably a reasonable speed, especially considering what Tesla had to do to drag the car out of the area.

Tim said:

“Anyone who claims they were driving down a road at 5 MPH is pretty much a liar anyway.”

To be fair, he claimed he was going down a steep hill at the time. But in a later post, he claimed it was 2 MPH. An uncharitable person might suggest he was having difficulty keeping all his lies straight.

I’m glad NHTSA wasn’t born yesterday, but still hope Tesla adds grease fittings to its upper ball joints.

Grease fittings won’t help if the issue is galvanic corrosion. See my comment above in response to SparkEV.

No modern auto maker uses those grease gun fittings. All such joints in modern cars are sealed, containing a lifetime lubricant. If there’s a problem with the joint, the entire assembly is replaced.

At least that’s what they said on the TMC forum, and so far as I know it’s true.

..sort of like forced obsolescence (that not only Tesla is jumping on with). It’s 2016 and ball-joints still fail. I just read the WSJ story, and am amazed how much came of this one guy’s report. The person, on TMC, seemed reasonable, but then the fools of Wall Street go and re-establish that when you beat on a joint for 70,000 miles, and ignore what must have been obvious symptoms (knocking, noise, poor steering), you can actually go over a hole big enough, that the falling wheel yanks the ball out. Seriously, I’m in the middle of a front suspension, with 10 total and 5 done, and need to do at least a couple more because the steering wheel vibrates at speed. I’ve run ball joints, replacing bushings at the track, and seen how common “track cars” get sidelined from the street because ball joints don’t hold up as well as sloshy, cheaper bushings (like the ones Porsche uses in its GT cars). I’ve also detached Tesla’s upper arm from the steering knuckle, myself in the past, and been around the block on joints, “9 and 3”, “12 and 6”, on the lift, up and down, “what’s moving”, etc. The… Read more »

There’s also been a response to Tesla’s blog post. I’ll try to find a link.

He says that he’s not the person associated with the Tesla Death Watch. Tesla wrongly accusing.

Yes, Tesla wrongfully choose Neidermayer. Neidermayer took over in 2010 when Vertical Scope bought the site, the Tesla Death Watch was under the control of another individual (Farago) back in 2008.

Thanks, I didn’t know the history of that site or the ownership but I Googled it and you’re right, Tesla has the facts wrong.

Niedermayer has nothing to do with what Tesla claims.

I wonder if Telsa will be forced to write a retraction.

The article in question at the Daily Kanban, “Tesla Suspension Breakage: It’s Not The Crime, It’s The Coverup”, has the byline of Edward Niedermeyer. (No, I refuse to post a link. Google it if you really want to read that rubbish.)

Note the different spelling of Niedermeyer than that in the Tesla PR. However, I think there is little if any question that this is the Niedermeyer that many Tesla fans cite as one of the two most notorious anti-Tesla bloggers (along with John Petersen) on the entire Internet. Apparently, from what you have said here, Tesla did make a mistake in attributing the old Tesla Death Watch to him.

The best summary of the issue is this article in the New York Times, which appears to have conducted additional research:

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/10/business/tesla-model-s-nhtsa-suspension-failure.html?_r=0

So if this one owner, who lives down a long, dirt road at a “fictitious address,” had bothered to wash his car, it would probably still be just fine. Or taken it in for annual service in 70,000 miles. Somebody needs to up his people skills.

Calling out the TSLA short-sellers. Yeah, that’s what I figured.

Tesla has already been called out on this.

The owner does not live down a long dirt road, he lives in the middle of a big city.

Since Tesla has the owner’s home address, and has all the logs of where he drives, why would they state something that is incorrect and easily refuted?

As was pointed out earlier, this press release has some major errors in it.

Ted said: “The owner does not live down a long dirt road, he lives in the middle of a big city.” Well, so he claims. It’s rather ironic that in that same post on TMC, he says “Tesla has lost all credibility.” No, dude… that would be you. Tesla was reporting the facts as it understood them; the company was acting in good faith. And if they rushed this PR out without as much fact-checking as it should have gotten, that too is quite understandable, given the media feeding frenzy involved. On the other hand, the complainant in question has not acted in good faith. At best, he has withheld pertinent information, refused to honor requests by a government investigating agency for confidentiality about its investigation, repeated the absurd and frankly libelous claims of a person who appears to be literally insane, claiming that Tesla is covering up the cause of multiple deaths, linked to the insane person’s website and its manufactured “evidence” for this conspiracy theory, and finally he has linked to and cited Niedermeyer’s hatchet job “article” as evidence supporting his claim! (Hopefully it’s not necessary to point out this is circular reasoning… he’s citing an “article” which… Read more »

Pushmi-Pullyu
June 10, 2016 at 11:08 am

Ted said:

“The owner does not live down a long dirt road, he lives in the middle of a big city.”

Well, so he claims. It’s rather ironic that in that same post on TMC, he says “Tesla has lost all credibility.”

No, dude… that would be you.

LOL, Elon just announced that Tesla made an “error” about the dirt driveway. Tesla now admits that the owner does NOT live on a dirt road.

It’s pretty bad when a company chooses to go after one of their own customers so vehemently, and then they can’t even get the basics right.

On a scale of importance of 1-100, with “100” being Neidermeyer’s FUD accusation that Tesla is covering up evidence of a suspension problem, I’d say Tesla being wrong about the claimant’s home address is about a “2”.

Odd that you seem to think this is an important point, and worthy of multiple posts. That’s hardly the issue here!

Was that in the TMC forums? Do you have a link? I’ll go looking at the thread I have.

https://teslamotorsclub.com/tmc/threads/suspension-problem-on-model-s.69204/page-28

Fair warning: it’s a long thread.

But I can’t see how any reasonable, disinterested person reading the entire thing can come away with the impression that the complainant’s claims are legitimate. As I said, by the time you get to current posts, he’s lost most or all of his credibility.

Galvanic rust seems like a legitimate claim for an aluminum-bodied car with steel ball joint and control arms. But then again, I can’t say that you’re either unbiased or reasonable.

sven continued trying to distract from the real issues:

“Galvanic rust seems like a legitimate claim for an aluminum-bodied car with steel ball joint and control arms.”

