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Tesla Model 3 Roof Rack – J-Bolt securing the rack snapped

Tensile pre-load of bolts is often necessary to extended their fatigue life in application. So unless you've done some serious modeling or testing I don't think this is sound advice. https://www.asminternational.org/documents/10192/20564188/amp17208p18.pdf

It does appear there may be a manufacturing quality problem and/or design flaw in the 3's roof rack. Tesla needs to get on top of this.


100% agree with this. I would rather it snap under tension that I’m applying than tension from wind.
 
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Yikes. Fortunately my J-Bolts haven't snapped yet, but several clips were broken off or cracked on the plastic end caps when I received my rack. Reached out to Tesla for replacement caps and they sent me a whole new rack... which was even more broken. I could tell before even taking all the foam wrapping off. That was a month ago and they've been unresponsive to my emails trying to address it ever since :/ For the caps with intact clips the gap tolerances between the plastic cap and the metal rack are all over the place too.

Since I got two duds in a row, has anyone else had trouble with broken end cap clips?

Yeah, mine end caps were broken as well, but wanted to wait to respond. I’ll send a note now.
 
Yikes. Fortunately my J-Bolts haven't snapped yet, but several clips were broken off or cracked on the plastic end caps when I received my rack. Reached out to Tesla for replacement caps and they sent me a whole new rack... which was even more broken. I could tell before even taking all the foam wrapping off. That was a month ago and they've been unresponsive to my emails trying to address it ever since :/ For the caps with intact clips the gap tolerances between the plastic cap and the metal rack are all over the place too.

Since I got two duds in a row, has anyone else had trouble with broken end cap clips?
I had the same issue. First rack had broken clips on 3 of the 4 plastic end caps. I emailed support and then sent a whole new rack, which also has broken clips on 3 of the 4 end caps. I emailed them again and they want me to ship yet another whole new rack to me, but I needed the rack for skiing, so I have just taped the end caps in place, until the spring. Then I will probably ship the whole rack back to them again, but unless they change the design I expect the end caps will always have broken clips.
 
FYI, I formally sent an urgent e-mail to Tesla (my local mobile team + [email protected]) with a cut and paste of all our testimonies of having J-Clips that snapped since Thursday I could find on TMC forums (I have counted nine different owners).

I hope they get on top of this before someone gets hurt.

Thanks for emailing Tesla with all of this info. Hopefully they will check the bolts and have a resolution soon. I have decided not to even try to install the roof rack until this is resolved. I also emailed them a few times already to inquire about this issue and waiting for their reply. Very dissappointed at this point.
 
Just curious, are people planning on taking the roof rack off each summer? I was, but now I'm unsure how to handle the stickers they provide. Order more stickers every year? Leave the stickers on? I have a vinyl cutter, was thinking about seeing if I can print my own too.
I was thinking the same thing until I thought saw the stickers...Hopefully Tesla or an entrepreneur on Amazon sells replacement stickers...
 
whoops, I guess I can't edit my posts yet. Anyway just installed my rack yesterday...did not torque it to specs, just tightened it up by hand using the "small end" of the allen wrench for leverage. A little disconcerting cracking sounds, but nothing too bad... The rack seems very secure.
 
whoops, I guess I can't edit my posts yet. Anyway just installed my rack yesterday...did not torque it to specs, just tightened it up by hand using the "small end" of the allen wrench for leverage. A little disconcerting cracking sounds, but nothing too bad... The rack seems very secure.
Just keep checking it ever day. Mine was secure for 4 days then <pop> broke off one day. Thankfully I noticed before anything bad happened
 
I ordered the rack in January and received it, glad I haven't put it on yet, I just got this from Tesla:

Hi Tesla Owner,
While the new Model 3 roof rack has been well received, we have received some feedback that certain clips may not meet Tesla’s quality standards, and could break. As an identified Model 3 roof rack owner, we are shipping to you upgraded roof rack mounting clips. This package will include (4) new clips and instructions. Please install these new clips and return your old ones with the provided return envelope. The new clips can be identified by their silver color. The old clips are black.
We are confident that you will love your new and improved roof rack just as much as Model 3.
Best Regards,
The Tesla Team​

Sounds like they're on it!
 
Just received the replacement J bolts. Looks and feel the same (except for color). Even has the gap. Let me know if you guys have any questions.
 

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In both photos the break occurs at the point in the clip's slot exactly where the bolt ends. I suspect this is due to a weakness at this location that is induced by the welding process. In the other parts of the weld, heat is absorbed into the stud and the clip. At the very end, there is no stud to absorb heat, so the clip will take all the heat and get much hotter here and oxidize more. This may be fixable with a post-weld heat treatment, or the weld should end a few mm before the end of the stud. I'm an engineer, but not a welding engineer or metallurgist, so I think I know enough to ID the problem, but not enough to confidently solve it myself (big help, I know). Hopefully the rack manufacturer has consulted with both for these new clips. This should be a very solvable problem, as these are not exotic materials, enormous forces, or an unusual geometry.

Personally, I'm really hoping that Yakima will use this J-clip geometry to create an adapter for their landing pads. I want a solution that I can install and remove in a minute or two with no tools and no adjustments. I'm happy to have four little pods on the roof when the rack is not there. I love the functionality of the Skyline system!
 
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This may be fixable with a post-weld heat treatment, or the weld should end a few mm before the end of the stud.
The black clips were hardened, but apparently never got annealed... I annealed mine and I expect they'll be fine.
In the mean time, I just received the replacements from Yakima. Will swap them out when I get a chance.
-Mark
tesla_roofrack2.jpg
 
My clips just cracked tonight during a *touchless* car wash... I guess the difference between ambient clips and water temperatures did it. One I heard crack during the wash, the second while I was out in the parking lot drying the car. Next thing I know the rack comes off in my hands.

Fortunately, I also got the email that yakima is overnighting the new clips today. Hopefully they get here before I leave for a ski trip this weekend.

The black clips were hardened, but apparently never got annealed... I annealed mine and I expect they'll be fine.
In the mean time, I just received the replacements from Yakima. Will swap them out when I get a chance.
-Mark
Nice!
 
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