model 3 roof rack issue with J-bolt breaking

model 3 roof rack issue with J-bolt breaking

Just received my model 3 roof rack recently and was going to install it but then I've been reading a lot of posts that the J-Bolt have been breaking. Kinda disappointed about this as I was going to use it to go skiing this weekend and be able to bring more passengers but if this is a issue, I may return the rack and go back to folding the seat down instead.

Has anyone else who has installed the roof rack had this problem as well?
Has anyone contacted Tesla about this and are they working on a fix?

jrzapata | 18 februar 2019

Installed mine, 0 issues

Magic 8 Ball | 18 februar 2019

First report of this I have read on this forum. Are some people over tightening and breaking them that way?

surfpearl | 18 februar 2019

Just looked it up, it wasn't because of over tightening.

surfpearl | 18 februar 2019

If I were designing the J-bolt I would put the slot in the bolt itself, not in the metal tab section.
Anyway, still on the fence and thinking about an alternate shape of these J-bolts so the towers wouldn't touch the glass at all.

qa_engnr | 18 februar 2019

Sorry, I forgot to include the link to where I read about this issue:

Magic 8 Ball | 18 februar 2019

Looks like they are failing along the same spot. The stamped/formed part looks like it is too brittle (at least where it is breaking). The break seems to coincide with the end of the welds. The design can be made to work just need to improve the process to include some annealing and maybe local hardening only.

Kathy Applebaum | 19 februar 2019

Installed mine, engineer-hubby decided he was happy with the quality. No issues.

jf | 19 februar 2019

Mine broke as well. I am the initial poster on this thread.

I have e-mailed today to Tesla the testimonies of nine different model 3 owners that had their roof rack J-bolts fail in the last five days.

I trust they will now take action, before someone gets hurt on the highway from a flying cargo box hitting their car.

surfpearl | 19 februar 2019

@jf - Good job, thanks for keeping us posted.

H20methodman | 19 februar 2019

Unhappy to report, mine broke this morning. I have an appointment to bring it inThursday. Luckily, it caused no damage to my car or any others. The two j-bold split in half.

qa_engnr | 19 februar 2019

saw it on twitter as well, so hopefully its getting more attention.

H20methodman | 21 februar 2019

UPDATE: My appointment was cancelled to replace the rack. They have no ETA but have said they will replace and install for free. Hope they clean up the scratch and ding the falling rack caused.

qa_engnr | 21 februar 2019


did they say the J-bolts have been redesigned and are stronger now?

sroh | 21 februar 2019

I installed mine, added a Yakima FatCat 6 EVO ski rack, loaded 4 pairs of skis, and drove to Tahoe and back. 500 miles. No issues.

When I installed the roof rack, I hand-tightened the bolt and then just a half turn with the hex wrench. 8nm is clearly too much torque for the J-clamps. It's not a long term solution, but it worked great for me. Even tightened just that much, the rack is solidly attached. And the way the lock works, the bolt can't loosen.

H20methodman | 22 februar 2019


They did not.

Effopec | 22 februar 2019

Well I guess I'll wait a bit before ordering. Hopefully they'll have a more robust design soon. Were all the broken ones from the first batch before they went out of stock? Just wondering if that was why they became unavailable.

qa_engnr | 28 februar 2019

Has anyone received any update from Tesla regarding their investigation on the J-bolts?

WPArch | 2 marts 2019

I just got a fedex shipping notice from Yakima with a project code “Tesla 3”. No notice from Tesla — but I did not order anything directly from Yakima. The package is listed as 1 lb. My guess would be new j clips. Not sure what else it could be.

The only irritating thing is that they shipped it standard overnight scheduled for Monday delivery from the Yakima office in Lake Oswego — which is just down the street from my house.

I did see my doppelgänger car in their parking lot last week — complete with a Tesla roof rack.

surfpearl | 7 marts 2019

@qa_engnr - Still crickets from Tesla/Yakima on the root cause of the failure? How do we know the v.2 will be any better? Can they show us some calculations and test results? Need better QA engineering. Can you inquire? Thanks!

Jim Little | 7 marts 2019

Received my replacement J-bolts last week. Shipped by Tesla without my requesting them. Thankfully, none of my old bolts had broken.

moabchick | 7 marts 2019

I hope this means those of us who ordered racks and are still waiting for them to come will get them soon!

thomasjlang | 28 marts 2019

Ordered my rack on Feb 10, they were in stock. Rack never shipped until today so my guess is Tesla stopped all shipments until the problem is solved. I have asked 3 times for updates and the answer is always the same. “We are waiting for delivery from our vendor”.

mroseboro | 28 marts 2019

Quick question for clarify: So the rack that Tesla is offering for $450 on the website is a Yakima OEM roof rack? Purchasing the rack on the Yakima website lists all components at $617, so $450 from Tesla would be a significant savings.

Can anyone clarify this discrepancy.

Thank you,

sroh | 28 marts 2019

@mroseboro, Yakima is making these for Tesla. I don't believe you can buy this directly from Yakima. I believe the parts you quote at $617 is a generic roof rack that can fit. I see no reason someone would buy this over the Tesla rack unless you absolutely need it asap.

Jeffrey.fisch | 15 juli 2019

Noticed the last post was in March. Any update on this?

AWDTesla | 15 juli 2019

I just got and installed mine. My j bolts are different looking than the ones posted on TMC.

AWDTesla | 15 juli 2019

Well...same in shape but different color.

natura | 15 juli 2019

I bought my roof rack early. I got black j bolts. I then got replacement bolts, grey ones, a couple of weeks after my purchase.

New orders are most likely getting the new and improved bolts from the get go.

AWDTesla | 16 juli 2019

yeah, mine were grey also. I don't know how its done, but its really secure.

CRAIGJFIFTY3 | 19 juli 2019

In the photos that are linked in this thread, the J bolts appear to be cast metal, not extruded, rolled or billeted. Cast metal, including steel, has no grain. Cast metal has significantly less strength that metal with a grain structure to it. That must be the nature of the updated hardware.