Good grief, sven, who the f*@# cares whether the corrosion was galvanic or not? That’s very, very far from being one of the serious issues here!

“But then again, I can’t say that you’re either unbiased or reasonable.”

This coming from the guy who’s actively promoting a smear campaign against a successful company which is trying to improve the world; a smear campaign motivated by greed, to further the ends of a short-seller agenda.

I just threw up in my mouth a little.

Push-Pull is correct. I found him easily: It says: “Founded in 1980, Guy Peter Cordaro is a small car rental company in Connellsville, Pennsylvania. It has 1 full time employee and generates $230,000 in annual revenue.” http://listings.findthecompany.com/l/15314477/Guy-Peter-Cordaro-in-Connellsville-PA

Google maps shows he lives on a paved road, but there are many farms and dirt roads nearby.

Cordano claims HE hardly used it on a dirt road. If we parse his words like you have to from slick car salesmen and leasing companies, He never said he knew the car wasn’t used by OTHERS on dirt roads full of potholes.

Note: I have seen Dirt Racing in rural areas of Nevada and Virginia. Its possible some lessor used the Tesla this way in PA and broke the suspension.

Tesla had two drivers there getting that car out of that mud. And them repair center workers washing the car.

“Address” may be in the “big city”. Car was dirty.

Update: And someone responding to the guy on TMC claims that you can access his address in a public database, and that indeed he does live on that long dirt road — as Tesla claimed.

Is that true? Frankly, who cares? The guy has clearly acted in bad faith, and as I’ve detailed in a previous post, has utterly destroyed his own credibility.

Whether he actually lives on the dirt road in question isn’t the issue. The issue is whether he has abused his Model S by frequently driving it on what he admits is a bumpy dirt road. According to what others have posted in the TMC discussion, it seems the answer is “Yes, he heavily abused the car.” And even if he hadn’t, so what? The issue here is that he wanted an out of warranty repair to his damaged suspension, and he has successfully used a public propaganda campaign to pressure Tesla into giving that to him, either for free or at a sharply reduced price.

Yet having gotten what he apparently wanted, he’s now continuing to make Tesla bashing posts on TMC! Maybe this guy is a few sandwiches short of a picnic?

Driving down a bumpy dirt road is no different than driving down a bumpy or pot-holed paved road. Neither of which can be described as heavily abusing the car, as you claim.

Dirty dirt road tend to have washboard effect. That is similar to driving on lane markers. If this dirt road is of significant length, abuse would be far more than driving on paved road. Dirt roads also tend to have more bumps, especially after the rain.

I’m not saying that’s the cause of this guy’s problem, but dirt road is worse for a car’s suspension than paved roads in general.

Apparently, the roads in warm weather LA and Cali are much smoother than those in Detroit, NYC, and Boston. After a brutal winter with numerous freeze/thaw cycles, driving in theses areas in the springtime can sometimes be compared to driving on the surface of the moon. Tesla was flat out wrong saying that the owner lived on that long dirt road, implying that he drove on it every day. The owner was out picking mushrooms with his wife, lives on a street with a paved road, has can concrete driveway, and has had the car on a dirt road only once or twice since he purchased it. “I live on an asphalt road. My Model S has been on a dirt road only once or twice in its existence.” http://www.nasdaq.com/article/tesla-revises-customer-nondisclosure-agreements-20160610-00512 “The above statement is an out and out lie. I live on a paved road in the city of Connellsville pa. The car was towed from a dirt road as I stated earlier because I was out morel mushroom hunting that day with my wife. We were traveling about 2 miles an hour on a bumpy back road. Most of my 70k miles are on the highway. Telsa shame on… Read more »

sven said:

“Driving down a bumpy dirt road is no different than driving down a bumpy or pot-holed paved road. Neither of which can be described as heavily abusing the car, as you claim.”

Factually incorrect, sven. I’ve lived on a farm. I know what happens if you try to drive a luxury car down a bumpy dirty road. I foolishly did that once. Fortunately I didn’t do any real damage to the car, but I could tell the suspension wasn’t designed to handle that, and I wasn’t foolish enough to try it again.

You don’t drive a Model S where you should be driving an off-road vehicle or a pickup. And the guy did admit he was driving down a steep hill when the accident occurred. So let’s not pretend that this was no different than a poorly maintained paved road with potholes, because the differences are significant.

sven, the bias you display in these posts isn’t merely painfully obvious; it’s downright embarrassing. Frankly, I’m amazed that you seem to be so blinded by your anti-Tesla bias that you apparently don’t realize how badly you’re shooting your own forum reputation in the foot here.

Yes, you can access his business address in a public database. Satellite view in Google Earth shows a nice house with a pool in back and a paved driveway. TMC in post 119 he also states he runs a vehicle fleet service with 140 vehicles. Given his business address location, I see some honesty issues. maybe there’s a fenced lot somewhere in Connellsville, PA where the 140 vehicles are located, but I couldn’t find it. Ranker Motor Sales had about 30 vehicles out by the Comet Drive In Theater. Anyone with 140 vehicles and a business that size would have thicker skin than to wig out over a worn suspension bearing. What I really think is this guy is semi-retired and rents out his Tesla Model S, in violation of the standard purchase agreements, and of course he’s come unhinged about it.

The article says: “Tesla is/and has been aware of the potential issue. The automaker issued a Technical Service Bulletin on the matter back in March 2015.” Based on what was discussed on the TMC forum, I think this is a misinterpretation of the facts. The service bulletin concerned the lower suspension arms. The complaint which sparked what has lead to a media smear campaign concerns the upper suspension arm. Also, the problem here was the lack of a rubber boot protecting the joint, allowing dirt and probably salt to get in and cause corrosion. Unanswered questions are just how long it had been since the owner had it in for an inspection — it’s perhaps significant that he ignored repeated questions on that point — which certainly should have spotted the missing boot; and whether or not he rented out this car thru his rental agency, possibly leading to off-road use and possible other abuse of the car, but in any case voiding the warranty, which doesn’t cover commercial use. But again, all this is pretty far down on the list of important issues here. What’s important isn’t what sparked this escalation into a smear campaign; what’s important is who… Read more »

The area I grew up in was easily searchable in a public database, but didn’t stop it from being a complete hell-hole to try to get to.
Most counties have gone to the effort of designating street names and addresses to every habitable building in their county. At least in Siskiyou County, California, where I grew up, they did this for the benefit of the local fire department and other first responders so they could pinpoint locations in a standard way.
Just being “available in a public database” and “easily found in google” says nothing as to the conditions of the road or the accessibility of the area.

