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Tesla’s build quality has come into question from time to time. We’ve all seen the images of misaligned panels and other issues in forums online. But a new issue is cropping up in Europe that is keeping a product lawyer running full-time after filing a lawsuit over this latest wrinkle. It has been a problem to the extent that one Model 3 owner is suing to get a replacement.

What is allegedly wrong with the Tesla Model 3?

Red Tesla Model 3 parked in a parking lot
Tesla Model 3 | Tesla

The owner in question is an engineer who purchased his Model 3 Long Range EV early last year. By springtime, he wanted to remove the winter tires. But when the tire store jacked the car up, there was significant damage underneath, according to AutoEvolution. Numerous jacking points showed severe fracturing.

When the engineer went online to research what he found, he also found others with similar concerns. Allegedly, this is happening due to a robot at the Tesla Fremont, California, facility. The owner received a written admission from the company, as well as a statement saying it had corrected the defect. This is just one of the many cases Christoph Linder, known as the “Tesla Lawyer,” has participated in.

Tesla says the issue is only cosmetic

Tesla Model 3
Cracked Tesla Model 3 jacking points | EFahrer

Germany’s EFahrer said that the company’s response to Linder was this was only cosmetic. It would just blow paint over the jacking points. But when the owner didn’t accept the “fix,” Tesla came back to say the damage wasn’t covered by its four-year, 50,000-mile warranty. 

The warranty covers defects in materials and workmanship. We’d say that fracturing in those locations fits that description. That’s what the owner thought too, which is why he contacted Linder. 

The court requested an independent inspection by DEKRA. This is the German Motor Vehicle Inspection Association. An inspector determined that the Tesla would not pass Germany’s required every other year inspection. “Due to the damage found on the lifting profile of the battery housing, a test sticker cannot be assigned to the vehicle presented here as part of the main inspection according to §29 StVZO,” the inspector’s conclusion stated. 

What happens next?

Tesla Model 3
Cracked Tesla Model 3 jacking points | EFahrer

Now, Linder has requested a replacement Model 3 for his client. Otherwise, his current Tesla won’t be legal to drive in 2024. The lawyer asked that the replacement comes from Tesla’s factory in China. Not in Fremont. Oh, and that it arrives in flawless condition. 

The inspection of the Tesla happened in April 2022, with a decision for the lawsuit expected before the end of the year. Tesla could offer a settlement, which would have to be on the table fairly soon. Or, it could challenge the inspector’s conclusions. Tesla could also weld a metal ring onto the affected points to reinforce the areas where cracking has occurred. We’ll let you know with an update to this story.


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