Model 3

Undercarriage Composite Tray Ripped

Hey Fellow Tesla Peeps,

Has anyone had problems with the undercarriage composite trays? From what I know there are two of them. One located in the front between the wheels and one in the back between the wheels. My back composite tray started to rip last week as seen in the photos. I took it in to Tesla and they can replace it for roughly $250. Not covered by warranty b/c the service person claimed it was due to natural driving issues. Normal wear and tear if you will. Feels bad man. At the service center I didn't make a stink about it and I went ahead and made an appointment to replace it this coming Saturday. But as I thought about it over the weekend I started to feel that this is a bit ridiculous. My Model 3 isn't even 3 months old; I took delivery on June 6th. I've been driving the car for 2 months and 14 or so days with about 3,800 miles. I noticed this when the car was around 3,500 miles. (I did a decent amount of driving this weekend and past week) My driving isn't anything crazy that would warrant composite trays to rip. Majority of my daily commute is highway. I live in a very suburban area (NJ resident here) so the roads are all paved; its not like I'm driving on rocky rough roads. Grant it there are potholes but no way is my Model 3 undercarriage scrapping the road. There would be more evidence of that besides the composite tray. I didn't notice any other damage to the underneath of my car when I was inspecting it with the service person at Tesla. I honestly do feel like I got a weak or bad piece but I have no way of proving that. The 3 imgur links are pictures of the ripping composite tray, check it out yourself. It really does suck that my first problem with my car happened within 3 months of receiving the car and its on me. I honestly wouldn't care if it was covered. Oh and I suppose I should state the hanging piece does drag against the road from time to time. The noise it creates is how I noticed this ripped in the first place.

So what I want to hear from you guys is the follow.

-Has anyone else had a problem with the undercarriage composite trays?
-Should I call up Tesla and claim I shouldn't be responsible for this?
-What is the function of this piece? Is it for protection? Aerodynamics?

Thanks for your feedback peeps!

PS - This really doesn't have to do with the issue but another aspect of this issue that put a sour taste in my mouth is that my local service center(Paramus, NJ) is booked until August 30th. I accepted an appointment with the Brooklyn NY service center b/c I didn't want this to get worse as I waited for August 30th to come around. Not being a car guy I fear the damage that could have been caused. For anyone one in the area you know how much of a pain going into NYC can be, especially with a car. $15 dollar toll plus all dead stop NYC traffic. Oof, it certainly is a big pain.


  • edited August 2018
    Did you bottom out your car?
  • edited August 2018
    You certainly hit something & that's not normal wear and tear. That panel, even if it was a "weak" one as you suggest, won't tear itself so I'd say Tesla is in the right by not replacing it for free. Regardless, until you get it fixed I would recommend either tearing the hanging piece completely off or taping it back up. Otherwise it'll get caught on something while driving and may do more damage to itself or another part of your car.
  • edited August 2018
    This wouldnt be the second time that someone tried to blame their mistakes on the manufacturer for a free repair.
  • edited November -1
    Agree with Gerlando. Warranties work when things fail on their own. You could make an insurance claim, which would be a bad choice given the small cost. If it were me, I’d buy the part from Tesla and install myself (and not have to pay any labor). It’s held on with a number of 10mm bolts. Easy-peasy
  • edited August 2018
    Crap gets onto the paved roadway all the time (stuff falls off off cars and trucks). The car probably ran over some debris and did not notice it (have you been the only driver since ownership?). I am sure that is where TESLA is coming from can you see that as being a possibility?

    You are at the mercy of TESLA's judgement unless you want to try and complain through a consumer advocate agency or judicial system. If you pound the table hard enough, and long enough, you may get some help toward the $250 but it is up to you to decide if it is worth the effort.
  • edited August 2018
    I have a sneaking suspicion that these panels will be replaced by something else in the not 2 distant future.

    Just a suspicion. No proof.
  • edited August 2018
    Is it really composite, or is it cloth. It looks like its just cloth. Could you get under there and sew it back together with some thick thread? You may not even need to replace it. What's the point of having that? Seems very soft and flimsy to have under the car. Metal or fiberglass would seem like a better option.
  • edited August 2018
    My only concern is that the "fabric" in the front/rear of the 3 when wet can get loose and possibly due to rain/puddles etc as last week another 3 had the same fabric fall off with bumper. Not sure if this is the same thing but this fabric when wet will fall apart. I think another fix in future. most cars have hard plastic in these area.. not sure if its possible for tesla..
  • edited August 2018
    Im sure that Tesla is the only company who uses fabric on the underneath of their cars.
  • edited August 2018
    I would not complain about anything that they only charge $250 to fix. If it were BMW you'd be paying $1,500 probably.
  • Yeah - $250 for the part & labor sounds reasonable. Most likely you ran over something and didn't realize it.
  • Search YouTube for "More Tesla Model 3 mods! Lowering the Model 3 with T-Sportline springs"

    At time mark 7.5 you'll see the Model 3 on a lift with the owner pointing out a missing chunk of the fiberboard underside cover resulting from hitting something.