If you go to the supplied link to TMC and look for the post, there’s a link to a website showing the involved address.

Checking ball joints is a must in regular technical service. They are checked using levers, not just hand, in countries where technical inspection is mandatory. The owner should have noticed the problem earlier.

On the other hand, Tesla claims that dirt on road somehow made ball joints to fail is fishy. Ball joints are not supposed to fail just from from road salt and dirt at 70,000 miles if they don’t bear load in that suspension type. AND IT IS OBVIOUS SAFETY ISSUE, what do you think happens when ball joint pops out when you do a quick turn at a busy intersection? The technical bulletin looks like recall evasion, you need to check yours for safety in whatever car, not just for fun.

On the other hand, Tesla claims that dirt on road somehow made ball joints to fail is fishy.

Where exactly did Tesla claim or imply any such thing?

The issue… well, the real issue here is the attempted manipulation of stock price by Mr. Niedemeyer, and his libelous attack on Tesla Motors.

But the incident at the start of this is a guy who apparently abused his Model S by frequently using it as an off-road vehicle. Due to this abuse, the rubber covering on the suspension joint was lost, leading to corrosion of the parts and loss of the lubricant in the sealed (no longer sealed) joint.

The claimant is trying to claim that Tesla has used parts that corrode more quickly than they ought to, whereas Tesla apparently is claiming the guy was abusing his car by using it in a manner it’s clearly not designed for.

It’s too bad that it seems the opinions in this “he said/he said” case are divided entirely along the lines of whether or not one thinks favorably of Tesla Motors… rather than examination of the actual evidence in question… which IMHO does not favor the claimant.

I would like to remind cult members that you are playing with real people lives here and it is not just flame game to prove your ego. You have safety issue, you need to address it early, ignoring it is dumb and don’t add trust to your beloved company by pretending it is perfect no matter what. Ball joints and steering are safety issues. You don’t cover up safety issues with “don’t talk” agreements, as it makes somebody die eventually.

And in this particular case there is video posted on youtube that cleary shows what looks like intact rubber cover but loose ball joint:

That “dirt road” is unrelated PR diversion. There are numerous postings and photos on teslamotorsclub, like all rusty arms on 1 year old car, testimonies about Tesla technicians saying that it is “known issue”, and so on. And I don’t mean that one odd guy who made picture gallery from junkyard photos.

That video proves nothing. Why do you accept it? Its very dishonest. I can’t see the person’s face, he never explained the circumstances. It smells like a scam. I have learned to trust my instincts: its a phony stunt from a car leasing/sales guy.

The video is a joke. Anyone can take a good part and a bad part from any junkyard and wave parts around and claim a car is defective. What did this guy do to the part earlier? Did he clean the dirt off? Did he tamper with the “evidence?” We don’t know. No court would accept that video at face value.

Stating the obvious: Lawyers advertise every day, hoping to sue alleging defects and harm.

zzzzzzzzzz said:

“I would like to remind cult members that you are playing with real people lives here and it is not just flame game to prove your ego.”

I would like to remind serial Tesla bashers that you are playing with real people’s careers, jobs, and reputation here; that you’re participating in a smear campaign against a company which has earned our respect and admiration, a company which is honestly trying to improve the world.

Your selfishness and greed in promoting your short-selling agenda, and the callous disregard for the truth or fair play which you display here, are despicable.

Its referenced in a CNBC article that Tesla accusing the owner of having started the Tesla Death Watch, but he says he’s not associated with it. http://www.cnbc.com/2016/06/10/tesla-denies-suspension-safety-issue-says-not-being-investigated-by-regulator-nhtsa-no-gagging-order.html

I actually did not realize that the Daily Kanban was a hotbed of anti-Tesla propaganda. Not that I’ve visited the site often, and I had picked up that they seem to have a rather strong pro-Japanese… and and anti-American… attitude; but I just put that down to national pride or, at worst, nationalism. I actually found the original discussion / argument / collection of rants composing the entire thread on the Tesla Motors Club which sparked all these… well, the article here says “erroneous claims”, and that’s about the nicest way to put it. It was really an object lesson in how the Internet is, sadly, much better at promoting bad memes (misinformation) than it is in promoting solid, factual info. But today, I suspect there are a lot of red faces among those who wrote articles repeating the bad memes in that Daily Kanban article… an article from the notorious professional Tesla basher named Edward Niedermayer. I do remember reading the “Tesla Death Watch” blog back in the day. But I had not until now associated his name with that. Well, the Tesla Death Watch was entertaining… in that it was so full of B.S. it was often hilarious!… Read more »

Well said.

This isn’t an issue for the NHTSA.

This is an Issue for the SEC.
-That’s where the investigation should start.

We don’t know if Mr. Niedermayer’s motivation is simply to set a world record for axe-grinding or whether he or his associates have something financial to gain by negatively affecting Tesla’s stock price, but it is important to highlight that there are several billion dollars in short sale bets against Tesla. This means that there is a strong financial incentive to greatly amplify minor issues and to create false issues from whole cloth.

There are also many billions at stake in pumping and dumping these shares by Wall street wolfs. The truth is lost somewhere in between.

As long as Elon does not get caught selling cocaine to finance the Model 3, we should all be fine. 😉

Haha. Good summary.

Yeah, but it financed a stylin’ way to travel through time.

Remember that Prius driver who couldn’t stop his car no matter how hard he stood on the brakes?
Toyota turned over all their data to NASA and the NHSTA couldn’t replicate the ‘imposdible to stop’ siutation. The driver was a sketchy fellow rumoured to be in the employ of GM.

Same sort of bull.

You should really read the whole story:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sudden_unintended_acceleration#Sudden_Acceleration_in_Toyota_Vehicles
Toyota paid 1.2 billion as CRIMINAL penalty for hiding problems and who knows what in private settlements. Crime doesn’t pay. And that is most profitable automaker in the world. Tesla would be long dead if caught covering up late in the process. It is much better to deal with such things early than attempt cover up, ignore, and let people die.

