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Faux Leather Seat Bubbling

gidster99

Member
Feb 24, 2020
80
73
London
I am really upset, and wanted to get a sense from the community around whether this is a widespread issue and whether Tesla's response is acceptable.

In essence, after the really hot weather several weeks ago, I noticed a bubble in the drivers seat, right in the middle... I booked an appointment with Tesla Service for today (I figured waiting wouldn't really hurt, and my better half had offered to take it in and wait - an offer too good to refuse!)

Anyway, they phoned me today to tell me that, although they have the seat ready to install, the engineers believe the fault is mine, and so they won't cover it under warranty - to pay for it myself is well north of £1,400.

This was their exact response:
After submitting the photos supplied of your driver seat concern for investigation with our engineers, the route [sic.] cause has been advised is due to 'Anything from lotions, sunscreen, hair sprays or gels, hand sanitizers, e-cigarette or vape pen liquid, cleaning products, swimming pool chlorine’. Due to the issue not being a manufacturing defect and we're unable to process a replacement seat as a warranty claim.

Does this seem a reasonable response? Bear in mind that - to my knowledge - no lotions or sunscreen, hair spray (on my bum???!!!???) etc. has been applied to the centre of the drivers seat. Or anywhere in the car. In fact, the only thing that has been applied to any of the interiors is a slightly damp micro-fibre cloth.

The service person did ask their manager if this could be dealt with, but the manager confirmed not.

I have written in to Customer Services... not sure what will come of that.

But interested to hear if others have experienced the same / similar and what response they got / what they did about it.

Tesla Car Seat1.jpg
 

Medved_77

TM3 SR+ | MSM+Black | No FSD
Supporting Member
Jan 20, 2020
2,104
2,165
Scotland
Lots of reports of bubbling headrests (which can easier be attributed to oils and hair products) but I've not seen this occur in the base of the seat before:


You've not got much to lose by continuing to pressure Tesla to resolve within warranty. I wish you good luck.
 

Jason71

Active Member
May 8, 2019
3,055
3,062
Shropshire
The fact that they don't all do that suggests something odd has happened to yours and Tesla will likely cling to that to turn you down.
Are they looking to replace the whole seat? That would be crazy if it's just the squab but that tends to be how they operate annoyingly
 

Peter 224

Member
May 9, 2021
379
245
Salisbury
If their faux leather is so sensitive to normal domestic creams and lotions it isn't fit for purpose because real cowhide leather is much, much tougher and cream/lotion resistant.
I'd be furious and push Tesla as far as you can.
In the end I would:
1. Get the seat re-trimmed in real leather
2. Never buy another car with this sort of faux leather.
 

Durzel

Active Member
Jul 17, 2019
3,546
2,549
Bath, UK
Surely the onus is on them to show what it actually was that did the damage, not just reel off a list of possible candidates (“cleaning products”??)

I don’t really get this attitude to be honest. Parts fail, that’s why warranties exist. If that weren’t the case they could basically say that any spontaneous failure is the fault of the owner, because “there’s X cars it in the field that this hasn’t happened to”.

I’d be pretty livid about this to be honest.
 

init6

Member
Oct 16, 2020
658
377
Scotland
Pretty sure none of those products would be used on the part of the body that touches that part of the seat. I'd definitely push back And that's assuming you drive naked!.
 

kelvin 660

White SR+ with LFP battery
Aug 21, 2020
310
219
Stonehouse
It looks really bad. How old is the car? How many miles driven? Did this happen over a few days or has it taken many months to happen?
 

gidster99

Member
Feb 24, 2020
80
73
London
I have written to Customer Services. I have explained the situation - the fact that none of that list of products has been used in the car (which has only done approx. 6,500 miles since Mar-2020). I have suggested this must be a manufacturing fault (and therefore covered under warranty). Furthermore, I have quoted the "satisfactory quality" aspect of the Consumer Rights Act 2015 (which judging by the responses here, clearly fails the test that any reasonable person would deem this satisfactory). [NOTE: assumes all of you are "reasonable people" !!! :) ]
I have also asked for the procedure to make a formal complaint due to the poor customer service I have received. And I threw in a line about how if this is not resolved to my satisfaction I would look to raise a dispute with the Motor Ombudsman.
Who knows if it will get anywhere. I hope it does as this so clearly seems to be a Tesla fault (and not mine!)
Apparently they target a reply within 10 days...
 

