Undercarriage Composite Tray Ripped

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.

andy.connor.e | 20 août 2018

Did you bottom out your car?

gerlando | 20 août 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.

andy.connor.e | 20 août 2018

This wouldnt be the second time that someone tried to blame their mistakes on the manufacturer for a free repair.

djharrington | 20 août 2018

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

Magic 8 Ball | 20 août 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.

Tzoid | 20 août 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.

SteveWin1 | 20 août 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.

MalibuRed | 20 août 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..

andy.connor.e | 20 août 2018

Im sure that Tesla is the only company who uses fabric on the underneath of their cars.

Carl Thompson | 20 août 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.

cascadiadesign | 20 août 2018

Yeah - $250 for the part & labor sounds reasonable. Most likely you ran over something and didn't realize it.

cascadiadesign | 20 août 2018

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.

BostonPilot | 20 août 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...

kram | 20 août 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!

efuseakay | 20 août 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.

rstrouts | 20 août 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.

Atoms | 20 août 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.

BEHAR.ETHAN | 20 août 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.

Magic 8 Ball | 20 août 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

NorCalP3D | 3 septembre 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?

Ron.Olsberg | 4 septembre 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

drrock75k | 4 septembre 2018

This happened to my car a few days after delivery. SC replaced it free of charge.

patrickinacker | 26 septembre 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?

dbcoyle6 | 28 septembre 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.

nair.dileep | 3 octobre 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.

wiboater4 | 3 octobre 2018

Maybe something snagged it when it was shipped or unloaded from a truck etc.

тесла3 | 4 octobre 2018

Ugh. Reporting another undercarriage fabric casualty. Could not avoid some debris on the highway and it ripped a small hole in the front fabric. :>(

AtomiccimotA | 9 octobre 2018

This happened to me today in a heavy downpour in Texas. I believe there CAN be a gap in the seam between the fabric/composite material and the undercarriage - that fills with water when driving through large puddles at a decent speed. The gap acts as a scoop filling with water and ripping with the force of the car going through a large puddle. This is a design flaw in my opinion. We should be able to drive our Model 3's in the rain. I've had mine for 15 days. I have photos as well.

AtomiccimotA | 9 octobre 2018
Magic 8 Ball | 9 octobre 2018

The design flaw is the decision to drive through large puddles at a decent speed.

AtomiccimotA | 9 octobre 2018

Magic 8 Ball... not driving in the rain? Great solution.

Magic 8 Ball | 9 octobre 2018

Many, with good common sense, are driving in the rain with no rips. Those with little common sense drive through large puddles at decent speed.

calvin940 | 9 octobre 2018

@AtomiccimotA I am assuming that you had viewed your undercarriage prior to this happening to know it was in good shape beforehand?

I plan to drive my car in the winter. It is why I bought the AWD version as well. I don't fancy the thought of driving through deep wet snow/slush causing the undercarriage damage like that. I would certainly consider that a deficiency in the design if what you believe happened is true. I have never worried about driving in our winters with any other car I have owned.

cfcubed | 10 octobre 2018

This potential issue is my primary hardware worry WRT my 3. Think its been mentioned here & elsewhere enough that it is a legit concern & not always "user error" & shouldn't be dismissed out of hand as such. A safe bet that those reporting this issue have owned & driven other cars in similar conditions (incl snowy/slushy areas) & not had this problem.

It's not unusual in poor drainage roadways to have a couple/few inches of standing H2O during big rains, esp divided hwys w/poor drainage. And not unusual for drivers to slow down & pass through it on what looks like the shallow side.

Not talking silly stuff like driving through standing H2O above the car's ground clearance here (5.5" - on the low side), but even driving slower through "common" in these conditions 1"-3" H2O causes waves that could occasionally break that limit. If these hit, fill up & tear through the (silly?) flexible material under the car then that's a problem "many" could run into.

Not something I'd had to worry about with any of our many previous cars. IOW IIRC none of them had such flexible material underneath, rather metal plate OR hard plastic sheeting. And not of a design that could result in flaps or catches for H2O & slush.