Thanks for that, and I’m not suggesting other Toyota cars were not involved, but the high pubilicty event I was speaking to regarding the Prius, is not part of any unintended acceleration lawsuit. It was a fabrication.

Don’t forget GM killing a dozen Cruze customers buy not fixing a $10 ignition part (so very ‘Fight Club’).

The pictures of that ball joint show a part that has been in disrepair for a long time. I wonder when the last time the car was inspected…

Another owner had his Tesla inspected just shy of 50,000 miles for his annual service, but two month later at 53,000 miles he heard a “very lound creaking sound” and took it in to get looked at. His car had corroded ball joints and corroded control arms, which made the car unsafe to drive and had to be replaced at his expense because the car was now out of warranty. The service center also said it was a “know issue,” yet somehow didn’t spot-it/check-for-it during the $900 50,000-mile annual service just a short two months and 3,000 miles ago.

https://teslamotorsclub.com/tmc/threads/suspension-problem-on-model-s.69204/page-3#post-1512461

If you have fallen for Tesla’s “Good Deed” narrative then you need to realize that you belong to a cult. LOL Good deed? Are you serious? What Tesla is saying is that, when faced with a repair that it may be responsible for, it has the customer sign an agreement that prevents him/her from seeking recourse in court.

That’s simply a litigation decision. No “Good Deed” involved. FWIW I don’t believe that any other manufacturer requires a customer to sign a gag agreement for “goodwill” repairs — I’ve had a couple done — but then again, how would one know that?

Does immediately raise the questions of how many of these have there been and why these agreements exist at all.

AnswertoStupidGarbage

Tesla does not force you sign good will deed.
If you pay repair cost for your unwarranted car by yourself

you do not need to sign it.

Do you understand?

DonC played his part in the tag-team of Tesla bashing here: “What Tesla is saying is that, when faced with a repair that it may be responsible for, it has the customer sign an agreement that prevents him/her from seeking recourse in court.” According to the TMC discussion, the reason for the NDA (gag agreement, not “order”) is that in the case where the manufacturer agrees to pay for part or all of an out-of-warranty repair, they require the customer to sign an NDA because they don’t want to have that used as evidence in court by another plaintiff. Or, to translate that from lawyer-ese into plain English: “Okay, we’ll pay for part or all of fixing your car, but in return you have to keep quiet about it, because we don’t want to have to deal with others coming along and saying ‘Hey, you fixed that guy’s car out of warranty, so you have to fix ours too!’ ” * * * * Let’s be clear: This is a customer who, from the visual evidence in a YouTube video he posted himself, heavily abused his Model S, frequently driving it on rough dirt roads for business purposes — please… Read more »

Pushimi-Pullyu said;
“. . . they require the customer to sign an NDA because they don’t want to have that used as evidence in court by another plaintiff.”

Facepalm. Sorry Matlock, but you’re WRONG as usual. A Nondisclosure Agreement does NOT prevent someone from testifying in court when they are subpoenaed and the court orders them to testify.

http://www.lawguru.com/legal-questions/california-business-law/nondisclosure-agreement-future-subpoenas-owner-117528763/

Pushmi-Pullyu:
“. . . please also note that any commercial use voids the warranty. . .”

Double facepalm. Wrong again. You’re just making stuff up. You really are an uber Tesla apologist.

LOL!

Congratulations, sven, you just displayed your ignorance on both counts.

Re commercial use of a passenger car voiding the warranty: Here you’re flat wrong. End of subject. You need to apply those facepalms to your own posts, dude.

Re the goodwill NDA: You missed my point. My point is that the customer must agree not to tell others that the company fixed his car even though it was out of warranty, not because an NDA will prevent him from testifying about it in court, but so (in theory) nobody will know the company does this sort of thing.

I thought I made that pretty clear when I wrote:

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Or, to translate that from lawyer-ese into plain English: “Okay, we’ll pay for part or all of fixing your car, but in return you have to keep quiet about it, because we don’t want to have to deal with others coming along and saying ‘Hey, you fixed that guy’s car out of warranty, so you have to fix ours too!’ ”
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Do I need to dumb that down for you even further?

DonC, I am shocked – SHOCKED, I TELL YOU – that you would conclude Tesla is in the wrong here. I mean, across multiple forums you have always been stalwart in your support of Tesla. Oh, wait. That was someone else.

I remember now. You’re the guy who started out 5 years ago predicting the massive battery failures on Teslas because they use “laptop batteries”.

Here’s an article that questions Tesla’s Response. Guess what it says at the end of the article – “Disclosure: I am/we are short TSLA.”
http://seekingalpha.com/article/3981230-new-questions-arise-teslas-answers

Stock manipulation for personal gain, is supposed to be illegal…

Since Model 3 was revealed, I’ve noted a more desperate whine to the conspiracy stories being generated and (unfortunately) passed on, that seem custom-made to manipulate the company’s stock prices.

Vehicle Logs stopped a lot of that, before it got out of hand. “Tesla makes killer cars that launch themselves at innocent buildings!” “My Tesla didn’t automatically brake after I told it not to!” etc., etc.

Nigel wrote:

“http://seekingalpha.com”

I wouldn’t need to read further than that. Seeking Alpha is a stock investor site which is a hotbed of Tesla bashing blog posts and comments. You’ll see bashers who post here also posting there under the same name; people like tftf and “Logical Thought” aka Mark B. Spiegel aka “Four Electrics”. In fact, tftf posted within the past few hours in the discussion in question on TMC (Tesla Motors Club).

It was rather eye-opening the other day to watch one of those video interviews with Elon Musk. He said that at times, TSLA (Tesla’s stock) has been the most shorted stock on the market.

