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Repeated Stress Fracture on Front Windshield and Next Steps

Long story short, very early stealth performance model 3 with numerous issues (15 items fixed by Tesla), trying to get some advice on my latest issue with the front windshield.

Front windshield was replaced by Tesla due to stress fracture in December 2019.

Almost in the same spot, stress fracture appeared again in March 2021.

Took 6 weeks to get appointment for glass replacement from Tesla and they claim this is not a stress fracture, not covered by warranty and I would need to pay out of pocket.

After speaking in length with Tesla service support, here is what I have learned:

  • Their experts say this is not a stress fracture according to how this appears now, I could not get a firm answer if the six weeks that have passed was considered in their assessment (the crack has extended significantly in that time)
  • Tesla claims there was impact to the side of the glass (I don't see this, do you?)
  • Later in conversation Tesla claims that someone could have leaned on the car (would the glass crack that easily?)
  • Tesla will not honor a glass specialist opinion outside of Tesla
  • After a lengthy conversation, they decided to cover this non-warranty issue, but my record will be flagged (could not get definitive answer, but seems like I could be liable for similar future claims)
I've had 4 windows replaced by Tesla, two for bad seals and two for the cracks. Luckily I'm covered this time around, but the conversation was not easy and the fault was mine according to Tesla support.

My main questions:

  • Do think this is a stress fracture?
  • What happens when my record is flagged?
  • When this occurs again (I'm pretty confident that it will), will insurance cover the replacement windshield (because they will be told this is not a stress fracture) and Tesla labor (ex. camera recalibration)?
  • How should I plan ahead, get extra windshield insurance?

I really hope support steps it up, being an early adopter has been difficult and I've got 11 CyberTrucks on order for a rental / robotaxi fleet...I might need to reconsider that venture if this continues...
 

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jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Moderator
Nov 28, 2018
15,843
20,544
Riverside Co. CA
I am certainly not a glass expert by any means, but that first picture looks like it shows a chip to me, that then "ran". I would say that looks like some sort of impact point to me, thus, not a warranty issue.

As for support "stepping it up" if they are covering that for you, even though they dont think its a warranty issue, that seems fairly "stepped up" to me. As for whether your insurance will cover it or not, of course they will. Which deductible you will have to pay (comprehensive or collision, if different on your policy, or if your policy has a glass rider) depends on your specific policy.

You will have whatever deductible your policy has for glass, if you use your insurance.
 
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KenC

Active Member
Sep 4, 2018
4,520
4,237
Maine
The rainbow feathering looks like it was impacted from the side, but the topside doesn't seem to show anything. Can you feel anything on the edge?

Did you take a picture when it first happened? How about the first broken windshield, did you take pics to compare the exact location?

Obviously, this sort of thing needs super close inspection, so we're mostly just making wild guesses, but I think it's just extremely bad luck.
 
The glass is smooth on the top (acknowledged by Tesla) and was on the side when I noticed the crack. The crack occurred while parked on a sunny day.

Even though Tesla claimed they would cover this on the phone, they just sent me the bill to pay, almost $1000.

Attached is the December 2019 stress fracture covered by warranty.
 

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The glass is smooth on the top (acknowledged by Tesla) and was on the side when I noticed the crack. The crack occurred while parked on a sunny day.

Even though Tesla claimed they would cover this on the phone, they just sent me the bill to pay, almost $1000.

Attached is the December 2019 stress fracture covered by warranty.

Seems like a defect then. What're the 15 issues you had??
 

KenC

Active Member
Sep 4, 2018
4,520
4,237
Maine
The glass is smooth on the top (acknowledged by Tesla) and was on the side when I noticed the crack. The crack occurred while parked on a sunny day.

Even though Tesla claimed they would cover this on the phone, they just sent me the bill to pay, almost $1000.

Attached is the December 2019 stress fracture covered by warranty.
How close was the old fracture to the new one? Does the windshield look like it's stressed at that point?
 
Seems like a defect then. What're the 15 issues you had??

Delivered with dirt on cloth during delivery - cleaned later
Visible paint issue on mirror cap - drove twice to Tesla appt for fix, both times they forgot to order new mirror cap, still not fixed
Stress fracture on windshield - fixed
Door seals failed, water intrusion - fixed
Trunk seal failed and needed realignment - fixed
Rear seat belt latch failed - replaced
Front trunk actuator failed - replaced
Trunk liner damaged by Tesla - replaced after long wait, asking multiple times
Door would not close - realigned
Rear quarter panel leaking - replaced
Trunk still leaking - realigned again
Rear door handle won't close - fixed
Trunk still leaking - unknown cause, tbd
Rear window leaking - first Tesla shop said there was no leak, after convincing another shop to look at they definitely found a leak (guy sat in vehicle inside rain machine), replaced
Rear trunk seal was installed incorrectly (holes facing the wrong way) - replaced again
Front trunk leaking - seal replaced
Front window stress fracture - being replaced
Drive side door won't open or close without force - window being realigned

As you can image, living in a rainy state (WA), I've had damage due to the continual water issues (groceries, backpack, air pump rusted out...)
 
