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Be aware! Missing Control Arm Nut: Potential Safety Issue

RoyalDoveMY

Member
Jul 22, 2020
10
72
Florida
[MODERATOR NOTE: Please stick to the facts do not clutter the thread with chatter or hyperbole. Thanks.]

Please check the tie rods under your Model Y so that they are securely in place!

We noticed the other day that our Model Y's (VIN 0307xx, barely a month old) front right tire was pointing inward (top pointing inward) more than it should be. Upon inspection, we found that the tie rod was sideways and there was nothing holding it in place! Normally, a tie rod is held in place by a castle nut and cotter pin to keep the tie rod securely in place. None of this was there. Just the end of the tie rod.

As soon as we realized this car is not safe to drive, we called Tesla. They called a tow company to tow our Y to the nearest SC here in Florida to get it fixed. Thank God nothing worse happened to us as we have already driven the car more than 2000 miles on road trips! However, for a $60,000+ car, this should not happen! Please check over your Model Y to make sure yours is safe to drive. You don't want to have tie rod come loose while driving down the road.

Has anyone else encountered this before?
Tie_Rod Model Y Aug20.jpg
Right Tire Unusual Model Y Aug20.jpg
 

BreatheEasier

Member
Mar 26, 2020
519
334
Northern Virginia
That looks more like the lower ball joint vs. a tie rod, which is what I believe I see a little lower in the picture. A tie rod would have popped out as soon as the nut was gone and you tried to steer. This is super bad either way, if that lower ball joint would have separated from the control arm, you were looking at a potential terrible accident. The NHTSB should be fully made aware of this asap, as you could be saving another life if this issue affects more than one VIN. You are fortunate that the pressure of your strut was holding it in place, but it looks like the threaded stud from the ball joint has worn a significant groove into the steering knuckle, and the ball joint, steering knuckle, and I'm sure more will have to be replaced to make this right.

I have a 9xxx VIN, and I've driven about 1,300 miles so far since my late June delivery. I just took pics of both sides of mine below. It looks like Tesla uses lock nuts vs. castle nuts with cotter pins. I personally don't like this design, but I don't know if other manufacturers have gone the same route or not.

20200830_205442279_iOS.jpg



20200830_205631926_iOS.jpg
 
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BreatheEasier

Member
Mar 26, 2020
519
334
Northern Virginia
@RoyalDoveMY - seriously, please submit a complaint to the NHTSB with your photos at File a Vehicle Safety Complaint | Safercar.gov | NHTSA

It's one thing to have paint flaws, misaligned doors, etc, but something like this getting through QA on such a critical component of the vehicle could mean it can happen to others, maybe around your production date/VIN, and it could be the difference between life and death.
 

Nukef16

New Member
Feb 26, 2020
3
54
New Jersey
Thanks for posting this. I have been having a strange popping/lurching experience when turning the wheel hard at lower speeds. I even complained about it and they didn’t inspect it apparently since we couldn’t duplicate the sound on a local test drive. I took this picture tonight...mystery solved. Sooooo unsat!
 

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NY_Rob

Member
Feb 13, 2020
755
782
Long Island
^ well it's a two-off now!

That is ridiculous, you complain about "popping/lurching experience when turning the wheel hard at lower speeds" and they didn't even put it up on a lift?

I'm waiting for the two usual fanbois to swoop in saying "well, every manufacturer has issues like that". Well, guys... no they don't! Tesla is a mess right now... and it's not even Q3 end yet. Wait a couple of weeks and we'll probably see wheels falling off the cars. Stop apologizing for them, Tesla is not the company they were 3/4/5/6 years ago where they rolled out the red carpet for you when you purchased your Model S.
 

benh57

Member
Dec 31, 2013
91
80
Westchester, CA
Thanks for posting this. I have been having a strange popping/lurching experience when turning the wheel hard at lower speeds. I even complained about it and they didn’t inspect it apparently since we couldn’t duplicate the sound on a local test drive. I took this picture tonight...mystery solved. Sooooo unsat!

File a complaint with NHTSA! This is pretty scary and should probably be an inspection recall for all MYs.
 

bdambrosio

Member
Jul 14, 2018
26
19
CA
Scenario: The nut was not tightened enough, and gradually loosened and fell off sometime AFTER delivery.
If I don't have a lift and torque-wrench, how do I know this won't happen tomorrow, or next week, or next month, or ...?
How often should I check? Would loctite help?
Picking up my MY tues (9/1), fingers crossed.
 

jf64k

Member
May 9, 2020
380
337
Los Angeles
Scenario: The nut was not tightened enough, and gradually loosened and fell off sometime AFTER delivery.
If I don't have a lift and torque-wrench, how do I know this won't happen tomorrow, or next week, or next month, or ...?
How often should I check? Would loctite help?
Picking up my MY tues (9/1), fingers crossed.

Maybe mark the fastener...I’m now thinking of doing this on my two MY’s.

A29CDE03-A776-4280-9FCB-B96BEEED508C.jpeg
 

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