Brand-New Tesla Model Y's Roof Flies Off On First Drive Home

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Graphic: Jason Torchinsky/Tesla/Twitter

I know we’ve covered Tesla’s chronic quality control issues here before, and I realize that among hardcore Tesla-stans this may feel like we’re picking on Tesla unfairly but in our defense, Tesla really does have some terrible quality issues. Sometimes we get a really dramatic and baffling issue, like this one where the fucking roof flew off a brand-new Model Y while the car was being driven home. Yes. The roof flew off.

The Model Y in question was bought by the dad of the person who reported the issue and was corroborated with this remarkable video of Tesla’s new Instant, Unplanned Convertible feature:


The person in the car, Nathaniel, also posted to Reddit’s Tesla Lounge sub-reddit:

My dad bought a brand new model Y today, and he brought me along to pick it up just in case he needed help with any tech problems. Everything was going fine and we were driving back home when we started to hear a ton of wind. I thought maybe a window was open but a minute later the entire glass roof just blew off. After a brief panic we turned around and drove the new Tesla convertible back to the dealership.

When we got back we called highway patrol to tell them that there was a car roof somewhere on the 580, but somebody might have gotten into an accident, I’m not sure. The manager at the dealership said that either the seal for the roof was faulty, or the factory just ... forgot to seal the roof on? I can’t imagine how something as big as the roof not being attached could make it past quality control. If this is a recurring problem a lot of people could get hurt. Has this ever happened before?

Yeah, this is, uh, this is bad.

Like many modern cars, the Model Y has a large glass panoramic sunroof, which is composed of the whole non-stressed roof panel being made of glass. When it’s in place and not setting itself free on the highway, it is very appealing, as you can see here:


Lovely. And, open roofs are great! If the Model Y came with a roll-back canvas roof like an old Le Car, that’d be fantastic.

But, I think the key here though is all about intent. As a car owner, it’s really up to you to decide when the roof should open, not some worker at the factory who forgot to seal your roof on.


These big glass panels are usually held on with industrial adhesives, usually a urethane sealant, and you can tell where these sealants are on your car because they’re hidden by frit bands. It seems that at the Tesla factory, something was either wrong with the sealant, the application, or both.

Also, the big panel of glass probably shouldn’t launch itself onto the road at random, into traffic. But I’m kind of old-school that way.


As usual, we reached out to Tesla for comment, and, as usual, we’ll hear nothing back. Because we never do.