How Much Does a Tesla Model S Replacement Battery Cost After the Dreaded BMS_u029 Error?

arly Tesla Model S battery packs fail with a BMW_u029 error code 6 photos
Photo: ST/John | Edited
ST lost almost all the money he spent on a 2013 Tesla Model S due to the BMS_u029 errorST lost almost all the money he spent on a 2013 Tesla Model S due to the BMS_u029 errorST lost almost all the money he spent on a 2013 Tesla Model S due to the BMS_u029 errorST lost almost all the money he spent on a 2013 Tesla Model S due to the BMS_u029 errorST lost almost all the money he spent on a 2013 Tesla Model S due to the BMS_u029 error
Many Tesla Model S owners with 2012-2015 cars reported the batteries failing after throwing a BMS_u029 error code. Because this issue is so widespread and Tesla doesn't help, a Tesla owner offered information about the official replacement options.
Studies showed EV battery packs are much more reliable than Li-Ion batteries in phones and laptops. This is why they are usually backed by an 8-year warranty. Li-Ion batteries do fail from time to time, but it is much less often than people believe. A recent study showed that battery replacements are quite rare, with less than 1.5 percent of the EV owners surveyed replacing their batteries outside a recall or warranty period.

Tesla offered similar estimates in its Impact Report 2022, saying that its Li-ion batteries are projected to lose 12% of their capacity after 200,000 miles of use. Still, this claim means nothing to people affected by the dreaded BMS_u029 error code, most of them owning the 2012-2015 Tesla Model S. This is a sure sign that your battery is toast and your only solution is to replace it. There's no warning beforehand, so it just comes out of the blue. Because this is non-repairable, and the replacement battery packs are expensive, this is sure to ruin your finances.

Because there are many people in this situation and Tesla is not very helpful, user zwede thought to share his experience on the Tesla Motors Club. They had already researched all the options and went through a lot of back and forth with Tesla Service, so they decided to explain everything in detail so others won't have to do it again. The guide reflects Tesla Service Center options and does not cover third-party solutions or replacement packs, which might be cheaper depending on the situation. Be warned, though, that many scammers sell solutions when in fact, they just erase the error code.

According to zwede's post, Tesla Model S owners in the US have two options, with advantages and disadvantages to either solution. Zwede's car is a 2013 Tesla Model S P85+, so the options were an 85-kWh remanufactured pack or a modern 90-kWh pack software-locked at 85 kWh. As Tesla service center technicians explained, these packs use cells recovered from other failed packs. They will have a certain degradation or slowed-down charging speeds, so it's always a gamble. Still, they are cheaper at about $14,000 plus taxes.

If you're lucky and Tesla is out of stock with remanufactured packs, it will install a new battery pack and cover the difference. Still, you have no idea if this is the case until you take your car from the Service Center, so your mileage may vary. The part number for the remanufactured pack is 1088815-01-B, whereas the new pack will carry the 1918190-85-A part number. This is the same as a new 1014116-00-C 90-kWh battery that has been software locked to 85 kWh.

If you don't like to gamble, you can opt for the new battery outright, which will set you back around $17,700 plus taxes. This is basically a modern 100 kWh battery pack with two modules removed. The range you should expect from the new pack is about 272 miles (440 km), or if you unlock the full 90-kWh capacity, 297 miles (480 km). That will cost you extra, with rates between $700 and $1,000, depending on whom you ask.
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About the author: Cristian Agatie
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After his childhood dream of becoming a "tractor operator" didn't pan out, Cristian turned to journalism, first in print and later moving to online media. His top interests are electric vehicles and new energy solutions.
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