Ask anyone why they want a new car instead of a used one. Most of the answers will be “peace of mind.” People who buy new want valid warranties even if their cars depreciate around 20 percent as soon as they leave the dealership lot. They want new components, which will not demand a replacement soon. Peace of mind is all Héctor Rojas Olivo did not have with his water-holding Tesla Model Y. Nor had the other Tesla owners who contacted us.
If you are not familiar with his story, he shared a video of his car releasing a lot of water as soon as he opens the left rear door of his Model Y. But that is just part of the issues he has faced since he took delivery of his electric CUV. He has reported misalignment, gaps, paint, and glass roof tint problems, but the worst was a broken coolant tank.
“It has been a journey, to say the least. After two weeks in the shop, they fixed the coolant tank and put a new seal on the door. The technician who gave me back the key told me that all the gaps and misalignment were within code. On my way home, I was driving with the windows down, and I started hearing a noise coming from the back door, driver side.
I immediately created a service request using the app. Tesla sent someone home within two weeks. The technician confirmed that it was coming from the inside of one of the wheels. He created an appointment for me to go to get it fixed. The technician told me that what mattered was the technology and that all those issues can be fixed, but I didn’t buy a luxury car to be creating repair requests every other week because the car has new issues.”
Olivo started to notice other issues before taking his car to the service center. One of them seems to be caused by the cowl cover, one of the Model Y’s most known problems.
“The gap between the back bumper was widening, and the frunk started to show ‘open’ as I was driving. It never actually happened, thank God. The driver door would not close when I regularly pulled it; it took some effort to close it. The gap between the driver and the driver side passenger door is so wide that you can see the VIN from the outside. I started noticing that water was still accumulating even though they had changed the seal, and some of the pins around the mudguards were loose.”
That is quite an extensive collection of problems in a brand new vehicle.
“As of today, the car is still at the repair shop. The car has been at the shop for about 23 days and counting, I have less than 1,600 miles, and I picked up the car on May 20, 2020. I’ve grown so frustrated that I have contacted the office of the state attorney general. I really like the technology, but at least the car they gave me is a lemon. it is not worth the price I paid.”
If Tesla decides to repurchase Olivo’s car, we hope it does not repeat the procedures that made customer protection entities and lawyers accuse it of lemon laundering. In other words, it should fix the car and warn the next owner it is a lemon. That would probably be the only way to solve this owner’s frustration.
“I bought a new car, and I was expecting peace of mind. I don’t even feel safe driving the car anymore, but what can I do? I tried returning the car six days after I purchased it and seeing the water issue, and I was told that I couldn’t return the car because I had already received the state incentive.”
The water-holding Model Y owner reinforces what he thinks caused all the nuisances in his car. It is also an essential message for Tesla: it makes it seem the numbers are more important than getting customers satisfied with their vehicles. Carbon credits would be an explanation for that.
“It just seems that they were in a rush to get their Q2 numbers, and they didn’t care about the customers. At the end of the day, they promise to make it good to you, and that those issues are not big because what matters is the technology. That is nonsense.”
After Olivo shared his problem with the Model Y, other readers got in touch to report similar situations, such as George Westerman. Ironically, in another Tesla product.
“My Model 3, built at the end of 2019, has the exact same thing after heavy rain. What causes it?”
Mike Stove needs the same answer to the same problem in his Model 3. He provided us the main video embedded in this article.
“I have had this issue with my Model 3 and still do to this day. Tesla Mobile has come out twice and replaced seals and the chrome piece and it is still not working. One time, they came out and didn’t have the proper side of the car and got me the opposite part. They want me to take the car in to a service center. It has been more hassle than it’s worth.”
So far, Rick Stidham is the only reader to have contacted us with the same issue in a Model Y.
“My Model Y has the same problem, only the rear passenger door. It’s going back to have a few other things corrected soon, so we’ll see if they fix this.”
Erick and Roseanne Carlson just wanted to share the bad experience they are having so far with their Model Y.
“My husband and I ordered our Model Y on February 1, 2020. When we finally were able to take possession, on June 26, the car had multiple major issues from the manufacturer. The car had huge gaps to the point where the windows would not seal. When we pointed this out they said that they’re allowed to have some gaps and that most likely it was within spec. We told them it was visibly not and that they needed to fix all of the things we had pointed out or that we would not take possession of our car. (…) We are having paint issues, as well as our driver’s window keeps dropping open after closing the door, and then it shipped the frame of the door. Now instead of someone coming down to our location, we will have to bring the car back to them. We too feel like our car was built in a rush and on a Friday because of all the major inconsistencies.”
All these customers need an answer from Tesla. We wish it would tell us what is wrong, but we fear it won’t. More than that: we fear it doesn’t know. If it did, it would probably have already fixed the problem, as Olivo expects.
“I hope these issues get resolved soon, and that this doesn’t happen to anyone.”
So do we, Héctor. So do we.