Warning: Tesla Model Y May Be Unsafe Due to Defective Suspension

Tesla gets a massive amount of media coverage. Sometimes, it’s positive, such as the way that Tesla has helped revolutionize the automotive industry and inspire interest in electric cars. Other times, the media coverage is negative. Examples of this are reliability and safety issues or the peculiar things that Elon Musk writes on his Twitter account. Unfortunately, the latest news is negative. According to Greg Wester, a product expert for electric vehicles, the Tesla Model Y may be unsafe due to a defective suspension.

Does the Tesla Model Y have a recall?

Red Tesla Model Y driving on a curvy road
Tesla Model Y | Tesla

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Apparently, Tesla is quietly recalling the Model Y. Wester stated that the recall is for control arm joints. In the New York City area, drivers reported that suspension bushings fell off the Model Y during the first 10,000 miles. 

Wester believes that this problem occurs because the Model Y has the same suspension as the Model 3. With its fifth door and a glass roof, the Model Y is heavier than the Model 3. Wester thinks that the same suspension can’t adequately bear the additional weight. In addition, Wester cites insufficient testing as another cause of the problem.

Tesla suspension safety problems

Tesla Model Y with a surfboard on the roof
Tesla Model Y | Tesla

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The suspension issue for the Model Y is not the first time that a Tesla vehicle had a problem with the suspension. After customers submitted dozens of complaints about suspension failure for the Model S and Model X, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) got involved and started an official investigation. 

The complaints involve the 2016-2017 Model X and 2015-2017 Tesla Model S. 43 of the complaints are for the linkage near the ball joint failing. Also, 32 complaints were for suspension failure when driving at low speeds, while four complaints were for suspension failure when driving at faster speeds. Additionally, the suspension failure occurs with greater frequency for older models. 

There are no reported injuries from the suspension problems. However, suspension failure is a serious issue, for it can have a detrimental effect on vehicle safety. While problems often arise for relatively new models, it’s surprising that Tesla didn’t get something as basic as a suspension to function properly.

Is the Tesla Model Y a safe car?

Despite the suspension problems, the Tesla Model Y is strong in other areas for safety. It earned a 5-star crash safety rating from the NHTSA, with the electric SUV getting the best possible results for every crash category. Also, the Model Y has a multitude of advanced safety technologies. 

However, it’s important to note that the NHTSA, Consumer Reports, and IIHS all downgraded the safety ratings of the Model Y. This was done after Tesla announced in May that it would use Tesla Vision, a camera-only safety system, and do away with a radar-based safety system. A radar-based safety system is recommended by these safety evaluators as a crucial component for vehicle safety.

Hopefully, Tesla will quickly and adequately resolve the suspension problems. As noted earlier, the automaker is doing a “stealth recall” of the Model Y. There are no accidents to date from the suspension problem. Let’s hope that continues to be the case. Tesla is an innovative company that makes incredible vehicles. However, as older car companies have learned for many decades, getting the basics done right is an important part of building trust in the vehicles. 

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