8 Common Tesla Model S Problems (& Their Fixes)

The Tesla Model S is a luxury car that can go from 0 to 60 mph in 2 to 3.1 seconds. It has a 100 kWh 407 V lithium-ion battery that takes 15 hours to charge at 220V. It has a cargo volume of 25 ft³, and its dimensions are 198″ L x 78″ W x 56″ H. It cost around $100,000 to $130,000. However, like any car, it can have its fair share of problems.

Here’s a list of the most common problems associated with the Tesla Model S. The most common problems associated with the Tesla Model S include distorted glass in the rear, touchscreen issues, premature battery issues, suspension failure, drive unit issues, door issues, sunroof issues, and airbag issues.

If you’re in the market for a Tesla Model S, you might be wondering which model years have been known to have the most common problems. Fortunately, we’ve got all the info right here so you can make an informed decision before purchasing.

Is Your Tesla Model S Having Issues?

Have you noticed some issues with your Tesla Model S recently? Here’s a list of potential problems you might have encountered:

  • distorted glass in the rear
  • touchscreen issues
  • premature battery issues
  • suspension failure
  • drive unit issues
  • door issues
  • sunroof issues
  • airbag issues

Today we’ll be taking a look at a list of the most common problems affecting your Tesla Model S.

How Reliable Is the Tesla Model S?

The Tesla Model S is one of the most reliable cars on the market, according to various ratings. Car and Driver gave it a 9/10, while MotorTrend rated it 8.4/10 and Edmunds gave it an 8.1/10.

These high marks are due to the company’s very good reputation for taking care of its customers and ensuring that their cars are in top condition. In addition, the Model S being built using high-quality materials and components also helps with its high ratings.

Most Common Issues With the Tesla Model S

1. Distorted Glass in the Rear

If you drive a Tesla Model S, you may notice that your glass is distorted in the rear part of your vehicle. This is most common for the model year 2021 of the Tesla Model S.

If you look out the rear window of a Tesla Model S and suddenly noticed that the bottom portion of the glass is distorted, then it is a clear sign that there’s an issue with the rear glass. This can make it difficult to see what’s behind you and makes it quite dangerous when you’re driving.

There are several solutions to this problem. Here’s a list of a few solutions to this problem:

  • Use an aftermarket company that specializes in Tesla glass replacements. There are many companies out there that can provide you with a high-quality replacement piece of glass for your car.
  • Have the rear window replaced by Tesla themselves. This is usually covered under warranty, but if it is not, it will likely be quite expensive. If you want a cheaper option, you can try third-party options, as they tend to be much cheaper overall. Glass shops will also often have better pricing than going through Tesla directly since they buy in bulk from suppliers and pass on those savings to customers.
  • Try using windshield repair kits/tools designed specifically for fixing smaller cracks and chips which may help improve clarity without having to replace the entire back window.

2. Touchscreen Issues

Touchscreen issues have been reported on Model S (and Model Y) cars from both 2021 and 2022, and it is a huge problem for owners of these vehicles.

Normally, the touchscreens on these cars are located in the center console, and they control many of the car’s functions. But when there is an issue with the touchscreen, it makes it difficult to use some of the car’s features.

If you think you might have a problem with your touchscreen, there are a few things you can look for. First, check to see if there is any physical damage or cracks on the screen itself. If there is damage to the screen, it will need to be replaced by a Tesla service center.

The solution is simply to take it to the nearest dealership so they can fix it for free if you are a Tesla Model S owner for the 2021 or 2022 model year, as Tesla recalled about 130,000 vehicles across its United States model lineup since their touch screens were overheating and going blank. The recalls cover certain Model S sedans and Model X SUVs from 2021 and 2022, as well as Model 3 cars and Model Y SUVs from 2022.

3. Premature Battery Issues

The Tesla Model S has had some issues with its batteries, particularly in the early years of production.

This issue is most common in the model years 2012 to 2016. According to reports, some Tesla Model S vehicles sold between those years contained faulty cooling tubes for the battery.

These tubes were sourced from a Chinese supplier that Tesla later ended its relationship with. While it worked with the supplier, Tesla installed the faulty components and sold the EVs anyway despite the components being faulty.

The US government has now opened a safety investigation into this issue, but there are still no recalls so far for this issue.

If your Tesla Model S is experiencing premature battery issues, you may need to replace the battery, which will lead to a cost of around $5000, to $7000.

4. Suspension Failure

The Tesla Model S, manufactured between 2013 and 2018, has a dangerous defect in its suspension systems.

