You would expect Sentry Mode and Teslacam to protect your electric vehicle from vandals and unfair accident damage, but Julie McCuen has learned that these video recording features are also helping customers against Tesla itself. After the right rear window on her 2019 Model 3 SR + spontaneously shattered and fell out of the car onto the middle of a freeway, Teslacam was her only resource in getting Tesla to repair her vehicle under warranty.
If the story seems familiar, that’s because it is. We’ve been dealing with spontaneous broken glass in Model 3 units since March 2020, and most of them have occurred on the right rear window. However, this is the first time the problem occurred at high speed.
“I drove south on the 55 Freeway in Orange, Southern California on February 2nd. The incident occurred just before the Chapman Avenue exit. I was in the car pool lane and at the time there was no one around me in any of the five lanes on that stretch of the freeway. “
McCuen received, so to speak, an “audible warning” about the problem.
“I heard a faint crack behind me and when I looked back, the entire rear passenger window was broken. I immediately tried to get into the slow lane to get off the freeway. I ran into a bump in the transition from Lane 3 to Lane 2 and that was enough to throw the broken window out of the car onto the freeway. “
The video above seems to start when she received the “warning”. You can see McCuen trying to change lanes and a Kia Sorento on the right suddenly slows down. The SUV is forced to perform a brisk maneuver to avoid the broken window on the floor. It fell on the asphalt as a single piece because it had a window film.
“If it hadn’t been for the hue on my windows, the glass would have collapsed immediately and probably would have entered the cabin while I was driving 100 km / h on the freeway.”
After leaving the freeway, McCuen drove “roads to the Tesla Service Center in Santa Ana.” When she got there, the service department initially refused to replace the window under warranty. Fortunately, and ironically, Teslacam came to the rescue.
“The service center quickly assumed that something hit the window. Then when I showed them the videos and they saw that nothing really hit the window, they turned their guilt on the hue. They took no responsibility for the spontaneous breakage of the window. I had to get very vocal for them to agree to put it under warranty. Overall, it was a terrible experience. “
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, McCuen decided she wouldn’t leave the service center without getting her car repaired.
“The Tesla Service Center replaced the window and regulator on the same day, but only because I put them under pressure. They still only offer Uber coupons and I live 40 miles from the service center. I didn’t feel comfortable sitting in a car with anyone while COVID-19 is still pretty bad in our area. I showed up there around 8:50 am and they told me it would take about 2 hours to change the window. I sat there until 1:30 p.m. “
McCuen already had a history with the Santa Ana Service Center.
“I’ve been there three times now. All three times were bad experiences. After the second time, my husband and I said we would never go there again. Even so, this incident happened a few miles from there, so they were the closest place to be safe. There was still broken glass on the windowsill, even after most of it fell out. “
Your previous visits to the Service Center were due to a persistent buzz that still hasn’t been resolved. McCuen replaced the rubber window trim near the A-pillar. That solved the problem for a few days, but the problem came back.
“I still have the problem to this day and I have no confidence to give it back to them to get rid of it. I just turn up my music as loud as I can to drown out the noise. It’s really sad because I love my car overall, but Tesla’s service side has been a disappointment. They have no idea how to properly treat a customer at this location. Not once in this last interaction with them did anyone ask me if I was okay or if I apologized for what I went through. They were more focused on blaming the window break anywhere other than themselves. “