Tesla to allow salvaged vehicles back on the Supercharger network

Tesla to allow salvaged vehicles back on the Supercharger network

Good news for Tesla tinkerers with salvaged vehicles. Tesla is establishing a process to allow them back on the Supercharger network – something that has been a big issue for them over the last few years.

In 2020, Tesla blocked access to Supercharging and third-party fast-charging to all salvaged vehicles.

It was a big blow to people who salvaged refurbished Tesla vehicles and got them back in running shape.

The automaker claimed that it was a safety issue, but didn’t offer any path to inspect the cars and get them approved back on the Supercharger network, which is a big part of the value proposition of Tesla vehicles.

Last year, we got hope that Tesla was going to do the right thing and give back access to the important feature, but it was short-lived.

In 2021, Tesla started giving back Supercharger access to salvaged vehicles without any explanation, but it appeared that it was a mistake since the automaker reverted the move a week later.

But now it looks like it’s happening for real.

Electrek obtained internal Tesla documents that details a new process being put in place to inspect salvaged Tesla vehicles and give them back access to fast-charging.

In the document titled “Salvaged-Titled Vehicle Fast Charging Safety Inspection,” Tesla explains a two-step process that involves inspecting the high-voltage battery pack and all the components related to charging.

If the car passes the inspections, Tesla will reenable fast charging, and if it doesn’t, the company will offer repairs.

Here are the steps Tesla communicated to employees in the documents obtained by Electrek:

  • The Salvage-Titled Vehicle Fast-Charging Safety Inspection cannot be started until the vehicle has passed the Salvage-Titled Vehicle High Voltage Safety Inspection.
  • If a component fails inspection, diagnosis is required, and component rectification may be required.
  • Diagnosis and component rectification are not included in this inspection procedure and may be performed only at customer expense.
  • If the customer declines to authorize repair, stop the inspection procedure, note that the vehicle inspection failed and reinstall any removed components. Fast-Charging will not be enabled.
  • Once the vehicle has passed inspection and fast charging has been enabled, if the vehicle fails the final charging test, any further diagnosis or repair is treated like any other vehicle. If charging has already been enabled and the customer declines further diagnosis or repair, do not disable fast-charging.

This new process is currently being put in place for all Tesla models.

Electrek’s Take

This is great news. It’s important to note that many Tesla vehicles that end up with salvage titles are not necessarily completely destroyed – like the one pictured above. It doesn’t take a lot these days for an insurance company to consider a vehicle totaled.

On paper, it looks like the right thing to do: Offer a path to make sure refurbished salvage-titled Tesla vehicles can safely use fast charging and enable the capability if it is safe.

However, it remains to be seen how it is going to work in practice and whether or not Tesla will actually reenable Supercharging on most of these vehicles without charging for super expensive repairs.

It’s something we will keep an eye out for.

As for why now and not two years ago, I suspect Tesla opening up its Supercharger network to other EVs might have something to do with it. Tesla has no way of knowing whether or not a VW ID.4 is coming to use its Supercharger has a salvage title or not. It would be ridiculous to allow non-Tesla salvaged EVs to use its charging network but not its own vehicles.

It should greatly increase the value of salvaged Tesla vehicles, which is good since Tesla should encourage people who are fixing those since it’s literally recycling.

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