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May 13, 2019
524
1,844
Raleigh, NC
I was able to take another picture this morning. Looks like the lower control arm at a ball joint. Not sure, but looks like the housing for the ball joint failed. Sent it off to the service center today. I'll keep you posted and I'll file an NHTSA complaint, if warranted.

Any update? Did you get it repaired? What did Tesla say?
 

Ibrano15

New Member
Sep 17, 2020
1
10
Los Angeles
I drive a late 2016 MX 90d.

Yesterday, 9/16, as I reversed out of a street parking spot, I heard a loud crunch noise, kind of like I ran over road debris. Since I had my 5 year old in the car, I stopped to see what happened. I could see the felt lining of the wheel well had rolled into the tire. I pushed the felt liner back into place and drove off. Within 100 yards, the front wheel jumped up like it was out of place. Pulled over and quickly realized something was really wrong. Used the app to get roadside assistance and as he pulled the car into the bed, noticed the control arm was broken off.

Towed it to the SC and left it there. Got the call this morning from the SC and they confirmed it was the control arm. Without hesitation they said it was covered under warranty and they would replace the right side control arm as well. In addition, they replaced my left tire that was damaged by the control arm. Picked up the car same day, all fixed and under warranty.

Feel lucky to have had this easy of a process compared to some of the stories here... appreciate all the comments and background everyone provided, helped me feel knowledgeable in dealing with the SC.

Will report to NHTSA as well. First post here, just wanted to share my story.
 

jpvdheijn

Member
Oct 30, 2018
647
521
Baarle-Nassau, NL
So from my understanding (from the link below) if Tesla installed 4 wedge-lock washers on the lower control arm ball joints they could avoid having to replace 5 other parts. My question is why didn't they do this to all cars affected early on.... when it came out on March 24, 2015??

https://static.nhtsa.gov/odi/tsbs/2015/SB-10057891-9353.pdf
Your bulletin is referencing to the knuckle assembly, the issues mostly happening in this thread refer to the control arms breaking under "normal" load.
 
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erniejenson

ErnieJ
Nov 8, 2019
99
89
93010
That would be no problem as Tesla is the safest car made. Fan boys assure you that it only breaks at slow speed. Remember, the advice on this board is about as good as what you pay for it.
 
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bhzmark

Active Member
Jul 21, 2013
3,444
5,177

Fred finally has useful and seemingly accurate information:

The Chinese government says that it affects 29,193 imported Model S and Model X vehicles with a production date between September 17, 2013 and August 16, 2017

Tesla describes the problem with the front suspension (translated from Chinese):

“When some vehicles within the scope of this recall are subjected to a large external impact, the ball studs of the rear connecting rod of the front suspension will have an initial crack. When the vehicle continues to be used, the crack may extend and cause the ball stud to break. In extreme cases, the ball-end cone seat may come out of the steering knuckle, affecting the control of the vehicle, increasing the risk of accidents, and posing safety hazards.”​

Tesla describes the problem with the rear suspension (translated from Chinese):

“When some vehicles within the scope of this recall are subjected to a large external impact, the upper connecting rod of the rear suspension may be deformed. When the vehicle is continued to be used, the component will be further weakened. In extreme cases, it may break and affect the control of the vehicle. Increase the risk of accidents, and there are potential safety hazards.”​

According to the recall, Tesla is going to have to replace the “front suspension rear link and the rear suspension upper link” for free for the affected owners.
 

slee29

Member
Dec 1, 2018
13
12
Omaha
This is great news. I wonder if there's a chance tesla will do this too in the US.
Good question. How in the world has this suspension system not been already recalled in the US? Tesla is proving to be no better than Ford or GM in this area but more importantly this is proof that the NHTSA does very little regarding transportation safety in the US.
 

dark cloud

Active Member
Apr 14, 2018
2,031
2,304
BC
Tesla describes the problem with the front suspension (translated from Chinese):

“When some vehicles within the scope of this recall are subjected to a large external impact, the ball studs of the rear connecting rod of the front suspension will have an initial crack. When the vehicle continues to be used, the crack may extend and cause the ball stud to break. In extreme cases, the ball-end cone seat may come out of the steering knuckle, affecting the control of the vehicle, increasing the risk of accidents, and posing safety hazards.”

This is a little different than most of the breaks in this thread though. This recall suggests the ball joint cracks, but I assumed it was the thin ring of the link/control arm that broke, which led to a stronger thicker ring end of the link.

