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ball joint failure on 2015 MS70D at 11K miles - Tesla won't cover

Discussion in 'Model S' started by MountainMS, Mar 25, 2017.

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  1. MountainMS

    MountainMS New Member

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    I have a 2015 MS70D with 11K miles ... still well within warranty. I have 21" wheels but not the pneumatic suspension. Never had a problem except about 9 months ago the left front tire blew due to a pothole ... got it fixed at the local Tesla service center. New tire, replaced the tire pressure sensor, in and out in 2 hours. No other issues - 5K miles on the car since then. A week ago, I turned the wheel to back out of my garage at 6:30am, and heard a thump. Called roadside assistance, sent a tow truck, they said the right front ball joint was broken and refused to move the car. It was Friday, so Tesla sent a repair person on Monday am, I was at work. They towed the car, and then called me and said the ball joint sheered, but was probably in the housing unsecured and fell apart & I must have been in an accident - refused to cover despite warranty. I was never in an accident!!!! They said, well maybe the pothole 9 months & 5K miles back - although they didn't see evidence of that at the time when they had it on the lift . They also said I had some curb rash on my wheels so that suggested I was in a collision. Ha! I have a narrow driveway, that has been there for over a year. They towed the car to the certified bodyshop and the rep laughed and laughed and said this is all he ever sees. A ball joint sheer the driver doesn't detect and then boom. Lucky I was in my driveway! Regardless, they then asked me to return the loaner vehicle (twist of the knife), and when they towed my car they dented the passenger side front bumper (2nd twist).

    I was never in a collision. They had the gall to say when I returned the loaner "hey we're here for you." Really? how so? Does anyone have any suggestions regarding further action I could take? Any other reputable company would honor the warranty on a 100K vehicle like this. I am so upset. Appreciate any insight ....
     
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  2. Canuck

    Canuck Well-Known Member

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    Call your insurer and report it as an accident. Tell them about the pothole incident. Tell them you don't know if it was an accident or warranty issue but you're not an engineer and Tesla's potion is that it is accident related. Then they can fight with Tesla or pay the cost to repair, less your deductible. Your insurance rates may also be affected so also keep that in mind.
     
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  3. HebrHmr

    HebrHmr Member

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    Also, if you're still waiting for the body repair beyond when the ball joint in question is fixed, they should give you a loaner for that period they inflicted.

    Suspension Problem on Model S
     
    • Informative x 1
  4. Az_Rael

    Az_Rael Supporting Member

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    #4 Az_Rael, Mar 25, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2017
    Unfortunately with the pothole incident happening on the same tire, you might be hosed for proving a warranty repair.

    What caused it could be proven with some crack analysis on the failed ball joint, but that is probably beyond the scope of a normal person to accomplish. (In my field, we can analyze cracks and tell how they started either by an overload event, which would indicate the pothole, or by a material flaw in the casting, corrosion or some other cause. Its pretty cool actually) I have no idea how much it would cost to have a lab or university perform that analysis. en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metallurgical_failure_analysis

    We have seen a weird number of reports of these things shearing on the forums though. I hate to even mention that due to that one crazy dude out there with the Tesla vendetta, though.
     
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  5. croman

    croman Active Member

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    Yes whompy insane dude will come now and haunt the forum.
     
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  6. fsch

    fsch Member

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    In my case, I had two tie rods and one ball joint to change on an out-of-warranty MS 2013 and it costed me 3 k$ Canadian so about 2.3 k$ US. (So I guess only a ball joint will be ~1 k$). Initially, I had a similar reaction: how the tie rod on both sides could possibly be broken at the same time?!

    Now here, just calling the insurance puts you at risk to see your premium increase. Since my deductible is at 2 k$, I would certainly not call them.

    So I just paid, and got over it. I've put it in the same category as my Sienna steering wheel that got almost stuck while driving. Quite dangerous if anything but no way to argue with Toyota that given the safety side of things, how they could possibly charge me 1200$ for that repair. Got over that one too. I'm quite sure you will receive the same treatment at Mercedes.
     
