After keeping quiet about a possible design flaw involving detaching rear bumpers, Tesla has acknowledged the includes a design hiccup that could result in the rear fascias ripped off if drivers motor through standing water. The company issued a formal service bulletin for the problem and declared the issue will be repaired under warranty, according to a service bulletin Electrek obtained Monday.
According to Tesla, the issue occurs in Model 3 sedans built before May 21 of last year when drivers plow through standing water. Not just “let’s drive through a big puddle” kind of standing water, but the kind of water that sits on freeways with poor drainage. Sometimes it’s unavoidable. From Tesla’s description, it sounds like the water puts pressure on the harnesses and body fasteners, which leads the whole rear bumper to rip off.
Granted, this is not a, just a service bulletin, so don’t expect NHTSA to be involved. However, it should be very relieving to owners that Tesla will repair the problem under warranty. In fact, the document is clear about what service centers should look for to be sure the automaker isn’t replacing other kinds of possible damage.
Those who the issue affects will receive a new rear fascia with an updated design to make sure the bumper doesn’t detach when drivers encounter standing water. Any other components damaged will also be replaced free of charge.