As the world strives to achieve net-zero carbon emissions, electric cars are becoming more popular. And when it comes to electric vehicles, you always talk about Tesla — the number one electric car manufacturing brand globally. One of Tesla’s best cars to date is the Model Y, a mid-size SUV. But, while it’s a good car, there are some common problems and issues to address.
The Tesla Model Y suffers problems and issues that are typical of electric cars. These include charging, suspension, touchscreen, and braking issues. You’ll spend a couple of dollars to fix these problems when they occur. Or you return them to the manufacturer if there’s an open recall. You’ll get all the information in this post.
According to most owners, the Tesla Model Y is a relatively reliable electric car. So, why the mentioned problems are common, they are not frequent. But, of course, it depends on your year model. So, you’ll find out about the best and worst years of the vehicle in this post as well.
Is Your Tesla Model Y Having Issues?
No car is perfect. And even if Tesla wants to do things differently and make better cars, some of their products usually have issues.
Without question, the Model Y is an impressive car to own, but you might encounter some problems with it. Some may be simple to fix, while others would require a professional.
Before discussing the problems, let’s consider the vehicle’s reliability.
How Reliable Is the Tesla Model Y
The Tesla Model Y is relatively reliable because it’s an electric car. Of course, you can’t compare it to non-electric mid-size SUVs, but it’s one of Tesla’s best.
According to USNews, the Tesla Model Y ranks among the top ten Luxury Electric SUVs at number six. In addition, the car ranks at number fourteen for the best Luxury Crossover SUVs and number ten for Luxury SUVs with three rows. Overall, the car is rated 8.3 out of 10.
With these favorable rankings, it’s easy to agree that the Tesla Model Y is reliable. However, note that the reliability of the electric vehicle depends on the model. So you’ll expect the 2022 model to be more reliable than the 2020 model — which is true.
Now, let’s address the article’s main subject: the issues and problems with the Tesla Model Y.
Most Common Issues With the Tesla Model Y
It’s possible to own a problem-free Tesla Model Y. Otherwise, here are some common issues you may experience:
1. Suspension Issues
The Tesla Model Y (and even the Tesla Model X) are not new to suspension problems. Suspension issues led to a recall of some 2020 and 2021 Tesla Model Y vehicles. The problem is due to loose suspension bolts that result in squeaks and creaks. While the suspension will still work, anyone will find the squeaks and creaks annoying.
Since there’s an open recall, you should return your car to Tesla to fix this problem. It won’t cost you anything. But it’s a simple problem to fix. All it requires is to tighten the suspension bolts. Therefore, you can also take the car to a professional shop, especially if you feel the recall will take time. This will cost you a service fee of around $100.
Taking your car to a professional for a checkup is recommended, even if you want to send it in via a recall. This is to help identify the exact cause of the squeaks and creaks. Aside from loose suspension bolts, faulty ball joints, bushing, or control arm can also cause noise.
If the issue is due to faulty ball joints, bushing, or control arm, you’ll experience a somewhat rigid ride with the suspension.
2. Braking Issues
Many Tesla vehicles encounter what is called “phantom braking” problems. However, it’s not a particular problem for the Tesla Model Y alone.
The phantom braking issue is a major one affecting about 500,000 Tesla Model Y and Model 3 vehicles. In fact, the NHTSA in mid-2022 confirmed receiving more than 750 complaints from Tesla users on the braking problem. As a result, the agency also began an investigation into the matter.
What is the phantom braking issue all about? The issue involves Tesla’s automatic emergency brake — AEB system. The AEB system occasionally malfunctions and applies the brake without reason. This leads to rapid deceleration, which is dangerous.
Clearly, this is a manufacturing defect that should demand a recall from Tesla. But so far, there has been no recall by the manufacturer. If your vehicle has this problem, you can expect a recall when the government completes the investigation. Until then, you have to deal with the issue yourself.
Unfortunately, this is not something you can readily solve at a repair shop since it involves Tesla’s core system. Tesla regularly releases updates to its software, but it also doesn’t solve the issue.
As a result, an ideal thing to do is to override the automatic emergency brake system, as Tesla recommends. To do this, you have to step on the accelerator.
Although phantom braking is severe and has occurred with many Tesla vehicles, it is still rare. Some owners report experiencing the issue once a year. Others report experiencing it only once since purchasing the vehicle.
Therefore, it’s possible to own a Tesla Model Y and not experience the phantom braking issue. Furthermore, Tesla is working on solving the problem with the switch from ultrasonic sensors to Tesla Vision. When the Tesla Vision update is fully rolled out, it should solve the phantom braking issue.
3. Touchscreen Issues
The Tesla Model Y is one of the smart SUVs with touchscreen technology. Unfortunately, owners complain of various issues with the touchscreen. Sometimes, the touchscreen fails to work, and other times it goes blank.