    Probably a good idea for all Model 3 owners to periodically inspect under the car.
  • edited August 2018

    >> I have a sneaking suspicion that these panels will be replaced by something else in the not 2 distant future.

    I had a Ford Focus RS (little awd hot-hatch). People were complaining of similar failures, especially in the winter when snow & ice would impact the bottom of the car.

    I'm not sure why car manufacturers think this kind of material is up to the punishment of all the crap on the road that is going to get tossed up at the bottom of the vehicle.

    In the case of the Focus RS, third parties started to manufacture aluminum replacements... otherwise snow would pack up on top of the material, and the weight of the snow would rip it off the bottom of the car.

    For those kinds of reasons, I hope Tzoid is right: I'd like to see something a little more substantial on the bottom of the car...
  • edited August 2018
    Its time for a 3rd party vendors to make carbon fiber inlays to replace this part. $250 is expensive, I bet the actual part is cheap enough, you can do this yourself by getting the replacement part. Good luck!
  • edited August 2018
    You don't think carbon fiber will be more expensive? lol

    I have an aluminum splash shield under the front of my Infiniti. After years of the cheap OEM ones tearing and dragging, it was time to go aluminum.

    This is one of the few reasons I will not be lowering my M3.
  • edited August 2018
    Eyeball and/or take some more pics, when car up on a rack if possible, that are way more clear, focused and closer up than the original posted pics. Then profile the markings and/or possible loose (before incident) or stripped grommet to better identify the cause. When you get to service center, have the reps put the car up on the rack and discuss the possible cause and solution.
  • edited August 2018
    I can’t tell, but seems to me clip(s) came loose for noise barrier material? Need to get it jacked up and see. If a clip came undone and then it tore because it was hanging, then Tesla should cover it fully. Talk to them and have them show you.
    I’ve taken issues to mechanics and in the end agreed with their assessment. Usually they will be cooperative if you are respectful concerned owner.
  • edited August 2018
    Thanks for the comments guys. Still a bit torn over this/not completely convinced its my fault. Maybe it was my driving; maybe it wasn't. I can't specifically remember a time bottoming out my car. I spent a lot of money on this car(at least to me) and I don't drive it like a jack ass nor do I drive it like my P.O.S. Buick Century. I'm having a hard time believing it was my driving that did this. And its not b/c I'm cheap and want a free repair as some have insinuated. What I want to know and as some have pointed out... Why this fiber composite material on the bottom? So much stuff can bounce up and hit the bottom of the car or the car can scrap objects sticking up. I don't believe this part has the durability needed for the job. But I guess that's neither here nor there.

    I didn't state this originally but before this past week it's been raining for weeks. One of my initial thoughts was that the water weakened the material and potentially driving over a highway puddle could have ripped it. I can't prove this but if something like that is possible... this piece isn't right for the job it has.
  • edited August 2018
    "..........this piece isn't right for the job it has."

    Over 70,000 on the road and some three times longer than yours and really not many talking about ripped bottoms. Maybe it does the job just fine but it will fail on rare occasion? I
  • edited September 2018
    Ethan, your post almost exactly describes my experience, but with less than 100 miles of light driving. I have a service appointment set for next week. What did you learn at your appointment?
  • edited September 2018
    My M3 was missing the front aero-dynamic cover and protective plate that installs directly in front of the traction battery (not installed at the factory). Both were replaced by Tesla Ranger. In my opinion, these covers are only designed for aero-dynamic purposes and will provide very little protection to any road debris that might go under the car. I hope an after market company starts selling replacements that have MUCH better protection. Maybe not the strength of a skid plate but better than a piece of plastic!

    Regards, Ron
  • edited September 2018
    This happened to my car a few days after delivery. SC replaced it free of charge.
  • edited September 2018
    Same thing here.. definitely did not floor the car.. I can rip it by hand. It's the same material you would find in the hat covers for your trunk. Why would they put that underneath a car that's going to have debris hitting it?
  • edited September 2018
    Just discovered that this morning. 3.5K miles. Sigh.... I'll jack it up tomorrow and see what to do. It's just going to rip again, it's a woven thick, fabric mesh. $250 is steep for something that will happen again. We've had a ton of rain here in MD last month, so I assume that's just from constant splashing at the forward facing seam. If it's just "fabric", I'll probably cut it off and see monitor it's progress.
  • edited October 2018
    I faced exactly the same issue last evening. Heard the sound of something dragging on the road, parked and checked underneath the car and noticed that the back composite tray was ripped like exactly shown on the picture from BEHAR.ETHAN. The car is just 2 months old and I cant recollect any instance where I drove over something that hit underneath the car. It is ridiculous to have a fiber material underneath the car and hopefully tesla changes it to some form of metal in the near future. Mannnn!! This gives me a heartburn!!!
    Anyways I have my appt scheduled for 5th oct and will come back with an update on it after I see the service center.
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