Well, now it’s understandable why we don’t see this sort of incessant company bashing on forums dedicated to GM cars, or Ford cars… or any other auto maker’s cars. That’s quite a lot of what can charitably be described as “short interest”. >:-/

Tesla said in it’s statement: “With respect to the car that is discussed in the blog post that led to yesterday’s news (more on the blog post below), the suspension ball joint experienced very abnormal rust. We haven’t seen this on any other car, suggesting a very unusual use case.” I not sure that’s true. It’s been pointed out in the discussion on TMC that other Tesla cars have experienced excessive rusting of the control arms and ball joint. A Tesla Service Center told one owner that it was a “know issue”, and deemed that owner’s cars unsafe to drive until the control arm and ball joint were replaced. https://teslamotorsclub.com/tmc/threads/suspension-problem-on-model-s.69204/page-3#post-1512461 One TMC commentor from Norway said the following: “I know about 3 similar cases in Norway. One of them it did just snap right off when driving out of a parking spot.” “The upper control arm is made of steel and is s-h-i-t quality. I have never seen any other car rust so fast on the suspension parts like the Tesla does. And I have looked at many, even 20 years old cars look better than the Tesla after only 1-2 years.” “Yes they salt very much in Norway but… Read more »

That’s troublesome…

I don’t see any remarkable rust in these links, Sven. If others had their joints “snap”, I hope they reported them to Tesla. NHTSA obviously doens’t serve Europe.

I fully expect Tesla’s joints will prove capable of going bad (laughing as I type). Maybe at 100k miles, maybe 140k, maybe 70k in northern salt. I’m sure 90% of us won’t be able to stand the noise, assuming we haven’t been alerted beforehand.

Not sure whether you are kidding, that you cannot see rust enough to be a concern???

Try to be a bit more objective, otherwise the posts look laughable.

How about covering the reply from the journalist who broke the story as well?

http://www.breitbart.com/california/2016/06/10/exclusive-automative-blogger-attacked-tesla-investigation-come/

There’s always two sides to a story.

Tesla’s blog post is full of factual errors.

They didn’t even get his name right (see link above).

Again: This doesn’t appear to be a single outlier problem, there’s more to come from more owners.

Tesla’s reply makes it sound like there’s only one owner who lives in the “dirt” with this issue and they don’t address the NDA issue properly either.

There isn’t any issue with the “goodwill” NDA. You’re deliberately trying to mis-characterize it as if it’s a general NDA, instead of a very specific NDA related only to the “goodwill” issue, despite the fact that the word “goodwill” appears numerous times even in the parts cited by Niedermeyer.

As is all too often the case with Tesla bashers like you, you’re taking perfectly normal business practice and holding it up as if somehow it’s abnormal just because Tesla is doing it. That’s a pattern I’ve seen over on Seeking Alpha, too.

More to come accoridng to him. Let’s wait and see.

You blindly defend a company arguing about a single case and “dirty roads” when Tesla owners from around the world (Norway, China…) reported similar issues.

Tesla hasn’t touched upon these other cases once so far, as if they didn’t exist.

Suspension cracking is serious stuff if a Model S travels at high speeds.

He’s wrong about the single owner — there are 33 NHSTA complaints about suspension problems on the Model S since October — and he’s wrong about the dirty roads.

No matter. Rest assured these facts will not prevent him from continuing to blindly defend Tesla or to label anyone suggesting that Tesla might be at fault a hater, a basher, or a stock manipulator. LOL

In response to a smear campaign based on lies, in an attempt to benefit serial Tesla short-sellers like you and tftf?

You betcha.

Elsewhere, I’ve certainly taken Tesla to task where they appear to be at fault, such as with the Roadster “bricking” issue.

But of course, to a serial basher like you, Tesla is always at fault. There’s a real problem when you start believing your own lies, DonC.

tftf frothed at the mouth:

“You blindly defend a company arguing about a single case…”

Blindly? No, that would be you blindly flailing about, desperately seizing on absolutely anything as an excuse to attack Tesla’s public image, regardless of the facts.

Contrariwise, I prefer to base my opinion on actual facts. As in “facts are stubborn things”.

But hey, nice try at shifting attention away from the real issue here, which is your eager participation in a smear campaign based on lies. I suppose you’re quite happy about how this smear campaign will make money for your Tesla short position.

No doubt you agree with Gordon Gekko: “Greed is good”.

Despicable.

A URL containing “breitbart.com” pretty much tells one everything that needs to be known.

The link simply quotes the collected rebuttal tweets.

Read all five of them (DailyKanban tweets mereley quoted on Breitbart) and tell me who is right or wrong.

Tesla completely messed up their blog post with five factual errors – all in the link.

Ah, I see, so it’s perfectly all right that Niedermeyer started a smear campaign, based on lies and the ravings of a nutjob (a couple of the nutjob’s NHTSA filings are included in the article above), and used his media contacts to spread that quickly all over the Internet, because in Tesla’s response they misspelled his name.

Well, I guess that’s what passes for “logic” coming from a long-time serial Tesla basher like you, tftf.

How many penny-a-click Tesla bashing articles have you written on Seeking Alpha, dude?

Eric Loveday said: “According to the Kanban article, Tesla tried to quiet this single Model S owner by making him sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA). Tesla did no such thing. Instead, what Tesla did was have the owner sign a Goodwill Agreement. . .” Yes they did. Tesla tried to get the owner to sign a Goodwill agreement and Release form that was also a Non-Disclosure agreement since it contained a non-disclosure clause. No other automakers require their customers to sign non-disclosure agreements when performing Goodwill repairs. Below is the Goodwill/Release/Non-disclosure agreement. Judge for yourself. “Tesla Motors, Inc., including its affiliates, (we, us, our, Tesla) highly values you as our customer (you, your). We are redefining the vehicle ownership experience and set extremely high standards for customer satisfaction. Pursuant to the terms in this agreement, we are extending a gesture of goodwill in providing you with parts, services or other compensation as described here (‘Goodwill’):” “The Goodwill is being provided to you without any admission of liability or wrongdoing or acceptance of any facts by Tesla, and shall not be treated as or considered evidence of Tesla’s liability with respect to any claim or incidents. You agree to keep confidential… Read more »

sven said:

“Tesla tried to get the owner to sign a Goodwill agreement and Release form that was also a Non-Disclosure agreement since it contained a non-disclosure clause. No other automakers require their customers to sign non-disclosure agreements when performing Goodwill repairs.”

Do you have evidence to back that up?

I don’t know what the truth is here, but someone on the TMC discussion thread said that’s standard when dealing with an auto manufacturer. Not an auto dealer; a manufacturer. He said that’s the important difference.

