There’s no question that Tesla absolutely revolutionized electric cars and that they have some really elegant engineering and careful design for their cars. There’s also no question that they have some real quality control problems and their CEO kinda, you know, sucks. I guess the CEO part isn’t really germane here, other than, unlike every other car company, when something goes wrong, unsatisfied customers tweet to Elon directly. Like this one did, because his brand-new car just suffered a huge suspension failure.
Here’s the tweets that show something that I’m sure the JD Powers people would feel is An Issue:
The owner casually refers to it as “wheel fell off,” but what looks like happened is actually worse. It looks like a lower control arm snapped, and maybe a ball joint failed, too.
Beastlyorion, the Model X owner, mentions that Tesla is making him pay for the repair, and mentions some wear on the side of the tire, as well as a “small indent” on the bumper.
I’m not sure the “small indent” is even related, as if this was something caused by an impact to the tire, it’s hard to see how whatever hit the tire would have avoided damaging any of the bodywork around the tire, unless it was struck by, say, a small torpedo?
Of course, that doesn’t stop Elon’s Army from rushing to his, and Tesla’s defense:
...can this be real? It’s got to be a joke, right? Let’s see what else this person tweeted about it:
What the hell? This person’s feed doesn’t seem to be a parody or comedy account. They seem like some kind of stock geek. Holy shit, this guy may have been serious? Man.
There’s also a fair amount of other Tesla-suspension part-failure deniers:
Man, you really have to hand it to Tesla for inspiring this degree of crazy, evidence-denying loyalty among their fans.
Some are even questioning if, for some reason, the original poster doesn’t even own the car at all:
Now, I haven’t seen the guy’s title or anything, but this still feels like an outlook that goes a bit beyond normal automotive brand loyalty, and into something...darker. Also: is there no true interrobang emoji?
There’s also the predictable accusations that the owner’s goal is to short Tesla stock—and, to be fair, there is a bit of talk about that from the owner’s timeline:
Then again, there’s plenty more crazy accusations:
A bit of dawning realizations happens in this thread as well, so it’s not all bad:
Of course, there’s also plenty of responses referencing other suspension issues with Teslas, a number of which are focused on control arm failures and problems. This seems to be A Thing.
It’s a strange part to fail, though, really. It is a part subject to intense stresses, but it’s not like it’s particularly complex or poorly understood—this is some Cars 101 shit right here. It’s a control arm. No need to call SpaceX to consult, because this is absolutely not rocket science.
This is also the kind of failure, that, were it to happen at speed, could potentially cause a wreck that could result in, potentially, people getting hurt.
A week-old car should not have problems like this. Hell, a car a decade or more old shouldn’t have control arms just snapping. This is ridiculous. and the idea that a car with no evidence of a major accident shouldn’t have this covered by warranty is absurd as well.
Even if the driver went over a curb or a pothole, I think it’s reasonable to expect that a car (one with some SUV/rugged pretentions, especially) should not break a control arm. Any incident that would have imparted enough force to break a control arm of industry-standard levels of quality would have caused other collateral damage.
I’ve reached out to the owner and to Tesla, and will update if I hear anything back. In Tesla’s case, I can’t advocate for breath-holding.
The one thing I do know is that nothing that happens in a Tesla is simple, and I’m not talking mechanically.
UPDATE: Looks like things may be getting resolved:
Also, now it looks like this may have been a pre-owned car? Even so, this is still not the sort of part that should just break like that, but, good to know there may be more mitigating circumstances. We did reach out directly before this story ran for more details and didn’t hear back, but glad to see things may be made right.