Like all Teslas, the Model Y is an incredible piece of machinery and technology. From its long-range battery to included autopilot, this crossover is sure to be an incredibly popular addition to Tesla’s lineup. That said, it’s not without its flaws. Thankfully, some of these can be easily addressed. With that in mind, here are a few Model Y issues and a few accessories that help fix design and manufacturing flaws.
Paint Protection Film
First up on this list of Tesla Model Y issues and how to address them is paint protection film (PPF).
This plastic film acts as a protective barrier around your car. It helps reduce rock chips and scratches and even protects your ride from the sun. Since Tesla is notorious for thin and poorly executed paint jobs, many Tesla owners protect their vehicles with PPF. Cost and coverage range as you can apply partial applications for high impact areas (clear bra, fenders, bumpers…) or a complete Frunk to trunk installation.
I was planning on getting PPF in Ontario before continuing on with my 9,000 km trip across Canada however since my delivery was in Quebec, I wasn’t able to address any of the many deficiencies until I got back in Vancouver. Because of this, I passed on the PPF. Addressing panel gap issues could affect the application so I rolled the dice for the drive.
Once/if I ever get my panel gap deficiencies looked at, I will add PPF. Stay tuned for my experience and write up on the installation along with the company I recommend in Vancouver’s lower mainland area.
Speaking of paint protection, next up on this list of accessories that address Model Y issues and design flaws are the humble mudflaps.
Now, this isn’t something I would normally suggest on a sports car, however with Tesla’s poor paint quality, these are a must. There was little thought in keeping road debris away from the car or the paint just can’t take the normal wear. Either way, within weeks of ownership, I began noticing scuffs and chips on the rocker area. After driving through some slush I could see why:
The wheels kick up a significant amount of debris and it all bounces off of the lower half of the Model Y.
Thankfully, EV Mudflaps has created the perfect fit for the Model Y and more. With these mudflaps, debris is kept away from the vehicle. This reduces the number of rock chips significantly.
See below for my full review of EV Mudflaps, including installation photos, impressions, and tips!
Before picking up my Model Y I read many horror stories about Teslas and curb rash. Even though I was extra careful, within a day I had already scuffed a rim.
This has never been an issue for me. So why is it so common for Model 3 and Model Y owners? The rims stick out significantly farther than the tires! Despite what some commenters say in Tesla Facebook groups about never having done this, curb rash is inevitable in a Model Y. It just is. I don’t care how good of a driver you claim to be.
Looking to prevent further rubs, I installed these Rim Protectors. They cost roughly $170 CAD and are backed by a 5-year warranty that includes replacement if damaged!
Backseat Vent Covers
Another odd issue the Tesla Model 3 and Y share is the lack of floor vent covers. Under both front seats, you will find a gaping hole waiting to consume any debris that comes their way. Thankfully there is an easy (and affordable) fix with these vent covers from Amazon.
Note: They are currently only available for Model 3 and, as I found out, these do not fit the Model Y.
If anyone knows why Tesla does not include covers let me know in the comments below. It’s a head scratcher as it is such a simple fix to include some sort of cover.
Lifting Jack Pad
Now, this next item isn’t necessarily an issue with Tesla vehicles, it’s just something that would be good for them to include. Since the entire underside of the car is one large battery pack, using a traditional jack can damage it. This doesn’t mean you can not lift the car to replace a tire, it just means you need a special pad to do it safely. Thankfully, these are readily available online.
Although you get away with buying just one pad, this set of four if affordable and comes in a carry case.
An easy fix Tesla could offer new owners is floor mats that actually protect your floors. Despite buying a high-end vehicle, the Model Y comes with very cheap carpet mats.
As I was going into the Pacific Northwest’s rainy season, this was one of my first Model Y accessories I purchase.
I went with Tesmanian floor mats because of their positive reviews and custom fit. That said, my initial experience wasn’t great. The first set of mats had handprints all over the backside, probably from handling the mats before they had a chance to cure properly.
To Tesmainia’s credit, they quickly sent me replacement mats which are flawless.
Sentry Mode Drive
Tesla comes standard with Sentry Mode, a recording system that leverages the many cameras on board. This works great as both a dashcam and security system when you are away from your car.
The one downside and Tesla Model Y issue is the need to purchase a hard drive to save any of the footage. This is something Tesla is only now starting to include with the purchase. For those who bought an earlier model, you are going to have to buy a drive.
Since the car is saving and playing back a lot of videos, having a fast device is required. I use the Samsung T5 500 GB drive for my photo editing and Lightroom catalogue and love it for its compact size and durability. I ended up upgrading my photo drive to a 1TB and now use the 500 GB one in the Tesla.
High Endurance SD Card
That said, after posting that I use an SSD drive for my sentry mode I was told they do not have a great lifespan for this type of use. Since the cameras are constantly writing to the drive the TBW specification needs to be considered. The Samsung SSD is only rated to 150 TBW (terabytes written) whereas high-endurance micro-SD cards, like the Samsung PRO Endurance card, are around 5,000 TBW. This means you will get a lot more life out of using a high or pro endurance micro-SD. On top of that, they are smaller and use less power.
Another simple fix to a common Tesla Model 3 and Model Y issue is adding decals to the door buttons. Why is this an issue? Besides helping out confused passengers who are not familiar with how to open the doors from the inside, this will help prevent people from pulling the manual override lever which can actually damage your door over time. Tesla even acknowledges this issue and has added decals to its newer versions of the Model 3 and Model Y. For those with older Model’s (like me), adding these simple decals can help. Even more important if you use your Tesla for car sharing!
Another protection feature lacking with the Model Y is safely concealing your Sentry Mode drive. If someone breaks in and steals the hard drive, that footage is gone.
This is something that Tesla recognized and moved the Sentry Mode USB connection inside the locked glove box. Again, those with older models are left to address this flaw. Thankfully, Jeda has an answer.
On top of adding more USB connections, the Jeda hub includes a concealed location to store your Sentry Mode hard drive. This means the camera footage will be safe if your vehicle is broken into.
Although not one of the Model Y issues, having extra storage is never a bad thing. Similar to how the Jeda hub conceals your SSD hard drive, this simple Model Y accessory adds a hidden storage area under your centre console.
It’s super easy to install and is an inexpensive way to add a hidden compartment. It’s useful to stash extra keys, physical access cards for charging networks, or the lock for your Quick Bandit removable license plate holder.
From protecting the fragile paint to ensuring your camera footage is kept safe, these accessories address some gaps in the Tesla Model Y design and manufacturing. Tesla is starting to come around on some of these Model Y issues. Hopefully, over time, they will address the rest of them. Till then, these accessories are here to help!