Tesla Model 3 Chronic Defect: Add Upper Control Arm To The List

There is a myriad of videos, forum threads, and Facebook posts about it.

We have already mentioned the Tesla Model 3 has a worrying issue with its front suspension. If you hear pops and clicks in your EV, you probably have a problem with the lateral link fasteners on the lower control arm. More recent complaints seemed related to that, but they are not. The issue now is on the upper control arm. Although it is not as dangerous, it is chronic and worries people who don’t know what the cause is.

A simple search reveals more videos than you could expect, including the one above. It shows a way to fix that temporarily. Besides having crowded service centers, Tesla also does not have enough parts to get these vehicles fixed. In Europe, they are totally out of them and have to wait for them to arrive from the US, which can take weeks. That may have to do with the push to deliver new vehicles.

As the video shows, the issue is on the ball joint of the upper front suspension control arm. There is no risk for this part to detach from the car – as the cattywampus bolts – but the noise is loud and annoying – especially in an EV, silent by nature.

For the people that like to repair their cars themselves, they can cut the waiting lines holding the bull by the horns if they get a new upper control arm. There is apparently no way to replace only the ball joint, hence the video right above, in which the whole upper control arm had to be replaced.

Some of these Model 3 units are almost new, having been bought in 2019. A recent Facebook thread at Tesla Owners Worldwide has plenty of people reporting the exact same issue. That said, we’d advise these owners to wait for Tesla to take care of fixing the cars for warranty matters. The company may decide to cut coverage if you do handle things on your own.

We’d ask affected owners to get in touch and confirm the issue, but it is not necessary. That should not prevent you from telling your story. Do get in touch if you want to share it. It is the best way for us to discover defects Tesla and other manufacturers should repair and don’t, for whatever reason.

What we really need to know now is how Tesla plans to fix these cars. Will it provide its service centers with enough parts to fix this, especially in Europe? Is this something that a technical bulletin will have to address? In the meantime, we’ll add it to the list of stuff people willing to buy a Model 3 would better check.

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