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Suspension software flaw

33vico

Member
May 10, 2013
7
0
Coconut Creek, FL 33073
Vico owner Tesla delivered 12/21/2012

The happiest Tesla owner in the world. Today I am the unhappiest owner.

In mid August I stopped at a fast food restaurant to pick up lunch. When I returned to my Tesla and attempted to back up I heard a scraping sound from the front of the vehicle, followed by a loud thump hitting the ground. When I exited my vehicle to see what had made that sound I saw the complete front bumper had detached itself from the auto. A total stranger who was in parking asked what had happened. We found that numerous black plastic snaps holding the bumper to the car were on the ground. I asked him if he would help me put the bumper back so I could get back to my office. We were able to re-attach the bumper with a few of the snaps The next day I called service center at Davie, Fl and spoke with a service technician whom I had met on previous visits. He advised that I bring my Tesla in to have it looked at. A Tesla service technician took the car into the building and returned about 15 minutes later telling me that he had reattached the snaps and the auto was fine.

Yesterday 9/10/2015 I went to see a client and parked in front of the building. When I returned and began to back out of the space I heard the same scraping noise and the thump of what I now knew was the bumper hitting the ground. I called the Davie service center and asked for Leidys was busy and then I asked for Luiz whom I had met on my last visit. It seems everyone was at a meeting and would call me back. I then called Tesla road service and spoke with Peter. He said he would have a Road Ranger come and take me to a body shop for a repair. I explained that this was not caused by an accident I did not understand why I would have to make an insurance claim. The temperature at the time was 99 degrees. I was told I would receive a call from the towing service to confirm they were coming.

After waiting for over an hour I called my office and asked my manager to come and see if we could lift the bumper back on the car and reattach it with the plastic snaps. Just at the moment he arrived a local mechanic pulled into the parking area. Being desperate by this time, I asked him if he could help. I was in luck, he was with the help of my manager able to put the bumper back on the car. He told me he was not able to get all the snaps back but if I followed him to his business he could attach more of the snaps. He secured all but about 5 of the snaps. I was able to drive to my home as the time was now about 7PM.

I am very displeased with explanations given to me by the Tesla Davie service center. I will be glad to share the reasons they posed for this situation happening twice in three weeks.

I will not return to the Davie, Fl service center and request that someone at the factory level executive division contact me as soon as possible. I have lost confidence in driving my Tesla since I truly believe that the bumper snaps could be jarred off and the bumper fall off while I am driving. I have only 11,600 miles on the odometer and have maintained the auto like a new born baby. I would like to resolve this situation in an amicable way and not wait until someone is killed or seriously injured because of this apparent design flaw. "I love my Tesla but I love my life more"

Respectfully,

Vico

I have previously posted 250 positive comments on
www.seekingalpha.com
Oct. 01, 2015
Please offer a solution. I am 82 and would like to outlive my Tesla.
Civil responses only.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

jeffro01

Active Member
Jan 30, 2013
2,690
1,953
Teller County CO
Your post is very hard to read given the way you copied and pasted it...

In any case, I'm not sure what you're alluding to with a "suspension software flaw"? Something doesn't make sense here... It's like your trying to suggest that the air suspension is failing causing your car to sit to low and that the friction is pulling the bumper off. Or am I not quite following you? If that's the case then yes Tesla should fix whatever is causing your car to drop due to the air suspension, no question there, assuming it's still under warranty.

You talk a lot about the bumper but nothing about the suspension other than in the title. I'm very confused...

Jeff
 
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jak

Member
Apr 20, 2013
51
26
California
It almost sounds like you put the front of your car over the cement parking stop/curb. Was there one of those parking bumps in front of your car when you pulled out of the parking space? If you did, it's quite possible the suspension may have lowered onto it and when you backed out, it scraped the snaps off and pulled the bumper off. I doubt it would just pull itself off when backing out unless it was snagged on something. If that's the case, that would probably be your fault for driving the car over those cement parking bumps.
 

Magus

Member
May 19, 2015
213
138
Midwest
You should take off your cellphone and maybe not provide your full name. I don't know, anyone on the Internet can see that. Tesla has your information, you really don't need to be broadcasting it for anyone to see.
 

MorrisonHiker

S 100D 2021.4.18.2
Mar 8, 2015
9,690
8,975
Colorado
Just an FYI but there's a small typo. Yesterday was 9/30/2015, not 9/10/2015.

Sorry to hear about the problems you've been having. Hopefully you can get it taken care of soon.
 

JPP

Active Member
Feb 4, 2013
3,060
1,287
SF Bay Area, CA
The OP has posted this elsewhere here and at the TM forums under an inflammatory title. This is operator error, parking over a concrete object. Not a major design or safety flaw. Unfortunate event that happens with other vehicles.
 

tom66

Member
Dec 17, 2013
625
28
United Kingdom
Could this be the auto lowering feature having a corrupted or incorrect entry thinking it should lower at the wrong location?
Anyone confirm if the auto lowering works when the car is in park, or only when in drive?
 

