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Rear lower control arm failed

Bitjockey

Member
Jun 5, 2015
91
65
Toronto, ON, Canada
I finally got my car back after my 85D suspension had a catastrophic failure last Thursday afternoon.

I was driving in congested traffic on a city street when I heard a loud thud, similar to hitting a pothole, yet there was no pothole. My first suspicion was that I either had a flat or a problem with my air suspension. I quickly pulled over, checked tire pressure and raised my suspension to HIGH and slowly continued on. It was pouring rain at the time so I remained in the car.

The car had a strange wobble to it so I slowly pulled into the nearest parking lot to examine the situation. I was freaked out when I saw my right rear wheel with it's huge negative camber. Called Tesla roadside and spoke to someone who told me they couldn't tow me since they couldn't see anything wrong with the car! I called CAA and asked for a flatbed, which showed up within 30 minutes. It was a struggle to get the car up the ramp but the driver was quite skilled and I helped by sitting in the car and wrestling with the steering wheel.

I arrived at Mississauga SC in
20200528_153327.jpg
my wife's X prior to the tow truck and did a contact-less checkin. The tow truck arrived and again I helped by steering the car down the ramp.

The next morning, got a call from Tesla, saying they would replace the failed lower control arm under my extended warranty. I told them my wife didn't really want to be in the car again until all 4 control arms were replaced. They finally agreed to replace both rear lower arms but if I wanted to pay for the fronts they would do it. They also said my rear right air shock was damaged in the incident and needed replacing ($1800). I insisted that if a part under warranty caused the problem then they should be liable for any parts that were damaged by it. A chat with the service manager and they agreed to replace it at no cost to me.

This morning they texted that the car was ready for pickup. I wasn't able to pay via the app for some reason so called into service once again, paid by phone and asked them whether the new control arms were the exact same as I had previously or where they improved? I was told they were "2nd generation".

Upon arriving back home, I checked underneath the car, saw two new rear lower control arms, but the front lower arms looked original. Then I saw that they replaced the upper control arms on both front wheels. That would lead me to think that they were more susceptible to failure than the rears?

On my invoice, I see they mistakenly gave both right and left control arms the part number
1027459-99-A, which from what I see is a 2014 part. The front upper control arms are listed as "2nd generation" and show part numbers 1043965-00-B and 1043966-00-B for the left and right arms respectively.

Has this ever happened to anyone before? Would anyone know if my rear control arms are improved from my original ones? I suspect that from the "A" designation they are not. Are the front upper arms more likely to fail than the lower ones?

I'm very lucky that this didn't happen to me at highway speeds. And Mississauga SC got me back on the road during the pandemic within a week, despite me having to insist on some of the repairs and paying for some of the service.
 

CadillacJack

Member
May 21, 2015
259
196
Mississauga, Canada
Yessir - happened to me last June. The day I sold my 3 (after deciding I liked my S better), I took a Costco run and after goosing it a little I also heard a crunch and my back left upper control arm was toast. Was flatbedded to Ambassador Dr. They paid for it all including the tow. They replaced both rear ones thankfully. This was on a 2012 Sig S with 85K km.

I also shared all your concerns but have kinda let it go over the last year. I'm out of warranty and not driving much so whatever at this point. :)
 

Bitjockey

Member
Jun 5, 2015
91
65
Toronto, ON, Canada
Well, there was a service bulletin for earlier cars, but the VIN range was earlier than mine. Maybe that's why they fixed yours on their dime. I've been holding out on a new S until some new announcements came out (supercharging at same rate as 3/Y, for example). When and if that happens, it's time for a new S.
 

CadillacJack

Member
May 21, 2015
259
196
Mississauga, Canada
I’m with you on that - ready for a new one but no compelling reason, especially since we don’t drive anywhere right now. Also, I was within the last month of my CPO warranty when it happened so there was no debate on who paid.
 

peter67

Member
May 15, 2018
16
10
Thornhill
I have a RWD M3 (June 2018). Due to creaking noise I had to replace my right front control arm last month. This comes on the heels of replacing my rear drive unit in 2019 (after a catastrophic failure while driving and 10 days in the shop) and replacing the driver's seat due to the heating coils malfunctioning. Hopefully smooth sailing from here.
 

David.85D

Active Member
Oct 29, 2016
1,402
1,150
USA
I finally got my car back after my 85D suspension had a catastrophic failure last Thursday afternoon.

I was driving in congested traffic on a city street when I heard a loud thud, similar to hitting a pothole, yet there was no pothole. My first suspicion was that I either had a flat or a problem with my air suspension. I quickly pulled over, checked tire pressure and raised my suspension to HIGH and slowly continued on. It was pouring rain at the time so I remained in the car.

The car had a strange wobble to it so I slowly pulled into the nearest parking lot to examine the situation. I was freaked out when I saw my right rear wheel with it's huge negative camber. Called Tesla roadside and spoke to someone who told me they couldn't tow me since they couldn't see anything wrong with the car! I called CAA and asked for a flatbed, which showed up within 30 minutes. It was a struggle to get the car up the ramp but the driver was quite skilled and I helped by sitting in the car and wrestling with the steering wheel.

I arrived at Mississauga SC in View attachment 547273 my wife's X prior to the tow truck and did a contact-less checkin. The tow truck arrived and again I helped by steering the car down the ramp.

The next morning, got a call from Tesla, saying they would replace the failed lower control arm under my extended warranty. I told them my wife didn't really want to be in the car again until all 4 control arms were replaced. They finally agreed to replace both rear lower arms but if I wanted to pay for the fronts they would do it. They also said my rear right air shock was damaged in the incident and needed replacing ($1800). I insisted that if a part under warranty caused the problem then they should be liable for any parts that were damaged by it. A chat with the service manager and they agreed to replace it at no cost to me.

This morning they texted that the car was ready for pickup. I wasn't able to pay via the app for some reason so called into service once again, paid by phone and asked them whether the new control arms were the exact same as I had previously or where they improved? I was told they were "2nd generation".

Upon arriving back home, I checked underneath the car, saw two new rear lower control arms, but the front lower arms looked original. Then I saw that they replaced the upper control arms on both front wheels. That would lead me to think that they were more susceptible to failure than the rears?

On my invoice, I see they mistakenly gave both right and left control arms the part number
1027459-99-A, which from what I see is a 2014 part. The front upper control arms are listed as "2nd generation" and show part numbers 1043965-00-B and 1043966-00-B for the left and right arms respectively.

Has this ever happened to anyone before? Would anyone know if my rear control arms are improved from my original ones? I suspect that from the "A" designation they are not. Are the front upper arms more likely to fail than the lower ones?

I'm very lucky that this didn't happen to me at highway speeds. And Mississauga SC got me back on the road during the pandemic within a week, despite me having to insist on some of the repairs and paying for some of the service.
it’s weird. The front uppers are steel and do have their own problems. The front lower fore link is a major problem. The front lower aft link is a lesser problem.

the similarities with me are that I went around and round with service to get them to replace my front suspension links to solve a shiny/vibration. They didn’t want to and eventually promised to Comp the labor if I bought the parts (front fore links, upper arms, both sides) Did that, got the car back, they didn’t charge me anything. Very happy until I crawled under the car and discovered they had only changed the sway bar end links and left the rest untouched…. Saying they are bad at service is an understatement

I plan to buy the parts and install myself so I know they have been done….
 

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