These Tesla Model 3 and Model Y Build Quality Issues Are Truly Shocking

The Tesla Model 3 and Model Y are, without a doubt, some of the most compelling brand-new electric vehicles available. Despite this, both the Model 3 and Model Y have faced serious build-quality issues since their release. While owners have reported small issues, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has found some potentially fatal flaws. According to The Drive, the production issues cover the Model 3 and Model Y’s power system and front suspension.

What is wrong with the Tesla Model 3?

A screenshot of a service bulletin covering repairs needed for the Tesla Model 3.
Tesla Model 3 | National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Out of these various service bulletins, the first one was issued in June 2020 for the Tesla Model 3. The first build quality issue surrounds one of the EV’s most important components, its charging port. According to the NHTSA, this panel can sometimes protrude from the rest of the taillight. In response, the NHTSA recommends that this overflush be 1.5 mm or less to meet production requirements. While you might expect a high-tech solution for this issue, the NHTSA recommends rectifying the issue with a “dead blow hammer.”

The second and more serious Tesla Model 3 issue surrounds the EV’s power system. You can clearly see examples of where these crucial bolts are simply not there from the photos above. According to The Drive, these missing bolts could potentially affect how the vehicle charges and discharges. However, it is not clear if all of the missing bolts from the same car. Enough cars are affected for the NHTSA to step in. Thankfully, the fix for this issue is simply installing the necessary bolts to ensure the EV works as intended.

The Tesla Model Y could have missing suspension nuts

A screenshot of a service bulletin covering repairs needed for the Tesla Model 3.
Tesla Model 3 | National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

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As you’d expect, the Tesla Model 3 shares some common issues with the larger Model Y. This is because the SUV was also included in the service bulletin covering the charging port issues. However, the Model Y suffers from a much more serious issue. According to The Drive and the NHTSA, the electric crossover may be missing some crucial bolts from its front suspension.

From the image above, you can clearly see that a nut is missing from the nyloc bolt that attaches to the front steering knuckle. According to the NHTSA, some of the Model Y’s affected could have nuts that are not properly tightened or just missing altogether. As this is a part of the front suspension, it plays a crucial part in maintaining vehicle stability and correct steering. However, this issue appears to affect the Model Y exclusively.

How many cars are affected by this?

A white 2021 Tesla Model 3 Performance
2021 Tesla Model 3 Performance | Tesla

Of the three Tesla Model 3 and Model Y service bulletins covered, there is no clear indication of just how many vehicles it covers. However, according to the NHTSA, the charging port issue affects all Model 3 and Model Y model years. The NHSTA noticed the missing bolts in the Model 3’s power system in the 2018-2019 model years. Lastly, the missing suspension bolt appears only to affect the 2020 Model Y. Regardless, if you have any of these vehicles, you may want to give them a closer look.