My guess is that if this happens enough a future rev of 3 will sub/replace w/rigid type of undercarriage materials other makers use, e.g. those used in other areas under the 3.

jaygrabbe | 11 octobre 2018

mine ripped yesterday after the rainstorm around chicago. I have 400 miles and havent hit anything. The material has fiber glass in it, i was trying to push it up so it wouldnt drag on the ground. I was going in today for some other issues and will see what they say. Hate to drive for an hour with something dragging on the road. If it happens again will def look into changing it letting it rip off with snow coming

wiboater4 | 11 octobre 2018

That is concerning to me also as I plan to drive in winter where there may be snow drifts etc. Anyone know what that is supposed to do ? Is it for Aerodynamics and road noise ? Is this only on Model 3? what about Model S that have been on the road longer and driven in countries like Norway with lots of snow?

deepak | 14 octobre 2018

I had a similar issue driving through a puddle on the 12th evening. Had to get my vehicle towed back as I didn't want to risk it scraping through the road sparking a fire. Tesla service called me and suspected I hit something, tried explaining it was just driving through a rain puddle. I hope the part is replaced with something solid and I don't end up having to pay for this. It would suck, especially since many others are experiencing the same issue.

SnickySnacks | 15 octobre 2018

Add me to the list of people who've had this issue.
Occurred 17 days after I got my car, last Saturday, during the heavy rains in Dallas, TX.

Service center accused me to hitting deep water at high speed, despite the fact that I had been driving slowly, actively avoiding any puddles, and taking side roads due to how bad the conditions were.

Of course, the service center couldn't clarify what was considered "deep" water or "high" speed. And, since it is still raining as I speak, I basically drove the exact same way coming back from the service center.

It's absolutely ridiculous that this is considered normal on this car, especially since the service manager kept claiming that there were "thousands of cars" that didn't have this issue but then in the next breath stating that "he's seen this a lot due to the weather".

Short of just never driving my car in the rain, I don't know how I am supposed to avoid this. I've never heard of anyone having issues like this under normal driving conditions in any other car (and, yes, even with the massive rains I consider this normal driving conditions. I wasn't fording any rivers in my car, just driving normally (and probably with more care than normal)).

What to do, what to do.

Magic 8 Ball | 15 octobre 2018

This will have to become a statistical thing. If this happens to enough people it will get remedied one way or another.

DeimosPhobos | 16 octobre 2018

This just happened to me today. I did not high anything. No big puddles. Just a normal rainy day. As soon as I heard a noise I pulled over and saw that a screw was missing from front corner. Wind then agitated the loose corner and caused it to scrape against the road. I was in the middle of no where, in the rain, and 45 degrees so I drove slowly and the panel continued to vibrate and rip. I expect this to be replaced by warranty as this is a brand new car with 2700 miles of highway only driving. Will see. Reading this thread, it would be good if people didn't assume that others were idiots and at fault when there may actually be a common design issue with the car.

rxlawdude | 16 octobre 2018

M8B never met a flaw he couldn't pin on user error.

DeimosPhobos | 18 octobre 2018

Took to service center today as I didn't want to wait for appointment on Monday (the loose cover was slapping on the road made driving difficult.) SC was great. The replaced it on the spot, no charge, gave me a car wash, filled the tires, and sent me on my way. Great experience at Westchase service in Houston. Still think the cover material is cheap and prone to wind, water, abrasion damage. Screws need better locking feature.

dgnicholas | 21 octobre 2018

Had the same thing happen to me last weekend. I support the water theory. I live in Arizona and last weekend we had a great deal of rain. In order for. Me to get home, I need to drive through a low area where water runs fairly quickly. I have had to do this many times this my other vehicles. First time with the model 3. I took it very easy probably no more than 5mph in roughly a foot of water. Later that day I discovered my two rear Aero Covers came off. I am lucky and have found them downstream. The next day, there was the dragging mentioned above. I looked underneath and found the ripped tray. We were going for a nice 3 hour drive so I used Gorilla tape and taped it back up and have been driving this way for a week with not issues.

Made an online appt with the service center that night. They contacted me two days before the appt and asked for pictures. They needed to order the part. I am now waiting for them to contact me when the part comes in. Tesla has made no mention of a cost to replace.

