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Tesla Roadsters turning into "bricks" after extended periods unplugged?

Tesla's Roadster might have a design flaw leading to damaged battery packs.

A blog posting by journalist Michael DeGusta suggests there might be a problem with the battery pack found in Tesla's Roadster sports car, with some customers reporting permanent damage to their cars.

According to the report, no fewer than five Tesla Roadster owners have reported their vehicles completely dying after extended periods of being parked and unplugged. One owner reported his car dying after just six weeks of sitting. The report suggests long periods of time off the grid can drain a battery to zero charge, something that isn't good for lithium batteries.

The extreme degradation of the Roadster's battery leaves the car completely immobile, making it very difficult to even load the vehicle onto a flatbed for transport. As such, the phenomenon of Roadsters dying as the result of being unplugged has earned the nickname "bricking".

The article by Mr. DeGusta suggests that a "bricked" battery pack isn't included in the factory coverage. The implication? Anyone not charging their Roadster on a regular basis could be facing a $40,000 repair bill for a new battery.

There is some speculation that the bricking problem will be possible with Tesla's newest Model S sedan and possibly even with the Model X SUV. Reprots suggest that so far Tesla isn't taking any responsibility for the problem, causing some potential buyers to rethink their down payments on future vehicles.

Tesla hasn't made any public statements on the issue yet, but other EV makers are already trying to quell fears. Nissan claims their all-electric Leaf won't suffer from a ruined battery if it isn't plugged in. However, Nissan does recommend plugging the Leaf in within two-weeks of reaching a zero charge.

We're sure there will be more developments in this story, so stay tuned.