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Rear defrost strips falling off window after 17 mos. Tesla wants $820.


Jul 26, 2019
Traveling the universe
Please see pics and let me know what you think - Dec 2018 AWD LR M3

Rear defrost strips on literally falling off the back window spontaneously. New strips fall and curl up as shown in photos. If you touch them they will fall off immediately.

Made an appointment for service, Tesla didn't have appointments for over 2 weeks, at the service center only. Now I got an estimate back - they are asking for $820 to fix. Appointment is this week. Everyone I spoke with said it should definitely be covered under warranty.



Dec 8, 2018
Have you already spoken to them about it or are you going by the pre-visit estimate they send you before they see the car. Once you are at the service center that's when they will decide if it is covered under warranty. I have no idea why they use a pre-visit estimate it always leaves people in a bad mood even before they get to the SC.


Active Member
Apr 9, 2016
New Jersey
That’s a warranty item for sure. Estimate means nothing. When they actually see what’s happening at the SC there’s no way that wouldn’t be covered under the warranty unless you scraped off the filaments yourself.
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Dec 7, 2018
New Jersey - Morris County
Please see pics and let me know what you think - Dec 2018 AWD LR M3

Rear defrost strips on literally falling off the back window spontaneously. New strips fall and curl up as shown in photos. If you touch them they will fall off immediately.

That’ll be covered under warranty for sure. That estimate they send is really confusing - I wish they would put a (TBD) or something there instead of a $$$ amount. It’ll be covered - this is clearly a manufacturing defect.

Please be sure to update this thread and let us know how it goes!


Dec 27, 2018
should be covered under warranty, this happened with me. My driver side door was misaligned causing it to stick out when closed, when I made an appointment to get it fixed they gave an estimate for $80 to fix it but the final bill came out to be $0 and was listed as a warranty repair. When you take it in to the service center, make sure to confirm with them that it will be covered under warranty. Chances are they will have to replace the entire rear glass...
Remember the estimate is just the estimate and is not final.
Last edited:
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Active Member
Jul 20, 2018
Silicon Valley, CA
I had a similar issue happen to my first Sep 2018 build. When the tint shop went to scrub the glass, they damaged several of the defroster strips. They said its the first time they had seen this and could have been an installer mistake. The tint shop took care of me in this case.

When looking into this I had another installer of tint reach out and let me know they had a similar experience.

If I had not had tinted windows, I imagine this is what I would have seen after a few months, assuming the installer himself wasn't to blame. I suspect there are places where the defroster was not adhered so well from the factory but cannot prove it.
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Oct 1, 2018
Houston, Tx.
Tesla is not saying this will not be covered by warranty, they are saying that a non-warranty repair would be $820

I would not be too concerned with their estimate, they always sent out a estimate and ask you to sign off on the work prior to showing up at the SC or mobile service. Don't sign it, just take it in for your appointed time, go from their.

It is annoying that they do this without telling you that it's just a formality, it gives the customer the impression that Tesla will not stand by warranty work. The one thing this does give you, is the cost for an out of warranty issue.


Jul 26, 2019
Traveling the universe
Based on the responses to this thread I'll assume no problems at the Service Center because they will automatically cover it under warranty... FYI I sent them the same photos posted here.

Here is what the app is displaying. Maybe it's my history of reading TMC - but this kind of language makes it seem like they are really pushing you to accept the charge prior to the visit.


Uncle Paul

Well-Known Member
Nov 1, 2013
Canyon Lake,CA
This has become normal practice for most all automotive service centers. Not just Tesla.

They let customer know what the charges would be if the warranty does not cover the issue.

Until service center can take a look at the problem, they have no certaintly that warranty will cover it.
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Jul 23, 2018
It is a terrible practice to do this to your customers.

I expect Tesla to perform an analysis for free. This method puts the customer at the mercy of the service advisor’s judgement.

This should be the process
1. Highlight issue
2 Tesla assesses if it is under warranty or not
3. If it is - Tesla proceeds with repair
3b. If it is not, Tesla provides a quote and asks if customer would like to proceed

This method give the customer an “Out” if warranty doesn’t cover it. Otherwise, you are telling Tesla you are agreeing to pay if they somehow determine it is not warranty work.

What if my drivetrain fails, Tesla quotes me $15,000, (I assume it would be warranty), then Tesla says “sorry not covered, please pay $15k and we already completed the work so you can’t back out now” I would be furious


Active Member
May 5, 2016
If the windows were tinted I don't think the wiring would be hanging down, as the tint would cover the wiring. Maybe this is a good case for getting tint, to help prevent the wiring from coming off!

However would there be a chance of the defrost wiring malfunctioning/burning/catching fire if it is not adhering to the window correctly and technically ‘hanging down’ so to speak but being held by the tint?


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