Major water leak in Model 3 trunk. Anyone else had this?

Major water leak in Model 3 trunk. Anyone else had this?

The car was parked outside and connected to a 24V charger that fully charged the car.

Took the car in to service in Dublin CA. After 3 days they have not yet looked at the car so I picked it up.

A week ago I took it to the service center in Fremont, thinking that being close to the factory would give me better results. When I checked in the car one of the technicians there mentioned that they have seen this problem before. After four days, I got a text that they have found the problem and were checking with engineering for a solution.

Yesterday, I got another text that said, they performed 5 water tests and could not duplicate the leakage. Strange.

Would love to hear from anyone who had water leakage problems in the trunk, other than what we all get when opening the trunk during or right after rain.

devg2 | 5 February, 2019

I had a problem where water leaked into the lower compartment after what I believe was due to 3-4 days parked outside in heavy rain. They replaced the full carpet and mentioned they replaced the trunk seal, which is the issue. Have not had that issue reproduce since under similar conditions. The car was built in June 2018.

austin.bishop | 13 April, 2019

Experiencing a water leak in the trunk now (2nd time i've noticed it). Two things I'm seeing:

1) Dripping from the interior panel on the passenger side

2) Of larger concern, when I open the trunk, I can hear water swishing around INSIDE the trunk lid when I open and close it. This means water is coming into contact with unpainted steel. That's bad.

I scheduled an appointment for this week.

jefjes | 13 April, 2019

I hope mine never develops this problem but I couldn't help but be amazed that your car fully charged on a 24V charger...;-) Just kidding since I'm sure you meant I have driven in some pretty hard rain and left my car outside for a couple of hours in hard rain but have never found a drop of water in my trunk or frunk. Hope it gets resolved for you soon.

simon.callan | 14 April, 2019

I had the same took it in and they replaced seal and liner. Actually the liner they replaced with was a lot thinner and less snug than the original must be a design change.

2 weeks later same thing happened this time I noticed water droplets coming down side just behind rear seat on LHS. I tried water hose outside to reproduce but couldn't.

I fully suspect it to occur again at some point so making sure I don't keep anything delicate in there now.

Hyperspice | 29 April, 2019

Had same issue. Water leaking into trunk after heavy rain fall. Took it in and they couldn’t recreate with pressure washer. Suspect the pressure wash a few minutes isn’t recreating the real world effect of slow rain build up and that it’s seeping into the seal where there are creases. They didn’t replace and sent me home. I’ll probaby be back again soon.
It’s already leaked 3 times this spring and I wouldn’t have noticed, except I installed the rubber trunk liner and noticed the puddle there.

peter520 | 29 April, 2019

I saw online that when you open the trunk water falls on the the back windshield and then pours into the trunk. Maybe this is whats happening?

Ma Tes | 4 June, 2019

Mar 2018 3 (Long range, rear drive)

Noticed todat that the carpet in my lower trunk compartment is completely soaked. Although the rest of the trunk and upper/side compartment areas are completely dry, puddles appear in the bottom compartment rug with firm downward pressure in the center.

Sad to hear that Tesla repair of similar problems have been hit or miss in the past.

Toboffice | 13 August, 2019

Same problem that very bottom of lower rear trunk compartment is wet. But I think some of you are looking in the wrong place for a leak. I do not think the link his coming from above, but below the liner. Just made an appointment to have it looked at it by Tesla in Dedham MA next week. FYI, years ago had a similar leak from bottom of chassis on a Nissan Pathfinder turned out to be a very small hole in a wheel well, that when driving in rain sprayed enough water through pinhole to cause things to get wet inside car.

vmulla | 13 August, 2019

I have dampness in the lower left trunk well (under the board). This happens only after a lot of driving in rain.

I first reported it on 9/10/2018.

The water tests confirmed that the water is not coming from the top, so the seals are good. I've to schedule another appointment to get this taken care of.

Magic 8 Ball | 13 August, 2019

Fold the rear seats down if you get dampness in the trunk. All trunks, that are not ventilated, condense moist air trapped within.

ljrthughes | 1 October, 2019

Just picked up a new Model 3 and noticed the lower rear truck was was. Dried it out and drove it in dry weather with occasional puddles. Lower rear trunk was wet again after arriving at my destination 220 miles later. I suspect the problem is coming from underneath the car as everything above the lower trunk is dry.

ljrthughes | 2 October, 2019

Took the lower trunk insert out to inspect the bottom of the trunk and I found four black plastic drain plugs. One of the plugs was not installed correctly, allowing for water to enter the bottom of the trunk area. I will be drying-out the lower trunk insert and checking for moisture after my drive home this week. I will continue to monitor and report.

95dawg | 2 October, 2019

The leak could be very small (slow drips into the trunk area) and not easily detected by simply running water unto exterior of the car.
I had water leak issue on one of my previous cars and service technicians couldn't find the leak simply by pressure washing.
The problem was a tiny leak behind a silicone seal over a seam weld joining two body panels. It was literally 1 drip per 15-20 second leak. Had to stare at it as a drip formed and fell into the trunk area.

