Cars First World Problems Personal

[Sigh] Support

Part 10 of the Electric Car series. The Electrilliad, if you will.

I spoke to a Polestar Support person on Wednesday who promised I’d receive a call within two days to arrange a tech’s visit to diagnose and potentially fix the car.

Today, at the 1.5-day mark, and knowing that if they didn’t call me I’d have to wait until Monday, I called again.

I’ve seen this screen way too much for someone who hates talking on the phone MORE than your average Millennial

They “had no record of a service request.” Also, I had to explain the problems, for the third time. They said someone would call me within 48 hours to arrange service.

I’m not falling for that one again.

You see, I suspect that, given enough time, most of these gremlins, in many cases, go away. Watchdog processes reboot stuff, timers expire, etc. My uncharitable guess is that they were trying to run out the clock until that happened, gambling they wouldn’t need to actually provide service. Sadly for them I’m not willing to wait weeks just in case my brand new, fancy car heals spontaneously. I bought a nice car, with a warranty; I expect it to, you know, work.

I told the rep that no, TODAY. That I’ve had the car for less than two weeks, of which over half the time a lot of it has been non-functional. That I had been promised a call to schedule a visit. She said she’d see what she could do.

Fifteen minutes later, I got called by someone else who -I imagine- was a supervisor, or tier 2. This person, Theodore, could make things happen. He asked me to tell him the story, again; they probably don’t have computers at Polestar, or maybe the people who wrote their Customer Relationship Management software are the same ones that wrote the website. In any case, he apologized profusely, and I told him it was the fourth and final time I told the story to Polestar support. I did. He promised they’d talk to the dealer to arrange service.

Lo and behold, a tech from the dealer called me less than an hour later. He suspects the problem is firmware, and swore he’s seen this exact set of symptoms before. There’s apparently a patch, as of yet unreleased, but they can apply it at the dealer… or send it selectively over the air, if the car could connect to anything. In any case, he was feeling pretty good about being able to turn it around quickly.

He also said the car needed a series of disconnecting different batteries in a specific order, and shorting certain capacitors to discharge them to fully reset the systems. I offered to try some at home, but he said doing it incorrectly could damage circuitry so I’m happy to let them do it.

He then said they’d call me from Polestar support to arrange the service.

I don’t understand what they’re smoking over there, but it does not seem to be “the good stuff.”

That said, Theodore called me again, quickly. A tow truck will come to take my car to Austin for -hopefully- a short visit to the dealer, and drop off a rental in the meantime. I sure hope he meant loaner. He said it’d be on Monday. He also said I’d get this documented via email, which hasn’t happened yet, but I remain hopeful someone will show up.

It remains to be seen whether I’m expected to rent a tow truck and drive it to Austin dragging my car behind, or something like it. Communication between Polestar and I: not our strong suit.

It’s nice to know that my friends still believe in me

The car remains a blast to drive around, and is comfortable and looks great. I hope these are just bad-luck gremlins from a relatively new operation. I like futzing around with new and unproven software, but I’ll admit that a car is a bit different – especially when I can’t compile a new version myself and reboot into that one.

I wrote before that

an electric car should be extremely reliable mechanically

Me, in more optimistic times

and I still expect that to be true; it’s just that the electronics, so far, aren’t. Fingers crossed.

Next: Healing