YouTuber's Gutted Tesla Model S Plaid Brakes Fail, Hits the Tire Wall at Over 160 MPH

A YouTuber shared the moment his car’s freshly installed carbon-ceramic brakes failed at over 160 mph (257 kph). The Model S Plaid stops abruptly in the track’s tire wall. Fortunately, he escaped with minor injuries. The man, however, still blames Tesla for this unfortunate event. Here’s why and what happened precisely.
Gutted Tesla Model S Plaid Wrecked on Track After Brake Failure 10 photos
Photo: Chillin' with Chet on YouTube
Chet Showing the New Unplugged Performance RotorsChet Replacing His Gutted Model S Plaid BrakesThe Police and Paramedics Arriving at the SceneThe Crashed Tesla Model S PlaidPolice Investigating the Crashed Tesla Model S PlaidThe Crashed Tesla Model S PlaidThe Crashed Tesla Model S PlaidThe Crashed Tesla Model S PlaidChet Right Before He Hit the Tire Wall
Chet is a YouTuber that’s been on a mission to make his Tesla Model S Plaid as lightweight as possible for a while now. The car he was driving on the track has been through multiple modifications and stress tests. It doesn’t even have a trunk cover! Up until this unfortunate moment, it managed to keep the owner away from danger. But with new carbon-ceramic brakes installed, the high-performance all-electric sedan lost its brakes entirely and the outcome was a bad crash that ended with hospitalization for the owner.

Chet from Chillin’ with Chet YouTube channel wanted to improve his car’s braking performance and shed some more weight by installing new rotors and calipers. Instead of the stock ones, he went with Unplugged Performance carbon ceramics. The weight difference between the two types of rotors is important. The upgrade meant the car would be almost 30 lb (13 kg) lighter. He was looking forward to fighting the heat-soak issues.

The man explained that Tesla’s stock rotors become inefficient quickly on the track and they “ruin track times and safety.” He argues that regenerative braking plays an important part in stopping such a heavy vehicle and confirms the Brembo brakes put on a Tesla aren’t an inferior product. They are simply designed to sustain a normal level of wear and tear for a vehicle that can use its negative torque as a way to reduce speed. When pushed to the limits, any component of a vehicle that’s not been properly prepared for track usage can fail.

Chet also added steel braided brake lines for all four brakes because these can take more pressure while opting for non-performance replacements for the rear brakes.

The YouTuber was happy with the modifications, so he took the gutted Model S Plaid to the track. Keep in mind this vehicle has had its windows replaced, its airbags took out, no back seats, no roll cage, and the man wasn’t wearing any protective gear.

However, he accelerated to over 160 mph (257 kph) and realized right as entered a corner that the brakes were too hot and failed. At that moment, there was nothing he could’ve done to properly stop the vehicle. He crashed into the tire wall.

Police, firefighters, and paramedics came to the scene. Chet has been hospitalized with five broken ribs, a fractured knee, and a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). He is now in recovery and says things are going well.

But now Chet is convinced Tesla’s at fault for his crash and not the new carbon-ceramic brakes he installed. He argues the car has a “Track Mode” so it should be able to handle this kind of abuse, even though the automaker explained the sedan shouldn’t be used for extended racing. The Youtuber also underlines that he crashed because of the stock DOT3 brake fluid that didn’t do its job. The Unplugged Performance upgrade had nothing to do with the brake system failure, according to the Model Plaid owner.

“A recall needs to be made now before more people get hurt,” said Chet in a message published for his followers to see. The man wants the “inferior” DOT3 fluid to be replaced in all Model S Plaids. He underlines that 1,000 hp should warrant “1,000 hp safety”.

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About the author: Florin Amariei
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Car shows on TV and his father's Fiat Tempra may have been Florin's early influences, but nowadays he favors different things, like the power of an F-150 Raptor. He'll never be able to ignore the shape of a Ferrari though, especially a yellow one.
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