Upgrading / Modifying / Fixing

Common issues with Tesla vehicles, the solutions, warranty information and consumer rights

Last modified: 2021-12-14

6 min(s) read

All cars go wrong eventually but there are some issues that are more common, the items listed on this article we’ve noticed several of our owners having, generally, Tesla are good at ensuring an owner is put right and following the warranty and UK consumer laws but you may find these issues will be addressed differently depending on who you’re dealing with at Tesla.

If I have one of these issues what should I do?

If you have any of these issues book your car in via the app to have the problem looked at, speak with your local Tesla Service location and seek guidance from them, the problem will probably be rectified directly with them, if it’s another issue or you wish to find out if others have had the issue consider getting advice from our discussion groups and/or our Tesla Warranty Documents / Guide on escalating issues / UK Consumer Law / How to report faults to DVSA / How to take issues to Small Claims Court or Money Claim Online article.

If you have another issue that isn’t addressed on this article join our discussion groups to find if others have the issue (remember to use the search feature).

The common issues

Note: The term common is hard to quantify as the only people who will know the exact number of failures is Tesla and they don’t make this information public but the issues listed on this article are more common that any other issues our members have experienced, the vast majority of the issues will be fixed under warranty or UK Consumer Law.

Failing heaters (PTC Heater) on Model S/X

Generally, this affects older Model S/X vehicles and often in winter (as that’s when the heaters get used) after a loud pop inside the cabin owners with the issue will notice a lack of heating within the cabin, the fix is quick and will be covered under warranty. If it’s winter and/or you find your screen misting up request Tesla collect the car via calling Roadside, failing that book a normal appointment from within your app. If the car is safe to drive you can get around this issue by using the heaters for the rear of the cabin (Model X) and using the heated seats/steering wheel to mitigate the issues until the car can be fixed. For Model S it’s largely unusable as it’s a big safety hazard when/if the screen mists up.

Model S door handles

Door Handle Problems with Tesla Model S and How to fix / parts / consumer rights etc

Garbled text on the screen

This is fairly common, especially on older cars, many presume it’s related to the eMMC chip (see below) but often it’s diagnosed as being a firmware issue, ensure you log it on Tesla’s system and request a software update to hopefully mitigate the problem.

MCU eMMC Memory Issues

eMMC chip failure, what is it? should I be worried? what can I do?

Water/condensation/bugs in the lights (primarily the rears brake lights)

This is pretty common across most cars including Tesla, depending on the severity Tesla will replace under warranty. The lights aren’t sealed (on purpose) so moisture can enter and then condense. Parking the lights facing the sun normally will solve it.

DRL LED strip failures inside the front headlights

The LED strips inside primarily the Model S front light sometimes fail, the problem is that the LED strips are extremely difficult to repair which means most of the time a whole new light assembly is required which is a terrible waste of materials. It’s a known issue by Tesla and should be covered by warranty.

Model 3 cracked rear glass

A batch of Model 3 cars (primarily those arriving within the first few batches arriving into the UK) have been known to have the rear glass randomly crack without any impact damage, it’s believe it’s due to to the body of the vehicle flexing. It’s a known issue by Tesla and should be covered by warranty.

Yellow edge appearing over time around S/X screens

In certain light or with certain items on your screen you may notice a slight yellow banding around the two screens within a Model S/X, it’s purely cosmetic (it’s a glue discolouration) but it doesn’t look great, it’s fixable via a service visit and is covered by the warranty. Tesla use a UV light treatment to remove the colouring, on rare occasions the treatment needs to be repeated. Newer screens (e.g. in Model 3/Y don’t suffer from this issue). Between the time of noticing and getting it fixed a quick method to solve it is swap your screens to night mode.

Range reductions after software updates (often referred to as ‘BatteryGate’)

The 8 year unlimited mile warranty is pretty much industry leading, however, there are several caveats within that, one of which indicates that range over time can and will reduce (understandable) but on one software update some battery packs had their cell float voltages lowered, resulting in a sudden drop in capacity, subsequently this has been increased again with new software updates but not back to the original range.

Tesla claims this new profile, and its ongoing improvements, is the result the continued effort of the company at optimising charging, battery performance and lifetime, as well as continued safety of our vehicles.

It’s quite a complex issue so discussions on this can be found by searching for BatteryGate within our discussion groups, you can also see this from Tesla.

UPDATE: Largely resolved as of this article

Slower than previous charging rates at superchargers (often referred to as ‘ChargeGate’)

This is where some battery packs (but especially those that have been ‘excessively’ charged via rapid / superchargers) have had their overall DC charging speeds lowered, resulting in longer charging times. Tesla have addressed this issue partially but several owners are still complaining that their cars max out at around 60-70kW at a supercharger when previously they were able to get 90-120kW, Tesla claims that optimal condition charge times increased – minimally (approx. 2 minutes) at normal temperatures, and at a colder initial temperature, by up to 15 minutes per charging session.

Tesla claims this new profile, and its ongoing improvements, is the result the continued effort of the company at optimising charging, battery performance and lifetime, as well as continued safety of our vehicles.

UPDATE: December 2020 Now largely resolved in software 2020.48.26 onwards, although some members reporting continued issues still in May 2021.

Discussions on this can be found by searching for ChargeGate within our discussion groups, you can also see this from Tesla.

Suspension issues

On full lock a skipping/shuddering

This isn’t actually a fault it’s common when two wheels are turning but on full lock one is having to rotate further than the other, this means the other ends up skipping to ‘catch up’.

On full lock whilst reversing the front suspension joint pops out

This will leave your car needing recovery and whilst it’s not common, it’s happened enough times for us & Tesla to understand it should be covered by the warranty.

On heavy acceleration with Model X a shuddering feel

Whilst technically not suspension related it’s often attributed to being so, new shims are available for older cars that should solve this issue and is covered by the warranty.

Charge Port Snapped

Read this article

Auto wipers erratic behaviour

It’s a known issue, will be solved by software eventually but because Tesla are doing this themselves from scratch using new technology it’s still a BETA feature. Read this article to learn more

Do you have the expertise? Share your knowledge!

Remember modifying your vehicle may invalidate part of your vehicle’s warranty.
Therefore, be careful and check with Tesla if unsure. Also any modifications will most likely need to be OK’d with your car insurance company.

To the best of our knowledge, these guides are correct and factual. However we take no responsibility if something does go wrong.

If you spot a mistake please ensure you alert us.