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2016 Model S subframe cracked

tejalv

New Member
Aug 9, 2021
2
9
Fremont
My 2016 tesla model s with 87 k miles was rattling at speeds over 60 and swaying. Initially the service center it was a tire and alignment issue. We got new tires and the alignment fixed but the issue persisted. I took it to get checked again and now they tell me that the driver side subframe is broken. The car is behaving like this without any accidents or incidents at all.
Has anybody else faced this issue? It seems ridiculous that the subframe collapsed at 87 k miles.
The tesla rep told me that
‘A number of factors such as driving habits, road conditions etc can cause the subframe to snap where the link connects to. Based on the mileage of the vehicle and the information obtained by both myself and the technician this is not a faulty part and will be a customer pay item. Thanks.’
I have attached the photos first one is the passenger side which is intact and the second one is the driver side.
 

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BostonBurley

Sorry. Bipolar.
Jan 13, 2021
184
129
South Pasadena
Mine broke and it only has 65k miles on it. So BS that this is a common issue. Why? I never had this problem on any of my other gas cars and all were performance cars. Very sad! Tesla needs to step up to get this resolved. It has to be a design flaw
You never owned an E46 M3, then. And BMW never issued a recall or goodwill voluntary initiative. Just search “rear subframe failure” and every link will be about E46’s.

Tesla will never do anything about this. But they know about it. Hell, all service centers keep them in stock!
 
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BostonBurley

Sorry. Bipolar.
Jan 13, 2021
184
129
South Pasadena
No never had the M3. Had the 745i, 750i, 650CI but never any issues with the sub frame, only oil leaks of course.
I know those are great cars, but the aluminum rear subframe on this car also hold the drive unit, torquing 400-500 ft lbs into 4600 pounds of resistance. Tesla should have beefed up the each of attachment points for the motor mounts, where it typically breaks. Maybe before I need another one someday a startup will learn to repair the cracked ones and beef them up, selling online at a fraction of new.
 
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DCEV

Member
Mar 25, 2019
956
710
Washington DC
Three subframes in, I can tell you how common this is. Many manufacturers over the years had identical issues and did not cover. Tesla will not cover this. Still love Tesla?

All Model S rear subframes will break. My experience has been that once it breaks and starts handling crazy, you need to park it. All that added stress on aluminum arms will make quick work of your components. I ended up replacing pretty much everything that had a bushing or ball joint after the third subframe because even with alignment it never felt right. It still doesn’t, tbh.

Is this covered by the ESA warranty?
 
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DCEV

Member
Mar 25, 2019
956
710
Washington DC
Where would I go from Model S? :)
My P85 has had following since 2018:
2 battery packs
2 drive units
2 rear subframes
Driver’s seat
Replaced MCU1, getting recall upgrade emmc next

my biggest gripe? Tires. I’m in the garage until 9/8 waiting for two dws06+ tires that are unavailable anywhere before then. Which is okay. But the fact that I had a double flat from a pothole again and again and again. The car is just so heavy. Anyway. I love the car after all these years. My wife tried the i3, then the Bolt, next she wants a Tesla. The other brands just don’t have compelling offerings vs Tesla.

What's your wheel size?
 
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BostonBurley

Sorry. Bipolar.
Jan 13, 2021
184
129
South Pasadena
What's your wheel size?
It came with 21, but after covid hit I went to 20 model x wheels. I love the ride and feel 100x more but I still get pinch flats. I’ve put 212k miles on the car so far. 195k on 21 turbines. All four of them developed cracks in that time frame. They were not staggered but the X wheel widths are 9/10 staggered, 245/40, 275/35. I’ve been using Conti dws06plus tires (incredible tire!).
 
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ucmndd

Well-Known Member
Mar 10, 2016
7,245
14,163
California
Anyone else low-key terrified about what happens when some weak-ass control arm mounting tab starts failing on v1.0 of THIS part? ;)

 
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rooter

Member
May 13, 2018
821
1,083
Edmonds, WA
Anyone else low-key terrified about what happens when some weak-ass control arm mounting tab starts failing on v1.0 of THIS part? ;)

Just about any accident will tweak the cast parts and/or pack, ruining the car and making it unrepairable. This change greatly reduces its value IMHO.
 
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DCEV

Member
Mar 25, 2019
956
710
Washington DC
Of course it is.

Thanks, good to know it is covered by ESA. I bought the ESA and I really hope they are not going to try and absolve responsibility if god forbid something fails and I need to count on the ESA.

The whole MCU defect debacle has left a very sour taste for me with the lengths they went to not cover a fix. Glad they decided to do the right thing at the end but I feel for customers who had to jump through hoops to get a reasonable resolution.
 
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rooter

Member
May 13, 2018
821
1,083
Edmonds, WA
Castings are lighter and stronger. None of this is a value reduction.
When one accident renders a car unrepairable... it can only be scrapped. Note this is in contrast with frame damage which is often localized and repairable.

This is a significant value reduction across the line.

You'll see.
 
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razh

Member
Dec 11, 2017
264
418
Ottawa
When one accident renders a car unrepairable... it can only be scrapped. Note this is in contrast with frame damage which is often localized and repairable.

This is a significant value reduction across the line.

You'll see.
There's over 250k cast model y's out there. We would have seen this already.
 
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MP3Mike

Well-Known Member
Feb 1, 2016
16,808
40,227
Oregon
Here is a video that shows how Gruber repairs the subframe:


Also to note that they don't think it is a design issue. (Though they do improve on the design with their repair.)
 
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