So the whole time it is the ball stud/joint which cracked first, which led to the breaking of the end of the link?

It also states it is the rear link, but again I thought it was the front that broke in most cases. Please correct me if I am wrong.



Good question. How and the world has this suspension system not been already recalled in the US? Tesla is proving to be no better than Ford or GM in this area but more importantly this is proof that the NHST does nothing functionally anymore.

Exactly. Why just China?

Hey Tesla, North American lives matter too.
 

MP3Mike

Well-Known Member
Feb 1, 2016
15,864
35,541
Oregon
This is great news. I wonder if there's a chance tesla will do this too in the US.

Seems unlikely, Tesla sent a letter to NHTSA explaining things.

Due to the opinion of SAMR/DPAC that the topic required a recall in the China market, Tesla was left with
the choice of either voluntarily recalling the subject vehicles or carrying a heavy burden through the
Chinese administrative process. While Tesla disagrees with the opinion of SAMR/DPAC, the Company
has decided not to dispute a recall for the China market only.

Tesla is not conducting a recall outside of China based upon the Company’s determination that there is
no defect in the subject components and no associated safety-risk.
See section 8 below for further
explanation.

8. Description of the defect and risk to motor vehicle safety:
Tesla has not determined that a defect exists in either the Front Suspension Aft Link or the Rear
Suspension Upper Link and believes the root cause of the issue is driver abuse, including that driver
usage and expectation for damageability is uniquely severe in the China market. If the customer inputs an
abuse load (e.g., curb impact, severe pothole strike, etc.), then the parts may be damaged, leading either
to immediate failure or delayed failure from the compounding effects of the initial abuse and subsequent
load input.

Tesla has also not determined the existence of an unreasonable risk to motor vehicle safety. The
occurrence of such failures in China (approx. 0.1%) and elsewhere (less than 0.05%) remains
exceedingly rare and if a failure does occur, it is immediately apparent to the driver. For the Front
Suspension Aft Link, a full separation typically occurs at low speeds and high steer angles, most often
when the vehicle is in reverse. For the Rear Suspension Upper Link, the vehicle remains controllable after
the part has completely separated. Finally, Tesla is not aware of any crashes, injuries or deaths, or fires
related to this issue.

So the failures are happening twice as often in China. (Bad roads and/or drivers?)
 

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  • Tesla-NHTSA-letter-over-suspension.pdf
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maximizese

Member
Jan 16, 2018
480
462
California
Good question. How in the world has this suspension system not been already recalled in the US? Tesla is proving to be no better than Ford or GM in this area but more importantly this is proof that the NHTSA does very little regarding transportation safety in the US.

I get your point, but until I see a memo or even hearsay that Tesla calculated the settlement of deaths to be lower than the cost of a recall and chose made their decision based on the bottomline, I wouldn't put them at Ford's level (under previous management). I got a little nervous the other day after hearing of other control arm/link failures and realized our Model S falls within the manufacture dates of the Service Bulletin:

https://static.nhtsa.gov/odi/tsbs/2019/MC-10153421-9999.pdf

I sent a service appointment request through the app to see if my car is affected and if they can remotely diagnose the condition of my MCU...it's been acting up a little more than usual over the last 9 months.
 

Eleanor

Member
Dec 12, 2017
11
19
Boston, MA
I’m starting to hear some noise from my passenger side front wheel at low speed reversing and turning out of my driveway.

Here is a picture. Is this a crack in the control arm?

upload_2020-10-24_18-2-53.jpeg
 

dark cloud

Active Member
Apr 14, 2018
2,031
2,304
BC
I’m starting to hear some noise from my passenger side front wheel at low speed reversing and turning out of my driveway.

Here is a picture. Is this a crack in the control arm?

View attachment 602183

From what I have read in this thread the end is where you want to look; that is where it will most likely let go, and therefore if there is a crack that is where it will be. like this one:

IMG_20200829_082524735_compressed.jpg
 

MP3Mike

Well-Known Member
Feb 1, 2016
15,864
35,541
Oregon
It appears that Transport Canada agrees with Tesla that the rear lower control arm failing is not a safety issue:

Transport Canada (2020 - 0975) just notified me that they concluded their investigation as follows:

"We have determined that a failure of the rear lower control arm on the Model S is not detrimental to the safe operation of the vehicle and will be deactivating our file."
 

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