It seems that over the past several years, no carmaker has been more aggressive than Tesla when it comes to promoting the use of electric vehicles. We are talking about an automotive company that showed the possibility of manufacturing this type of car at a mass production scale. And in fact, today, the company has already come out with several models, including the Model S, Model 3, Model Y, Model X, and the Roadster.
Nonetheless, as any carmaker may know, the large-scale production of any type of car would always come with certain issues and hurdles. Tesla has certainly had its fair share of trouble over the years. However, what many did not anticipate is that some of these problems would spillover to the cars themselves.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the Tesla issues that perhaps Tesla founder Elon Musk would never admit to.
20 Trim Issues
Aside from customer service, it seems that Tesla owners are also complaining about the trims being offered and their inclusions. As Adnan of Corona, CA had posted on Consumer Affairs, “When we placed order it we [sic] were showed white leather type perforated seats and we chose the same and selected them BUT Discrepancy in the order: upon delivery they mention now it is part of the premium package and also discontinued, which was not inform [sic] to us and there wasn't any price adjustment.”
Several customers have noted that their car had paint problems upon delivery. On Twitter, Eric Lebel addressed Tesla, saying, “I’m a bit bummed out... my brand new model 3 was delivered with many paint issues. It is in the shop now, hope it’ll be fixed and invisible...” It is unclear if Tesla managed to fix the paint job to his satisfaction.
Aside from having paint issues, some newly delivered Tesla cars also featured cracked glass. Moreover, some have noted that the cracks have occurred on their Tesla’s roof or windshield.
On the Tesla forum, user burner818 posted, “I found a 3/4 to 1 inch inside cracked Rear Windshield day after delivery. Obviously, they delivered a manufactured defected windshield or damaged during shipping.”
For some Tesla owners, operating the windows of their Tesla is proving to be quite difficult. According to a post by K-MTG on the Tesla Motors Club, “After a day of having the car back, both front door windows are out of whack. They go all the way up but are misaligned somehow, so they go out all the way over the silver lining along the top of the doors and then retract back down about 1/3rd of the way. Both door windows are suddenly acting this way.”
16 Late Delivery
When Tesla unveiled the Model 3 back in March 2016, it caused a nationwide customer frenzy. All of a sudden, it was the ultimate electric car everyone should have, and several people were more than happy to put down money to reserve a unit.
However, nobody anticipated that Tesla would not be able to deliver the Model 3 to customers as scheduled due to production issues, shipping problems and a reported attempt to upsell the market.
15 Customer Service
It seems that customers who have already taken delivery of their Tesla are not happy with the automaker’s customer service. As Ankita of Norwalk, CA posted on Consumer Affairs, “You can call in anytime and talk to to [sic] anyone but their answers and tone will be the same with the same attitude in their tone. Including: Will not answer calls. Will not return calls - AT ALL, not just late. Extremely rude.”
14 Falcon Doors
The falcon doors on the Model X are supposed to make life easier for car owners, especially those who have children riding in the backseat. However, it seems that these doors have further complicated life for some. That’s because they reportedly don’t open or open unexpectedly. Either way, these falcon doors have been a source of headache for many Model X customers.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the 2015 Model S alone received 72 complaints regarding its suspension.
One complaint stated, “Front left control arm suffered a failure causing it to break loose from the ball joint and causing the wheel to push back into the body of the car. The failure caused the car to lift up and come to a dead stop. This was at ~5mph after after [sic] backing out of the driveway of our house on a residential paved street and starting to drive forward.”
12 AC Problems
According to one complaint to the NHTSA about the 2018 Tesla Model 3, “While operating in AC cooling mode, without forewarning, would switch to heating operation. During this unusual behavior, the display does not indicate any change in the HVAC system behavior. This defect creates a dangerous situation when the rear passengers are children in car seats.”
11 Screen Problems
Several Tesla car owners have also reported issues with their car screen, which displays controls for various car features. According to a review by Michael of Garnet Valley, PA on Consumer Affairs, “Last time is screen blacked out so you can't do anything and know anything except the car still can be driven: no speed, no sound, no turning signals, no communication with phone, can't operate garage, nothing.”