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How close was the old fracture to the new one? Does the windshield look like it's stressed at that point?
Good question, compare the Dec 6th 2019 picture to the Mar 31st 2021 picture, they are close - photos attached. Interestingly, both times a crack formed while parked at my house and when there was an increase in temperature over the previous day(s).

Dec 6th 2019 - warmest day of the month
Mar 31st 2021 - tied for the warmest day of the month
 

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KenC

Active Member
Sep 4, 2018
4,520
4,237
Maine
Thanks for the comparative pics. I'd say that's darn close to the same spot. Hard to believe that's coincidental. Maybe, you should buy a lottery ticket, because that's definitely 1 in a million, if it's just coincidence. I'd love to see the spot, just underneath the glass, but they'd have to remove the glass for you to see. Is there a tiny burr or something that is putting just enough pressure to cause a crack over time?
 
Update on the situation. I received an email and message on the Tesla app to pay the bill in full before I could pick up my vehicle. I could not even talk with a person on the phone, only communication available is over Tesla app. They also stated my service was completed the day I dropped off my vehicle and the loaner is required to be returned, even though they stated this would take awhile and I know they were working on my vehicle throughout the week.

The day I went to pick up my vehicle and after messaging through app, they changed the invoice so the warranty was covered. Then when I arrived, there was damage to my vehicle by Tesla (window sealant on the back of the car), because of Covid policy you cannot enter the building and the Tesla app would not allow messaging because the appointment was being finalized. I already know that phone calls would just tell me to use the Tesla app, so I'm literally walking around the building trying to find help, otherwise I would need to start a new appointment on the app just so I could message them.

I now take videos of the inside and outside of my vehicle and loaners, Tesla wanted to verify the video date and have this sent over to management for inspection (compare vehicle state before damage occurred). I gladly obliged and sent this over to the support person.

Staff are always super friendly even if I disagree with their diagnosis, but this makes you wonder about their business practices (ex. how many people get fed up and pay the claim or don't have a video like me) and the disorganization of service. I could share similar stories for my other service visits.

Pics included for new damage. I'll have at least 8 hours of driving before all is said and done for this glass fix.
 

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KenC

Active Member
Sep 4, 2018
4,520
4,237
Maine
Update on the situation. I received an email and message on the Tesla app to pay the bill in full before I could pick up my vehicle. I could not even talk with a person on the phone, only communication available is over Tesla app. They also stated my service was completed the day I dropped off my vehicle and the loaner is required to be returned, even though they stated this would take awhile and I know they were working on my vehicle throughout the week.

The day I went to pick up my vehicle and after messaging through app, they changed the invoice so the warranty was covered. Then when I arrived, there was damage to my vehicle by Tesla (window sealant on the back of the car), because of Covid policy you cannot enter the building and the Tesla app would not allow messaging because the appointment was being finalized. I already know that phone calls would just tell me to use the Tesla app, so I'm literally walking around the building trying to find help, otherwise I would need to start a new appointment on the app just so I could message them.

I now take videos of the inside and outside of my vehicle and loaners, Tesla wanted to verify the video date and have this sent over to management for inspection (compare vehicle state before damage occurred). I gladly obliged and sent this over to the support person.

Staff are always super friendly even if I disagree with their diagnosis, but this makes you wonder about their business practices (ex. how many people get fed up and pay the claim or don't have a video like me) and the disorganization of service. I could share similar stories for my other service visits.

Pics included for new damage. I'll have at least 8 hours of driving before all is said and done for this glass fix.
Sad. I've video'd my rental cars for years now, ever since I went to Ireland and rented a Volvo wagon to carry our golfing threesome that was so damaged, the left side passenger door wouldn't close! I went back in to the rental office and they said it was their only vehicle, and that they know the door won't close, and that it was "normal"!

And after a week driving around the small single lanes on the leftside of the road, passing hedges and stone walls, right up against the roadway, I totally understand why rental cars are so abused on their left sides in Ireland. My brother added some scratches, but how were they to know?
 
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What kind of people do these Service Centers hire? This is crazy.. Why can't they service the car like the other hundred or so auto brands of the world?
Agreed, I’m still trying to get closure on this. Even my before and after video showing paint showing up on my car is not Tesla’s fault according to the service manager, “this could not have occurred in our shop” and “the agreement you signed states we are not responsible” was pretty much what I was told. I have to pay an insurance claim or pay them to fix this damage even though the car was on their property and under their care when damaged.
 
Agreed, I’m still trying to get closure on this. Even my before and after video showing paint showing up on my car is not Tesla’s fault according to the service manager, “this could not have occurred in our shop” and “the agreement you signed states we are not responsible” was pretty much what I was told. I have to pay an insurance claim or pay them to fix this damage even though the car was on their property and under their care when damaged.
That's unbelievable. Sorry for your troubles. I want to be happy and love my car, but I have my own issues and I don't think it's going to get better
 

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