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Leaking Trunk - Tesla's Strange Response

I bought a M3 2019 from a trusted friend. He was the original owner and I knew the trunk leaked, but we've had so little rain that it didn't seem anything more than a slight nuisance.

Last month we had EPIC rains and there were 2 - 3 GALLONS of water in my trunk over a three day period. My Tesla is parked outside.

I took it in for service for a $52.50 estimated repair. After 11 days they finally called and said, sorry- you have after market trunk struts that lift your trunk lid a bit too high and that is causing the leak. We can't fix it and you'll have to take it to a body shop because we don't paint cars. WHAT??!!

I called my friend who is confused. He has no idea how they could say that- he has never had work done on the trunk (or anything else)

Here is my question: it seems easy to verify the "aftermarket struts" claim. Assuming my friend is telling the truth- and I think he is- how do I work on this issue with Tesla? Do I ask to see the service manager? Do I seek legal counsel? Is it a waste of time because Tesla doesn't care?
 
Here's a close up of my strut. I too have a 2019 and have owned it since new. If you'd have the same markings, I'd suspect it's OE.

Strut.jpg
 

KenC

Active Member
Sep 4, 2018
4,327
4,039
Maine
I bought a M3 2019 from a trusted friend. He was the original owner and I knew the trunk leaked, but we've had so little rain that it didn't seem anything more than a slight nuisance.

Last month we had EPIC rains and there were 2 - 3 GALLONS of water in my trunk over a three day period. My Tesla is parked outside.

I took it in for service for a $52.50 estimated repair. After 11 days they finally called and said, sorry- you have after market trunk struts that lift your trunk lid a bit too high and that is causing the leak. We can't fix it and you'll have to take it to a body shop because we don't paint cars. WHAT??!!

I called my friend who is confused. He has no idea how they could say that- he has never had work done on the trunk (or anything else)

Here is my question: it seems easy to verify the "aftermarket struts" claim. Assuming my friend is telling the truth- and I think he is- how do I work on this issue with Tesla? Do I ask to see the service manager? Do I seek legal counsel? Is it a waste of time because Tesla doesn't care?
What's the proposed "repair"? What were they planning to do for $52.50? When your trunk lid is closed, can you take pics to show us what "too high" looks like? A fix might be as simple as buying a gasket and putting it around the trunk lid. And, what's the "paint cars" issue? Are you missing paint?

If the fix is only $52.50, then it's probably too much trouble to bother Tesla, and you can probably do it yourself, but you have to tell us what the $52.50 fix is for.
 

focher

Active Member
Oct 15, 2013
1,438
2,943
Bay Area
The $52.50 is apparently what Tesla scams people into paying to "investigate" whether the issue is covered by warranty. It's totally bogus. I've personally never experienced nor even heard of anyone else experience such a fee during the warranty period from other manufacturers.

If the above is correct and the struts in the trunk are the standard Tesla installed ones, I'd both request a refund of the $52.50 (which I've always refused to pay) and show them the evidence that the struts are the ones used in other Teslas.

As you're in Canada, I suspect consumer protection laws and agencies exist that are intended to prevent such behavior from product manufacturers. Here in California, we have a consumer protection bureau that really does work. In our case, simply submitting a complaint against the product manufacturer will do wonders. I'd explain to Tesla that you will do exactly that if they don't honor the product warranty and fix the issue. I'd bet money that they will handle it.
 

TLLMRRJ

Active Member
Dec 19, 2019
2,095
2,549
Houston
Does the trunk or frunk lift themselves when you pop them from the screen or phone? If so, that would be a sign of aftermarket struts. With OEM struts, you have to lift them manually about half way before they open the rest of the way.

I put the aftermarket struts on my frunk for a couple of weeks, and I could see them pushing the frunk lid up. It seemed to strain the frunk lid a lot when closing the frunt. Took them right off.

I know you're problem is with the trunk, but I can see the aftermarket trunk struts causing the same issues as I had with the frunk.
 
I had a great experience at the service center- although I have a chuckle for all of you.

I went directly to the service manager and said... "It's going to be really simple to confirm if those struts are original equipment. I know this will probably have to get kicked up to regional so I am really here for your advice and counsel on the best way to move forward."

I think I took him by surprise.

Turns out the problem was that the tech who looked at it didn't get that I had a 2019 and the trunk does not have the power close- I have to use my own muscles to close the trunk. That was your giggle part. How did they not know and how the heck did it take 5 days to come up with that?!

The upshot- they are going to reset the back window to improve the window to trunk lid fit. This seems questionable as a fix, IMO, but their attitude is so darn awesome I have every confidence we will get it right.
 
The $52.50 is apparently what Tesla scams people into paying to "investigate" whether the issue is covered by warranty. It's totally bogus. I've personally never experienced nor even heard of anyone else experience such a fee during the warranty period from other manufacturers.

If the above is correct and the struts in the trunk are the standard Tesla installed ones, I'd both request a refund of the $52.50 (which I've always refused to pay) and show them the evidence that the struts are the ones used in other Teslas.

