Further EV adventures: The charge port on my Tesla Model S gives up the ghost

Less than 10 days before a planned trip to Montreal in my Tesla Model S, the door on my charge port wouldn't open.


When I picked up my Tesla Model S 60 in mid-April, one of the product specialists in Paramus, N.J., advised me to charge the car every day.

But I'm retired and drive 20 miles to 40 miles a day at most, so I often waited two or three days before plugging in the car and scheduling the charging to begin at midnight, when electric rates go down.

Tesla says the battery re-charges more easily, if you follow a daily schedule.

Then, last Wednesday night, which would have been the second night in a row of my daily charging, the door to the charge port wouldn't open using the touchscreen or the universal mobile connector.

I called the Tesla Motors Service Center in Paramus and was told to come in the next day.

No problem found

As sometimes happens when cars malfunction, the problem went away as soon as I drove into the garage off Route 17 north, and the service technician showed me how the door was opening normally.

I declined a car wash, but was told to wait for a few minutes in the lounge while the technician checked fluids and tire pressures.

Then, the service adviser returned to the lounge to tell me that upon further investigation, "an internal electrical fault" in the charge-port assembly was not "disengaging" the door, which is actually part of the tail-light assembly.

(That diagnosis was in the invoice I was given before I left.)

Then, I got the bad news: 

No loaners were available and putting in a new charge-port assembly under the warranty and updating the firmware would take two hours.

I was offered a lift to a nearby Shake Shack or the mall, but declined. That was a mistake.

No TV reception

The Tesla lounge has an LG flat-screen TV on the wall, a Keurig coffee maker, a Poland Springs water dispenser, snack bars and other treats.

But the TV gets only one channel, if you don't lose the signal, which happens frequently.

Tesla employees in the showroom and service center said they knew of the TV problem, but couldn't do anything to fix it.

The flat screen TV in the Tesla Motors lounge on Route 17 north in Paramus gets only one station, and does so intermittently, as the signal keeps cutting out. I spent a couple of hours staring at this photo.

At Hackensack Toyota, where we service our 2007 and 2010 Priuses, a flat-screen TV is tuned to a news station, copies of a daily newspaper are provided, and bagels, espresso and other drinks are free.

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