Scottish couple faces staggering $21,000 bill after driving Tesla Model Y in the rain

Tesla Model Y (

Tesla Model Y (

Discontent grows over battery replacement costs and customer service.

A Scottish couple is expressing their dissatisfaction after receiving an estimate of US$21,200 to replace the batteries in their Tesla Model Y crossover. And what reason did they give for requiring a new power supply? They claim it’s due to driving in rainy weather.

Johnny Bacigalupo and Rob Hussey narrated their ordeal, stating that the trouble began after dining out in Edinburgh. While acknowledging the rainy conditions, they reported that their Model Y functioned well on the way to the restaurant but refused to start when they attempted to leave.

They waited nearly five hours for a Tesla support tow truck to reach them, and from the outset, they allege that the automaker’s customer service department was less helpful than expected.

“After a few frustrating calls and one unsuccessful collection attempt, our car was picked up by a Tesla-compliant firm and delivered to Tesla Edinburgh around 1 a.m.,” Bacigalupo explained. “After my complaints, we received a call at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, informing us that the battery had been damaged due to water ingress. Unfortunately, it wasn’t covered by the battery’s 8-year warranty, and the repair would cost around £17,500 (US$21,200). Was I willing to proceed? I was dumbfounded and couldn’t really find the words.”

Bacigalupo had expected a bill of £500 to £1,000 ($610 to $1,220 USD) at worst. Despite his shock, he managed to get a manager on the phone to understand the reason behind such a hefty bill.

“He told me it had water in it due to the adverse weather in Scotland. That was the issue. They said it’s not necessarily my fault, but it’s not Tesla’s responsibility under the warranty,” Bacigalupo revealed. “I pressed him on this and said I’ve never heard of something like this happening. He said it can happen with Range Rovers and Mercs, but I’m just not buying it.”

While the couple acknowledged that some parts of Scotland were under special weather advisories, they insisted that the rain in Edinburgh was not unusual for the area. The experience has left Bacigalupo questioning his decision to buy a Tesla.

“To date, it’s been a service disaster, and the stress and anxiety of this situation are excruciating. I told the manager, ‘So, am I to understand that Teslas are unfit for use in Scotland?'” he commented. “If I had known that the customer service would be so poor, I’m not sure I would have bothered buying the car.”