2011 Tesla Roadster Sport. Photo by Joe Nuxoll.
And now perhaps it all becomes clear.
The Tesla battery 'bricking' post that was today's electric-car news story and generated reams of coverage may simply be an attempt by an unhappy owner to get Tesla Motors to replace the battery in his Roadster.
At least, that would appear to be the logical conclusion from a letter we just received from a source.
It was sent by Roadster owner Max Drucker, of Santa Barbara, California, to Tesla CEO Elon Musk, dated February 12.
Several points in the note and parts of the language echo parts of the sensational blog post by author Michael DeGusta that kicked off the scare.
(DeGusta and Drucker were business partners for seven years, it turns out, though Drucker is not identified anywhere in DeGusta's post as an unhappy Roadster owner.)
Drucker, the letter writer, admits in the letter that he left his Roadster unplugged for more than two months--saying that he was in temporary housing and "didn't have a convenient place" to plug in the car.
And, he claims ignorance that such a thing was necessary: "I had no idea I was putting the car at risk or obviously I would not be in the position I am in now."
Tesla specifically warns the owner to keep the car plugged in, both through its customer staff and in several places in owner manuals and elsewhere.
From our earlier Q+A on the phenomenon of 'bricking':
Q: Does Tesla tell Roadster buyers to keep their cars plugged in?
A: Yes. It's prominently called out in the warranty and owner's documents.
(We've provided four three images from the Tesla Roadster owner's manual and other documentation, in the gallery below, that highlight the necessary care for the battery.)
Drucker's letter suggests there will be a "major public outcry" when "middle-class families" who buy the upcoming Model S sedan "accidentally let their batteries discharge."
And the letter suggests that this whole affair will become a "PR nightmare for Tesla."
Drucker ends, "I am not going to write this off as a $40K mistake and move on happily."
Read the complete text of the letter on the next page.
Then tell us in the Comments below: Who do you side with, aggrieved owner Max Drucker or Tesla Motors?