As explained by Jerry of Thousand Oaks, CA on Consumer Affairs, “Model X headrest is electric and cannot be adjusted by the user. When seat is back The [sic] headrest is at its highest. When seat is forward headrest is that its lowest. I plan to ask Tesla to disconnect the electric. The reason is that passengers in the second row [sic] seats are completely blocked in by the headrest practically reaching the ceiling. Very unsatisfactory.”
9 Third Row Seats
As you may know, the Model X is an SUV model that offers third-row seating. Unfortunately, some owners are having problems with this feature.
According to a post by user wisgary on the Tesla Motors Club forum, “I pushed the seats down to carry something in to [sic] work, and when I got home today I tried to raise them and it doesn't work. The motor makes its usual noise and spins around for a bit but no unlatching happens.”
8 Fog Issues
As Mike on Manotick, ON has explained on Consumer Affairs, “This car is not made for northern climate. Although I keep my Model S in a heated garage, the windows all fog up within a few minutes of driving in the cold weather. The ventilation system is not capable of clearing the windshield quickly and have to wait 5 to 15 minutes before resuming drive.”
7 Double Vision
According to several reports, it seems the windshield on the Model X is giving drivers some double vision problems at night. As explained by member rmiggins on the Tesla Motors Club forum, “At night, when looking through the front windshield straight ahead, I see two sets of brakelights [sic] on cars in front of me - one set low and the other set slightly higher. In other words, this is a high/low effect not left/right, where the lower lights are brighter and the higher lights are dimmer - but still visible. Same is true of headlights if a car is driving towards me.”
6 Battery Issues
According to statements from Tesla owners, there are instances where the battery simply stops working or takes an incredibly long time to charge. Michael of Brooklyn, NY posted on Consumer Affairs, “The car does not even come close to the estimate range of 237 miles (we are lucky to get 200) but the charging time is longer than the 30-45 minutes they claim (not once have we charged the battery for less than 1.5 hours).”
5 Sudden Acceleration
According to a statement made to the NHTSA regarding the 2018 Model 3, “Vehicle entered a shopping plaza at speed under 10mph and suddenly accelerated to high speed on it's [sic] own. It hit three stationary vehicles and knocked down a small tree. Tried stopping the car but the brakes would not work, and the car finally stopped after hitting the third vehicle.”
4 Safety Features Malfunction
As it turns out, Tesla’s safety features can sometimes refuse to work.
According to a post by user pscarroll on the Tesla Motors Club forum, “After getting the 2019.8.4 update I permanently lost my backup camera, it used to just intermittently go black. The next day I've had complete failure of autopilot, all cameras, emergency braking, lane assist, cruise control, display of current speed limit signs, auto lane change, and every possible feature of Autopilot and Enhanced pilot gone, it all broke.”
According to a report from Inc., Tesla ended up issuing a recall in 2018 due to a corrosion issue on power steering bolts. In an email sent to customers, Tesla explained, “If the bolts fail, the driver is still able to steer the car, but increased force is required due to loss or reduction of power assist. This primarily makes the car harder to drive at low speeds and for parallel parking, but does not materially affect control at high speed, where only small steering wheel force is needed.”
It’s no secret that over the years, several Tesla cars have been involved in fire incidents. In fact, most recently, a Tesla Model S had unexpectedly caught fire in Belgium. According to a report from HLN, “The driver had parked the Tesla on a so-called supercharger, a fast charging station, at the Novotel on Luithagen-Haven. When he returned a little later, his Tesla and the supercharger were lit up. Possibly there was a technical problem before charging.”
1 Autopilot and Car System Hack
Perhaps, this is the worst-case scenario for any Tesla car owner – a situation wherein a stranger remotely takes over your car’s autopilot system and controls it without your knowledge. Not only that, but a stranger can also adjust seats, open windows, open the trunk, switch on the headlights and more. All of these possibilities were shown by YouTube videos created by Keen Security Lab.
Reference: Consumer Affairs, Tesla, NHTSA, Tesla Motors Club