I dunno if that’s true, but let’s just say, sven, that you haven’t exactly earned our trust when it comes to what you post about Tesla. Given a “he said/he said” between you and Tesla, the company has much more credibility than you.

Pushmi-Pullyu said:
“Do you have evidence to back that up?”

What more do you want?

I posted the actual text and link to the Goodwill Agreement that Tesla asked the owner to sign. The owner posted that text in a comment on TMC. I assume he’s not lying.

https://teslamotorsclub.com/tmc/threads/suspension-problem-on-model-s.69204/page-8#post-1519749

I posted a link to a Reuters article in which NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind was interviewed. From that article: “Rosekind said he was unaware of any other automaker requiring owners to sign agreements barring them from disclosing defects.” I assume that Reuters is not lying, and I assume the Rosekind is not lying.

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-tesla-safety-idUSKCN0YV2DL

sven, the assertion you need to back up is this:

“No other automakers require their customers to sign non-disclosure agreements when performing Goodwill repairs.”

According to what’s being said on TMC, this is standard boilerplate. What I know is standard, because I’ve seen it many times on Seeking Alpha, is for Tesla bashers to hold up perfectly normal business procedures and describe them as if they’re somehow abnormal, in an effort to discredit Tesla Motors.

That appears to me exactly what’s going on here. If not, then you need to provide evidence that other auto manufacturers don’t use similar language in their “goodwill” agreements.

If you can find a similar agreement from another auto manufacturer — not dealer, but manufacturer — then post it here and let’s compare them.

Otherwise, admit you’ve got nuthin’ but FUD.

NHTSA administrator “Rosekind said he was unaware of any other automaker requiring owners to sign agreements barring them from disclosing defects.”

Pushmi-Pullyu said:
“If not, then you need to provide evidence that other auto manufacturers don’t use similar language in their ‘goodwill’ agreements.”

“If you can find a similar agreement from another auto manufacturer — not dealer, but manufacturer — then post it here and let’s compare them.”

No, you need to find a similar agreement to provide evidence that other auto manufacturers don’t use similar language in their “goodwill” agreements. Otherwise, admit you’ve got nuthin’ but FUD!!!

So where’s your evidence?

What the NHTSA Administrator was quoted as saying doesn’t gel with the language you cited from the agreement. The administrator is suggesting the non-disclosure language applies to reporting defects to a regulatory authority. It doesn’t saying that and couldn’t say ‘ enforce such a restriction. The non-disclosure applies to things like informing the press or your neighbor that “hey, Tesla just fixed this for me for free so you should use it to argue they should fix your problem for free too”.

It actually IS standard for good will repairs to include such restrictions if you accept the free repair. Take your other car manufacturer car down and argue to get an out-of-warranty repair covered by the manufacturer. See what agreement they require you to sign.

At a minimum, Pushmi is correct. You haven’t at all shown any evidence to support your assertion.

The specific nondisclosure language is “You agree to keep confidential . . . the incidents or claims leading or related to our provision of the Goodwill.’ On its face, this language prohibits reporting defects to a regulatory authority. A reasonable person would interpret this language to prohibit reporting defects to NHTSA. If Tesla wanted to carve out an exception to reporting defects to NHTSA then it could have incuded language to that effect, since it drafted the NDA. But Tesla didn’t include that exception.

You non-legal opinion of when it does and does not apply is NOT evidence to support your assertion. Also, such a broad prohibition is NOT a standard provision in Goodwill repairs. Show me a Goodwill Agreement with similar language.

NHTSA spokesman Bryan Thomas said the following:

“The agency immediately informed Tesla that any language implying that consumers should not contact the agency regarding safety concerns is unacceptable, and N.H.T.S.A. expects Tesla to eliminate any such language. Tesla representatives told N.H.T.S.A. that it was not their intention to dissuade consumers from contacting the agency.”

http://electrek.co/2016/06/10/tesla-model-s-suspension-nda-nhtsa/

Sven, you are a saint. Trying to washout preexisting biases from the brains of partisans, especially when that would cause them a severe amount of cognitive dissonance, is truly a thankless task.

That’s a creative argument considering that the exact situation in front us, the owner who signed the argument obviously did NOT believe they were prevented from reporting to the NHTSA.

You’ve set a rather impossible bar regarding people’s comprehension about legal rights and contracts. I guess the rule ought to be that if you don’t understand a contract, you shouldn’t sign it.

He reported it BEFORE signing good-will/non-disclosure agreement and stopped posting afterwards.

It was reported already that NHTSA demanded from Tesla to change the agreement text and Tesla did changed in “satisfactory” way as per NHTSA.

Sven you are absolutely right:

Rosekind (sp?) was hopping up and down mad at the non-disclosure agreements, especially Tesla getting the customer to specifically not talk to the federal government!!!! (At least according to Automotive News).

Where there is smoke there is fire usually. Mentioned here, and you also hear mentioned here and there that the front tires somewhat mysteriously ‘snap-off’ whether galvanic action or not.

The thing that is troubling about the ‘hush-hush’ agreements is no count can be made to gauge how BIG a problem this is. Tesla was already warned by NHTSA to stop mischaracterizing its safety rating, and now this.

Well, Bill, I’m sorry to see you joining the flock of Tesla bashers here. I thought that since you are a former owner of a Roadster, you might be more inclined to be at least neutral on the subject.

Sorry to see you’ve joined the bashers and adopted their bias.

Any suggestion that anyone at the NHTSA was “hopping mad” in any article, was spin put in to make it a “story”. I’ve read the correspondence on the subject from the NHTSA. To characterize it as “concerned” would be appropriate; “hopping mad” is… well, let’s just say it’s inaccurate.

And again, if Tesla needs to change the language of the “goodwill” NDA, then so to most or all of the other auto manufacturers.

And hey, good job of completely ignoring what Bryan posted earlier about about his similar experience with a CODA goodwill NDA.

Note to the clown: Musk has a high-opinion of me, of whom compared to you, I greatly respect.

sven said:

“No, you need to find a similar agreement to provide evidence that other auto manufacturers don’t use similar language in their ‘goodwill’ agreements.”

