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Tesla car window break-ins

SMAlset

Well-Known Member
Mar 4, 2017
9,336
10,261
SF Bay Area
There are several threads on break ins of Model S and 3s, most always accessed initially by breaking the rear small triangular second row window. Yes, the SF bay area is a huge target and it’s going to continue unabated most likely until there are a number of changes (not necessarily in the cars but how the crimes and perps are treated and the level of importance these property crimes are given). It’s been happening all over the bay from San Jose, Palo Alto, Fremont, San Francisco (the car break in capital with tens of thousands of car break ins a year) and other east bay and peninsula locations. It’s other makes of cars as well BTW so don’t think it’s just Teslas. For Teslas though any vehicles they think might have laptops etc stored under their parcel shelves (Model S) or in their trunks (Model 3) are a target.

Our Model S was hit last year in a busy restaurant parking lot in San Jose. Had ours repaired at a Tesla service center. Back then it was about $1200-1300 I think for parts and labor and if they have the glass in stock at least a two day job as the frame has to come off and needs time for the sealant to cure. A bit less costly job for an Model 3 as not all the side trim has to be removed. The little glass piece itself is not that expensive. I’m sure one of the other threads in the Model 3 forum has people recently mentioning the repair total.

Best advice to any Tesla owner with fold down seats that provide access to a hidden cargo area, leave your second row seats down when you park and take any valuables in with you when you leave the car. Dark tinting on your windows also obsures their look inside and can make your car a target as well. Just seconds for them to smash a window and flip the seat. If they do see something of interest count on more glass breakage to get to it. The other day we had parked in a lot and my husband commented that some lady in the car next to us left her purse on the seat...please don’t be that stupid with your belongings. Hopefully the purse belonged to an undercover sting operation with tracking devices and camera set up to record.
 
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There are several threads on break ins of Model S and 3s, most always accessed initially by breaking the rear small triangular second row window. Yes, the SF bay area is a huge target and it’s going to continue unabated most likely until there are a number of changes (not necessarily in the cars but how the crimes and perps are treated and the level of importance these property crimes are given). It’s been happening all over the bay from San Jose, Palo Alto, Fremont, San Francisco (the car break in capital with tens of thousands of car break ins a year) and other east bay and peninsula locations. It’s other makes of cars as well BTW so don’t think it’s just Teslas. For Teslas though any vehicles they think might have laptops etc stored under their parcel shelves (Model S) or in their trunks (Model 3) are a target.

Our Model S was hit last year in a busy restaurant parking lot in San Jose. Had ours repaired at a Tesla service center. Back then it was about $1200-1300 I think for parts and labor and if they have the glass in stock at least a two day job as the frame has to come off and needs time for the sealant to cure. A bit less costly job for an Model 3 as not all the side trim has to be removed. The little glass piece itself is not that expensive. I’m sure one of the other threads in the Model 3 forum has people recently mentioning the repair total.

Best advice to any Tesla owner with fold down seats that provide access to a hidden cargo area, leave your second row seats down when you park and take any valuables in with you when you leave the car. Dark tinting on your windows also obsures their look inside and can make your car a target as well. Just seconds for them to smash a window and flip the seat. If they do see something of interest count on more glass breakage to get to it. The other day we had parked in a lot and my husband commented that some lady in the car next to us left her purse on the seat...please don’t be that stupid with your belongings. Hopefully the purse belonged to an undercover sting operation with tracking devices and camera set up to record.

sorry, which option were you suggesting for glass replacement? I read through this comment twice I didn't see it referenced anywhere.
 
As of Sat, Jan 11th 2019, I became a distinguished member of the Tesla-Owners-That-Got-Their-Quarter-Windows-Broken club. Happened in a restaurant parking lot. They had pulled the flipped the rear seat to look into the rear trunk (thankfully, I had nothing there). Coincidentally, the very same day another close friend of mine had his Model 3 quarter window broken into at a theater parking lot around 8 miles away. Back in Nov and Dec, two of my friends that own Model S's had their quarter & side windows broken (in both cases, they lost their laptops from the rear trunk).

Cost to fix it by Tesla-recommended Primer Auto Glass was $499.61 (including taxes). Their technician came to my home and completed the work in 20 min. When I asked him he said that his company fixes 10-15 Tesla Model 3 and Model S vehicles every day in South and East Bay (Silicon Valley). Tesla's other recommended glass shop is Precision Auto Glass, serving the same general area. Assuming they have an equal volume of repairs each day, it would mean that there are 20-30 cases of Tesla window break-ins every day just in South and East Bay (in the vicinity of 1000 cars per year, give or take).

