Car video reviews:
Rich Rebuilds Answers Accusations Related to $22K Battery Pack Repair
Rich Benoit did not feel he had to address only Jason Hughes’ remarks about the Electrified Garage’s repair on a Tesla Model S battery pack. If you don’t know what we’re talking about, Tyler Hoover bought a Model S and had an issue with the battery pack. He would have had to replace it for $22,500, but the Electrified Garage fixed it for $5,750. The Tesla Hacker then said the repair would not last. Apart from answering Hughes, Benoit also addresses the Tesla fans that accused him of lying.

Rich Rebuilds Answers Accusations Related to $22K Battery Pack Repair

Tesla Model 3 SuperchargesEstimate That Benoit Used to Illustrate How Much a Battery Pack CostsTesla Fans Accuse Rich Benoit of FUDTesla explains Why 85 Derivatives Now Get a 90-kWh Battery PackTesla Parts Catalog Shows How Much Battery Packs CostRich Benoit Gets Sarcastic about Accusations Related to $22K Battery Pack RepairErica and Louis Rossmann Have Dinner and a Chat With Rich Benoit and Steven Salowsky
This new allegation is based on an estimate Benoit presented in the video that dates back to 2019. It does reflect Tesla’s actual prices for a battery pack, and Benoit is not trying to promote FUD (fear, uncertainty, and doubt). The Youtuber said that document was just used to illustrate the situation, not as the proper estimate presented to Hoover. In our first text about the repair, we thought that paper was the exact estimate. We’ll get that fixed.

Benoit dismissed pretty easily the allegations that he was inflating prices only to make Tesla look bad. All it took him was presenting the prices listed on the online Tesla parts catalog. It shows that the 90-kWh battery pack for a 2013 Tesla Model S P85 would cost $21,000.

That’s the same price Hoover got from talking to his Tesla Service Center on the phone: $21,000 plus labor and parts, totaling $22,500. In other words, it does not even seem that Hoover received a written estimate. The lower prices people claim the battery packs cost are probably for smaller units, such as those with 75 kWh.

Regarding the video’s most important aspect, Benoit disputed Hughes' allegations about the repair not working. He even framed what the Tesla Hacker said about how he handles similar cases as an attempt to offer 057 Technology's services instead. After trying to replace defective modules and failing, Hughes said that his company started substituting the entire battery pack and keeping the defective ones. He only charges customers what replacing the modules would cost, making money by selling the suitable modules in the old battery pack.

Talking to autoevolution, Steven Salowsky confirmed that the Electrified Garage made a similar repair two years ago, replacing defective battery modules. The car would still be going strong, and the owner saved a pile of money in the process. In this latest video, Benoit shows that other shop owners also perform it with good results. He put links to these allegations in the description of the video so that viewers can check that.

Benoit then makes a bold promise to the Electrified Garage customers that had the repair: if any of them is not satisfied with the results, he will ship the vehicle to any other shop of their choice, pay for the repairs, and get the car back to these clients. That shows a lot of trust in what the Electrified Garage is offering.

With those things properly addressed, Benoit and Salowsky had Louis Rossman and Erica for dinner. Rossman is a Right to Repair advocate: he defends you have the right to do whatever you want with your own property, especially if it involves keeping it running as much as possible.

Their discussion extends for 27 of the 39 minutes of the video, and it is really worth watching. Benoit explained why he is not involved with Electrified Garage’s repairs: because they do them professionally. Benoit is famous for jerry-rigging and working in his cars on flip-flops. He does not want people to think he comes anywhere near customer’s vehicles.

The discussion then leads to interesting explanations about why people choose to defend brands, politicians, vaccine decisions, and multiple other things: it is a matter of identity. When someone says Tesla has a lot to improve in its vehicles, brand fans would understand the message is for them to improve, not the company. That would be what gets them so defensive.

While some people think that defending Tesla implies saving the planet, that would be just greenwashing other elements of the entire situation. First of all, because Tesla is not that sustainable. Its success is also based on the number of vehicles it sells and the amount of raw materials it uses. That’s what leads us to Overshoot Day sooner every year, and Tesla is no different from legacy automakers in that regard.

To make matters worse, whenever a Tesla fails, the company’s fiercest advocates just advise affected customers to buy a new one as if everyone could afford them. Worse still, they show no concerns for the vehicle that failed to be recycled or put back to work in any way.

According to Rossman, the Tesla fans' behavior can create a terrible backlash for what these guys claim to promote: instead of convincing people to buy EVs, they would be causing a repulse for the brand. We have seen multiple people say that out loud already. Chris Harris once mentioned he was considering buying a Model 3 but didn’t want to be part of “the club.” If the mission is to get more people driving EVs, these fans are actually hurting the company instead of helping it.

Both Benoit and Rossman shared why they bought Tesla vehicles. While the Youtuber liked their performance, the Right to Repair advocate said he loves electric motors and that the only EV to allow long-distance trips was a Tesla. In both cases, they had concrete desires and needs that Tesla vehicles suited well. There was no need to defend any idea with the purchase: it only had to make sense.

That’s why having the right to repair is something these guys defend: it is irrational to let an expensive product die when it can still be fixed. It only makes sense for companies that want to sell as many as they can and they can't even confess that. In that regard, whenever an independent EV shop fights with another one, the only one profiting from the situation is Tesla. Benoit rightfully stressed this in his video. Customers everywhere will thank the ones that realize this.

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