James May's Tesla Model S has failed!

James May has had his Tesla Model S for a while, and until now there have been little-to-no issues with the big electric saloon car. But after taking time away from the bunker to film the next episode of The Grand Tour, a gremlin has crept into James' EV. Let him explain...

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Hall of the Mountain King Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License


  • JM's unemployment tube
    JM's unemployment tubeMåned siden

    To be clear, I set the battery to charge to 80 per cent. When I say 'fully charged' I mean the cycle is complete.

  • The Stig

    The Stig

    3 dager siden

    Wow Tesla design so convenient....😒 I'm gonna buy 69 Charger with 7 litre "MOTHOUR" instead

  • Matthew Jenkins

    Matthew Jenkins

    18 dager siden

    @David Pan Exactly. Who wants to wait for a mechanic to arrive, when they have other vehicles right there they can connect jump leads to? And regardless of whether Tesla would have sent someone out, this is a problem that should never have been experienced, whilst plugged in to power! Major oversight of a very basic and foreseeable electrical issue.

  • Joel Garcia

    Joel Garcia

    22 dager siden

    Seems like an update should be arriving to warn the account of that batter and its status.

  • phil barnes

    phil barnes

    23 dager siden

    @Heiko Luder any 12v lead acid battery if not used will sulphate and warranty will not cover that. They must be used regularly once put into service. In the trade is deemed as customer abuse

  • phil barnes

    phil barnes

    23 dager siden

    Li-ion dont like being kept at 80% if your not using it 60% is much kinder to the cells. Same goes other way dont leave at say 20%. If ya doing lots of short journeys try as much as possible to hover around the 60% mark. Or 3.8 -3.85volts per cell

  • steve
    steve21 time siden

    think i will stick to my old mercury and hotrod, those electric jokes are obsolete money pits already enjoy suckers.

  • G man channel
    G man channel22 timer siden

    Maybe if you put the battery on trickle charge if you where not going to use the car for a long period then it might not have died. Or leave the bonnet open.

  • Space Marine
    Space MarineDag siden

    Between misery and nothing I'll take nothing, you can have this obsolete electrical contraption.

  • ronald engels
    ronald engelsDag siden

    This seems like a miserable car, I love my LEXUS 8 Cyclinder 300 HP Gasoline V8, 16 years and never a problem and still like new! Regards!

  • john Mutton
    john MuttonDag siden

    What a load of ballocks!

  • lewis4642011
    lewis4642011Dag siden

    Over engineered, overpriced and shoddily built junk. Electric cars always have and always be gimmicks. Hydrogen is the future

  • Henning Kilset
    Henning KilsetDag siden

    At least they moved the terminals under a SINGLE panel in newer versions of Model S - but you still have to manually release the frunk lock by pulling little hidden cable loops.

  • Sam H
    Sam HDag siden

    You should taken one for your best cars from your private collection and take it to "electric classic cars uk" and do a conversion.

  • Charles Russell
    Charles Russell2 dager siden

    So then, it's easier to charge your battery if you drive a 1960 Morrie Minor?

  • Dirk S.
    Dirk S.2 dager siden

    Someone at Tesla should really think it throug, why a second battery is needed, if you have a main battery x time its size. Didn't they hear about manufactoring and supply chain optimisation, where used components count is supposed to be as low as possible, and component reusage is key? Looks like Elon needs to learn a lot.

  • Ladco77
    Ladco773 dager siden

    Yes, it needs a charger port, but more than that it needs to constantly recharge the small battery off of the main battery so that the main battery will just top itself back off from the wall charger as needed. You shouldn't need to plug up two different chargers. Musk needs to get rid of that 12V car battery altogether and just use a small capacitor bank that refreshes off the main battery.

  • o2i3u5klwerh
    o2i3u5klwerh3 dager siden

    Now you will be cancelled by Tesla sjws , and lose your job at the BBC. Oh wait...

