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Installing the official Tesla model 3 roof rack

Received a feedback today from Tesla about my rack Failure.

They want me to return the rack with the defective parts.

Quoted from their e-mail:
‘’The clips you had received are unfortunately not of the quality we expect, therefore we'll be replacing these clips with an updated version very soon.’’


To be continued .......

Interesting they want to return the whole thing.

I'm going to keep trying with mine since it seems to be stable, but will definitely replace them if tesla offers new clips.
 
I'm hoping they'll just ship replacement hooks that have been properly engineered. Fingers crossed.
Heck, I'd like them to redesign the whole thing properly while they're at it. From what I can tell, they should be recalling all of these. I just can't imagine having a full cargo box or a paddle board or kayak or.... *anything* on the roof when the front clips break at speed.

Of course I've been trying to get Tesla to sell me ONLY those clips so I could make my own towers. I think I'll hold off on that for a bit.

For those of you who already own these... I fear for the safety of your gear... and for all the other drivers around you on the freeway. At a minimum, PLEASE check all of those clips regularly. A quick shake of the towers won't show a crack starting. If I absolutely "HAD" to use the racks now, I'd at least put those clips through some stress testing before trusting them on the car at all. At this point we don't know if every one of them is bad, or only a small batch. But even if I only heard of ONE cracking like this, I would have serious concerns.
 
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They sold thousands of these things, let's not get ahead of ourselves here folks. We have a tiny margin of people reporting this as a problem.
Also they should be able to fix this in an OTA update. Maybe they can use the rear camera to reduce the speed of the car when someone is following you so you don't send a rack full of skis through their windshield.
Only a "tiny margin" of people had the GM ignition switch problem too... Takata airbags also a tiny margin...
 

NeverFollow

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Aug 9, 2010
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They sold thousands of these things, let's not get ahead of ourselves here folks.
We have a tiny margin of people reporting this as a problem.
When I installed my rack, I only used the given wrench which is about 4" long, and made it tight but not forcing it.
After install, I checked the rack and I was able to shack a little bit the full car and didn't fill the rack to be loose at all.

I would recommend getting some good Tie-Down Straps, and Anchor Straps if you carry a long item.

Sturdy 16-foot-by-1-inch Tie Down Strap .jpg Quick Loops - Fast Kayak and Canoe Tie Down Anchor Straps for Car Hoods and Trunks .jpg
 
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They sold thousands of these things, let's not get ahead of ourselves here folks. We have a tiny margin of people reporting this as a problem.
First, I wonder how we know how many were sold. Thousands? I've not seen that stat.
Second, I really don't care what margin of people are reporting this (note that some rack owners didn't know their clips were broken until they read this thread and checked their own!). How many rack owners haven't seen this thread, and have not yet checked? What percentage of broken clips would concern you? This isn't just one person having a problem. It isn't just two people. It is "several" at this point, and that's too many no matter how many were sold.

If this were a trailer hitch. Or the brakes. Or the wheel studs.... again how many failures would it take to concern you? Losing a rack with gear at high speed is a big damn deal. And showing concern for that is not "getting ahead of ourselves."
 
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This isn't just one person having a problem. It isn't just two people. It is "several" at this point, and that's too many no matter how many were sold.

From what I've read almost everyone is installing themselves and most aren't using the proper torque. I'm not ready to call this a full blown panic quite yet personally until Tesla weighs in. I had mine installed at the SC and it's solid still. I drove around for a few hours yesterday with three snowboards on it and still no movement or any strange sounds. We will see!
 

sroh

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Sep 10, 2017
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Yikes! I tightened by hand and then added one revolution with the hex wrench. I think I'll go and loosen that one revolution. The way the nut gets locked down by the lock, I'm not concerned about the nut loosening.

Driving up to Tahoe tomorrow morning for the first trip with the roof rack and skis attached. Will report back.

Update: Just got back from Tahoe. Aside: brutal getting up there over the weekend, but man, it was so worth it; best snow conditions I've ever experienced in Tahoe!. Call it 500+ mile round trip, much of it at highway speeds of 70-80 mph. I should also note it was very cold the last few days as that could play a factor.

Yakima FatCat 6 EVO on the Tesla roof rack with 4 pairs of skis. We had no issues with the roof rack. I guess the trick is to not tighten very tightly. The rack is still very solid, even though I only hand tightened and added just a half-turn of the wrench.

But clearly, this is not the answer. I hope and expect Tesla will update with new clamps.
 
Update: Just got back from Tahoe. Aside: brutal getting up there over the weekend, but man, it was so worth it; best snow conditions I've ever experienced in Tahoe!. Call it 500+ mile round trip, much of it at highway speeds of 70-80 mph. I should also note it was very cold the last few days as that could play a factor.

Yakima FatCat 6 EVO on the Tesla roof rack with 4 pairs of skis. We had no issues with the roof rack. I guess the trick is to not tighten very tightly. The rack is still very solid, even though I only hand tightened and added just a half-turn of the wrench.

