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Pothole + 21" low profile Model S rims/tires = big trouble (PHOTOS)

archon810

Member
Dec 2, 2015
12
1
Oakland, CA
Hey guys,

Last week, I finally got an 85D, and the same week, I ended up with not one by two busted tires. Oh, and both rims too (I have the low-profile 21" ones). All because of a single sneaky pothole on Broadway in Oakland that I didn't see in time to avoid in the dark. I still can't quite believe it happened, but here's a photo of the console after I pulled over:

two_popped_tires.jpg


Interestingly, Tesla's policy is to two if more than one wheel is damaged, so they had the car towed on a flatbed truck to Dublin. Then I involved insurance, and we're now going after the City of Oakland for damages (which were about $3400).

I went back to the scene today to take photos of the pothole, which I've filed here if you want to see: Severe pothole on 24 on-ramp after Keith Ave and Broadway - I blew 2 tires today - Issue #2078479 - Piedmont Avenue, Piedmont, CA - SeeClickFix.

I'm still in disbelief that these wheels are so fragile, so be careful driving the low profiles around!

The insurance btw is Travelers, and they've been amazing to deal with. The assigned case agent picked up the phone every time, was super pleasant to deal with, ruled the accident to be 0% at fault, has already cut a check (sans deductible), and the car is already back home today.

I'm here to answer any questions if you have any.
 

Zybane

Member
Oct 22, 2015
359
99
Washington D.C.
Unfortunately a heavy car with low tire sidewall equals a lot of stress. How fast do you think you were going at the time of impact and how high from the bottom of the drop was the leeward (impact) side of the pothole?
 

archon810

Member
Dec 2, 2015
12
1
Oakland, CA
Unfortunately a heavy car with low tire sidewall equals a lot of stress. How fast do you think you were going at the time of impact and how high from the bottom of the drop was the leeward (impact) side of the pothole?

Unfortunately, unless we somehow figure this out via Tesla's computer records (which they didn't want to give me), I don't quite remember. I want to say maybe 40-50mph, as I was accelerating to get on the freeway. I also couldn't measure the depth since that area is pretty busy and it's too dangerous to do without cones. It all happened so fast, I didn't even realize things went this wrong for another 100-200 feet.
 

kennybobby

Member
Sep 14, 2014
478
36
Heart o' Dixie
Contact your city council member in the district where the pothole is located--sometimes they have funds to cover damages due to road hazards that haven't been repaired, send them a picture of the hole and the repair bill with request to be made whole.
 

archon810

Member
Dec 2, 2015
12
1
Oakland, CA
Contact your city council member in the district where the pothole is located--sometimes they have funds to cover damages due to road hazards that haven't been repaired, send them a picture of the hole and the repair bill with request to be made whole.

Actually, the insurance is doing that. They have a special department that handles things like that. They've already started the process. If they get the money back, I'll get my deductible back too, or so they said.
 

Joules Verne

Member
May 6, 2015
246
228
Boston, MA
I've done the same thing with my BMW 5 series, twice.

i wiped out the left side tires and rims both times, hitting a pothole at high speeds.

My wheels are not 21", but BMW Uses low profile run flats, which are also not forgiving.

Thankfully I have tire and wheel insurance from BMW, and repairs were done at no cost to me.
Love that policy!
 

archon810

Member
Dec 2, 2015
12
1
Oakland, CA
I've done the same thing with my BMW 5 series, twice.

i wiped out the left side tires and rims both times, hitting a pothole at high speeds.

My wheels are not 21", but BMW Uses low profile run flats, which are also not forgiving.

Thankfully I have tire and wheel insurance from BMW, and repairs were done at no cost to me.
Love that policy!

That's nice. I'd probably pay for that if Tesla offered it.
 

jcaspar

Member
Aug 19, 2013
834
72
Sacramento
California has terrible roads. Did a road trip from Dallas to Sacramento and California has by far the worst roads. In Arizona the freeways were as smooth as glass. Must be our low tax rate...:wink:
 

HankLloydRight

No Roads
Jan 18, 2014
12,992
11,031
Connecticut
That's nice. I'd probably pay for that if Tesla offered it.

I believe very early on, Tesla did offer Model S wheel insurance.

- - - Updated - - -

I went back to the scene today to take photos of the pothole, which I've filed here if you want to see: Severe pothole on 24 on-ramp after Keith Ave and Broadway - I blew 2 tires today - Issue #2078479 - Piedmont Avenue, Piedmont, CA - SeeClickFix.

Wow, that pothole doesn't look that deep at all!! Do you know what your tire pressure was?

Scary.
 

FlasherZ

Sig Model S + Sig Model X + Model 3 Resv
Jun 21, 2012
7,024
1,014
The curse of the 21" wheels.

It's even worse as it gets colder, because the tires turn into unforgiving rocks. I hit a small (less than 2") pothole near my parents' home and it split one of the Continentals wide open on the sidewall in winter weather. I've since replaced all four with 19" turbine wheels and don't mess with my 21"s anymore.
 

wiztecy

Active Member
Apr 29, 2012
2,905
564
Santa Cruz, California, United States
you call those potholes? Around here we call those roads. :(

Exactly, I laugh when people comment how bad the potholes are in California. Yes, there's going to be ones that are deep and do damage, but no way is California the worse for pot-hole ridden roads in the US. I think people who say that have never lived in a state that has changing weather conditions such as rain, sleet, ice, snow, changing temps. I lived in PA and those roads every year would turn into minefields, literally. Rain and snow does the worse damage on the roads, so any states that have a greater percentage of that will have worse pot-holes.

Now if your talking about how the state repairs pot holes, that's a different story. For a state with largest income and taxes taken in you'd think we'd get some things resolved. However I find that the more a city/state/government takes in from people in terms of money, less gets done. They do accomplish the goal of making your wallet lighter very well that's for sure.
 

MsElectric

Active Member
Oct 11, 2014
1,604
18
New York
The curse of the 21" wheels.

It's even worse as it gets colder, because the tires turn into unforgiving rocks. I hit a small (less than 2") pothole near my parents' home and it split one of the Continentals wide open on the sidewall in winter weather. I've since replaced all four with 19" turbine wheels and don't mess with my 21"s anymore.

At our local Tesla gallery they use the models with 21" wheels pretty much as static models for display purposes and the test drives are mostly offered in cars with 19" wheels, especially in the winter for this reason.
 

reuted

Member
Apr 20, 2014
46
20
Chicago
We blew two sets of 21 inch wheels within 6 weeks of delivery in Chicago on a P85. Tesla was terrific about fixing it. The 2nd time we switched to 19 inch. The the P85D has 19 inch. p.s US roads metro are really pretty poor when compared to for example UK, Germany and Switzerland. The Germans love their cars and apparently spend close to 3x per mile to maintain the roads.
 

supratachophobia

Active Member
Sep 24, 2014
3,856
2,683
Columbus, Ohio
Sooo..... no offense meant here, but are we still surprised by this by now? I mean, it's been over three years and this forum is chock full of evidence that the 21" rims/tires are very fragile in comparison to the 19s. If you live in area that has pot-holes/construction, you are just asking for a repair bill to take care of one or more damaged rims. I understand there is an aesthetic appeal to the 21s, but geez, why are we still getting them as an option? Especially on dual-motor cars.
 

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