Gel Leaking from Touchscreen

Gel Leaking from Touchscreen

A few months ago I noticed small bubbles in the corners of my touchscreen. They rapidly evolved into increasingly widening and lengthening streaks along the sides of the screen. To make it worse.. a strange sticky gel started leaking out the bottom of the screen into the center console area. No idea whether this stuff is toxic..but it definitely ruins anything it drips on. Was told I'm out of warranty....@ 50,100 miles if you can believe it...and the replacement cost would be around $3k. Still frustrated they weren't willing to make some accommodation for an owner that's been with them since the beginning..especially for something that is such an obvious product defect. This is the first time I've felt like I'm dealing with the service department of GM or Toyota. Wondering if this might become a recall issue if it happens to enough people.

SoCal Buzz | 12 novembre 2015

Wow, that is truly weird. I suggest you escalate your concern in a pleasant manner, and seek some good will given the nature of the problem. You might also want to mark this thread as private.

Tâm | 12 novembre 2015


I wrote last year on Prius Multi Display replacement as $6,300 plus labor.

However, some people have been resisting to buy extended warranty.

$3,000 seems to be a bargain in this case.

As a goodwill gesture why don't you go back and ask if you are willing to pay $500 LTE upgrade, would your 17" MCU screen be free?

Koz | 12 novembre 2015

I had bubbles at the top of the screen that have now merged into a one linear area at the top. It's more annoying than anything at this point but no leaking. Sounds like it may be a similar issue. Haven't had it looked at yet.

I am an March 2013 build with 15K miles and am in Miami, FL.Maybe heat with vibration and time are the culprits. Where are you located? When was the car built?

TeslaLandShark | 12 novembre 2015

@OP - When did this start? Why didn't you get your car in to service before you rolled past 50,000 miles? I'm definitely taking my March 2013 car in for an annual service right before I hit that 50K miles and/or 4 year point to get any issues fixed before the warranty lapses.

dave5609 | 12 novembre 2015

Have definitely tried to escalate politely to no avail. The Tesla I dealt with when I purchased the car (reservation placed 3/2009) is no more. I noticed this problem right after my 50k appointment...literally days. They've taken a hard line on the 50k warranty limit and could care less when I bought the car or how many Teslas I've helped them sell. I'm in So Cal dealing with the Van Nuys/Burbank shops. Temperature variations aren't that big a deal and most of my commuting is at congested freeway speeds ;). I agree..get everything checked out and fixed before you pass 50k...but don't expect any charity once your at 50,001 no matter how passionately you've supported the company. As a shareholder, I get an owner, definitely disappointed.

jordanrichard | 13 novembre 2015

That liquid is clear. Any touch screen experts here? I know that mechanic pressure gauges are filled with a fluid to protect the inner workings from the pressure, but a LCD touchscreen......

PBEndo | 13 novembre 2015


Tanya_L | 13 novembre 2015

I had thought that there was an unlimited milage warranty...or is this for the MS60

J.T. | 13 novembre 2015

@Tanya_L Unlimited mileage warranty is only on the battery and the drive train.

brad | 13 novembre 2015

I hope that it doesn't get worse, like this:

garygid | 13 novembre 2015

Is the extended warranty not available, for about $4000 last I checked?

EESROCK | 13 novembre 2015

@garygid, $4000 extended warranty can only be purchased before the initial 50k warranty expires.

AmpedRealtor | 13 novembre 2015

@ DaveR75,

An owner at TMC had his screen replaced under good will (no charge) after the expiration of the 50,000 mile warranty. That owner did not have an extended warranty. I suggest you involve the service manager, regional manager, as well as a higher-up at corporate. You are only 100 miles out of warranty and this should be covered, especially for a defect that is now being written about in multiple forums. If it's any help, Jon McNeill is head of worldwide sales & service but no idea if he would respond to an owner's email like Jerome did. I guess you can give that a shot.

l.robinson | 13 novembre 2015

The screens are most likely an LCD (Liquid Crystal Display). Note the Liquid part of the name. Is it possible the seals of the display have been broken and the liquid leaking out, especially if the lines being reported on the sides and the top are no longer working as a display but are now just bright lines. A possible explanation.

TeslaLandShark | 13 novembre 2015

"I noticed this problem right after my 50k appointment...literally days."

