There is a chip shortage, you may have heard, affecting every automaker, but Tesla a little less than others. Still, Tesla is also affected, now by reportedly delivering new Teslas lacking some USB ports.
This was first seen by Electrek last week, which reported that customers that got cars with the missing ports were told varying things by their contacts at Tesla, or nothing at all. And while some customers have been told this is because of parts shortages, we don’t actually have any official word on that from Tesla, because Tesla doesn’t have a public relations department and stopped communicating with the press months ago. It sounds like poor communication isn’t limited to the media, though.
Most affected cars seem to be missing the USB-C ports along the back wall of the center console, though at least one claims that the rear-seat USB ports are missing. For new owners with missing center console USB ports, wireless charging also seems to be inactive.
Reports of missing USB ports seem to have started with cars delivered on November 11. Other owners with recent deliveries have chimed in to say that they do have USB ports. The latest confirmed USB-having Model Y we can find was delivered on November 6.
While some owners received advance notice from their delivery specialist, other owners were taken by surprise when they got their car home and noticed their USB ports don’t exist or their wireless charging doesn’t work. Only after a call with Tesla service, or browsing through Tesla forums on the internet, or reading this article, did they discover the pattern of missing USB ports.
Electrek posted screenshots showing two Model Y Performance buyers who said that they don’t have some USB ports on their cars, or were told as much, with one of them also saying they were told that the ports can be installed later as parts become available. That seems bad because the Model Y Performance starts at $63,990, but Tesla is far from the only automaker these days to ship cars without features because parts shortages. And while missing ports might be a small issue, I bet it’s not if you’re the one that doesn’t have the ports, accustomed as we are these days to in-car phone charging.
More broadly speaking, I hope all of this makes engineers really think about it the next time they want to put every bell and whistle in a new car. Hopefully, it will still be their decision.