By on November 25, 2020

Tesla is issuing head-to-head recalls covering about 9,500 vehicles over a roof trim that may separate from the car and some bolts connecting the front upper control arm to the steering knuckle that might need to be tightened. While both issues can lead to some disastrous results, the unsecured roof is the larger problem by far and may affect more vehicles than the initial report issued by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) — which only references 9,136 examples of the 2016 Tesla Model X — suggests.

Earlier this month, the footage was shared over Reddit showing a Chinese Model Y with a roof that also had a hard time staying put when exposed to highway speeds. While the official explanation from the manufacturer was that an authorized third-party shop may have failed to install a replacement glass roof effectively. There’s an investigation pending, though it’s curious to see the smaller crossover’s top popping off in a manner nearly identical to those stated in the American recall. 

The subject population includes all Tesla Model X vehicles from the start of production through a change in process and documentation made at the supplier.

The Model X is equipped with a cosmetic applique at the front of the roof just behind the windshield, known as the front applique, as well as an applique at the center of the roof in between the upper falcon door roof glass, known as the spine applique. Both appliques are adhered to the vehicle using urethane. If the applique-to-urethane interface lacks primer, then, over time, the adhesion may weaken, causing the applique to separate from the vehicle.

The safety report goes on to suggest owners may notice an increase in cabin noise prior to separation. In some instances, drivers may also actually be able to see the pieces pulling apart. If your Model X’s roof happens to start coming unglued, it’s probably a good idea to keep your speed down until you can have it fixed. While the manufacturer and NHTSA said they were unaware of any injuries stemming from the issue, a roof flipping off at highway speeds could really ruin the day of someone driving behind you.

Tesla will inspect the recalled vehicles and run a retention test to see how they handle it. Failures will result in the company yanking off the roof so the necessary primer can be applied. All Tesla stores and service centers should be hip to the issue already, with customers getting their notifications in the mail soon.

The other recall covers a few hundred 2020 Tesla Model Y vehicles with bolts connecting the front upper control arm and steering knuckle. Apparently, they may not have been tightened to spec and could decouple. The NHTSA said it’s aware of this having happened on several occasions already and that vehicles should be brought in immediately for repairs. As usual, if you’re wondering if you’re car qualifies, heading to the agency’s website and inputting your Vehicle Identification Number takes out a lot of the guesswork.

[Image: Jag_cz/Shutterstock]

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12 Comments on “Tesla Issues Dual Recalls Covering 9,500 U.S. Vehicles...”

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    “The safety report goes on to suggest owners may notice an increase in cabin noise prior to separation.”

    That notice can be measured in seconds, in some cases, like with the guy whose sunroof flew off while driving home from the Tesla store after signing the papers. He has video of that event.

    Stuff like this is what keeps me away from them.

    • 0 avatar
      Ol Shel

      You should choose a car from a company that’s never had a recall, like:

      Nash, Duesenberg, Datsun, Vector, All Steel motorcar Company, Buckmobile, Hupp-Yeats, Kaiser-Frazer, Monarch, Pungs Finch…

      • 0 avatar
        SCE to AUX

        Recalls don’t bother me. Poor workmanship does, and it’s rarely recallable.

      • 0 avatar
        Art Vandelay

        I’d daily a Duesenberg. However I think they retrofitted a 3 speed non syncro one to the early J models. They originally shipped with a transmission not up to the task.

        that’s probably as close to a recall as one could get in the late 20’s though

  • avatar

    Primer applying girl was off with COVID related illness that day.
    The good news was that it didn’t scythe through a following car’s windshield.

  • avatar

    I still think most of the problems are from them pushing the production line too fast. Once the other factories are up and running, hopefully, they’ll slow the Fremont lines down a bit. But, who knows.

    The alternatives to Tesla, including ICE vehicles all seem to have their own sets of quality issues. I’ll take any of Teslas issues over flaming LG batteries. If I get a Taycan, I’m sure it’s quality will be good, but I priced one out at over $200k. Right now, that’s more than I want to pay for a daily driver that I need for running errands. Fortunately, I won’t need to get a new daily driver until the spring, so I’m not in a hurry.

    • 0 avatar

      What do you think about the Polestar 2? I really like the design and the $7,500 credit salves a lot of the price difference with the Model 3. But, the range is about 100 miles light, I have no idea how service would work, and it is made in China.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      I don’t know. Tesla build quality still seems to depend on skilled artisans, rather than modern poke-yoke design and assembly techniques.

      And misses like under-torqued bolts means they’re not using modern tools that can log every assembly step and eliminate the guesswork.

      Haste may be part of the problem, but Tesla’s quality is so far off the norm that I suspect they still have a lot of maturing to do even before the assembly line is turned on.

  • avatar

    “ While the official explanation from the manufacturer was that an authorized third-party shop may have failed to install a replacement glass roof effectively.”

    I think this really shows how dishonest and slimy of a company Tesla really is. They are the Facebook/Twitter of the automobile world.

    A third party caused a problem yet you are issuing a recall. What a bunch of unmitigated BS

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      Umm, that’s because the third party cannot issue recalls. The final mfr is always responsible.

      Delphi couldn’t recall ignition swiches; only GM could do that.

      • 0 avatar
        el scotto

        @ SCE to AUX Sir, you are exactly right. Most vehicles are manufactured with 100’s if not 1000’s of third party parts. The manufacturer is responsible for the parts and ensuring they are put together correctly. In theory a semi hauling a trailer full of O rings could make stops at many different companies/plants. With TTAC being a TTAC, the blowhards/idiots/trolls on here would be going< "See the company I don't like can't even buy O rings! Complete Junk!! They are an embarrasment!!" Which makes me miss the departed deadwweight; when he was right he got on some good tears; when he was wrong he was very, very wrong. Those on here showing ignorance of manufacturing processes/capabilities show their profound automotive stupidity and over lack of knowledge. Sorry I got off on a tangent, my diatribe was not directed at you.

    • 0 avatar

      There are two different things going on here. The recall is for the X and panels that weren’t properly bonded at the factory. The sunroof flew off of a Y and that isn’t subject to a recall, at least so far.

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