  • Peter Allam
    Peter Allam3 dager siden

    Surprised at you James! You've only just caught on....when you buy a new car nowadays you enter into an arrangement. The arrangement is the manufacturer takes money from you every time something needs attention - in your case trickle charging your battery. Did you say you replace the fob battery frequently ? Your onboard!

  • Paul
    Paul3 dager siden

    simple don't buy American. Especially if musk has had a hand in the design.

  • Kurtis TNL
    Kurtis TNL3 dager siden

    No. No. Nope. I would have just thrown the car out.

  • Waddy
    Waddy4 dager siden

    I'll stick to my Land Rover Defender (not the Disco6 version)...

  • Joshua Perrie
    Joshua Perrie4 dager siden

    Why not keep it plugged in?? Like the car??

  • Larry Dugan
    Larry Dugan4 dager siden

    A fully charged main battery and you can't get in the car. That is ridiculous.

  • randombloke
    randombloke4 dager siden

    One day we´ll service our cars at PCworld. Which is sad.

  • MCS 32
    MCS 324 dager siden

    Getting to the bottom of this would've frustrated and aroused him in equal parts.

  • Dennis Premoli
    Dennis Premoli4 dager siden

    Ironic, since the new plaid models have replaced the acid battery with a lithium one.

  • glockenrein
    glockenrein4 dager siden

    What it needs are door handles. Normal ones.

  • Luke Orlando
    Luke Orlando4 dager siden

    I had a car which I had shaved the door handles. Kinda neat cause without door handles the car had no need for locks. The key fob was programmed so that the unlock button activated a solenoid to pop open one door the lock button opened the other door. The car wanting to automatically lock itself when I broke 10mph was a huge problem until I figured out how to disable that system. Every time I set off the passenger door would fly open. All that to say I had a secret hood release to get access to the engine/battery. But heaven forbid you ever shut the door and left the key inside. No locks need the key to open the door :P

  • D Momcilovic
    D Momcilovic4 dager siden

    Moral of the story: drive your car instead of a display item in a garage

  • Qubit 711
    Qubit 7115 dager siden

    Drama queen much? Dude those plastic covers take 2.5 seconds to remove, all vehicles batteries die, most people do not leave their car parked with out usage and if they do the next problem you will have it flat tires. Just buy another vehicles since you are disliking the Tesla.

  • Alex Carlucci
    Alex Carlucci5 dager siden

    F*ck electric cars ! How are these gonna be the future awful !

  • Sin1979
    Sin19795 dager siden

    how much did that car cost? for that money you would think a bonnet release in the cabin wouldnt be too much to ask.

  • J Daley
    J Daley5 dager siden

    Quite a major oversight there. Why on earth isn't there a part of the charging system that's able to monitor the 12v battery and charge it, if it loses charge? Or maybe have a second charging port on the front of the car?

  • Alex N
    Alex N6 dager siden

    Why don't electric cars have a solar panel on the roof, at least to charge auxiliary battery. Wouldn't solve problem in a garage but ...

  • Jean-Claude D
    Jean-Claude D6 dager siden

    May I suggest a better idea (maybe)? How about the computer knows to keep the 12v system live by taking power from the 400v DC pack (like it would normally do anyway) even when the car is not driven?

  • Evan Ouk
    Evan Ouk6 dager siden

    The sudden cable fourthly excite because tent additionly bomb behind a snotty peen. friendly, cowardly archer

  • Argus Burebistus
    Argus Burebistus6 dager siden

    Dont they have a small port in the front pumper were you have 2 wires and cant jump start it with a external batterie ????

  • D Pinkerton
    D Pinkerton6 dager siden

    Stop beating around the bush and say what you really think

  • Matthias Götzke
    Matthias Götzke7 dager siden

    In the new BMW iX you cannot even open the front anymore :)

  • MyDailyUpload
    MyDailyUpload7 dager siden

    I love my manual transmission Toyota Corolla. When the battery died, all I had to do to start it was get it rolling in 2nd gear and release the clutch.

