Remember when the rear bumpers were coming off?
Tesla has done some great things in its 17-year existence. Not only has it become the world's premier all-electric automaker, but also the world's most valuable one, recently surpassing Toyota. But like all automakers, Tesla has its flaws.
Over the past few years and more frequently in recent months, there have been numerous reports regarding quality issues, ranging from poor build quality, a glass panel roof flying off, and rear bumpers that break off in rainy weather. It's the latter problem Tesla has now admitted to be a design flaw. The Tesla Model 3 owner who recently saw his car's rear bumper suddenly detach during a rainstorm is not alone and the company has realized the problem is at their end.
Electrek obtained a Tesla service bulletin dated July 31, 2020 that states the following:
"In rare instances, certain components on Model 3 vehicles built at the Fremont Factory before May 21, 2019, might be damaged when driving through standing water on a road or highway with poor drainage or pooling water. In these rare instances, the rear fascia might detach from the vehicle and harnesses and/or body fasteners/mounts might also be damaged. This document clarifies that damage caused during these instances is covered under warranty."
Tesla has since changed the rear fascia diffuser along with a few other troublesome external body components. On the one hand, Tesla's recently issued bulletin is great news for owners who've experienced these potentially very dangerous problems.
On the other, it's taken two years for Tesla to officially admit this is a design flaw. Why did it take this long? You could argue Tesla purposely took its time to conduct a thorough investigation. Thing is, an investigation such as this doesn't require two years. Potential flaws involving the design and attachment for something as basic as the rear bumper can be discovered in far less time. Tesla probably could have begun investigating the matter far sooner but, for whatever reason(s), dragged its feet.
Typically, Tesla responds fairly quickly to problems and CEO Elon Musk personally gets involved. Hopefully, resolving the rear bumper issue is a one-time thing.
Now, about that flying glass panel…