Sadly, on Tesla's website there is no mention at all of this issue -- despite it seemingly having become an epidemic. With Tesla Service they recommend Tesla owners to keep their rear seat folded down when the car is in a public place. Sure, that might prevent glass breakage, but is that the best solution that Tesla has?

I would REALLY like to see Tesla get proactive with this issue and do a recall where they replace the seat fold-down latch with a lockable latch. If you look at the latch mechanism, adding a lock to the lever would not be a complex design, but there's no word from Tesla regarding this. I've sent an email to Tesla regarding this, have not got a response as yet.

There does not seem to be enough of an outrage among Tesla owners regarding this -- having more owners write into to Tesla might make them take action.
 

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As of Sat, Jan 11th 2019, I became a distinguished member of the Tesla-Owners-That-Got-Their-Quarter-Windows-Broken club. Happened in a restaurant parking lot. They had pulled the flipped the rear seat to look into the rear trunk (thankfully, I had nothing there). Coincidentally, the very same day another close friend of mine had his Model 3 quarter window broken into at a theater parking lot around 8 miles away. Back in Nov and Dec, two of my friends that own Model S's had their quarter & side windows broken (in both cases, they lost their laptops from the rear trunk).

Cost to fix it by Tesla-recommended Primer Auto Glass was $499.61 (including taxes). Their technician came to my home and completed the work in 20 min. When I asked him he said that his company fixes 10-15 Tesla Model 3 and Model S vehicles every day in South and East Bay (Silicon Valley). Tesla's other recommended glass shop is Precision Auto Glass, serving the same general area. Assuming they have an equal volume of repairs each day, it would mean that there are 20-30 cases of Tesla window break-ins every day just in South and East Bay (in the vicinity of 1000 cars per year, give or take).

Sadly, on Tesla's website there is no mention at all of this issue -- despite it seemingly having become an epidemic. With Tesla Service they recommend Tesla owners to keep their rear seat folded down when the car is in a public place. Sure, that might prevent glass breakage, but is that the best solution that Tesla has?

I would REALLY like to see Tesla get proactive with this issue and do a recall where they replace the seat fold-down latch with a lockable latch. If you look at the latch mechanism, adding a lock to the lever would not be a complex design, but there's no word from Tesla regarding this. I've sent an email to Tesla regarding this, have not got a response as yet.

There does not seem to be enough of an outrage among Tesla owners regarding this -- having more owners write into to Tesla might make them take action.

I had the unfortunate experience of being this "distinguished member" as well, in the Sunnyvale area. May I ask in which plaza you and your friend had theirs broken into?

You make a good point though, I think many of us are more than well aware of the epidemic, but perhaps more is needed to contact Tesla directly so that they can take this situation seriously.
 
I had the unfortunate experience of being this "distinguished member" as well, in the Sunnyvale area. May I ask in which plaza you and your friend had theirs broken into?

You make a good point though, I think many of us are more than well aware of the epidemic, but perhaps more is needed to contact Tesla directly so that they can take this situation seriously.

My car was broken into in the plaza in Santa Clara at the corner of Lawrence and Homestead (other side of the road from Kaiser). The friend whose Model 3 was broken into the same day as mine was at AMC Mercado in Santa Clara. The second friend's Model S broken into at the Pedro's restaurant parking lot in Santa Clara (in Dec), and the last friend's Model S was broken into in Los Gatos in the parking lot behind Williams Sonoma on Santa Cruz Ave (in Nov).

If you can contact Tesla too, that would be great (and I hope many others will as well), so they can feel some pressure from customers to resolve the issue. I'd like to see them do a recall to swap out the non-lockable seat latches with lockable ones. Tesla has a reputation for listening to their customers, and hopefully will acknowledge that this problem is exacerbated by their seat design and is not common to other luxury brands.
 
My car was broken into in the plaza in Santa Clara at the corner of Lawrence and Homestead (other side of the road from Kaiser). The friend whose Model 3 was broken into the same day as mine was at AMC Mercado in Santa Clara. The second friend's Model S broken into at the Pedro's restaurant parking lot in Santa Clara (in Dec), and the last friend's Model S was broken into in Los Gatos in the parking lot behind Williams Sonoma on Santa Cruz Ave (in Nov).