Also, some Tesla Model Y (and Model S) owners complain that the touchscreen module sometimes goes off or restarts on its own. All these can be a massive inconvenience when driving, as the touchscreen controls many of the car’s features.
One possible cause of touchscreen issues is software corruption. The touchscreen uses software just like any computer; if it’s corrupt or outdated, it malfunctions. Hence, you can try updating the software to fix the issue.
The problem can also be because of a manufacturing fault. For example, in early 2022, Tesla recalled thousands of vehicles due to touchscreen issues. In particular, the issue was due to the overheating of the electronic systems when the car was charging.
Suppose that’s the cause of your touchscreen issues. In that case, you can return the car to Tesla to fix it. However, if it’s not a manufacturing fault, you should take the vehicle to a repair shop for troubleshooting.
It may come to you to replace the touchscreen. Depending on the model, you’ll spend $1,000 to $1,500 to replace it. The amount excludes labor costs, around $50 to $100.
4. Tesla Model Y Charging Problems
Some Tesla Model Y owners complain that their car batteries won’t charge. Such an issue stems from faulty power sources and chargers, bad charging ports, and corrupt software or hardware, to name a few. You’ll usually get an onscreen notification if your car has charging problems.
The first thing to do if you’re experiencing charging problems is to identify the source. Next, you can try checking the charging port if there’s any obstacle. Finally, you can take the car to a repair shop and pay for the inspection to make things easier.
Suppose the issue is due to a poor power source and charger. In that case, you’ll spend $200 to $400 to get a new adapter, depending on the type of connector you use. Alternatively, you can opt for a supercharger.
The cost of fixing the Tesla Model Y charging problem will reach over $10,000 if it is due to a faulty battery.
5. Moisture Build-Up in the Head and Tail Lights
Like the Tesla Model 3, the Tesla Model Y experiences condensation issues. They mainly happen in the head and tail lights but can also occur in the fog lights.
You’ll find a mist-like covering on the light glass when this happens. In extreme instances, you’ll find water droplets. The risk is that moisture can damage the electronic parts within the light assembly. The report shows this issue is particularly common with Tesla Model Y 2020 and 2021.
It’s normal for the moisture to evaporate on its own via the vents after a while. So, the moisture build-up may not be a big worry for your car. However, if it happens repeatedly, then you need to take the vehicle for servicing.
If your Tesla is still under warranty, you don’t have to spend to fix the moisture build-up error. Mobile service will fix the problem upon request, and it won’t take up to twenty minutes.
It’s important you report this error for a fix as soon as possible. If you don’t and it damages your headlight, you’ll spend up to $500 to get a new one—a new tail light costs around the same.
6. Glass Quality Issues
When driving, you want a front and rear windshield that lets you view the road without difficulty. But some Tesla Model Ys come with front and rear windshields made with non-symmetrical glass.
This leads to view distortions, making it impossible to see the road clearly. It could result in accidents and worse. Some other Tesla Model Y owners complain that their windshield breaks easily. It’s similar to the complaints by Tesla Model 3 about their glass shattering spontaneously.
If your car glass breaks, you can return it to Tesla for a replacement if you have a warranty. Tesla’s warranty usually covers the windshield, side, and rear windows.
However, note that Tesla will refuse to fix it if your glass is tinted. They’ll also refuse if the glass damage is due to the user’s fault. Road debris is the primary cause of windshield damage in general.
And if that’s the cause of your glass quality problem, you have to fix it from your pocket. Changing your Tesla windshield will cost you $1,000 to $2,000.
7. Build and Panel Gap Problems
Build and panel gap problems are somewhat general, as almost all Tesla models have them. In fact, while the Model Y has these problems, it’s rated as far better than the Model 3.
Some problems you’ll notice include alignment issues, random rattles and creaks, weather stripping, and leaky seals. Others include poor body panel fitment, which causes panel gap problems in particular, and rear hatch alignment.
However, build and panel gap problems are more common with early models. So if you purchase a 2023 or 2022 Tesla Model Y, you won’t find many irregularities with the build and panel gap.
Build and panel gap problems are not readily solvable. You may have to forfeit driving the vehicle for months to fix them. So, the best solution is a precaution.
You should check for these build and panel gap problems before purchasing your Tesla Model Y. If the vehicle has any such issues, go for a different one.
However, if the issue is a minor one — like a poor paint job, for example — you can fix it easily. But it may not be cheap. A quality paint job can cost up to $5,000.
8. Whining Noises
Complaints of high pitch whining sounds are common with new Tesla Model Y cars. The issue usually happens when driving above 200 MPH. Sometimes it’s a one-off, but other times it’s persistent.
You can solve this problem by contacting Tesla’s service. But an inspection is ideal, as it could be a symptom of another serious problem.
That’s all for the most common issues with the Tesla Model Y. Now, let’s look at what years to avoid and which to buy.