Could Tesla service have accidentally caused this problem when they serviced the car?

hcwhy | 13 novembre 2015


Thanks for a good laugh and a few old memories from summer camp.

dave5609 | 13 novembre 2015

I doubt it. No real reason for them to be messing with the screen during the regular service appt..and a decent number of cars seem to be experiencing this problem. frustration is less about the replacement cost and more about how I've been treated by the new Burbank, CA Service Dept. I bet big on this company when most thought they would fail, and have always been impressed by how they treated their customers and fans. You feel like you're part of a special club. No doubt, much of this is the result of dealing with a horrible local service manager...poor communication, no follow up, general air of frustration/disrespect anytime I did finally track him down. I get that they can't provide the same personalized experience when the customer base has grown 10x...but this has been a shocking dose of reality. Tesla is growing up..many of the sales and service managers have been with the company less time than I've had my car and joined a relatively stable and successful company. It's a job..not a passion and many don't have the relationships or personal incentives to go out of their way for a frustrated owner. Thanks @AmpedRelator (and everyone else that has commented with good advice), I'll reach out to Jon McNeill with general feedback if nothing else. If any of you notice bubbles/liquid around the edges of your screen, get it replaced immediately!!

PBEndo | 13 novembre 2015

Do you remember how many miles were on your car at delivery? If you had over 100 miles at delivery you may be able to argue that the warranty should still be in effect. I think mine had 90.

hcwhy | 13 novembre 2015


Great point

dave5609 | 13 novembre 2015

Great idea. Will have to pull my original documentation. But that's just crazy enough to work!! Thanks!

PBEndo | 13 novembre 2015

BTW - at service, don't mention my name, it won't win you any points;) A bottle of wine or some cookies might though...

Haggy | 13 novembre 2015

Wow, that is truly weird. I suggest you escalate your concern in a pleasant manner, and seek some good will given the nature of the problem. You might also want to mark this thread as private.

I don't see why this should be private. Potential owners have the right to know. They are likely to find that it's an isolated problem, but an expensive one and a potential issue when the warranty expires. I'm trying to think of when if ever I spent that amount to fix anything on a car. I'm pretty sure I never have, and am also pretty sure that I've spent less than that over the life of other cars I've had, and I keep some vehicles a long time.

If somebody is looking to buy a car, hears an anecdotal report of the problem, that person might want to do a web search to see if it produces one hit or a million.

garygid | 13 novembre 2015

On MyTesla page, I see this:


Tesla’s extended service program covers the repair or replacement of Model S parts due to defects in materials or workmanship provided by Tesla. Coverage lasts for four years or 50,000 miles (whichever comes first) and begins on the date your warranty expires, as long as you purchase this service within 30 days of your warranty’s expiration.

So, it appears to say that you have 30 days AFTER the initial warranty's
expiration to purchase the extension, right? | 13 novembre 2015

@Tâm - The LTE upgrade replaces a module inside the display assembly. The display is not replaced as part of this optional (paid) upgrade.

Should you have to pay for the display (it is out of warranty), you might consider the LTE upgrade. The LTE upgrade requires the dash removal and display disassembly. Since all that same labor is required for a new display, you might save $500 in labor or so (and effectively get the LTE for free). Not ideal, but worth considering. | 13 novembre 2015

P.S. I don't know what the exact labor savings might be, but there is a lot of work to get to that display assembly. The $500 number above is just a guess.

Big T | 13 novembre 2015

Man, that looks like ectoplasmic slime. Is your car haunted?

rxlawdude | 13 novembre 2015

@garagid - great lawyerly find; I agree with that literal interpretation. However, best to check the terms of the ESA to make sure you will be able to be covered by it.

hpjtv | 13 novembre 2015

@PBEndo +1 I was thinking the exact same thing.

garygid | 13 novembre 2015

In the first paragraph of the ESA, we find:

... snip ...
Failure for the selected period of time or mileage (whichever occurs first), with coverage becoming available on and retroactive to the date that Your New Vehicle Limited Warranty expires (the “Effective Date”), provided that You purchase this Vehicle ESA no later than 30 days after such expiration date.

Which says 30 days AFTER ...
Sounds useful to me.

Tâm | 13 novembre 2015

It makes perfect sense. Thanks for the clarification.

nick-r | 14 novembre 2015

Don't know if this would apply to you or not, but thought I should mention this in case it helps.

I live about 2 hours away from my service center. On occasion, when I've had warranty work done and a flat bed wasn't available, I've allowed them to drive my car to/from the service center. I would argue that these extra miles were put on my car by Tesla. Sure I agreed to it, but Tesla didn't have the resources available to service my car. Legally, it probably doesn't matter who put the miles on the car, but since I made an allowance for their lack of resources, I would hope that they also would bend a bit, especially for only 100 miles over the warranty.

Good luck and truly hope they make an exception for you.

rxlawdude | 14 novembre 2015

Gary, the issue is whether you maintained the MS religiously following the maintenance schedule. If not, the ESA coverage can be denied. After you paid for it.

PBEndo | 14 novembre 2015

That can work against you if they gave you a loaner.

I had many service visits in my first year. Though there were some miles put on my car driving it to the service center or when being test driven by the technicians, I estimate I put about 4000 miles on the loaners I had during service, effectively extending my factory warranty a couple of months.

Haggy | 14 novembre 2015

Gary, the issue is whether you maintained the MS religiously following the maintenance schedule. If not, the ESA coverage can be denied.