If you can contact Tesla too, that would be great (and I hope many others will as well), so they can feel some pressure from customers to resolve the issue. I'd like to see them do a recall to swap out the non-lockable seat latches with lockable ones. Tesla has a reputation for listening to their customers, and hopefully will acknowledge that this problem is exacerbated by their seat design and is not common to other luxury brands.

Wow, that's insane. It seems that they are targetting Santa Clara/Los Gatos/San Jose area, so thank you for letting me know so that I am aware as well. My car was actually broken into the plaza in Santa Clara at the corner of Lawrence and Monroe (Nob Hill, Konjoe Burger, CPK etc). While I was there, 6 other Teslas were broken into (3, S, X) all including. The security team mentioned that this was considered a "slow" night and on average about 13-16 are broken into per day, just outrageous.

Hoping for feed back on Tesla's end as well on this. None of us should have to be paranoid with where to go/where to park out on the streets.
 
Wow, that's insane. It seems that they are targetting Santa Clara/Los Gatos/San Jose area, so thank you for letting me know so that I am aware as well. My car was actually broken into the plaza in Santa Clara at the corner of Lawrence and Monroe (Nob Hill, Konjoe Burger, CPK etc). While I was there, 6 other Teslas were broken into (3, S, X) all including. The security team mentioned that this was considered a "slow" night and on average about 13-16 are broken into per day, just outrageous.

Hoping for feed back on Tesla's end as well on this. None of us should have to be paranoid with where to go/where to park out on the streets.

Yes, I think Tesla will need to take an official stand on this pretty soon, instead of waiting to address it in the next design update of the vehicle. The glass repair technician said that Tesla break-ins greatly outnumber those of other luxury brands such as BMW, Mercedes, Lexus, etc., and it is entirely because Tesla's rear seats offer thieves an easy 20-second way to look into the trunk without breaking the trunk open.

Unfortunately, word has now gotten around that Teslas get broken into, and it is causing would-be Tesla buyers to press pause on their purchases. A friend of mine who was all set to buy a Model 3 put off his purchase indefinitely when he heard about my break-in -- just did not want to deal with it. One would have to believe that a great many potential buyers would now have similar doubts about buying a Tesla, unless Tesla take a public stand and indicates what they are doing to resolve it.
 
Unfortunately my M3 was broken into last night. It was in CVS parking lot on Moorpark and Lawrence Expy. I wasn't able to understand why someone broke into 2nd row quarter window. Goring through this thread, I realized it's same modus operandi. Luckily there was nothing in trunk, otherwise bigger window would have gone as well. Anyway, couple of hours back I called Tesla Service center, I got few Auto Glass repair shop. Called one of them, "Hi-Tech AutoGlass" in Redwood CIty and got quote of $480/. Seems like part is available and it would take 45min to fix. Only part is ~40min drive to that place. Other shops suggested by Tesla Service center is Primer Auto Glass, Dublin.

Really sorry to hear about this, as I frequent that plaza often for dinner as well. Glad that you didn't have any thing taken at the very least. I can't vouch for the Redwood City location, but I had my windshield replaced by Primer for a rock chip and they're fantastic. I would highly recommend them and they also come to you to do the repair. Hope that helps and wishing you the very best.
 
Just joined the club in Martinez, CA!! In the police parking lot no less. Sentry mode got a grainy shot of the face and we can make out the model of car, but no license plate.
When did this happen? I am the blue 3 that parks in that lot all the time. I see your car there quite a bit and sometimes on the residential side of Henrietta. I would PM you for more info but your new and it looks like you can't.
 
Bought the model 3 on Wednesday afternoon, was hiking with a group of friends at a local park, and came back finding out the car was broken in, the passenger side window was totally gone, the window frame was damaged due to some tool the thief used. The shuttered glass are everywhere. There is also a big crack in the rear window. Everything in the car was gone, wife's purse, wallet, driver's license, credit cards. check book.

All this happened in a nice gated nature park (Home), there is only one way in, and visitors all need to purchase ticket to get in. I did no enable sentry mode (have not figure out how to do that, and thought we were in a park...)

Called the police, but it seems there is no much they can do. The park has no video surveillance.

First time ever we experience this, we only have had the car for 3 days, feel pretty bad...
 

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