The letter that was sent out to the drivers by the State Administration for Market Regulation claimed that the root cause of this problem is “driver abuse.”

This problem can be identified by several symptoms, including:

  • A knocking sound when going over bumps
  • Uneven tire wear
  • The car feeling unstable or “floaty” when driving

Tesla has been offering replacements for these components for drivers that are willing to sign a non-disclosure agreement since 2016, so if you wish to get a replacement for free, simply sign a non-disclosure agreement with Tesla in order to receive free components for replacements for your vehicle.

5. Drive Unit Issues

Drive Unit Issues are a problem that can occur on the Tesla Model S for the model years 2012 to 2014. This problem can be identified by several symptoms, including:

  • Reduced range
  • Lower than expected top speeds
  • Reduced acceleration

In some cases, the entire drive unit will need to be replaced. Other times, only certain parts will need to be repaired or replaced. Either way, this is not a cheap fix and can result in an expensive repair bill for owners of affected vehicles.

Some potential solutions that may be effective include:

  • Replacing damaged or worn parts within the drive unit
  • Adjusting alignment or clearance issues within the drive unit
  • Updating software or firmware associated with the drive unit

6. Door Issues

Door issue has affected the Tesla Model S from model years 2012 to 2017 and it can be quite a nuisance. The Tesla Model S is a great car, but it’s not perfect. One of the most common issues that owners have reported is problems with the doors.

Here’s what you need to know about the Tesla Model S door issue and how to identify it when a problem comes up. One of the most common complaints about the Tesla Model S is that the doors don’t always work properly.

Owners have reported that the doors won’t open or close properly, or that they get stuck in either position. In some very extreme cases, owners have even had their cars towed because the doors wouldn’t open so that they could get out!

tesla door opening

If you find yourself experiencing any door issues with your Tesla Model S, the best thing to do is to take it to a qualified technician who can diagnose and fix the problem. In some cases, simply tightening or replacing door hinges may be all that’s needed. In other cases, the entire door system may need to be replaced. No matter what the solution is, it’s important to get any door issues with your Tesla Model S sorted out as soon as possible so that you can continue enjoying all that your vehicle has to offer.

7. Sunroof Issues

In the Tesla Model S, The affected model years with sunroof issues are the 2018 models. The sunroof issues can be identified by difficulty opening or closing the doors, motor or gear failures, and wind noise and rattles while driving with the roof closed.

There are a few potential solutions for sunroof issues on the Tesla Model S:

  • Check the alignment of the sunroof and adjust as needed. This can be done by yourself or at a service center.
  • Replace the sunroof motor if it is not working properly. Again, this can be done by yourself or at a service center. Some motors may come with new brackets and tracks which will need to be installed as well.
  • Clean the contacts between the glass panes and sealant using alcohol wipes.

8. Airbag Issues

In the Tesla Model S, there are some airbag issues with the 2021 models. Tesla has recently found out that one of its suppliers has made a mistake and it is causing some airbags to catch on the hard plastic covers while they are deploying.

This can prevent the airbag from deploying properly and provide safe cushioning in an accident.

Simply take your vehicle to the nearest dealership to get it fixed for free since the 2021 model was recalled by Tesla.

What Years Did the Tesla Model S Have Problems

The Tesla Model S had problems from 2012 to 2022, but surprisingly it has had very few problems in its most recent years. The latest model, the 2022 Model S, only reported 58 problems so far. That’s an impressive number considering that the 2021 Model S had 121 problems.

Tesla is making progress with each new generation of its flagship car. The company has reduced the number of issues by more than half in just a year, and that trend looks likely to continue as Tesla continues to refine its technology and manufacturing processes.

Of course, there are still some areas where improvement is needed, but overall the Tesla Model S seems to be heading in the right direction.

Here’s a graph of which years the Tesla Model S has problems, according to www.carproblemzoo.com:

Model YearNumber of Problems
  2022 Model S58
  2021 Model S121
  2020 Model S64
  2019 Model S38
  2018 Model S148
  2017 Model S472
  2016 Model S614
  2015 Model S765
  2014 Model S382
  2013 Model S471
  2012 Model S70

Recent Recall #s

A recall number is a specific identification code that identifies your vehicle’s safety and/or emissions-related recalls. This can be found on the inside panel of your car door, or possibly in your glove box if you have one.

When searching for active recalls related to your car, this unique identifier will ensure accuracy in identifying whether any are affecting your particular vehicle type and year model.

