Tesla Is Dangerously Messing Up With Tire Assembly

Tesla tried to deliver a Model X Plaid with different tires; Ethan Joseph refused it 6 photos
Photo: Ethan Joseph
Michelin Pilot Sport All-Season 4 tire and Pirelli P Zero Elect summer tire at the front axle of SomniacsAlterEgo's Tesla Model Y PerformanceMichelin Pilot Sport All-Season 4 tire and Pirelli P Zero Elect summer tire at the rear axle of Ijustg0tHere's Tesla Model Y PerformanceMichelin Latitude Sport 3 summer tires were at the front axle of the Tesla Model X PlaidContinental CrossContact LX Sport all-season tires were at the rear axle of the Tesla Model X PlaidTesla tried to deliver a Model X Plaid with different tires; Ethan Joseph refused it
Ethan Joseph is a proud Tesla customer and also a Ford F-150 Lightning reservation holder. He had three EVs from the brand before ordering his Model X Plaid. At delivery, he was surprised to see the SUV had a different set of tires: summer Michelin Latitude Sport 3 tires in the front axle and all-season Continental Crosscontact LX Sport in the back.
Although people believe it is ok to have different tire sets as long as they are of the same model in each axle and have the same measures all around, that’s not really the case. Summer tires are grippier than all-season units. On top of that, the Tesla Model X is an AWD vehicle. The differences in traction may cause the car to spin, especially at high speed.

Joseph shared his experience on Twitter, and it was just the beginning of more discoveries about how Tesla is messing up tire assembly. People soon shared a Reddit post that showed a Tesla Model Y Performance with different tires on the driver and passenger sides.

The user Ijustg0tHere said he picked up his wife’s 2022 EV on February 26. On March 2, after applying a ceramic coat to the car, he noticed that the vehicle had a Michelin Pilot Sport All-Season 4 tire on the right rear wheel and a summer Pirelli P Zero Elect rubber on the left rear wheel. Their measure is 275/35 R21.

Ironically, the user SomniacsAlterEgo asked him if it was made in Fremont and joked they had probably swapped the tires in their cars. The Model Y Performance that belongs to this user had the Michelin Pilot Sport All-Season 4 tire on the right front wheel and the summer Pirelli P Zero Elect tire right next to the driver’s door. The front tires are 255/35 R21, which makes the swap hypothesis not very plausible.

Delivered this way, these tires represent an even greater risk of problems. The traction difference will make the car more difficult to control in hard acceleration and really dangerous in slippery conditions or rainy days. Mixing tires in the same axle is the sort of mistake that can cost a person willing to save some bucks a lot. Receiving a brand new car in these conditions is inexcusable.

The Tesla Service Center told Joseph that they had never seen that before. The Reddit users heard similar excuses. For Joseph, it was a no-go. According to another tweet, he refused delivery. Ironically, he had already ordered the doormats for his new car. They were not returned.

We’d ask Tesla about these three cases if the company had a press department to deal with this sort of issue. Since it doesn’t, we’ll probably learn about other cases until NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) decides to check what the heck is going on with tire assembly or Tesla chooses to make a voluntary recall to fix this as soon as possible. This is a safety hazard that primary quality control could avoid, and no OTA (over-the-air) update can fix.

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About the author: Gustavo Henrique Ruffo
Gustavo Henrique Ruffo profile photo

Motoring writer since 1998, Gustavo wants to write relevant stories about cars and their shift to a sustainable future.
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