  7. bonaire

    bonaire Active Member

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    #7 bonaire, Mar 25, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2017
    Does or will AP 2.0 offer features that avoid suspension-damaging potholes ahead in the road surface? If Tesla starts writing insurance policies for owners, how will this situation play out? It would be nice to see a metlalurgical analysis done on the ball joint materials involved. Mentioned above, a guy out there in Oz is collecting numerous examples of this kind of thing. Hopefully materials are strong enough for pot hole handling but it is a heavy vehicle. potholes are sudden forces and 21" wheels help transfer that force over other options.
     
  8. Nosken

    Nosken Member

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    If the involved parts have been changed/updated in later models, that might indicate a design problem. Doesn't the warranty cover manufacture defects.
    I am not saying it has happened, but with the combined knowledge on this forum, someone should know if these parts have been changed.
     
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  9. Lukez

    Lukez Member

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    Not sure if this is the upper or lower but my out of warranty rh upper ball joint was loose so I wanted to replace. Tesla sent a ranger and replaced upper control arm for $343 usd. Part and labor.
     
  10. MS16

    MS16 Member

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    If the ball joint broke and if the car is still under warranty, then Tesla must cover the repair unless they can prove it was caused by abuse or a collision.

    A blown tire (that didn't even damage the wheel) would not cause a properly designed ball joint to fail 9 months and 5K miles later.
     
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  11. bonaire

    bonaire Active Member

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    Based on the OP, it was a pothole hit with a Tesla-spec'd 21" wheel followed by a blown tire a moment later. The pothole forces would be the issue. Now, if the wheel rim was not bent during that event, most would say it should not have led to eventual metal strains if designed well with proper metallurgy.
     
  12. Nosken

    Nosken Member

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    In the original post, it was the left-hand tire and wheel that had to be replaced from the pothole, and this is regarding the ball joint on the right side. While there might be some transmittal of energy, it seems unlikely that any impact on the left side affects the ball joint on the right side this dramatically.
     
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  13. richrootes

    richrootes Member

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    The guy does 11000 miles and then joins this forum specifically to complain.

    Not exactly what I'd call cricket.....
     
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  14. Swift

    Swift Member

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    I'm sure there are a number of people who read the forum passively and join when they need to make their first post. I read the forum for a while before posting.
     
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  15. Lasttoy

    Lasttoy Member

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    Have lawyer file notice to sue, tell him to note it would be class action suit. There more than on on here that would join for not doing warranty work.
    I will bet dinner at Ruth cris they have not green sued yet over warranty work
    I sued GM over corvette with 4k miles, it got fixed free.
     
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  16. techmaven

    techmaven Active Member

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    I would definitely escalate. Unless Tesla can pinpoint how the damage happened from an accident, it should be covered. Of course, it is possible that it did come from an accident... running over something can do it. I would definitely firmly, but calmly escalate.
     
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  17. geneclean55

    geneclean55 Active Member

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    Big Tesla market in Utah?
     
  18. RAW84

    RAW84 Member

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    Except he specifically asks for insight...
     
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  19. MS16

    MS16 Member

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    I would carefully document everything and take photos of the ball joint and also of your wheels to help show the vehicle has seen nothing but normal wear.

    Definitely elevate the problem stressing the following points:

    Low mileage car
    Well within warranty
    No accidents or abuse
    Telsa refusing to honor warranty for no clear reason. SC providing dubious excuses (could be because of this or that) just doesn't cut it.
     
  20. mattr2

    mattr2 Member

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    I hit a curb and broke a control arm. It's a basic repair that took 3 months and $14k to the insurance company.

    If you are in Utah, you will be referred to the only Tesla shop in the state. Daves Body Shop will be doing the work, I fear your vehicle will require way more work to be done based on a repair memo sent out by Tesla that requires a long list of parts to be replaced.

    Daves is a high quality shop, but the processes and requirements Tesla has in place is the problem.

    Best of luck, I hope your experience is better than mine. Ohh, my P90d is *perfect*.
     

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