Here’s a list of the most recent recalls for the Tesla Model S:

  • On 2022-09-18, there was a recall with the recall number: 22V702000 for the component of Visibility: Power window devices and controls.
  • On 2022-07-20, there was a recall with the recall number: 22V526000 for the component of Airbags: Frontal.
  • On 2022-05-02, there was a recall with the recall number: 22V296000 for the component of Back over prevention:: Display function..
  • On 2022-04-11, there was a recall with the recall number: 22V235000 for the component of the Electrical system:: Software.

Check To See Whether Your Vehicle Has an Open Recall

You can check to see whether your vehicle has an open recall or not by checking out this. It’s an easy website to use. All you need to do is enter your 17-digit VIN and it will show up if your vehicle has an open recall.

How Is It Compared To Similar Cars?

The Tesla Model S is one of the most reliable cars in its class, with a score of 9/10 according to Car and Driver. Compared to similar cars such as the Tesla Model 3 and the Model Y, the Tesla Model S is much more reliable than they are.

However, even though the Tesla Model 3 and the Model Y are not as reliable as the Tesla Model S, they are still very reliable, with scores of 8.5/10 and 8/10 respectively. In contrast, the Tesla Model X is not as reliable, with a low score of only 6.5/10.

TypesReliability Score
Tesla Model S9/10
Tesla Model 38.5/10
Tesla Model Y8/10
Tesla Model X6.5/10

It has been said that the Tesla Model S is the best car in its class. When compared to other luxury cars, it lives up to its reputation. Many factors make the Tesla Model S stand out from the crowd, but here are just a few of them:

The Tesla Model S is one of the quickest, most capable electric cars on the market today. It can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in as little as 2 seconds, thanks to its 100 kWh 407 V lithium-ion battery and dual motors. And with a range of up to 400 miles on a single charge, it’s perfect for long-distance trips too.

The Model S is also one of the most well-rounded cars in its class, with a spacious interior and cargo area, plenty of advanced safety features, and a comfortable ride. It’s no wonder that it’s consistently ranked as one of the best luxury cars on the market.

What Are the Life Expectancy and Mileage?

The Tesla Model S has a life expectancy of 200,000 to 400,000 miles, or in other words, 13 to 27 years before it needs a new battery module due to degradation. This calculation is based on an average annual mileage of 15,000 miles per year.

Is It Worth Buying Used?

It is definitely worth buying a used Tesla Model S, as they are ideal for those who want to minimize their carbon footprint while still enjoying luxury and performance.

With a range of up to 405 miles on a single charge, these all-electric vehicles have plenty of power to take you where you need to go without using any gas whatsoever.

And since they’re so new to the market, used Tesla often come with lower prices than other pre-owned luxury cars.

What Is Good and Bad About the Car?


  • Great Acceleration
  • Low Maintenance Costs
  • High Safety Rating


  • High Purchase Price
  • Hard To Park Comfortably

What Do Owners Say About the Car?

Here are some reviews owners have posted for the Tesla Model S from www.cars.com:

First review:

Exhilarating performance. Terrible build quality and service. Performance is among the best in class if not the best, and that ends there. Yoke takes time to get used to, ok for regular street driving but terrible for parking lot and emergency maneuvers.

The fit and finish of the vehicle are pathetic, upon delivery, I had over 10 defects and wiring was sticking out the window trim, some clearcoat came off at the edge.

Cost cutting everywhere with no buttons or switches even on basic essential items. The service center experience is pulling teeth and beyond frustrating, locations are super packed with cars that need to be fixed, and service staff will try to decline service appointments at first and have you do self-diagnostic and software resets, no loaner cars or shuttle available.

Autopilot is a joke, jackrabbit starts, phantom braking, jerky lane changes, basically a 12-year-old with no licensed driving, summon works 20% of the time.

For the price they charge for these cars it’s more hassle than it’s worth, Tesla has a long way to go to call themselves “Premium Electric Cars”. Do yourself a favor if you have $100k+ get yourself a true luxury brand vehicle, electric or gas.

Second review:


1. Jaw-droppingly fast, well into triple-digit speeds

2. Quiet/solid construction feel

3. Amazing range

4. Very efficient, even in winter driving

5. Improved rear seating and space compared to the previous version


1. While extremely well equipped (everything is standard), it is expensive at initial purchase (TCO is far less expensive than ICE competition, however.)

2. The yoke is growing on me and is preferred for long drives. But is still exasperating for parallel parking and traffic circles (mostly due to turn signals being selected by buttons instead of a stalk).


In conclusion, The Tesla Model S is a great car. It has a range of up to 405 miles, great performance, and great features. The only drawback is its high price tag. However, if you can afford it, the Tesla Model S is definitely worth considering.