I have yet to have 5K miles and do not feel this is normal wear and tear. This I not a part that should wear out and if it rips every time I need to get home in a heavy rainstorm, that is an issue with the design.

mote | 31 octobre 2018

I had this problem too, in Dallas during the heavy rains that happened two weeks ago. Only about 1000 miles on my 3. I've been driving a variety of vehicles for 30 years and have never had anything like this happen. Got home after one rainstorm to hear a loud sound from the undercarriage, and the rip was clearly evident, with the material dragging on the road. The composite material, which honestly feels a lot like felt, was water logged and heavy. It's no wonder it ripped. When I took it to the service center, I had the verbatim conversation as SnickySnacks above, being accused of reckless driving at high speed through "deep water" by one of their managers. My own impression is that water can get between the shield and the car, soak the material, and the weight of it (plus water) contributes to the tearing of the shield. For a company that is essentially a direct-to-consumer vendor, they should really care more about the consumer.

Sidk83 | 31 octobre 2018

@mote - was the SC decent enough to replace the damage under warranty for free?

Magic 8 Ball | 31 octobre 2018

@mote I hope you can see how this is a difficult situation. There are over 90,000 on the road now and if reports are far and few in between on this then the working assumption would be that some drivers are abusing the car by driving too fast through puddles or something like that. If it turns out in the future that more data suggests the design in faulty it will be a different story.

There is a point where the customer is not always right. You may be right but a line has to be drawn somewhere otherwise people would start abusing goodwill.

kram | 31 octobre 2018

This is how it starts.

Murduc | 31 octobre 2018

First off, I can see where driving over a piece of debris could do that. You may not even see it, or assumed you “straddled” successfully.

After seeing it stated in multiple threads I must also say that the stance that hitting standing water on wet roads must be driver fault is untenable.
Welcome to South Texas. Or anywhere with a similar climate and road conditions. We just got over almost two months of continuos rain. My wife’s M3 commute is all highway, 65-80 posted speeds. Even driving slower due to wet conditions you are going to take a lot of water hitting the front and underside of your vehicle with some force. Hitting standing water at highway speed is a “daily” event for weeks on end here, and many places in the US and globally. I am not talking about slamming into a low water crossing at 40MPH. I am talking about highways, heavy rainfall, and shite drainage. That is just driving here. However, I have never had any vehicle underbody, including the Leaf, take damage as a result of standing freeway water.

IF (bold, underlined, fontx2) the panel material on the underbody material and/or attachment method of the 3 is not up to those conditions it needs attention. If these are one off attachment, etc issues. Then no worries! I am watching my wife’s closely.

Ron.Olsberg | 31 octobre 2018

I have never had one of the undercarriage covers fail in any previous car either but only the last two cars even had such covers. It is very common on many new cars to have such covers to improve the fuel mileage. Plastic covers are vulnerable to being damaged but this new hat liner material appears to be more vulnerable because it might be absorbing water making it fairly heavy. If it absorbs water and then freezes, it could become very brittle and break with simple vibration or from a good jolt running over a small pothole. If I get some free time, I will remove one of these felt-like covers and weight it while it is totally dry. Then drop it in the swimming pool for a half hour and weight it again to see how much more it weighs when wet. Maybe it does not absorb water but it sure looks like it would to me.
We purchased a Pacifica Hybrid a week after taking delivery of our Model 3 and ALL the undercarriage covers, including the wheel well liners, appears to made out of this same felt like material. This material has me quite concerned because it does not look like it is very durable. Not sure why they are using this instead of the hard plastic they used in years past? Lighter? Cheaper? Better at blocking road noise? More environmentally friendly? More fire proof? ????

Magic 8 Ball | 31 octobre 2018

Ford, and I assume others, has been using the same stuff in wheel wells for years now. Wheel wells get soaked, ice cicles, mud, etc. The material is probably okay otherwise we would be hearing many more reports on this. From the few stories there are, relative to 90,000 on the road, I am think some may have unrealistic expectations. This can all change if many more start failing but I am just not seeing the mass of reports.