Pray you don't get in a fender bender.
Just as the all-new Tesla Model Y is being delivered to anxious customers, it appears a troublesome defect has already been discovered. The good news is that is doesn't have anything to do with the battery or electric motor. The bad news is that it could be a very expensive repair. What's the problem, exactly? It turns out there's an issue with the rear hatch design. More specifically, the unit is part of both the roof and rear bumper as the large rear hatch extends down towards the rear wheels as a single piece. It stops only a couple of inches or so before the plastic bumper.
This makes loading and unloading gear an easier process. However, if owners were to be involved in a rear-end collision, the entire rear hatch would likely suffer damage and have to be replaced. The Tesla Model 3, Model S, and Model X don't have this same design, which makes it so surprising this has been overlooked.
It's not impossible for Tesla to redesign this section, but it wouldn't be an immediate fix. Just to give you an idea as to how expensive a rear-end collision bill could cost owners, replacing the rear bumper on the Model X could cost at least $1,500. Tack that amount on to a new rear hatch, which includes the glass and opening mechanism, and the total bill will come to thousands more.
Obviously, the insurance company of the driver who rear-ended the Model Y driver would be picking up the bill, but there's still the matter of repair time.
Tesla service centers have a proven reputation for taking ages to make even the most basic repairs for two main reasons: there aren't enough centers and properly trained mechanics. Owners whose Teslas were involved in minor accidents have waited for upwards of six months to get their cars back - long after their insurance companies stopped paying the rental vehicle.
Given Tesla's typical reputation to detail inside and out, it's very surprising a design issue like this went unnoticed.