AWDTesla | 2 October, 2019

Yeah, same issue as austin.bishop

Trunk lid is FULL of water.

GS3 | 8 October, 2019

I had the same issue after car wash, but it's random. I get my car wash twice a month, sometimes there's water leak into the trunk, sometimes it doesn't...

dsh | 23 October, 2019

I had a similar issue with lots of water in the trunk lid after 3-4 hours of driving in heavy rain. water was swooshing around inside the lid. It slowly drained out through the vents and into the drain channel and into the trunk it self.
I took the car into the service center. The mechanic told me that this normal and thats what the drain holes are for and that i should not worry unless water gets inside the rear lights.

Im not sure what to make of this.. it sounds pretty weird.

vmulla | 23 October, 2019

Thank you.
I have the same issue. I've been delaying the service appointment for this since it's not a big deal and because Tesla already noted this as a service item that needs attention.
I'll take a look at mine and see if I can save myself a trip to the service center.

saltspring | 25 October, 2019

I just opened my trunk and the bottom compartment was ~1/3 full of water! I counted 6 Litres (1.5 US gallons) of water before I couldn't scoop it with the measuring cup and had to go with the shop vac which got a significant amount of water. I have tried calling but of course you can't actually talk to a human. I have had this looked at before and I think they replaced the seal but not sure. I believe the issue is when needles or debris get in the tiny little seal it just opens the flood gates. We will see what they say when I can get it into a service centre. (center for USA)

vmulla | 25 October, 2019

Ok, you need pics/video to make me believe that. I can't imagine the rain that would make that much water collect from the gaps around the car's trunk.

m3muse | 25 October, 2019

Ditto here. Heard water swishing in the trunk lid last week. Parked the car in the garage and left the lid open to let all the water drain out. First time I'm aware of the issue happening with my car (June 2018).

Jaytee0401 | 25 October, 2019

I forgot where I read about this same issue. The water is not coming in from the top. There's a couple of drain plugs on the bottom of the trunk and one of the plugs is not fitted right so water is getting in from the drain hole. One person found this out from driving after a rainstorm. The top half of the car was still dry but the bottom half was wet from the roads.

FISHEV | 25 October, 2019

I think @Jaytee0401 has it. The issues posted online about the leaking trunks were water coming in from below. There were some early ones where when a lot of water as on the road it was actually pulling the rear bumper out.

vmulla | 25 October, 2019

I have damp areas in my lower trunk (car built Jan 2018). That's a minor issue, and is nothing like a 'major leak'. It happens after driving through severe rainy weather.
I was told at the service center that the trunk liner area design was changed, and that my car would be fitted with a new design - I'll post the exact info after I get the job done.
BUT, to my mind no drain hole can fill the trunk with gallons of water.

saltspring | 31 October, 2019

I did take a photo of it but am not sure how/if I can post here. I used a measuring cup to scoop out the water and then I used a wet/dry shopvac to *try* to get as much water as I could out. That is why I am *positive* about the actual amount of water. I am hypothesizing that the needles in the seal is causing this, I had not thought of the water coming in from underneath but that would not explain why the main trunk area was also wet. FWIW, I took possession of my car in June 2018.

Big_Ed | 31 October, 2019

Standing water in a body panel is a significant defect. Say what you will about legacy automakers, but Ford, Toyota, etc have figured out how to make vehicles that can live outdoors in the elements for 20 years without deteriorating. Everybody wants to talk about million mile drivetrains and batteries, but rust cancer will kill a car much faster. Once a car starts leaking, the electronics are the first thing to go haywire, especially the PCM. Not a comforting thought in an EV.

saltspring | 18 December, 2019

Update: The trunk leak has apparently been repaired. @vmulla - According to the mobile tech guy my amount of water was no where near the record for the cars he has fixed. The worst one he saw was the bottom trunk compartment filled almost to the top with water. This is NOT water coming in from below. The reason this is happening to a certain production run early on is because the trunk seals were put on upside down. The part of the seal that is up by the trunk lid should be down by the latch. They don't replace the seal they just rotate it 180 degrees. They also remove little caps so the trunk lid will drain and apply sealant around different areas of the trunk lid and compartment. So far so good.

vmulla | 19 December, 2019


Here's the resolution for my own dampness in the lower trunk area.
They sealed that area up with urethane

I'd actually put this service item for a long time because I wanted then to test it in the rain. It finally worked out for me.

vmulla | 22 December, 2019
jh | 5 January, 2020

This has definitely NOT been repaired. I picked up my Model 3 15 days ago and everything in the lower trunk is SOAKED. I have a service appt in a couple days. I'll see what they say.

products2009 | 5 January, 2020

Has anyone experience water under car and damage to epoxy floor?

vmulla | 6 January, 2020

products2009 | January 5, 2020
Has anyone experience water under car and damage to epoxy floor?
Condensate from the car is normal.
If you have epoxy floor paint and if it gets damaged that is not on Tesla - it's just water. | 6 January, 2020

I am going in 2nd time for this. 1st time it was a small leak and I reported immediately and Tesla service center claim it is "fixed" . I went back home and noticed leaking only got worse. Now I have a paddle in the trunk. Luckily I got the rubber liner, but my stuff are all soaked and lower compartment got water too.

