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Tesla Model S Owner Shares Nasty Control Arm Failure on Reddit
Suspension issues with Tesla vehicles keep popping up at a concerning rate. That is why Meyle HD decided to develop a new upper control arm for the Model 3 and Model Y. However, the German spare parts manufacturer should also consider the Model S and the Model X. A 2014 Model S owner literally experienced the ball joint popping out of the control arm on his way home. Luckily, nobody got hurt, at least physically.

Tesla Model S Owner Shares Nasty Control Arm Failure on Reddit

Pete Cordaro shared his issues with the upper control arm in 2016Pete Cordaro shared his issues with the upper control arm in 2016Reddit user shares a Tesla Model S upper control arm issue that we have seen beforeReddit user shares a Tesla Model S upper control arm issue that we have seen beforeReddit user shares a Tesla Model S upper control arm issue that we have seen before
The Reddit user WeesnawWeeg shared the images on social media and said the Tesla Service Center to which he towed the EV first said it was involved in an accident to have such severe damage. It must have hurt – WeesnawWeeg bought the car about a year ago from AutoNation and said it was never involved in crashes while he has had the EV.

When other users asked him about the previous owner, he wrote that “all 4 rims were scratched up and had a lot of curb rash,” which could have to do with the ball joint issue in the front right wheel. WeesnawWeeg agreed with another user that it was probably bad for a long time. Curiously, he said it was partially his fault, which his description of the situation shows was not the case.

WeesnawWeeg said he “would hear popping sometimes while turning,” which led him to take the vehicle to the shop. The technicians there “couldn't diagnose the issue.” He even thought: “I hope it’s not the ball joints.” It was. The Model S owner insisted with the Tesla Service Center: he said he “had to speak to them again in length for them to create a new appointment.” Before that, they said he had to “go through insurance.”

Despite the claims that the previous owner may have caused the issue, there have been a number of other cases reported for years. A discussion started on the TMC forums on April 28, 2016, reports the same issue WeesnawWeeg had. The user gpcordaro (Pete Cordaro) said it happened to the Model S he had owned since new after buying it in March 2013. He heard a snap and the steering wheel started pulling to the left.

Cordaro later discovered that the control arm’s ball joint corroded and made a video about that. We have embedded it below. The Daily Kanban talked about the situation in June 2016. It mentioned a Technical Service Bulletin (TSB) that could be related to the problem, but it was not. The SB-13-31-003 TSB was related to the lower fore links. Tesla calls them the lower control arm, which is not correct: the front suspension in the Model S has the upper control arm and the two lower fore links.

The Daily Kanban also revealed that Tesla offered to pay 50% of the repair in Cordaro’s car as goodwill if he signed a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) about that. That’s a similar situation to that faced by an Austrian customer who was offered €20,000 if he did not mention his 90-kWh battery pack actually presented 84 kWh. The Austrian customer refused.

Cordaro accepted Tesla’s offer: he signed the deal and could no longer talk about the problem. He also mentioned that he reported it to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which allegedly investigated the issue. Cordaro hoped “this is a one-off incident.” It wasn’t.

The thread he started was closed for further answers in June 2016. Cordaro endured a lot of abuse from Tesla investors even before he said he agreed with Keith Leech, aka Keef Wivaneff. The British engineer coined the expression Whompy Wheels to accuse Tesla of hiding suspension issues in its cars.

A quick search on TMC forums points to more cases of front upper control arms issues. The same happens when you look for the problem in search engines. NHTSA complaints also show more people are affected by it. The safety regulator has not presented the results of the investigation Cordaro’s case triggered. Perhaps the new ones will do the trick.

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