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Reversing out of a parking space we heard a very loud sound followed by a grinding/scraping noise from the front right. At first we thought we'd run over something, but there was nothing under or anywhere near the car. Moving the car forwards, the car felt like it first jacked up a bit on the front right, then moved smoothly, but still with the scraping noise. Since we were very close to home we drove home at very low speed with varying degrees of scraping and other noises whenever we went over bumps.

Tesla towed the car to Watertown and are replacing a control arm as I write this the next day.

There have been several reports of this kind of failure happening, so I wonder if they've got a systematic problem.
 
Tesla has repaired the car and said that while not common, they do see broken control arms occasionally on older cars. There has been a part revision to fix this, so clearly there was a problem with the original design.

They won't replace the other side however unless it shows problems which seems a bit scary for those of us with older cars. At least in our case, there was no warning, it was a catastrophic failure.
 
Is that your expert opinnion or did you have the car checked and are stating after the fact?
Well since the car was just in for it's annual inspection last week and the alignment was still OK, it's a bit hard to imagine how a control arm could be damaged without throwing out the alignment.

And yes, it is my expert opinion that we expected to be able to drive the car on normal roads.
 

JohnSnowNW

Active Member
Feb 13, 2015
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Minnesota
If you pay attention to the failures they occur exactly the same way, very low speed while making a tight turn. There doesn't appear to be much concern with the part braking while traveling down the road.

Most evidence seems to point that Tesla got some control arms that were manufactured without meeting specs, not that the part design was at issue. If it was a design issue, we'd see a lot more than a handful of these failures.
 
Just to close this: it was a lower control arm. The new version replacement part # FORE LINK ASSY, RH (1041575-00-B). They never showed me the broken part.

What still worries me is that it failed without warning, and while I also don't think the annual inspection is worth much, someone did at least see the control arm when they had it up on the lift and it still failed very soon after.
 

Az_Rael

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Jan 26, 2016
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Palmdale, CA
What still worries me is that it failed without warning, and while I also don't think the annual inspection is worth much, someone did at least see the control arm when they had it up on the lift and it still failed very soon after.

I would ask them that question. How can they know the other control arm isn't bad when they missed the problem on the first one? Did they disassemble the other side and inspect all the bushings, torques, etc?
 
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3mp_kwh

Active Member
Feb 13, 2013
1,137
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Boston
This issue is starting to show up on Twitter (linking to this thread). Aluminum castings bring light-ness, with the unfortunate negative of breaking, rather than bending, as their failure mode. In order to really get at whether parts like this are more failure prone, you might need finite element analysis (think, Southwest blades). I would not expect inspection eyeballs are always going to catch which ones are about to go. Thankfully, it so far appears the forces of parking (maybe sharp/severe steering angles) are what triggers the end.
 

Russell

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Sep 25, 2012
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Silicon Valley
The car is what a little over 2 years old? This shouldn't happen unless you hit something pretty hard and even then it doesn't happen often with other cars. Imagine this happening running 75mph down the road. It would be pretty serious.

If it's the car in his/her signature, then its just over 3yrs old.

RDoc: S 85D Pano Roof, Silver, Grey Leather, Piano Black, Textile Headliner, Tech, Air Suspension, Subzero package. VIN: 78xxx
Confirmed: 1/31/2015; Production: 4/1/2015; Production Complete: 4/7/2015; Delivery: April 22



It would be nice to know what the mileage is.
 
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Today, 130.9K miles. 2012 Model S...
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