Tesla Motors chief Elon Musk took to the company's blog today to respond to rumors being spread that its EV Roadster batteries can get "bricked" as in becoming completely inoperable if owners don't keep the cars plugged in. Musk calls this an "irrational fear" and that it stems from a complete misunderstanding of Tesla's battery system.
The rumor started with a post on the blog called Understatement by Michael DeGusta, who claimed that a Roadster had to be plugged in all the time to avoid becoming totally discharged, at which point it would become bricked or completely immobile. Thereafter the only solution to the now inoperable electric vehicle would be to plunk down another $40,0000 for a replacement battery.
The post claims that up to five Roadsters have been bricked so far, with one incident where Tesla went to the extent of remotely activating a customer's dying vehicle using GPS to determine its location in order to cover up the issue. It's not clear whether Tesla had the owner's consent. DeGusta did not cite any sources for his claims, but if true, they could impact Tesla's upcoming Model S and Model X vehicles if the company doesn't properly address the concerns.
Musk dismissed the blog report, explaining that Tesla Roadsters are designed to repeatedly alert owners with both visible and audible warnings if battery levels ever get too low. The system is also designed to protect the battery by conserving energy in other parts of the system when the charge gets that low. Plus, with the Roadster 2.0, owners have the option of allowing Tesla HQ to contact them if the battery levels of their vehicles have been detected to fall below a specified threshold.