  • asrsi
    asrsi7 dager siden

    It's a Tesla, what else but fail should you expect?

  • izalman
    izalman7 dager siden

    Designers left their inteligence at home that week..

  • Spartan Conscience
    Spartan Conscience8 dager siden

    Do not listen to Elon Musk. Elon Musk claims Bitcoin is a polluter and yet overlooks the mining of lithium for his car's batteries and rocket program are much bigger polluters. His electricity use comes from polluting sources. He does not even have solar panels on his factories roofs. He is a hypocrite. People should therefore protest by not buying his cars and demand action be taken for his rockets and factories to use other fuel alternatives. They should protest outside his home and office to demand this change.

    DAVID THOMPSON8 dager siden

    All this to keep, a conventional batterie charged, why not redo the electronics to keep it topped off, once it's plugged into the wall the car should take care of its self, this is indeed a design flaw,now i don't design rockets too , i would think about it if i was to go for a ride though.A battery flaw that should have been taken care of in the very beginning. That car that is wondering in space, that car had the flaw, but since it's gone they forgot to address it. Enters Captain Slow... 😂

  • Øystein
    Øystein9 dager siden

    What a dumb unfinished solution by Tesla.. Just like much of the bodywork on their cars :P

  • Russ N
    Russ N9 dager siden

    Well that's what you get for buying something major from such a minor company. It's like buying a TVR and wondering why it doesn't work like a Toyota.

  • The Farmer
    The Farmer9 dager siden

    Tesla is like an Italian car from what I can conclude from that video.

  • Felipe Gonzales
    Felipe Gonzales9 dager siden

    Ford's lighting is looking better than Tesla...

  • Felipe Gonzales
    Felipe Gonzales9 dager siden

    So if the front trunk could be opened from the sides of the fenders, that is not a secure trunk...

  • Felipe Gonzales
    Felipe Gonzales9 dager siden

    Wow that is a horrible design.

  • about the metal
    about the metal9 dager siden

    Well,that's put me off a Tesla.

  • S Martin
    S Martin9 dager siden

    Ok, so there is no emergency key to get into the car, is that right? Also there are no jump posts to provide help if a conventional car needs some 12V, I see. But that the DCDC shuts down while being plugged in and while it needs to charge the 12V system is just a weird strategy. That's odd.

  • K R
    K R10 dager siden

    Rolf Harris is back in front of the camera I see...

  • Hywel Sambrook
    Hywel Sambrook10 dager siden

    James, it doesn't need a service battery charging port. It needs a software update to maintain a float charge continously when plugged in.

  • Kyler Napier
    Kyler Napier10 dager siden

    I can hear Clarkson laughing

  • Shashee Kaushalya
    Shashee Kaushalya10 dager siden

    why do I find this NOT boring

  • Stuart Brown
    Stuart Brown10 dager siden

    So Funny........

  • Antonio Palmero
    Antonio Palmero11 dager siden

    James has too many cars / toys.

  • peter flynn
    peter flynn11 dager siden

    All that to get at a battery no thanks

  • Markus gordon
    Markus gordon11 dager siden

    Elon’s way to busy building tunnels that you can travel at 1000 mph in he’s still at 200 mph 6 years later

  • MrBurritoMan
    MrBurritoMan11 dager siden

    The internet needs more James May!

  • Rocketry And More
    Rocketry And More11 dager siden

    I'd rather buy a Gripen J-39 or a F5 tiger than a Electric car

  • Jonnny Ren
    Jonnny Ren11 dager siden

    I know this is all irrelevant to the video but, Does James know today is the 78th Anniversary of his successful mission back in 1943 where he defeated Luftwaffe Reichsmarschall von Clarkson in the North Africa campaign alongside the Duke of Hammond? I mean asides from him discovering the True Source of the Nile.