What Years Did the Tesla Model Y Have Problems
The Tesla Model Y is still a new vehicle. It has just four-year models — 2020, 2021, 2022, and 2023 — which are all recent. Therefore, most of the issues discussed above can occur with any model.
Owners of the 2020, 2021, and 2022 Tesla models have all reported one issue or the other. However, as with Tesla cars, you get the best with the latest version. Many Tesla Model Y owners confirm that 2022 is the best year model to opt for.
The 2023 Tesla Model Y promises to be the standout best, but it’s still new in the market to confirm. Nevertheless, it’s recommended for purchase if you want to buy a Tesla Model Y.
What Is a Recall Number?
Manufacturers usually put out recalls if their product has any manufacturing defect. The recall number indicates the product and defect, which are fixed at no cost to the customer.
Read on for some recent recalls for the Mode Y by Tesla.
Recent Recall #s
Tesla has put out a couple of recalls since the first 2020 Model Y. Here are the most recent ones:
- 22V702000: this recall was put out in late 2022 for 2020 and 2021 Tesla Model Y vehicles. The recall was due to issues with the power-operated window systems and controls.
- 22V317000: this recall was put out in mid-2022 for some 2021 Tesla Model Y vehicles. The recall was due to issues with the forward collision avoidance and automatic emergency braking systems.
- 22V296000: this recall was put out in early 2022 for some 2021 Tesla Model Y vehicles. The recall was due to issues with the back over prevention system and display function.
Want to know if your Tesla Model Y issue has an open recall? Let’s find out how.
Check To See Whether Your Vehicle Has an Open Recall
On the NHTSA website, you can check if there is an active recall for your Tesla Model Y. You only need the vehicle identifying number (VIN) to achieve this.
Here’s what you should do:
- Go to www.nhtsa.gov/recalls
- Type in the VIN
- Click the search button
How Is It Compared to Similar Cars?
Tesla reigns as the number one EV manufacturer, but cars like the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Kia EV6 pose strong competition to the Model Y.
Tesla Model Y vs. Hyundai Ioniq 5
The Hyundai Ioniq 5 is far more affordable than the Tesla Model Y, which is a critical factor. However, the Tesla Model Y is the better car if you prefer more comfort and space.
The Tesla Model Y is also faster, with a higher acceleration and driving range. In terms of safety, both cars are inseparable. The Hyundai Ioniq 5 packs notable technology features, but the Tesla Model Y has more.
Tesla Model Y vs. Kia EV6
Like the previous Hyundai Ioniq 5, the Kia EV6’s main advantage over the Tesla Model Y is its price. In particular, the price difference is up to $20,000. But again, the Tesla Model Y bests the Kia EV6 regarding range and driving comfort. The Tesla Model Y also offers more room and better technology.
What Is the Life Expectancy and Mileage?
The battery of the Tesla Model Y influences its life expectancy and mileage since it’s an electric car. The battery is rated for 1,500 cycles, which you can expect to last 300,000 to 500,000 miles. In other words, the Tesla Model Y can last you for 20 to 40 years.
Is It Worth Buying Used?
Since the Tesla Model Y is a relatively new car — with the first model in 2020 — it’s safe to buy a used one. Any used Tesla Model you buy will be less than five years old, which isn’t a lot in terms of car life expectancies.
Furthermore, Tesla cars are expensive. As a result, buying a used model can help you save money. Used Tesla Model Ys sell for an average of $45,000 to $65,000, according to listings on Edmunds. Of course, the price is still expensive, but in comparison, a brand new, fully-loaded Tesla Model is up to $80,000.
What Is Good and Bad About the Car?
When you purchase the Tesla Model Y, here are what you will enjoy:
- Top-notch EV technology features
- Long life expectancy and mileage
- Third-row seating — which is optional
- Long range of over 300 miles and fast acceleration
- Works with Tesla Superchargers
- Regular software updates
- 3,5000 lbs towing capacity
On the other hand, the car has these downsides:
- High cost
- Build and panel gap problems
- Depends much on touchscreen
What Do Owners Say About the Car?
Most Tesla Model Y owners agree that the car is a good electrical vehicle and easy to control. However, only a few are comfortable with how much it costs.
As one user on Cars.com put it, the car isn’t affordable for the build. But he did admit that the price is understandable due to the high technology. Another user commended the Model Y as the best car ever.
On Edmunds, one owner advised prospective buyers to inspect their cars for defects before making purchases. This amplifies the build and panel gap problems discussed earlier. Another owner advised prospective buyers to go for the 2022 model.
The Tesla Model Y car costs up to $80,000. So naturally, you’ll expect perfection for a vehicle of such a high price. Unfortunately, while the car packs many impressive features, it isn’t perfect. You can experience a couple of problems.
Nevertheless, most of its problems are easy to fix with Tesla’s service. Others may require you to return the car when there’s an open recall.