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The Tesla Model Y is a popular EV for its exciting driving experience, great tech, and impressive all-electric driving range. Even so, this crossover SUV has some minor flaws, including a lack of mudflaps and problematic paint. The problem has prompted many new Model Y owners to install mudflaps not long after buying their EVs.

Why is this an issue? Will Tesla address the problem in future models? We’ll explain why the Model Y needs mudflaps and where you can get them.

The Tesla Model Y doesn’t come with mudflaps — yet 

A Tesla Model Y displayed in a Manhattan dealership on January 30, 2020, in New York City
The Tesla Model Y has falcon wings, but what about mudflaps? | Spencer Platt/Getty Images

The problem centers on poor paint quality on the Tesla Model Y and Model 3, according to MyEV Trips. With the Model 3, the issue has prompted a class-action lawsuit in Canada, Driving reports.

So far, Tesla hasn’t improved the paint quality on the Model Y. On top of that, its exterior design sends debris from the road pinging off the side panels. A few weeks of that can dramatically rough up the appearance of the vehicle with rock chips, scratches, and more. For those who live in colder climates where chemicals are frequently used or drive in unpaved areas, it’s a combination that could ruin the Model Y’s appearance.

Tesla is testing mudflaps and PPF in certain markets

Tesla has started selling paint protection film (PPF) to cover the problem areas. It’s a step in the right direction. But the film protects only a certain area, and to reduce the debris that hits the sides, you really need mudflaps. Considering the seriousness of the problem, many believe the product should be free to existing owners and standard on newly built models.  

To help with the issue, the automaker offers mudflaps and a PPF kit in the Tesla Shop for an extra cost.

The company is also testing front mudflaps in certain locations. Drive Tesla Canada reports that some new Model Ys are showing up with standard mudflaps and PPF in areas of Canada. New Tesla owners appreciate the move, but it leaves current owners vexed because the EV maker has yet to offer them any.

In the States, some new Model Ys have shown up with PPF but no mudflaps.

Why mudflaps are important, especially for EVs

Mudflaps or mudguards are a supplement to the fender. They protect the vehicle, its passengers, pedestrians, and other automobiles from mud, rocks, and other debris that can become projectiles when thrown into the air by a moving tire. Mudflaps are also designed to protect the vehicle from heavy salt, sand, and gravel.

Many automakers who produce EVs offer their own mudflaps. So why should you choose Tesla-specific mudflaps?

They’ll fit the model correctly. That’s especially important in harsh weather climates or on rougher terrain to minimize damage to the EV.

Tesla sells Model Y mudflap kits for $40. The kit includes two front mudflaps and installation hardware. Instructions are also provided, but they can also be found online in PDF format.

Tesla fans hope the EV maker will soon offer these kits to existing owners at no cost. The company did something similar with the Model 3 All-Weather Protection Kits for owners in Canada and eventually expanded the offer to other regions where Tesla vehicles are sold.


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