Common sense doesn’t seem all that common nowadays. It would be easy to assume that the customer service representative of a car manufacturer would understand that an electric vehicle would be a total loss after it has been consumed by flames like Joan of Arc tied to a stake. However, a Tesla Model Y owner in California had a startling experience both on the road and with customer service.
Bishal Malla from Elk Grove, California, was driving his Tesla Model Y while running errands when the EV started shaking. While pulling onto Highway 99, he pulled over to check if his Tesla had a flat tire. After Malla climbed out, the electric crossover started billowing smoke and then caught fire.
In a post on Reddit, Malla said that he was grateful to be alive and feared what could have happened if his family had been in the vehicle with him. Though, Business Insider reported that his communications with Tesla after the incident were frustrating, to say the least. He wrote on Reddit:
“It’s been two weeks, yet not a single follow-up or check-up call from Tesla. Yes, insurance will cover the car, but I need to hear from Tesla, and I hope they will do RCA on what caused this and what they are doing to mitigate it. All I need is the answer from them and protect others to not go through the same issue.”
Malla did eventually hear back from a Tesla representative, but they seemingly didn’t comprehend the severity of the damage to Malla’s vehicle. According to Malla, he was asked to take his burned-out Model Y to a service center. In his words on Reddit:
“Apparently not. I’ve tried them more than 10 times but those folks at roadside assistance customer service can’t do anything. One agent I talked to had an audacity to tell me to take my fully burned Tesla to the Tesla recommended servicing center. My car was fully salvaged and a total loss. How in the world am I going to do that? Phewww”
Malla’s insurance company took the Model Y and salvaged it, but he did wish that he had rented a flatbed truck to drop the destroyed car at the service center’s doorstep. It would have been difficult to criticize him for his malicious compliance.