You mean, like the post Bryan made above? I suppose you want us to just ignore that solid support for what was said by me, which was based on posts similar to Bryan’s by those posting to the TMC discussion.

Furthermore: sven, are you honestly that uninformed on the evidentiary procedure used in both scientific investigation and court procedures? Or are you being disingenuous here?

You made the assertion; it’s up to you to provide evidence in support of that.

Once again, here is YOUR assertion, for which you have provided no evidence in support:

“No other automakers require their customers to sign non-disclosure agreements when performing Goodwill repairs.”

So put up or shut up.

My proof is Tesla changed the wording of its NDA under pressure from NHTSA.

So you can’t find a Goodwill agreement from another automaker to post? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

You’re quite the piece of work. I have no idea what EVERY manufacturer does, but, as mentioned previously, I’ve never heard of an NDA for a repair. Turns out no one else seems to have heard of this either. The NY Times says: “The use of nondisclosure agreements with customers appears to be highly unusual in the auto industry. Ford, General Motors and Toyota all said they did not have customers sign confidentiality agreements in exchange for fixing cars that have broken down.”

Of course to you my observing that I’ve never heard of a manufacturer requiring an NDA for a repair is “bashing”. Not only is this ridiculous, but it establishes beyond any doubt that you have zero credibility.

DonC said: “I’ve never heard of an NDA for a repair.” I had never heard of one before this, either. But unlike you, I took the time and trouble to read the entire Tesla Motors Club thread on this subject, so I would at least have some idea of what I was talking about. You might try doing the same, if you’re gonna argue with me. Otherwise you’ll just continue to show your ignorance by thinking you know as much as I do about the subject. “…you have zero credibility.” Dude, do you really think we don’t notice: 1. You’re a serial Tesla FUDster, and everything you post contains lies or half-truths. All of your posts. Every single one. 2. You’re attacking the messenger here because you don’t want to admit you lost the argument. “The NY Times says: [quote] The use of nondisclosure agreements with customers appears to be highly unusual in the auto industry. Ford, General Motors and Toyota all said they did not have customers sign confidentiality agreements in exchange for fixing cars that have broken down. [unquote]” I made a very clear distinction, more than once in previous posts, between goodwill agreements by dealers vs. auto… Read more »

very troublesome…

European point of view

After having read the presentation of the facts made by Eric Loveday , I am strongly believing that he and the insideevs.com team are compensated by Tesla motors .

AnswertoStupidGarbage

You compensate by whom? EU car maker?

Cause they will be dead in 5 years like Nokia?

European point of view, You are of course free to believe whatever you wish…but InsideEVs has never taken a nickel from any OEM to write anything. Sponsored posts? No way. No staff member has ever accepted a free trip, meal, drink, free chotckie…or even taken one of those ‘free’ pens at an autoshow. We pay our own way to everything, we buy our own EVs, our own charging equipment, USB drives, everything 100%…and I’d wager there is not one other major automotive site who can come close to representing the same thing. If you want to claim a bias, well then the site name is InsideEVs, so obviously it would be difficult for us to assert that we are not rooting for more EVs on the road, and for their manufacturers to be as successful as possible. — ps) we are no fans of Tesla PR…they are far below other OEMs in the way they treat others. We make every effort these days to not communicate with them as much as possible (it is an effort in futility/self-hate). They generally only communicate when it is to their benefit, or to reach out to act punitively (even if you are just… Read more »

Jay I for one appreciate the ‘free flowing’ discussions you allow here, since most people detest being edited.

You’re smart to allow it, since other Ev sites are way way down in usage since the editors there have said certain people they don’t like, want on their sites, etc, even though I like some of the individual writers.

We try to self-police ourselves – even though the comments get a bit firery at times. So just keep doing what you are doing.

Thanks Bill, we do try to hold off as much as we can when it comes to moderating (no one likes that…and its a bummer for us too).

Really the only time you will see any moderation is in defending ourselves when something inaccurate is stated(such as in the above situation), or to step in when there is some over-the-top slander issues between two (or more) persons and the ‘wheels seem to be falling off’ the bus.

As always, feel free to agree or disagree with our us, or those around you, (=

Haha, well you’re welcome, and secondly, I’ve implemented a new policy for myself. I discuss issues with the other serious people here, even if they’d disagree with me. But to save your space, and my time, I give one line responses to the jokers.

Compensated by Tesla how? There simply aren’t too many EV news some days, and Tesla makes more splash than others.

Would you write something “pro” if you got a free EV out of it? Well, SparkEV is free to many people in CA, yet you don’t see thousands of biases post for SparkEV. Indeed, few that champion it are the ones that actually pay to drive it and don’t get a penny.

It’s obvious you don’t have anything to get enthused about your EV, hence you wouldn’t understand.

It’s crap like this that makes manufacturers completely stop fixing anything that is out of warranty.

Yup. The rational thing for any auto maker to do, faced with this kind of response to offering to pay for half of the guy’s out-of-warranty repair, would be to cease any and all such offers for paying part or all of the repairs. That would certainly put an end to the complaints about the NDA, wouldn’t it? No “goodwill”; no goodwill NDA needed!

This would be the rational response to the kind of pressure that the Tesla bashers here are trying to apply. Hopefully Tesla won’t cave into their attempted bullying.

Heck, here’s hoping the FEC investigates Mr. Niedermeyer, and his involvement in a possible conspiracy with the complainant in question.

Why would the Federal Election Commission investigate Mr. Niedermeyer? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Are you implying that Mr. Niedermeyer is conspiring with Republican candidate Donald Trump and the Tesla owner to bring down Tesla? That’s one whacky conspiracy theory!

European point of view

In this case we see a blogger totally bullied by a billionaire , and guess what , the “insideevs.com” blog takes the party of …. the billionnaire .

Well, I guess you must be one of the Tesla bashers who are gathering here like a flock of vultures.

In this case we see a professional Tesla basher with a long history of writing FUD “articles” bashing Tesla, who has invented a conspiracy about Tesla in a clearly deliberate attempt to damage the company’s reputation, to further his attempts at stock manipulation.

And you’re trying to make Niedermeyer out to be the injured party? Seriously?

Wow. Just wow. Tesla bashers really have no shame at all, do they!

The amount of vitriol in Tesla’s blog post leads me to suspect it was written by Elon himself. His tone is fairly unique.

