Tesla Issues Dual Recalls Covering 9,500 U.S. Vehicles

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Tesla is issuing head-to-head recalls covering about 9,500 vehicles over a roof trim that may separate from the car and some bolts connecting the front upper control arm to the steering knuckle that might need to be tightened. While both issues can lead to some disastrous results, the unsecured roof is the larger problem by far and may affect more vehicles than the initial report issued by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) — which only references 9,136 examples of the 2016 Tesla Model X — suggests.

Earlier this month, the footage was shared over Reddit showing a Chinese Model Y with a roof that also had a hard time staying put when exposed to highway speeds. While the official explanation from the manufacturer was that an authorized third-party shop may have failed to install a replacement glass roof effectively. There’s an investigation pending, though it’s curious to see the smaller crossover’s top popping off in a manner nearly identical to those stated in the American recall. 

The subject population includes all Tesla Model X vehicles from the start of production through a change in process and documentation made at the supplier.

The Model X is equipped with a cosmetic applique at the front of the roof just behind the windshield, known as the front applique, as well as an applique at the center of the roof in between the upper falcon door roof glass, known as the spine applique. Both appliques are adhered to the vehicle using urethane. If the applique-to-urethane interface lacks primer, then, over time, the adhesion may weaken, causing the applique to separate from the vehicle.

The safety report goes on to suggest owners may notice an increase in cabin noise prior to separation. In some instances, drivers may also actually be able to see the pieces pulling apart. If your Model X’s roof happens to start coming unglued, it’s probably a good idea to keep your speed down until you can have it fixed. While the manufacturer and NHTSA said they were unaware of any injuries stemming from the issue, a roof flipping off at highway speeds could really ruin the day of someone driving behind you.

Tesla will inspect the recalled vehicles and run a retention test to see how they handle it. Failures will result in the company yanking off the roof so the necessary primer can be applied. All Tesla stores and service centers should be hip to the issue already, with customers getting their notifications in the mail soon.

The other recall covers a few hundred 2020 Tesla Model Y vehicles with bolts connecting the front upper control arm and steering knuckle. Apparently, they may not have been tightened to spec and could decouple. The NHTSA said it’s aware of this having happened on several occasions already and that vehicles should be brought in immediately for repairs. As usual, if you’re wondering if you’re car qualifies, heading to the agency’s website and inputting your Vehicle Identification Number takes out a lot of the guesswork.

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