Problems with Tesla 3: Crashes & “Key” Power/Quality Issues

The very popular Tesla 3 has some issues including quality and safety.

Quality Production Issues

An owner in New Jersey Mark Schey couldn’t start his Tesla 3 because the iPhone app didn’t work. He wanted to jumpstart it, but the door and hood wouldn’t open.

A Tesla technician was sent out to pull off a front cap and connected a battery and open the hood.

It appears that the desire to speed up Tesla 3 production has caused quality to suffer. Independent Tesla Motors Club forum users report problems with dead batteries, leaking tail lamps, protruding headlights, door rattles, and uneven body panels.

Another Tesla owner reported that the  flashing lights warning “”Emergency Braking Not Available” “Exiting and Reentering the Car May Fix Problem” showed on the screen. The problem stopped than the owner’s wife was stranded in Florida. Tesla towed the car and sent a Lyft for the wife.  It is believed that there was problem with the software when 12-Volt battery was low, power is not manage properly. A firmware update seems to correct the problem.

When a Tesla 3 Crashes is the Car or Driver at Fault?

A Reddit user who crashed his Tesla 3 into a crash and lived but his injuries and inability to open the glove compartment point to important issues. His passenger was injured by the breaking class form the big screen. His ankle was injured. All air bags deployed. It looks like the front passenger air bag hit the middle screen.

The good news is that the driver and passenger survived.

The poster changed his story after he realized that he still needs to deal with his insurance company. He originally wrote:

I read that Tesla’s are one of the safest cars on the road today. They are right! The car is totaled but I am fine, my right ankle is swollen from hitting the gas pedal but I can still walk fine. Had this been a regular ICE vehicle I would be dead or in a lot worse condition. Everyone from the paramedics to the tow truck driver said that people don’t usually walk away from this. I already put in another model 3 reservation.

My only complaint about this car is that during the crash my passenger’s arm hit the screen and shattered it which prevented me from opening the glove box w/ title and insurance. Needs a manual option. Also my passenger got a pretty big cut on her arm. Maybe add a screen airbag. All in all it is a phenomenal car and I owe my life to Tesla.

The glove box is controlled by the computer system that crashed after the crash, there are no physical knobs. The driver couldn’t open it to get the registration and paperwork from the compartment.

Elon Musk Tweeted a software and hardware solution.

“Adding software feature to open glovebox automatically when car comes to a stop after a crash. Will look at bonding a thin plastic sheet to the front or back of screen.”

There is no engine in the front of the Tesla 3, it has a frunk and a crash zone that absorbs the crash. There are reports that the Tesla 3 was traveling at 60 mph when it ran into a parked car.

“And in fact, given the absence of an engine in the front, intrusion into the footwell is a bit concerning.”

Some people wonder why the automatic emergency braking didn’t stop the crash. Automatic emergency braking probably could not stop the vehicle in time. We don’t have enough information on why the driver hit the parked vehicle. When a driver hits a parked vehicle it most likely that he was not paying attention.  In general driving a vehicle at 60mph where there are parked vehicles on the side of the road is way too fast for any advanced automatic breaking system to work.  AEB only works in the Tesla 3 at speed between 7 and  50mph.

Even if the parked vehicle was on the side of a highway, the Tesla 3 hit it head on.  Only Tesla has the data to know the direction of the vehicle.

NHTSA has not officially tested the Tesla 3. The comment from the poster shows how much Tesla owners love their cars. It could also be a sign that Tesla owners believe that their cars are so safe, they can drive recklessly which is not the case.