I heard he went to Trump real estate university and learned how to address public there 😉

Hey Eric, you might want to clarify that the TSB you reference is for the LOWER front ball joint and deals with excessive wear from play in the joint. The issue here is pretty much complete corrosion of the UPPER ball joint from what appears to be dirt/water/salt intrusion under the boot that covers the ball joint.

“According to the Kanban article, Tesla tried to quiet this single Model S owner by making him sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA). Tesla did no such thing. Instead, what Tesla did was have the owner sign a Goodwill Agreement,”

Potato / potato; tomato / tomato; Goodwill Agreement / NDA.

Yes Tesla did try to quiet this single Model S owner by making him sign a Goodwill Agreement / NDA:

http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1104416_tesla-model-s-suspensions-nhtsa-ndas-what-you-need-to-know

“You agree to keep confidential our provision of the Goodwill, the terms of this agreement and the incidents or claims leading or related to our provision of the Goodwill.”

A document with similar language would more conventionally be viewed as a Non-Disclosure Agreement, or NDA.

The GCR article in your link was updated:

UPDATE: Late on Friday, The Wall Street Journal reported that Tesla has revised its ‘Goodwill Agreement’ to “to make clear the contracts don’t prohibit customers from reporting suspected safety problems to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.” It attributed the report to a “person familiar with the matter.

I guess Tesla’s denial is no longer in Preposterous Mode.

There’s a rule in the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure which specifically forbid a party from arguing exactly what you’ve just argued – that when someone makes a change, that the change can be used against them to prove their original behavior was wrong.

So the actual facts that have come out are:

1. Tesla had a good will agreement that included a non-disclosure clause.

2. The NHTSA complained to Tesla that the clause could be interpreted to mean an owner could not report something to the NHTSA.

3. Tesla released a statement that this was not their intention (and legally could never be enforceable) and agreed to work with the NHTSA to adjust as necessary.

4. Tesla made changes to the agreement to incorporate that the non-disclosure does not apply to reporting to the NHTSA.

My conclusion: Tesla made a reasonable adjustment that probably makes it clearer to people who think every term in a contract is 100% enforceable. Fine. Clarity never hurts.

Your conclusion: See! Tesla got caught doing something nefarious and the government had to crack down on them. Tesla is terrible and trying to screw its customers.

WOW, Elon just had to eat a huge pile of crow.

After forcefully stating the owner lived on a dirt road, (strangely implying a Tesla is too fragile to handle a dirt road) Elon has been forced to back track and now says “Tesla erred in its claim about the dirt road.”

Wow.

Like I posted above, Telsa knew where the owner lived, they have his address, they have the GPS logs, why make a statement that is so easily proven wrong?

And why make a statement that calls into question the ability of a Tesla to handle a dirt road. Strange.

Tesla really hurts their credibilty when they forcefully argue a point that then gets proven wrong.

That’s two major factual errors in a short press release. The owners location and the history of the blogger.

What does it say about the other points Tesla tries to make? This press release was a total disaster.

Shaking my head …. I guess this s a perfect 101, how motto deal with a disgruntled customer or customers. Tesla needs to learn fast, because presumably in a couple of years there will be hundreds of thousands of clients and surely there will be one of those weekly.

It happens to the best of them, so Tesla will not be immune to this.

I

I would have thought this was more reportable:

Elon Musk. 2h2 hours ago
Elon Musk ‏@elonmusk
Would seem to indicate that one or more people sought to create the false impression of a safety issue where none existed. Q is why?

2h2 hours ago
Elon Musk ‏@elonmusk
Of greater concern: 37 of 40 suspension complaints to NHTSA were fraudulent, i.e. false location or vehicle identification numbers were used

2h2 hours ago
Elon Musk ‏@elonmusk
NHTSA confirmed today that they found no safety concern with the Model S suspension and have no further need for data from us on this matter

So, NHTSA is not concerned re safety, but the majority of reports appear fraudulent!

Appears to be a lot of FUD from the Tesla bashers.

NY Times says that NHTSA has received 33 complaints about suspension problems in the Model S since October. Seems like a lot and 32 more than the “ONE” suspension problem claimed by the article. Wheels coming off the car is not a joke, even if it was caused by a pothole at low speeds.

Trying to paint the customer as dissatisfied or an owner who abused the car seems disingenuous. He is a Tesla fan who owns a Model S and has two Model 3s on order. Contrary to what Tesla has said, he does not live at the end of a dirt road and the car was not “caked in dirt” when it was picked up.

The NDA which started the reporting seems to have been resolved.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/11/business/tesla-motors-model-s-suspension.html?&moduleDetail=section-news-0&action=click&contentCollection=Business%20Day&region=Footer&module=MoreInSection&version=WhatsNext&contentID=WhatsNext&pgtype=article

DonC said:

“NY Times says that NHTSA has received 33 complaints about suspension problems in the Model S since October.”

Does that include the… what was it, 21?… posts made by that raving lunatic Keef, two examples of which are posted above?

You see, DonC, when you cite manufactured “evidence” like this in support of your Tesla bashing, when you eagerly participate in this smear campaign based on lies, it makes you look bad, it makes you look disingenuous, and it makes you look like a hypocrite.

But maybe you don’t care about any of that, because your only goal here is to bash Tesla.

In the shopping center down the street from where I live there was a model X about two months ago that had a broken bolt. Since I’m a Tesla fan I stopped to talk to the two truck driver about the issue. Thought it was odd at the time that a new car would have a broken bolt. Reading about the issue now I am inclined to think that perhaps Tesla needs to look at this seriously at one point.

Tesla will see my car two times a year.. twice for tire rotations..and once for it’s annual inspection…. they are on the hook to find issues with their gadget…I expect their inspectors to be thorough and competent. .I do not drive on rose petal roads.. nor do I wear rose colored Tesla blindeds..I am neither a neo zealot nor hater.. I am an apprehensive Tesla leaseee paying astronomical lease payments and insurance to drive a Tesla MS 90D.. they better coddle me like the sucker I am.. you all can argue about this for a month..I’m going out for a ride in my $58 a day vehicle.. later..

The REAL criminals are Niedermeyer AND US HUMANS!