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Tesla says rock chip broke my top glass, I disagree.

On one morning two weeks ago I heard a loud pop sound from my garage and came out to see that the top glass was now cracked on my Model 3. The car was parked in my heated garage the night before. I'm guessing the popping sound was the glass breaking on its own. I know with 100% certainty that it wasn't cracked when I last saw the car the previous night since I'd done a thorough micro-fiber wipe down after parking it that night and cleaned the windows, including the unbroken top glass.

When I took it to the Tesla service center, they said it was a rock chip that caused it. They said it's possible that a rock chip could hit the edge of the glass and for the crack to form later for various reasons. I'm still skeptical given that I would have noticed a rock chip while cleaning (because I'm pretty OCD about that sort of thing). Also adding to my skepticism: the front edge of the original glass actually sat a bit lower than the windshield, which always bugged me. That lower edge would make it really difficult for a rock to hit the edge.

Naturally, I think it's a stress crack that should be covered under warranty. Tesla doesn't agree, unsurprisingly.

In any case, I still got the glass replaced by Tesla for a cost of $1200. Which, frankly, seems insane. I've replaced windshields that have sensors, cameras, and heating elements that cost less to replace than that. The top glass in a Tesla is no where near as complicated.

Now I have a new problem. The front edge of the glass that Tesla replaced now sits considerably higher than the trailing edge of the windshield, though not uniformly. It's higher on one corner than it is on another. The attached pics try to show that. It might be tricky to see, but it looks like the edge of the glass is about 3-6mm higher than the trailing edge of the windshield. That seems likes a perfect recipe for the glass breaking from a rock chip. And it's straight up sloppy work too. The inconsistent height of the glass edge sticks out like crazy even when just looking at the top glass.

Is there anything I can do? Can I dispute the "rock chip" diagnosis, and fight for them to cover it under warranty? Can I have them install the glass properly?


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Here's a funny story.

My M3 has been sitting in the garage since I drove it home from the service center after having the top glass replaced. I've been traveling for work, and the car has literally not moved since I parked it over a week ago. Last night I did my normal "dry bath" where I wipe everything down with microfiber cloths and spray wash (I forget which brand I use - doesn't really matter).

There was some residue on the new top glass from the tape used to hold it while the adhesive cured, so I spent a good 5 minutes extra paying attention to the top glass as I cleaned things up. It didn't take much, it just took longer. Aside from the shoddy looking placement described in my previous post, there was nothing wrong with it.

When I came out this morning the top glass had a crack in it almost in the same place as the last time, though probably 6 inches longer, spreading from the front left corner area all the way to the middle. Same story as before. No rock damage, no drastic changes in temperatures, no flexing of the car as it sat completely idle. No earthquakes, nothing falling from the ceiling. The garage is secure, and isn't shared with anyone else.

I contacted Tesla and they won't even look at it for at least 4 weeks from today. This is assuming they get new glass in stock.

There's no way this is "normal." I get that glass breaks. Glass shouldn't break like this, this often, sitting idle in a garage. And the lack of stock? Really? Somehow, new cars are still being made that have top glass. Maybe Tesla, and companies in general, have such awful customer service lately because they can blame it on covid and people accept it.

Whatever the case, I'm fed up. I'm ready to ditch Tesla.

But first, I think it's time to hire a lawyer.
I decided to check the status of my service request, and saw that they changed the quote. When I replaced the same window a week ago, it cost a little under $1200.

The quote they just updated for the exact same procedure is now $2230. No explanation or justification, just a different price this time.

I'd love for someone to explain this one.
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This happens on other brands as well. Some sort of bump from a weld seam or something will stress the glass and make it keep cracking.

Tesla seems to be pretty good at covering these under warranty if the edges are perfectly clean with no signs of impact. Your service center clearly sucks but it's good that you have some redemption now. I wouldn't worry about the quote or anything and would just assume that they'll fix it and refund your original repair.

There does seem to be some issue with your car however. Hopefully it's just a little bump they can smooth out but your description of the misalignment makes me wonder if the body isn't quite straight and it's cracking due to their attempts to force it. I'd look for a pretty good explanation during the next repair.

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