The assembly robots probably move too fast when putting it in place.
We were sure that Sergio Rodriguez’s Tesla Model X story would drive a lot of attention. As you can see above, its video is just too unusual to go unnoticed. Anyway, our primary goal was to discover if that was a single-vehicle issue or something more widespread. Unfortunately, it is not restricted to Rodriguez’s EV, and it is probably caused by a windshield assembly issue that is not exclusive to the Model X.
Gallery: Check Water Flowing Inside Tesla Model X When It Crosses Puddles
That’s what we have learned from Chad Hrencecin, from “The Electrified Garage,” and also from George Catalin Marinescu, from "Doctor Tesla," which he claims to be the only independent Tesla repair shop in Romania. Both say this is a common issue.
You already know Chad. He is not only one of Rich Benoit’s partners at “The Electrified Garage,” but also one of the most constant figures in the Rich Rebuilds YouTube channel videos. Being one of the most experienced people to work on Teslas out of the Tesla Service Centers makes him an instant reference when you need to know more about these cars.
As we mentioned in our previous article about this problem, he presented an entire video about the most common issues the Model X has. Among them is the wind noise on the A-pillars, produced by air that invades them. To solve the problem, Chad uses packaging foam.
He was the first one to tell us the issue is not on the A-pillars, as we suspected, but rather on the windshield assembly.
"It’s the windshield that’s leaking: it is not ‘urethane in’ properly. So what is happening is that the water is hitting the A-pillar and just swooping around the glass into the vehicle."
Chad even gave us some hints to discover the problem:
"If you remove the A-pillar trim around the windshield, you should be able to see the gap/lack of sealant between the glass and the body of the vehicle. If not, with the trim removed, you can pour or spray water on that area of glass where it meets the body and have someone inside the vehicle with a flashlight looking at the seam. You should be able to find it rather quickly."
That is the same diagnostics Marinescu gave us.
Chad confirms the windshield assembly problem is not exclusive to the Model X
"I have also seen it on the Model 3, mostly wind noise at the bottom of the windshield due to a lack of sealant. The Model S I had a few water leaks but most of those were due to poor install from aftermarket installers."
Marinescu sent us the images of the problem in one of these cars. With its windshield removed, the EV reveals the issue rather quickly. We'll help you compare them below to understand what he says. The left image is of the properly glued side. The right one is the one that presents the assembly defect. He first mentions the one on the right, then the one on the left.
"All this was original glue that did not touch the metal frame. This is in the other corner, this is correct, as it should."
What would be causing this? Marinescu has a guess.
"I suppose there is a flaw in the assembly process. The glue is probably put by a robot. Another robot moves the glass and puts it into the final position on the car frame. It may just move too fast, making the glue smear, as shown."
Chad does not mention that specifically, but he recognizes the Model X windshield represents a tough task.
"The Model X has one of the most complicated windshields to install. It took four4 people to lift one onto the vehicle and line it up in the shop. I’ve done quite a few. Due to its size and how difficult it is to install, the urethane is something that gets overlooked. It requires a larger than normal bead on it to seal properly. These gaps in the sealant can cause wind noise, water leaks and even cracked glass due to uneven stress applied to glass."
That said, there are two ways for the EV manufacturer to fix this: either improving the assembly process – avoiding new cases – or correcting them under warranty on Tesla Service Centers. According to Marinescu, they are probably more inclined to the second hypothesis.
"Unfortunately, there are things Tesla could fix quickly, but it refuses to listen to us."
We hope it at least reads about it and corrects the issue as soon as possible. Should you have any similar problem, you already know what causes it.