Matt Robinson profile picture Matt Robinson 8 months ago 1

Tesla Model S Roof Filmed Making A Bid For Freedom

A Model S was filmed by a dashcam in China as its roof flew off at speed, prompting Tesla to blame an authorised third-party repair shop

Remind me later
Tesla - Tesla Model S Roof Filmed Making A Bid For Freedom - News

The production version of the Tesla Roadster is still some way off, but one Model S decided it wanted to get in on the alfresco BEV action a little sooner. The video below was posted to Chinese social networking site Weibo a few days ago, and it shows the Tesla’s glass roof dramatically ejecting at speed.

It’s seen reaching some impressive altitude, which hopefully would have given anyone following plenty of time to get out of the way before the part crashed down to earth. Listen carefully, and a faint smash can be heard.

Tesla’s official Weibo account responded to the video, which had been posted on the page ‘Cars01’, saying the company was (translated) “helping the owner solve the problem as soon as possible”. It added, “After preliminary investigations, the vehicle had undergone roof glass replacement at a third-party authorized sheet spray centre. We are currently investigating the cause of the incident.”

The repair shop hasn’t been named, but it doesn’t look great on Tesla for authorised premises to be responsible for such shoddy work. We should think the company will soon be cutting ties with the third party.

The video has emerged a few weeks on from one Twitter user claiming a brand new Model Y’s roof flew off while the car was being driven on a highway in the US. Tesla hasn’t commented publically on that video, as far as we can make out. However, another Model Y owner has since contacted Business Insider, sharing an email from a Tesla regional service manager concerning roof adhesive.

Tesla - Tesla Model S Roof Filmed Making A Bid For Freedom - News

“Tesla has selected your car to participate in an engineering quality study…We want to make sure you do not experience any issue with the roof glass and want to inspect and validate proper adhesion,” the email noted. The owner confirmed the roof would need to be “redone” owing to a “safety issue.”

All of this comes as Tesla is recalling over 9000 Model X units due to the lack of primer used when attaching the ‘front applique’ - a trim piece between the roof and windscreen. The NHTSA notes that over time “the adhesion may weaken, causing the applique to separate from the vehicle.”

Quality control issues have dogged Tesla for some time, particularly with the Model Y. In June, a leaked email showed CEO Elon Musk told employees: “It is extremely important for us to ramp up Model Y production and minimize rectification needs.”