GRiLLA

Member
Jul 5, 2020
892
859
UK
I agree that this isn't an acceptable response. If the customer denies that any substance has been on the seat, and the location doesn't really make any sense either then they have no reason to suggest that it's not a defect. If they have another explanation then they need to be more specific than a vague list of stuff.
The manual is more specific of the types of solvents that might cause an issue.

1627332279108.png
 

Bobly

Member
Sep 29, 2019
203
146
UK
oh wow, sorry to see that's happened, (and now I have something else to worry about too...)

hopefully you get somewhere with Tesla CS, but in a search to find more on this topic I did come across these


they may end up a bit "aftermarket" looking, but could be an option if you didn't want to shell out £1400
 

AndrewGR

Member
Oct 18, 2019
455
234
Oxfordshire, UK
Leather isn’t immune from this sort of problem either. We had to retrim a leather seat in an aeroplane I fly after a bottle of hand sanitiser left on the seat leaked on a hot day. Is it possible this might have happened in the OPs case? There’s been a lot of hand sanitiser floating around recently.
 
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Drew57

Active ember
Apr 4, 2020
1,129
1,366
Chester UK
This looks like another typical corporate driven Tesla response I'm afraid.

From other posts I've seen which reference headrests it seems possible that some of the substances they list could cause this damage but it's hard to believe anything like this randomly happening beneath you when the car is in use.

From Teslas' list of potential causes: Lotions, sunscreen, gels or hand sanitizers if present on bare legs would cause more damage towards the front of the seat where they actually make contact and hairspray would affect the headrest. Hand sanitiser, e-cigarette or vape pen liquid and cleaning products would need to be poured or spilled but would surely pool along the length the seam? (I suppose swimming pool chlorine or salt water from a damp costume could remain wet in the area shown in the picture though).

I may be wrong but I believe I had seen some similar headrest issues being resolved under warranty & I hope you manage to get a satisfactory resolution to this.
 
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Envchem

Member
Nov 13, 2019
196
170
Liverpool, UK
Speaking from my own experience. I had the whole bubbling headrest think. Initially SC was pushing back claiming that it was hair products that caused it. When I mentioned that I have no hair (lol) they claimed it was the oils from my skin...At the end they replaced it under warranty as gesture of good will one time only. I was advised to wipe the headrest each time I am off the car....Ended up putting a seat cover. Looks fugly but saves me the trouble...
 
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init6

Member
Oct 16, 2020
658
377
Scotland
Leather isn’t immune from this sort of problem either. We had to retrim a leather seat in an aeroplane I fly after a bottle of hand sanitiser left on the seat leaked on a hot day. Is it possible this might have happened in the OPs case? There’s been a lot of hand sanitiser floating around recently.
I think that would be less likely on the driver's seat though.
 

sparkymark75

Member
Jun 22, 2021
263
195
Scotland
Speaking from my own experience. I had the whole bubbling headrest think. Initially SC was pushing back claiming that it was hair products that caused it. When I mentioned that I have no hair (lol) they claimed it was the oils from my skin...At the end they replaced it under warranty as gesture of good will one time only. I was advised to wipe the headrest each time I am off the car....Ended up putting a seat cover. Looks fugly but saves me the trouble...
If a product which you sit on can't cope with the oil from people skin, then they are surely not fit for purpose!
 

pgkevet

Active Member
Jul 1, 2019
1,470
1,306
mid wales
A number of less mentionable things ladies and gentlemen may have had leak through thin summer clothes, something in the back pocket got sat on or kids playing video games while parked and spilled. How one disproves any of that is moot... even prescription lenses left on the dash in the sun.
However convinced the OP is of his innocence in the matter it's probably just a case of sucking it up and finding an upholsterer to change the panel.

Edit. My wife say's she'd fix it with duct tape‼️
 

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