But clearly, this is not the answer. I hope and expect Tesla will update with new clamps.

how was your efficiency?
 
Update: Just got back from Tahoe. Aside: brutal getting up there over the weekend, but man, it was so worth it; best snow conditions I've ever experienced in Tahoe!. Call it 500+ mile round trip, much of it at highway speeds of 70-80 mph. I should also note it was very cold the last few days as that could play a factor.

Yakima FatCat 6 EVO on the Tesla roof rack with 4 pairs of skis. We had no issues with the roof rack. I guess the trick is to not tighten very tightly. The rack is still very solid, even though I only hand tightened and added just a half-turn of the wrench.

But clearly, this is not the answer. I hope and expect Tesla will update with new clamps.

Sounds like you had a great time with skiing and using the roof rack. I am wondering if the affected J-bolts are from a certain batch of the roof racks. I ordered mine on 2/7 and received it on 2/11. I noticed the foot pad stickers look smaller than ones I've seen in roof rack installation videos, so I'm wondering if Tesla made some changes in the recent batch of roof rack orders which went out recently.
 
From what I've read almost everyone is installing themselves and most aren't using the proper torque. I'm not ready to call this a full blown panic quite yet personally until Tesla weighs in. I had mine installed at the SC and it's solid still. I drove around for a few hours yesterday with three snowboards on it and still no movement or any strange sounds. We will see!

I used a torque wrench on mine and never got above 4nm of torque which isn’t much at all before I had a clip break so I dont think it has anything to do with people installing them theirselves. Also it seems to me that the 8nm of torque that the install manual states is there to protect the glass not the clips. With loads on this rack those clips are going to be exposed to forces much greater than 8nm I would think. The fact that mine broke at around 4nm is very concerning.
 

sroh

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Sep 10, 2017
951
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Bay Area, CA
how was your efficiency?

Just like trying to get up there this past weekend, brutal. It's hard for me to be really specific as there are several factors at play. Uphill, downhill, very cold weather, rain and snow on the way up. I would say the roof rack and ski rack with 4 pairs of skis added about 20% to energy usage. On the way home (237 miles from Northstar to San Jose), I can make it back pretty easily on a 90% charge. Last time I did it, I got home with 50 miles of range left. This time, there was no way I would make it without charging. I would have been about 30-40 miles short. Most of that was due to the racks. Some of it I'm sure was due to colder temps.

Sounds like you had a great time with skiing and using the roof rack. I am wondering if the affected J-bolts are from a certain batch of the roof racks. I ordered mine on 2/7 and received it on 2/11. I noticed the foot pad stickers look smaller than ones I've seen in roof rack installation videos, so I'm wondering if Tesla made some changes in the recent batch of roof rack orders which went out recently.

It was a blast. Great dry, cold powder up to the knees (and thighs in the tress) the first day, cut up powder the second, and nice, soft bumps the third!

Not sure about changes to the design. There were rumors that was one of the reasons for the delay in the second batch of shipments, but who knows. The J-clips I received looked identical to ones I saw in early install videos.
 
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Just like trying to get up there this past weekend, brutal. It's hard for me to be really specific as there are several factors at play. Uphill, downhill, very cold weather, rain and snow on the way up. I would say the roof rack and ski rack with 4 pairs of skis added about 20% to energy usage. On the way home (237 miles from Northstar to San Jose), I can make it back pretty easily on a 90% charge. Last time I did it, I got home with 50 miles of range left. This time, there was no way I would make it without charging. I would have been about 30-40 miles short. Most of that was due to the racks. Some of it I'm sure was due to colder temps.

Which configuration do you have? LR RWD or AWD?
 
@cantdecide @KootsChewt you guys started this thread and had the original version from last year. Any thoughts of the J clips? How much torque did you use? Any issues with them cracking or how did the material look?

Egads! Hadn't thought to check this thread in quite some time and logged into TMC by chance today...

I have not checked my clips to see if still intact - I just completed a 1,000 km road trip on the weekend and probably have about 5 - 6,000 km of highway driving with the pod installed (though mostly secondary highway, 100 km/h or slower). I'll give my rack a shake when I go to the car in the next few minutes.

I did a consumption comparison test New Year's day, which involved taking off the rack and re-installing it - at that time, I used a kitchen scale and some maths to determine 4 Nm. That was quite a bit tighter than I initially installed it at, and I definitely would not have felt comfortable going to 8 Nm.

Edit: just finished reading the other replies to this thread and I'm concerned enough that I'm going to remove the roof box and just leave the naked rack on for the moment until Tesla gives an official response to this. Those photos of snapped hooks looks like cheap casting. I now want something milled or forged, gee whiz! While they are at it, they can fix the stupid design of using an Allen nut; should just be a 'regular' hex nut with a special notch in it for the locking mechanism. I'll be sending them that feedback as well in my email.
 
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