  • JayHowi
    JayHowi11 dager siden

    but why can't Tesla just make it so the big battery chargers the small battery when needed?

  • Cede Nullis
    Cede Nullis11 dager siden

    Oh dear, poor little rich boy with all his serious problems. Life is sooooo cruel.

  • Ant


    11 dager siden

    keep crying you salty helmet

  • ff8123
    ff812311 dager siden

    For a $100,000 car?

  • danny B
    danny B11 dager siden

    turn on the cooler or heater remotely sometimes duh rich people problems to many cars to drive so sad

  • Travis Perakovic
    Travis Perakovic12 dager siden

    Horrible design

  • David Barry
    David Barry12 dager siden

    Sounds like a recall is warranted and some sort of charging port added that is available from the outside.

  • David Barry

    David Barry

    10 dager siden

    Or better yet, some circuitry added to monitor that 12V conventional battery and charge it when needed. Like it should have in the first place. Which may be possible simply with a software change since there must be some sort of monitoring hardware on that battery.

  • 7S POWER
    7S POWER12 dager siden

    James, you should carry a lithium portable jump starter.

  • Ben Crilly
    Ben Crilly12 dager siden

    75,000 trouble free miles and counting with my model 3 ..my car makes all kind of noises and has scratches who cares it drives me from point a to point b

  • jamie smither
    jamie smither12 dager siden

    James you are not as p***ed off with Elon as the BTC hodl'ers are ! And by the way you never actually own a Tesla. The onboard Stazi system can digitally evict you anytime. You are just a tenant of tesla tech.

  • C Bromley
    C Bromley12 dager siden

    This hasn’t happened to us yet, and despite being a Tesla fan family, it’s utterly baffling...especially in light of all the high tech. Nice solution.

  • Stephen M
    Stephen M12 dager siden

    Anyone else drink in the irony of having the 'eco friendly' battery car parked behind the gorgeous Renault A110 with it's proper engine? Bet you don't need to dismantle it if you ever need to charge the battery LOL

  • Stephen M
    Stephen M13 dager siden

    My 15 year old Focus has exactly that kind of charging lead permanently plumbed in to my battery for top up charging. Of course, it's powered by a nasty ICE which kills a load of dolphins every time I use it - brilliant! :)

  • Posh Panda
    Posh Panda13 dager siden

    Hmmmmm, I should connect a short charging-cable to the roof to connect to...

  • SnowChains
    SnowChains13 dager siden

    whoops, well that was a silly omission on the electrics. Tesla obviously didn't expect an owner would NOT use his car everyday... or even for a week or 3.

  • Luqman Siknder
    Luqman Siknder13 dager siden

    what car is that in the backround

  • PauleeDee Himself
    PauleeDee Himself14 dager siden

    that is quite a design flaw. So the 12V battery only charges if and when the BIG battery is not full. So how does it charge when driving? The 12V will be charged from the BIG batt?

  • Stephen D
    Stephen D14 dager siden

    All this just so the exhaust pipe can be move to a power plant far away and we can pretend we are saving the environment in a car that has so much plastic in it that if it crashed into the ocean it would an oil slick to rival that of the Exxon Valdez.

  • dcoog anml
    dcoog anml14 dager siden


  • David Barnsley
    David Barnsley14 dager siden

    That’s what you get for having a big scalextric car 😂😂

  • Richard Stringer
    Richard Stringer15 dager siden

    This is where things are heading in the future, a complete and utter hassle with cars. Plus what makes it worse is, from 2040 all petrol and diesel cars are to be banned so the poor will no longer be able to drive as electric cars cost thousands of pounds and to replace batteries which last about 15 years it costs more thousands of pounds too. Welcome to the world in 2040 where only rich people will legally be allowed to drive cars. Plus unless the mileage range is dramatically raised many people will run out of charge and you might see many people stuck at the side of roads out of charge and you might see stations full of people waiting hours to charge their car to carry on a journey so a once upon a time journey of about two hours, in the future becomes a journey of around four hours of more.

