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Tesla issues: Recalls, missing USB ports and more

Tesla model 3 vs Tesla model Y: range
(Image credit: TeslA)

Tesla is the most popular electric car company in the world, but the company is not without its issues. Turns out, building a car company from scratch and becoming absurdly popular in the process is actually quite difficult.

Whether it's long-standing complaints about quality control, criticisms about full self-driving beta testing, or any other myriad of issues faced by the company, uncomfortable news has become common among its customers and fans.

While Tesla isn't a complete dumpster fire of problems, there are still a lot of issues, and keeping tabs on them all can be tricky. So here are all the ongoing issues affecting Tesla and Tesla owners.

All the issues affecting Tesla right now

Dec 2: Tesla has been found guilty of throttling charging speed (again)

Back in 2019 Tesla owners started seeing significant drops in range, between 12 and 30 miles following a software update. According to Tesla, the update was designed to “protect the battery and improve battery longevity" and that it would only affect "a small percentage of owners".

While another update eventually reversed these changes, affected owners still noticed that Supercharging speed was slower than before. Naturally this led to a number of lawsuits.

One such lawsuit in Norway found Tesla guilty and ordered the company to pay $136,000 kroner (just shy of $15,000) to each affected user. However Tesla was a no-show at the trial, later claiming that it wasn't aware it was happening. So the company was given a retrial, which just concluded. 

Tesla admitted the change, according to Dagens Næringsliv, but claimed it wasn't responsible for compensation because "customers were not entitled to any given charging pattern". However it seems the court disagreed, and Tesla was found guilty once again. 

Though this time it has been ordered to pay 130,000 kroner, which is roughly $14,300. That's significantly higher then the $625 it paid out to affected owners after settling as similar lawsuit in the U.S. Naturally the automaker is taking the case to the District Court to appeal the decision, so we haven't heard the last of this story just yet.

Nov 22: Tesla has started adding USB-C ports and wireless chargers to affected cars

After delivering cars to customers without USB ports or working wireless chargers, it seems Tesla has started retrofitting the affected models to bring them up to standard.

The issue came about due to the global chip shortage, and ongoing supply chain issues that have affected the tech and automotive industries. Tesla is far from the only automaker to have to remove hi-tech features from its cars as a result, but was widely criticised for not informing customers ahead of time.

Users on Reddit and Twitter have reported their cars, which were delivered earlier this month, have now had their missing components installed. Which is nice and quick, though the fact it had to be done in the first place is not a good look for Tesla. 

At the very least the automaker needs to be more open with its customers, informing them of the issue ahead of time and offering a timeline for a fix. In others words not fail to install the USB ports, leaving empty holes in the car, and not say anything until asked.

Nov 15 : Tesla's chip shortage woes mean some cars don't have USB ports

The global chip shortage is affecting everyone, Tesla included, but now it's got to the point where the automaker is shipping Model 3 and Model Y cars without USB ports. First spotted by Elektrek, the delivered Teslas have holes where the ports should be — but nothing behind them.

Obviously this isn't a very good look, especially for a company like Tesla that tries to maintain a premium feel to its products. Customers are unhappy too, with multiple people voicing their frustrations on Reddit.

Others also claim that their wireless charging pads are out of action, while some disgruntled customers claim they weren't even told about the missing ports until after contacting Tesla support. Tesla allegedly told one customer that the ports will be installed at a later date, but didn't specify when.

Recently, Tesla had to roll back an update of its full self driving beta thanks to a communications breakdown between two chips. This issue led to problems known as 'phantom braking' where Autopilot would suddenly hit the brakes for seemingly no reason.

However, Tesla has now issued a recall of almost 12,000 cars, according to AP, after the NHTSA questioned Tesla about why it hadn't already done it. The NHTSA already opened an investigation into Autopilot back in August, and Elektrek notes there has been a major uptick in the number of complaints related to phantom braking in recent weeks.

Oct 29: Tesla recalls 2,791 Model 3 and Model Y cars over suspension fault

Tesla has issued a recall on almost 3,000 Model 3 and Model Y cars over concerns that the front lateral suspension link fasteners might loosen. That could affect wheel alignment, and increase the risk of a crash.

The recall affects 2019-2021 Model 3 cars and 2020 and 2021 Model Ys. Affected owners will apparently be notified by mail before December 24, and the fix will be free of charge.

Tom Pritchard

Tom is the Tom's Guide's Automotive Editor, which means he can usually be found knee deep in stats the latest and best electric cars, or checking out some sort of driving gadget. It's long way from his days as editor of Gizmodo UK, when pretty much everything was on the table. He’s usually found trying to squeeze another giant Lego set onto the shelf, draining very large cups of coffee, or complaining that Ikea won’t let him buy the stuff he really needs online.