Customers of Tesla’s Model X, Model S, and Model Y vehicles report continuous issues with their front axles, an integral part of the car’s suspension. In many cases, the issues arose before the vehicles hit even 15,000 miles. In one instance, a customer got both of their front axles replaced just a year after purchasing a Model X. In another instance, Tesla charged the customer over $1,000 in order to fix the front axle. Another customer states that he has had 3 front axles replaced, and still continues to have the same issue.
Tesla has held that these front axle issues are not covered under warranty (and here). Model X’s vehicle warranty is eight years or 150,000, whichever comes first, with minimum 70% retention of battery capacity over the warranty period. Model Y’s vehicle warranty is eight years or 120,000 miles, whichever comes first, with minimum 70% retention of battery capacity over the warranty period.
Tesla released a service bulletin in 2017 for the Model X and Model S: “some Model S and Model X vehicles may have been manufactured with front suspension fore links that may not meet Tesla strength specifications.” In November 2020, the National Highway Safety Traffic Administration (NHSTA) began an investigation into Tesla’s Model X and Model S vehicles for front suspension force links based on 43 customer complaints. That same month, a class action lawsuit was filed against Tesla for defects in the Model S and X front and rear suspension control arm assembly components that result in premature failing. In May 2021, Tesla released another service bulletin for Model X and Model S vehicles regarding front axle issues.
In December 2020, the NHSTA issued a recall on the Model Y due to issues with the Model Y steering knuckle, which attaches to the axle. In 2021, Tesla China issued a Model Y recall for the same problem. Schmidt and Clark is investigating claims related to this issue. There was a similar class action lawsuit against Fiat Chrysler. The lawsuit states there is an alleged front axle and damping system defect found in certain Jeep and Gladiator models that can cause the vehicles’ steering components to shake uncontrollably.