  • dcoog anml

    dcoog anml

    14 dager siden

    Frankly, I’m surprised the 12v battery has lasted nearly 4 years. My lease return, after double extension, is a week away. Anxious for refresh model S to arrive.

  • Edward Kennedy
    Edward Kennedy15 dager siden

    Think i'll stick with my hillman husky.

  • paul sutton
    paul sutton15 dager siden

    Hah! Looks like the Allegro was not so bad, after all.

  • major 007
    major 00715 dager siden

    over rated car. Tesla number one in customer complaints.

  • chrissybabe
    chrissybabe15 dager siden

    Yet another example of idiots being left in charge of something that requires an intelligent person. Referring to the design engineer in this case.

  • Ailsa Ni
    Ailsa Ni15 dager siden

    What a great ending! "Why is it making that noise?.....RUN AWAY!"

  • Ailsa Ni

    Ailsa Ni

    15 dager siden

    It's just a pleasure to listen to someone who knows how to pronounce Battery.

  • Volebien
    Volebien15 dager siden

    James May : Post a video about Tesla. Tesla, inc : Back to the drawing board.

  • GeoS
    GeoS15 dager siden

    Tesla fan boys heads are spinning 360 and projectile vomiting.

  • DAPC
    DAPC15 dager siden

    ~what mechanic to you bring this to when it needs fixing?~Tesla Dealers?~arrrrrrrggggghhhh!!!~garbage~I am not a fan on gas and oil but it seems a lot more sense to own a car that runs on it as if you are driving on a highway and you just noticed you need a charge and you are right in the middle of a desolated land I guess Triple A cannot come out and service your vehicle to get you rolling again~this type of car to me seems like only a commuter or grocery getter~these cars are expensive and they can have them~

  • kyle mitchell
    kyle mitchell15 dager siden

    I prefer James more on NOprojects than I did on TV. I don't know why, I just do.

  • kolim jone
    kolim jone16 dager siden

    "You've now voided you're warranty" Wait for that line next time you take it in for a service or diagnosis

  • kolim jone

    kolim jone

    16 dager siden

    I've seen that much plastic somewhere - under a BMW's hood...

  • Bozo's Playhouse
    Bozo's Playhouse16 dager siden

    I had to install some radio gear in an earlier model tesla, the 12 volt battery was considerably more hidden than this, I replaced it with a Li-FePO4 battery and a noco charging pigtail with the charge indicator, done! Spend that kind of money on a car and they install the weakest, inaccessible battery they could find.

  • Johan Teekens
    Johan Teekens16 dager siden

    it's stil an awesome car/brand which redefined the car market. I personally don't mind the minor inconveniences which basically every car has, if you look for them.

  • Tollef Reyerson
    Tollef Reyerson16 dager siden

    Lol!! Wow! Engineering at its finest.

  • Flash back
    Flash back16 dager siden

    Nobody trusts those TOP GEAR guys after previous LIES

  • John Poldo
    John Poldo16 dager siden

    Hopefully, model S refresh fixes this issue. For now, I turn on Sentry mode, the main battery loses several miles daily, requiring a recharge that also charges the 12v battery. Frankly, I’m surprised the 12v battery has lasted nearly 4 years. My lease return, after double extension, is a week away. Anxious for refresh model S to arrive.

  • Alan Akeister
    Alan Akeister17 dager siden

    Tesla, not designed by engineers

  • kolim jone
    kolim jone17 dager siden

    What a great ending! "Why is it making that noise?.....RUN AWAY!"

  • kolim jone

    kolim jone

    17 dager siden

    doors with my keys and then get access to the battery...

  • Dennis conroy
    Dennis conroy17 dager siden

    Yeah Gravitas Woman commentor stop copying all the other hypnotised commentators of hatred.

  • Sandy BoleYT
    Sandy BoleYT17 dager siden

    Well thought out Tesla as always