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Rear Window of 2021 Tesla Model 3 Shatters Spontaneously; Tesla Quality Control Issues Continue

The turn of the year has not affected Tesla’s quality control issues, it seems. Last year, despite all the upward graphs in terms of market value, quality issues haunted the company throughout. There were instances of glasses shattering, roofs flying off, and bumpers falling off among other issues. The glass shattering, among these, seems to be most disturbing.

Rear Window of 2021 Tesla Model 3 Shatters Spontaneously; Tesla Quality Control Issues Continue

The most recent incident has left a new Tesla customer horrified. This incident also saw the rear glass shattering on the spot without any warning. This is very similar to an incident that occurred in October. In that scenario, a Model Y was parked in the garage for over 24 hours, after which the glass shattered on its own.

The Latest Issue

The latest victim of Tesla’s quality issues is Inderpal Kaur. She lives in California, and she recently bought a 2021 Model 3 Standard Range Plus. Kaur received the delivery of her new car on the evening of January 1.

Moments after receiving delivery, Kaur and her sister were sitting inside the new car and were about to reverse it. Suddenly, the glass on the rear right door shattered spontaneously without any warning. She mentioned the sound made her feel like they were being shot at. Of course, it could have been much worse if someone was sitting in the back seat. Or if she was driving it on the road.

“It was the back right window of my car as well, except me and my sister were in the car and were reversing it. I’m very disturbed by this and obviously very disappointed as well. We thought we were getting shot at. Although this was a crazy event, I’m definitely counting my blessings that no one was in the backseat and that we decided against taking it on the road that night!”

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Unfortunately, Kaur did not have any cameras inside or around the car to record what happened. Of course, because of this recurring issue, we have already seen how the rear glass gets shattered on the spot. Kaur shared some images of the incident.

Tesla Takes Responsibility

Currently, Kaur is waiting for Tesla to fix the problem. The car is still sitting in her garage in the same state. The experience has been anything but satisfying, however.

Roadside assistance told her to take the car to the nearest Tesla service centre on the 2nd of January. When she did so, they told her that the centre was closed for the day. She then opened a service ticket and found someone who was willing to help her. The employee escalated her ticket to get someone out there earlier.

“So far, the vehicle is still sitting in my garage in the same state. I was told by roadside assistance to take it to our nearest Tesla service center on Saturday and when we did, they told us the service center was closed. Since then I opened a service ticket and was able to get a response on January 4 from someone who was actually really helpful and who escalated the ticket to have someone come out earlier.”

Meanwhile, Tesla has taken responsibility for the incident. However, they have given out a hypothesis without even having someone check the car out. According to them, the incident was caused by a defect in the glass combined with the elevated cabin pressure.

Our Opinion

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There are still many theories coming out regarding this issue. If a glass defect is causing these incidents, then why is it seen only on the rear doors? One theory suggests that assembly mistakes with the subframes are causing these incidents. Due to this, only the assembly of the rear door might be affected. This seems quite plausible.

One thing is for sure, Tesla needs to look into this at the earliest. Yes, people are getting excited about the upcoming models like the CyberTruck and Model S Plaid. Yes, the beta version of the new Autopilot is an important step towards achieving full autonomy for automobiles. But none of these highs can shield the company from lows like quality issues. After all, if you are buying a vehicle under an established brand like Tesla, the least you can expect is basic safety and quality. But issues like these will make people think twice. And some people will settle for a lesser-performing car from another brand if it means better quality.

2020 was a very weird year for many people. With the pandemic situation shutting down cities, many industries were affected adversely. But, the graph of some companies shot upwards like never before. Tesla was one of these companies. They have made a lot of progress in the past year. But issues like these act like blotches on the brand. Tesla seriously needs to step up their quality game.

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Mihir Tasgaonkar
A mechanical engineer who loves reading and writing about new technologies in the automobile industry.

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