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Failed Rear Lower Control Arm / Service Bulletin SB-19-31-001

David.85D

Active Member
Oct 29, 2016
1,419
1,162
USA
Some of it looks like it is doable for a dedicated wrencher; there's the front upper A arm that looks like it needs the traction battery removed or incorrect reassembly to clear one of the bolts.

I talked to one of the techs about this about a year ago. He said the upper A arm and fore (lower) link don't require removing the battery and the aft (lower) link does require removing the battery. I asked them to replace those as owner pays, and they said they would, but returned the car without doing it and didn't charge me. They did find play in the sway bar links and replaced those under warranty. Strange days...

And FWIW, the wheel liner is pretty easy to remove - much easier than on my MINI Cooper S.
 

airsailor

Member
Jul 7, 2020
23
65
New York
Seems like it’s just a matter of time before NHTSA gets it act together... hopefully.
I was surprised to finally hear something back from NHTSA yesterday in response to the complaint I filed on August 29. They requested service records and the "Manufacturer's Complaint Number." I sent them the +/- $4000 invoice and the two letters I sent to Tesla in Palo Alto, which haven't been responded to, along with two more photos of the failed arm. I told them I have the failed arm available for inspection if they happen to want it. I might actually point them to this forum so that they can see that others have had the same issue, and that in some cases the arms are being replaced by Tesla as good will or warranty.

So now, in the first six months of owning this car, and the first 10,000 miles of driving, I've dealt with replacing the failed chip that bricked the MCU, this failed control arm, the 12V battery, the TPMS sensors which had failing batteries, and the back-up camera, which had corroded seriously, due, I think, to galvanic corrosion. I'm hoping I can have a few months in which nothing else wears out or fails -- knock wood. Driving a used 2013 MS with no warranty seems to be uncharted territory -- a bit of a crap shoot. But the car is such a pleasure to drive that I still have no regrets at all. I just really wish Tesla stood behind the vehicles as they should.
 

dark cloud

Active Member
Apr 14, 2018
1,988
2,242
BC
I was surprised to finally hear something back from NHTSA yesterday in response to the complaint I filed on August 29. They requested service records and the "Manufacturer's Complaint Number." I sent them the +/- $4000 invoice and the two letters I sent to Tesla in Palo Alto, which haven't been responded to, along with two more photos of the failed arm. I told them I have the failed arm available for inspection if they happen to want it. I might actually point them to this forum so that they can see that others have had the same issue, and that in some cases the arms are being replaced by Tesla as good will or warranty.

So now, in the first six months of owning this car, and the first 10,000 miles of driving, I've dealt with replacing the failed chip that bricked the MCU, this failed control arm, the 12V battery, the TPMS sensors which had failing batteries, and the back-up camera, which had corroded seriously, due, I think, to galvanic corrosion. I'm hoping I can have a few months in which nothing else wears out or fails -- knock wood. Driving a used 2013 MS with no warranty seems to be uncharted territory -- a bit of a crap shoot. But the car is such a pleasure to drive that I still have no regrets at all. I just really wish Tesla stood behind the vehicles as they should.

Thanks for contributing to the efforts for Tesla to be a little more proactive on their suspension issues. I love driving this car, but everytime I get in it I think to myself: "is this the day the links break?" Not very confidence inspiring.

TPMS sensors batteries are good for about 7 years, so those were bang on for the expected life.
 
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Yurand

Member
Jan 30, 2017
75
112
South Barrington, IL
I was surprised to finally hear something back from NHTSA yesterday in response to the complaint I filed on August 29. They requested service records and the "Manufacturer's Complaint Number." I sent them the +/- $4000 invoice and the two letters I sent to Tesla in Palo Alto, which haven't been responded to, along with two more photos of the failed arm. I told them I have the failed arm available for inspection if they happen to want it. I might actually point them to this forum so that they can see that others have had the same issue, and that in some cases the arms are being replaced by Tesla as good will or warranty.

So now, in the first six months of owning this car, and the first 10,000 miles of driving, I've dealt with replacing the failed chip that bricked the MCU, this failed control arm, the 12V battery, the TPMS sensors which had failing batteries, and the back-up camera, which had corroded seriously, due, I think, to galvanic corrosion. I'm hoping I can have a few months in which nothing else wears out or fails -- knock wood. Driving a used 2013 MS with no warranty seems to be uncharted territory -- a bit of a crap shoot. But the car is such a pleasure to drive that I still have no regrets at all. I just really wish Tesla stood behind the vehicles as they should.

You have an amazing attitude considering all the crap you've had to deal with. I hope you have better luck from now on.
 

aerodyne

Active Member
Nov 19, 2018
2,717
2,754
Los Angeles
Well since there is no VP of Tesla sales and service anymore, I guess you could tweet Elon.

Come to think of it, if enough Tesla customers do that, he might actually decide to delegate that job to someone else.

I have heard he is in a good mood after success like a SpaceX launch, or good stock news like the S&P 500 inclusion, so now would be a good time I think.
 