Not really. If a problem is entirely unrelated to whether a person maintained the car, then Tesla wouldn't have any basis to deny a claim. For example, if Tesla required customers to replace the gasket around the screen every year, and failure to do so caused a leak, it might be grounds for denying warranty coverage. But saying that the driver didn't rotate his tires on time wouldn't be relevant. | 14 novembre 2015

@DaveR75 - Sorry about the problem. Very unlikely for a recall, as it is not a safety issue. Recalls are normally only done for safety reasons (i.e. GM lock issue turns off car while driving).

While likely not the only case, no one has reported it (that I've seen in 3 years) on the forums.

EESROCK | 14 novembre 2015

Could it be that Tesla service stuck on a new screen protector for you and used the liquid to make the protector stick on? I remember that after my first year service visit, I noticed some bubbles behind my screen protector. I pull the screen protector off and then realized that the service center had put on a new screen protector but slapped that old one back on top!

hpjtv | 14 novembre 2015

You got a free screen protector? I had to custom order my own and do it myself. And it's definately not water as the OP says it stains/ruins things it touches.

rxlawdude | 15 novembre 2015

@Haggy, that's only true for warranty repairs. For the ESA, it's contractual. Read the terms. It is a fact that, under the terms of the agreement, any and all repairs under the ESA may be denied for failure to previously maintain per the 12.5K mile/1 year interval.

J.T. | 15 novembre 2015

@rxlawdude Since you can purchase the ESA AFTER you've already skipped the 4 annual services, and Tesla clearly knows you have skipped them, are they under any obligation to inform you that the ESA will not be in force before you purchase it?

rxlawdude | 15 novembre 2015

@J.T. - Interesting question. The problem is that Tesla has been very inconsistent about service issues, though very few are into their ESA period. Some here claim that Tesla has waived this provision based on emails from an executive no longer there, or from verbal statements made by Elon.

Except the plain language of the ESA states no person may modify any terms.

I wish Tesla issues a public clarification or changes this provision retroactively.

J.T. | 15 novembre 2015

@rxlaw I think the only way to get some clarity is for someone to push the issue. They'd have to be ready to purchase the ESA, they need to have skipped a couple of annual services and they'd have to demand in writing a guarantee that the ESA will still be in force regardless of their service history.

That's the only way we're going to find out AND there would now be precedent.

No way Tesla goes for it unless that is actually the policy anyway and they simply haven't taken the time to adjust the language.

rxlawdude | 15 novembre 2015

The only problem is that the fact they waived the provision for Owner A has virtually zero effect where Owner B's claim was rejected.

Only a global change or clarification of terms settles this issue.

dchesterp | 15 novembre 2015

Touchscreen like electrochromic mirrors are sensitive to breakage due to excessive force. If something hard hits the screen (or car wash brushes for external electrochromic mirrors) the thin inner glass that contains the liquid crystal material will leak out causing streaks and possible external leakage. For most manufacturers this type of problem is not covered by warranty because the most likely cause of failure is due to customer caused excessive force. Tesla has been very good in covering faults and damage in warranty compared to my experience with other car manufacturers. The failure to purchase the reasonably priced extended warranty seems to me to be penny wise but pound foolish considering the overall price of the car. ($3000 to replace a large screen is very reasonable.)

AoneOne | 15 novembre 2015

Only in the automotive repair world is the replacement of a $500 (probably less) LCD screen for $3000 considered "reasonable".

rxlawdude | 15 novembre 2015


deeageux | 15 novembre 2015

WTF happened to "service is not a profit center" philosophy?

Pungoteague_Dave | 15 novembre 2015

That has never been repeated since 2012. It was never true. Shop rates are now equal to or higher than at dealerships for many luxury marques.

NKYTA | 15 novembre 2015

PD, never? Stop please with the absolutes.

In early 2013 I was offered rim rash repair for $150 for all rims and I grabbed it up for two. Fast forward to last month and I declined the new cost of $250 per rim, how does that make the SvcS more or less "revenue neutral"?

They are charging higher prices to offset other costs. You are the balance sheet expert, is TM lying? Or are you just being a downer again?

Do you think they are striving to be revenue neutral or are they moving into Stealership Mode?

For me, I've paid for early rim rash, two sets of tires and the LTE upgrade in three blissful years of ownership.

And NOTHING ELSE. (Apologies to the rest)

I'm guessing I have a better relationship with my service manager than you have with yours.

How is it that you've bought three $100k cars and can even figure out that math?

/rant over

Bighorn | 15 novembre 2015

I've heard Elon say it since I got my car in July of 2013.

PBEndo | 16 novembre 2015

Elon - "I've told Tesla service division that their job is to NEVER make a profit. Operate the business at the zero profit point."

from April 2013

Elon -" I have made it a principle within Tesla that we should never attempt to make servicing a profit center"
March 2014