Elon Musk, founder, CEO, and chief engineer of SpaceX, CEO of Tesla, CTO and chairman of Twitter, Co-founder of Neuralink and OpenAI, at VIVA Technology (Vivatech)

Report Reveals Tesla Held Consumers Accountable For Defective Vehicle Components

A new investigative report alleges that Tesla has been blaming customers for part failures in their vehicles even though they already knew those components were defective. Tesla has allegedly been doing this for years, and every car in their lineup is reportedly affected by these faulty parts.

Tesla’s “Whompy Wheels.”

Reuters published a report alleging Tesla has a long history of pinning frequent parts failures on drivers abusing their vehicles, even when a customer owned the car for less than a day.

It’s the story that Shreyansh Jain shared with Reuters when they interviewed him about getting stuck with $14,000 in repair costs after his brand-new Tesla’s front-right suspension collapsed even though the vehicle only had 115 miles on the odometer. Jain told Reuters that the collapse happened while slowly driving around his neighborhood.

Reuters report states that Jain told them Tesla refused to help pay for the damage, which required around 40 hours of labor to fix, because they deemed the failure had been caused by “prior” suspension damage, even though the vehicle only had 115 miles on its odometer.

Due to control arm malfunction, suspension failure is common for Teslas. Some people on the internet refer to the issue as Teslas having “whompy wheels.”

Tesla Has Yet To Issue A Recall For “Whompy Wheels” In the US.

Reuters reports that only Teslas in China have received a recall for defective control arms – after dealing with around 400 similar cases over four years – meanwhile, neither the US nor Europe have received recalls for the issue, even though it is reportedly prevalent in those markets. The findings in Reuters’ report also allege that the automaker sent out a memo in 2019 instructing service centers to deem any such failures as the result of “hitting a curb” too hard and other forms of “vehicle misuse.”

However, “whompy wheels” are not the only defective parts issue some Tesla owners have had to deal with. From 2017 to 2022, over 400 Model Y and Model 3 vehicles experienced power-steering outages, per the Reuters report.

Unfortunately for Tesla, power-steering outages and control arm failures are not the only issues their vehicles frequently experience. They also have defective autopilot systems. Last week, Tesla recalled two million of their cars for problems with their autopilot software. The recall comes after a two-year investigation from the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration alleged that Tesla’s autopilot system is at fault for over a thousand car crashes. 

Author: Jarret Hendrickson

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