Jramz561

New Member
Feb 11, 2021
1
0
South florida
Good evening guys,

This post has given me great insight and has been extremely helpful. I purchased a 2013 P85 last year. A few months ago I got the screen of death and brought it in to service, it was repaired free of charge. This past week I’ve noticed a screeching noise when I bring the car to a complete stop. I checked the brakes and have concluded it must be suspension related. So I just dropped off the vehicle at my local service center. I showed them the SB covering the rear control arms and they agreed to replace them free of charge. I had not shown them the other SB for the front links and control arms so they stated it would be 175 to inspect the front which I agreed to. I emailed them recently showing both SB hoping that it will all be covered. I expressed my concern about the safety and how this should have been looked at when the car came in for the screen of death. I also expressed how this could have led to greater failure and that I’m taken aback about how this service bulletin had been over looked. Perhaps this has played a partial role thus far. Thanks again

respectfully,
Josh
 

michaelbrandi

Member
Jan 14, 2019
17
24
Denmark
I had the rear suspension failure happen to my car yesterday. Luckily my wife was in a parking lot, so no one was hurt.
Its a 2015 model, but must have been produced sometime in 2014. about 100k miles.
IMG_20210211_172813.jpg
 

TSLA Pilot

Active Member
Mar 12, 2013
1,733
2,380
United States
I had the rear suspension failure happen to my car yesterday. Luckily my wife was in a parking lot, so no one was hurt.
Its a 2015 model, but must have been produced sometime in 2014. about 100k miles.
View attachment 636067

Well, we can all see the problem--it's quite obvious from the picture: those are NOT Tesla OEM wheels?

If so, that's the cause of the suspension failure, or so we can expect your service center to report./s/

Seriously, please tell us that Tesla repaired this at their expense due to the fact that it such a widespread problem that this common failure suggests a manufacturing or design defect.
 
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BigNick

Disaffected Member
Dec 3, 2017
1,154
1,393
Pennsylvania, USA
Well, we can all see the problem--it's quite obvious from the picture: those are NOT Tesla OEM wheels?

If so, that's the cause of the suspension failure, or so we can expect your service center to report./s/

Seriously, please tell us that Tesla repaired this at their expense due to the fact that it such a widespread problem that this common failure suggests a manufacturing or design defect.

I wouldn't be surprised if Tesla does try to blame the wheels. If the wheels were far heavier than stock, they could contribute to issues via higher unsprung mass, but I don't see most people putting cast iron rims on their Teslas. Most aftermarket wheels are much lighter than the stock Turbine 21s.
 

aerodyne

Active Member
Nov 19, 2018
2,717
2,754
Los Angeles
Well, we can all see the problem--it's quite obvious from the picture: those are NOT Tesla OEM wheels?

If so, that's the cause of the suspension failure, or so we can expect your service center to report./s/

Seriously, please tell us that Tesla repaired this at their expense due to the fact that it such a widespread problem that this common failure suggests a manufacturing or design defect.

What is obvious to me as a structural designer of similar fittings, is that the part is poorly designed for anything but single use spacecraft.

The ration of lug to bore diameter is literally "off the charts" as far as the design charts I have used....

Plus no protection from corrosion or dissimilar metals contact. A perfect storm for short tranverse stress corrosion cracking causing net section tension failure at a low level, say 5000 psi.
 

michaelbrandi

Member
Jan 14, 2019
17
24
Denmark
I'm in Denmark, Europe, so I have not filed anything. the car is no longer under warranty, so I will have to pay myself. The guy who towed my car to Tesla, says that the failure is not that uncommon, and he has towed several brands of cars with the same type of failure.
 
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rickyjb

Member
Apr 30, 2017
88
53
united kingdom
I'm in Denmark, Europe, so I have not filed anything. the car is no longer under warranty, so I will have to pay myself. The guy who towed my car to Tesla, says that the failure is not that uncommon, and he has towed several brands of cars with the same type of failure.
do you have a NHTSA equivalent in Denmark ?
 

TSLA Pilot

Active Member
Mar 12, 2013
1,733
2,380
United States
do you have a NHTSA equivalent in Denmark ?
Concur 100% with this note.

Please file a SAFETY COMPLAINT with whatever EU equivalent to NHTSA you have available to you.

If this failure had occurred at highway speeds, this could have lead to a fatal crash.

While far from an expert on this, with just the limited number of people on these forums we have seen far, far, too many catastrophic suspension failures.

ELON: THESE DEFECTIVE SUSPENSION PARTS NEED TO BE RECALLED ASAP before someone gets killed.
 

TSLA Pilot

Active Member
Mar 12, 2013
1,733
2,380
United States
I'm in Denmark, Europe, so I have not filed anything. the car is no longer under warranty, so I will have to pay myself. The guy who towed my car to Tesla, says that the failure is not that uncommon, and he has towed several brands of cars with the same type of failure.

And, as a reminder, warranty status is of no importance here--this is a major safety defect that Tesla should take care of at their expense.

Assuming they fail to do so, please ensure you retain your payment invoice as I suspect you will be fully reimbursed once a recall is announced for this safety defect.
 
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