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Ball Joint Separation

Discussion in 'Model X: Interior & Exterior' started by TexlaSX, Oct 30, 2017.

  1. TexlaSX

    TexlaSX New Member

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    My wife was driving our 2016 Model X today when she heard a snap. Her steering wheel pulled and she struggled to control the car at about 40MPH. She was able to stop in three lanes of traffic but was pretty shook up.

    She contacted Tesla and they towed the car to a service center. They informed her that one of the links fractured causing the ball joint to separate. We have the fractured link (police found it in the street). The car only has about 10,000 miles on it, so seems unlikely to be a wear-and-tear issue.

    Has anyone experienced this failure on their car?
     

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  2. jelloslug

    jelloslug Active Member

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    There was a situation similar to this a few months ago. The failure was linked back to a side load impact on the wheel where a large "divider bump" had come loose from the road and was knocked into the travel lane.
     
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  3. Swift

    Swift Member

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    I’ve seen a few posts with concerns that the suspension components aren’t as strong as they are in other cars in this class. I wonder if that is done to save weight or cost or both.
     
  4. jelloslug

    jelloslug Active Member

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    I'm more of the opinion that people are hitting things and just don't want to admit it.
     
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  5. mongo

    mongo Well-Known Member

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    That was a rear camber link, this sounds like a front connection. (The white dots of death, right?)

    Total guess: From the jaggedness, it may have been cracked for a while and the fracture slowly spread. If so, initial damage may have occurred a while ago.
     
  6. jelloslug

    jelloslug Active Member

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    Yep. That's what I would suspect.
     
  7. TexlaSX

    TexlaSX New Member

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    Delayed pothole damage?
     
  8. TSLA Pilot

    TSLA Pilot Member

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    First, if at all possible, NEVER touch the fracture surface as it may make microscopic evaluation of the failure mode impossible.

    Second, and I hate to say this, but an input here is probably a good idea so that some trend analysis can begin (from Safercar.gov ):

    File a Vehicle Safety Complaint | Safercar.gov | NHTSA
     
  9. jelloslug

    jelloslug Active Member

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    That would the most logical assumption. A tell-tail would be marring on the outside of the piece that you found. You could also check for damage to the wheel.
     
  10. Swift

    Swift Member

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    Haha yup I know all about that. I’ve bent a lot of rims in my AMGs but I’ve never had any suspension damage. They’re tough cars.
     
  11. Tiger

    Tiger Active Member

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    This kind of defect should at least end up in voluntary recall, I wouldn't want to rely on brittle items in steering control. Similar issue as: Accelerator Pedal Broke Off
     
  12. jelloslug

    jelloslug Active Member

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    There is no pattern here. You don't start a recall off of an isolated incident.
     
  13. Silicon Desert

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    #13 Silicon Desert, Oct 19, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2018
    Interesting that I ran across this thread. I recently had driver side ball joint failure unexpectedly fortunately in a parking lot instead of driving at road speed. Tesla said to have it towed to a nearby approved repair facility as it was uncertain as the cause and they were loaded with cars in the shop.

    Bottom line, ball joint separated and caused some minor damage to the wheel well from the tire. No damage to the rim or other body parts. I didn't have to pay for it, but the cost was over $10,000 and 6 weeks to repair it (parts issue) !!!!! The guy who repaired it said "off the record, I think this is a weak design. Just look at this little bolt that broke off." So I guess people can speculate about the OP driving issue, but this is a case of simple parking lot low speed, no pot hole issue. The comment by the repair person also said "I've repaired a few of these. I wish they would change the design to be more supportive." So not an isolated incident, although I tend to agree that not may be at a state requiring a recall.

    And to add, could I have hit something earlier out on the freeway and didn't remember it? Anything is possible, yet the repair person didn't see evidence of that.
     

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