As you're in Canada, I suspect consumer protection laws and agencies exist that are intended to prevent such behavior from product manufacturers. Here in California, we have a consumer protection bureau that really does work. In our case, simply submitting a complaint against the product manufacturer will do wonders. I'd explain to Tesla that you will do exactly that if they don't honor the product warranty and fix the issue. I'd bet money that they will handle it.
Hee Hee- yeah, a lot of people make that mistake... especially Canadians. It's cool- I am in the Greater Los Angeles area. Good to know about the consumer protection bureau. Fortunately, I won't need it... yet.
 
What's the proposed "repair"? What were they planning to do for $52.50? When your trunk lid is closed, can you take pics to show us what "too high" looks like? A fix might be as simple as buying a gasket and putting it around the trunk lid. And, what's the "paint cars" issue? Are you missing paint?

If the fix is only $52.50, then it's probably too much trouble to bother Tesla, and you can probably do it yourself, but you have to tell us what the $52.50 fix is for.
I will ask. I am on a mission to make the Burbank Service department my besties so... let see what they say!
 
  • Funny
Reactions: KenC

focher

Active Member
Oct 15, 2013
1,438
2,943
Bay Area
The strangest part of this thread (for me) is that I’m from SoCal - both Orange County and Los Angeles. If I’ve ever heard of “La Canada” in the 20 years I was immediately in the area, I sure don’t remember it. But I’m also getting older and - so my wife tells me - I don’t remember things, especially when it’s an important memory that proves I’ve lost an argument.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Msjulie

stopcrazypp

Well-Known Member
Dec 8, 2007
12,170
8,014
The $52.50 is apparently what Tesla scams people into paying to "investigate" whether the issue is covered by warranty. It's totally bogus. I've personally never experienced nor even heard of anyone else experience such a fee during the warranty period from other manufacturers.

If the above is correct and the struts in the trunk are the standard Tesla installed ones, I'd both request a refund of the $52.50 (which I've always refused to pay) and show them the evidence that the struts are the ones used in other Teslas.

As you're in Canada, I suspect consumer protection laws and agencies exist that are intended to prevent such behavior from product manufacturers. Here in California, we have a consumer protection bureau that really does work. In our case, simply submitting a complaint against the product manufacturer will do wonders. I'd explain to Tesla that you will do exactly that if they don't honor the product warranty and fix the issue. I'd bet money that they will handle it.
It's actually trivial to find examples of dealers charging such a diagnostic fee from a quick google. Obviously if the issue is found to be a warranty issue, they can't charge you the fee, but if it is not a warranty issue, then it pays for the time they spent diagnosing the problem. Of course you can refuse to pay either way, and move on.
diagnostic fee for car under warranty? - Bogleheads.org
 
The city we call "LA" is actually comprised of 88 cities such as Malibu and Pasadena plus 140 unincorporated towns like Valencia, East LA, and Topanga Canyon. Not even the mayor could possibly know all 228 towns.

La Cañada Flintridge (the actual name) borders Pasadena and is best known as the home of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), which explains why there are no rocket scientists at the Tesla service centers.
 
  • Funny
Reactions: KenC
I bought a M3 2019 from a trusted friend. He was the original owner and I knew the trunk leaked, but we've had so little rain that it didn't seem anything more than a slight nuisance.

Last month we had EPIC rains and there were 2 - 3 GALLONS of water in my trunk over a three day period. My Tesla is parked outside.

I took it in for service for a $52.50 estimated repair. After 11 days they finally called and said, sorry- you have after market trunk struts that lift your trunk lid a bit too high and that is causing the leak. We can't fix it and you'll have to take it to a body shop because we don't paint cars. WHAT??!!

I called my friend who is confused. He has no idea how they could say that- he has never had work done on the trunk (or anything else)

Here is my question: it seems easy to verify the "aftermarket struts" claim. Assuming my friend is telling the truth- and I think he is- how do I work on this issue with Tesla? Do I ask to see the service manager? Do I seek legal counsel? Is it a waste of time because Tesla doesn't care?
I just bought a used 2020 model Y and I know what is causing this issue. I did several leak tests myself and it is not the seal around the trunk that is causing the problem. The problem is that the area around the tail lights on the lift gate are just spot welded and there are giant cracks where water can get through. I just sealed that part up with silicon today and I will be doing another leak test tomorrow but I am almost positive this is where the leaks are coming through. The reason I know is because I took the trunk lid liner off the part with the speakers on it and I can see where the prior owner had drips of water for probably the entire time they owned it and it left big black water marks or dirt plus water marks where it dripped onto the white padding underneath the black plastic stuff. So I will be doing another leak test tomorrow but yeah if you take off the light on either side of the lift gate which is accessible via an 8 mm screw once you remove the plastic stuff which requires you to remove some pins and stuff you will see that there are tons of giant gaps where the spot welding is around the lights that are on the hatch back itself where water can get in very easily. I am flabbergasted that Tesla did not discover this and do basic leak tests. All I'm doing is using is using a garden hose and acting as if it's raining on the top of the car and running down the back. I'm not squirting high pressure water into anything it's just running down the back of the car over those lights and getting right into the trunk. And the place where it's coming out is the two stoppers that have the little stopper pads at the bottom of the lift gate. Those screw into the base of the liftgate and there are two holes in the lift gate and the water comes out there and then fills the liner seal thing with water and then gets to the end of that and then leaks down into the trunk to all three sections of the bottom of the trunk.
 
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Reactions: KenC and outdoors

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