Krugerrand

Enough of the 🐩, back to 🐈‍⬛
Jul 13, 2012
11,082
56,885
Tesla friendly place
It almost sounds like you put the front of your car over the cement parking stop/curb. Was there one of those parking bumps in front of your car when you pulled out of the parking space? If you did, it's quite possible the suspension may have lowered onto it and when you backed out, it scraped the snaps off and pulled the bumper off. I doubt it would just pull itself off when backing out unless it was snagged on something. If that's the case, that would probably be your fault for driving the car over those cement parking bumps.

That is also what I believe happened.
 

S4WRXTTCS

Well-Known Member
May 3, 2015
5,467
6,224
Snohomish, WA
My suggestion to the OP would be simply not to pull in so far, and if you do for some reason raise the suspension before reversing. With that being said I'm not sure why the car isn't raising the suspension as soon as the OP sits down in it.

I don't have the air suspension due in part to this known issue. My understanding is they all settle when the car is off.
 

Gizmotoy

Active Member
Sep 16, 2013
3,666
868
Bay Area, CA
My suggestion to the OP would be simply not to pull in so far, and if you do for some reason raise the suspension before reversing. With that being said I'm not sure why the car isn't raising the suspension as soon as the OP sits down in it.
I don't have the air suspension due in part to this known issue. My understanding is they all settle when the car is off.
It doesn't sound like all of them do it, but the issue is reported frequently enough that I'd guess it's within the top 3 complaints about the air suspension. Backing in or learning how far you can pull up without parking over the curb can be done. I do one or the other every day since I'm on coils. Even with the slightly higher ride, there are very few curbs it clears.
 

Kipernicus

Model S Res#P1440
Dec 2, 2009
1,255
136
Belmont, CA
Yup, some people call it "leveling" or "settling", but in actuality the car lowers a bit, enough to scrape on those concrete stops when pulling out (but not when pulling in). Design or implementation flaw IMO, but I have trained myself to either stop short of those things or back in.
 

JenniferQ

Supporting Member
Sep 13, 2015
1,260
514
San Diego, CA
Well, as a newbie who has just ordered one with the SAS, I am very glad to know this. I assume the DS will explain that to me when we go over the car at delivery? But i also always try to stop before hitting those things. They are terrible.
 

jerry33

(S85-3/2/13 traded in) X LR: F2611##-3/27/20
Mar 8, 2012
19,740
22,857
Texas
Well, as a newbie who has just ordered one with the SAS, I am very glad to know this. I assume the DS will explain that to me when we go over the car at delivery? But i also always try to stop before hitting those things. They are terrible.

Back in whenever possible. Besides being safer, the drill is to back up until the stop, curb, or line is at the bottom of the camera display and you're perfect every time.
 

33vico

Member
May 10, 2013
7
0
Coconut Creek, FL 33073
I apologize for my post being hard to read. I am not computer oriented.
You are correct. My 2012 S85 was ordered with automatic suspension.
If you check some chat rooms you will find other owners who have had the
exact same problem That might clear up how I explained the situation.
Also not being technically inclined I watched as the bumper was being
reinstalled and learned that it is held to the body by about 10 plastic plugs.
When I questioned the service tech he explained that attaching many parts
of the auto is made with plastic plugs and that is the industry standard. He did
state that Mercedes uses the same method. I cannot dispute this so I must
accept it.
 

sorka

Well-Known Member
Feb 28, 2015
8,059
5,876
Merced, CA
No matter how high the suspension is I always assume the bumper will hit any parking barrier. The height adjustment is there for handling, clearing snow or mud, assist in getting in or out of the car (by raising it). It's not there to clear parking stops. Especially given that it's likely that whatever setting it's at, it might still just clear a parking stop going in but catch going out. Always assume your car is the lowest setting and that if there is a curb or parking stop of any kind that you will hit it if you drive into it (i.e. over it). Just assume the bumper is always an inch off the ground and you'll be fine in the future.
 

omarsultan

Active Member
Jun 22, 2013
3,163
10,170
Northern California
Yup, some people call it "leveling" or "settling", but in actuality the car lowers a bit, enough to scrape on those concrete stops when pulling out (but not when pulling in). Design or implementation flaw IMO, but I have trained myself to either stop short of those things or back in.

The settling is not even specific to air suspensions - my old Infiniti with a normal coil suspension would settle (lower) a bit if it was parked long enough.
 

Vitold

Active Member
Aug 10, 2015
1,688
1,786
NM
I used to drive Audi Allroad and it's air suspension would lower (deflate) after a while but not in one day. Maybe OP has an issue with suspension after all.
 

CanuckS#69

Member
Oct 20, 2012
204
101
Sutton West, ON
Why would you park with the nose of the car hanging over a parking barrier? Even at high, these cars sit pretty low compared to many and you risk hitting the front lip on the parking barrier. Those barriers aren't there for you to pull in until your tires hit them. Maybe I'm just used to driving low cars, but I'd never leave my car dangling over a concrete block.
 

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