saltspring | 24 January, 2020

Update: Like others above, my "fix" was not a fix at all. I haven't actually had a mini swimming pool in my trunk yet but it basically renders the trunk useless. Main compartment and bottom compartment soaking wet. Contacted Tesla service to see what can be done and whether they will fix this before the trunk liner needs replacing again.

alisse | 24 January, 2020

It was pouring on my way home from picking up my brand new LR RWD from the service center. Opened the trunk to find lots of water. Like others have said, a replacement of the trunk liner was the required fix. No issues in the 18 or so months since then.

mbaumstein | 8 February, 2020

My Model 3 is 2 weeks old and I just noticed the lower rear truck was very wet. The carpet in my lower trunk compartment is completely soaked. Although the rest of the trunk and upper/side compartment areas are completely dry. Just scheduled a service appointment.

bp | 8 February, 2020

Sounds like a handful of people are encountering this, and that sucks. Just for whatever it’s worth, I’ve got 14k mi driving in the PNW through torrents and the recent floodmageddon, and my lower trunk compartment has never leaked. Shrug.

CRAIGJFIFTY3 | 8 February, 2020

My 2019 Lr rwd didn’t start with a leak, but Tesla replaced the trunk seal in early December. About a month later, I went to get a towel out of the lower trunk compartment, and it was dripping wet. I removed all my crap, including my moldy backpack. When I pressed down on the floor of the trunk, water comes up through the liner. I removed the liner and the padding attached to it acts like a sponge. The only Place that was wet was the bottom of the trunk. I discovered that the water would find its way along the top of the seal and run down past the striker for the trunk latch and through the opening in the plastic trim at the striker. The water completely missed trunk liner and collected in the bottom.
Tesla service had my car for 4 days. They put sealant on the seam at the upper right above the seal. Tomorrow I will remove the liner to see if they were successful.

Scrannel | 9 February, 2020

Again, have read on another forum that this is due to the trunk seal being installed upside down. FWIW.

FISHEV | 9 February, 2020

"Sounds like a handful of people are encountering this, and that sucks. Just for whatever it’s worth, I’ve got 14k mi driving in the PNW through torrents and the recent floodmageddon, and my lower trunk compartment has never leaked. Shrug."

Likely most have the problem but don't have the rain or don't bother looking at trunk and notice it. Kind of thing Tesla should be recalling every car to check

vmulla | 9 February, 2020

IF you suspect a leak spread a few towels in the trunk area, close the trunk. Now take a hose and direct water around the trunk gaps in all possible directions. After you did that for a few minutes open the trunk and see if the were any leaks. That's it, that's the water test Tesla did for me.

WW_spb | 9 February, 2020

Once again Fish spreads fear and misinformation.

FISHEV | 9 February, 2020

"That's it, that's the water test Tesla did for me."

That's lame. Tesla knows where the leak is and how to fix it, just fix it for people vs. doing at child's "water test", a "test" no doubt done to avoid the actual leak process so many people see and likely many more have not noticed they have.

Bonus is when Tesla claims it is out of warranty, a claim can be made for hidden warranty issues existing during the warranty period.

WW_spb | 9 February, 2020

But the way we drove through heavy rains multiple times and no water in the trunk.

accentcreate | 10 February, 2020

New Model 3 (Dec 2019) leaks in heavy rain. AWD/LR.
In the recent heavy rain in Australia we had to drive home and encountered several large puddles. The car had no issues driving but when we got home the boot was very wet, including the contents. The lower section still has a significant puddle.
I've booked a service visit for this week, but worry about future rust issues. Should I be?

JacksonA | 14 February, 2020

I have had both the trunk lid full of water, as well as the lower trunk cubby flooded with water here in the rainy Northwest - Delivery 3/19. Took it into the service center with pictures of the leaking from inside as well as the puddles and standing water and they only repaired the trunk lid (silicone filled an open corner). Taking it back in today and they said they will take another crack at it. These cars are clearly designed for California, I love the car and have had great experiences with service but I think it's completely unacceptable for a car this new to be flooding and for it to be resolved so poorly when it's affecting so many cars.

ReD eXiLe ms us | 14 February, 2020

California...? I have it on good authority the Sun shines there more often than not. Not at a a bad thing for Sun worshippers such as myself. Confidentially? Weather SUCKS!

vmulla | 14 February, 2020

No need to worry about rust issues once the problem is corrected.
Looks like Tesla is still working on QC wrt trunk seals.

WW_spb | 14 February, 2020

Drove in heavy rains zero wetness inside of the trunk

ksrehman | 14 February, 2020

Like @bp I have had zero trunk leaks in recent super heavy Pacific Northwest rain stormsp. Pressure washing my car does not cause any water ingress either. I don't think made in Calfornia = "designed for California" but I would expect anybody with leakage issues to get their cars fully fixed by Tesla under warranty.

AWDTesla | 15 February, 2020

JacksonA, I had the water coming into the trunk lid. The tech said the taillight seal was pinched and that the washers were missing around the license plate screw holes. Havent had any issues since they fixed that