Tesla is known as the revolutionary and being at the forefront of the Electric vehicle industry. Tesla is a fairly new company that does not have several decades long experience of other auto manufacturers. Tesla does suffer from a few electronic and mechanical glitches. These issues garnered public attention when Tesla Model 3s started losing their rear bumpers when driven through puddles in the rain.
Tesla Model 3 Rear Bumper flies off after driving through a puddle
The Bumper Debacle
Tesla customer Logan Derouanna was driving his 2019 Model 3 Standard Range Plus in the rain when suddenly the car’s rear bumper fall off as the car when through a puddle, the car in question was new with only 14000 miles on the odometer. The whole event was caught on the car’s inbuilt cameras and was later uploaded on twitter and YouTube by the owner.
In the video, it can be clearly seen that car was traveling at a constant speed when it hit the puddle. The owner was shocked immediately pulled over to investigate the problem, he took pictures and rang up Tesla roadside assistance immediately. The owner observed that the other motorists didn’t seem to have any issue with the puddle so it was clear that it was his car’s problem. The roadside assistance however never came to the rescue and when he called them again they sent him a quote for the cost of the bumper replacement and when he further asked them if Tesla would cover they replied that it was “an act of God”.
Video of my back bumper flying off because I was driving my Tesla in the rain. Tesla won’t cover it because it was “An Act Of God”. @elonmusk @Tesla @TeslaMotorsClub @AusTeslaOwners @Model3Owners @TeslaPodcast @kimbal pic.twitter.com/76GP0ViY17
— Logan (@loganjamal815) July 10, 2020
It came as quite a disappointment for the owner, but later we learned that when Logan Derouanna’s Dad emailed the manager with their lawyer, they acknowledged it was a known issue and it would be covered by the company, Tesla even sent a tow to their house to pick up the vehicle, the lesson learned is that the threat of a lawsuit can even turn an “act of God” into human error.
@elonmusk @Tesla – The bumper and hubcap on our Model 3 fell off due to rain. We called Tesla and they were unhelpful & said it was an "Act of God." Others have reported this issue, it is a problem with the car…
Are you guys going to own up to this and fix my car? pic.twitter.com/0a2ZswrL3X
— Rahul Nowlakha (@rnowlakha) May 8, 2019
This though was not an isolated incident, another Tesla Model 3 owner Rahul Nowlakha faced the exact same issue. While driving in the rain, both the rear bumper and hubcap fell off from his car, when he enquired Tesla he too got the same reply, the company doesn’t seem to own up to its faults and is putting the blame on poor God, what did the almighty do to offend Tesla so much!. Again the incident was uploaded on Twitter. It is not clear whether this issue was covered by Tesla.
Based on the pictures sent by the owners it can be seen that there are no damages to the attachment points beneath the bumper that is holding the same in place. It is possible that if the car had its bolts for the bumper in place, the holders for these bolts would’ve been split apart when the bumper flew off. This is an alarming issue that has been frequent reports of missing bolts in Tesla vehicles. It is not clear if this is a case of extreme cost-cutting by the company. Jokes aside, it could explain why such recurring issues occur and that too only in the Model 3 units, this can be a major design flaw. Another possible explanation is that this design flaw is making the bumper hold more water than it can handle. These issues keep happening despite Tesla’s promises of fixing the problems in their cars. It is unclear whether Tesla might call for a recall of the Model 3. This can be an issue affecting the cars belonging to a particular VIN range or model year.
Lost my rear bumper from heavy rain/water puddle, Tesla will not cover it under warranty. Hopefully they will fix the problem for all other model3 owners out there or maybe issue a recall. @elonmusk pic.twitter.com/JRTZaq0vmG
— rhenart (@rhenart) January 20, 2020
In total, three owners have suffered the same issue the latest being @rhenart (twitter handle) when the rear bumper fell off from his Model 3 this January. Other issues faced by Tesla’s vehicles are electronic failures, the malfunction of the falcon wing doors on the Model X when safety sensors for the doors occasionally failed and the most controversial of them all was when Tesla’s pièce de résistance – its Autopilot feature failed which led to a fatal accident in March 2018 when a Model X crashed and caught fire while being driven on autopilot, this gave the company a lot of negative publicity. Tesla since then has worked on making the system foolproof. Even though Tesla cars are not flawless there is no denying the fact that the company is extremely popular and its cars are very much sought after by the consumers.