Tesla has finally acknowledged what some furious customers with social media accounts have been saying for more than two years: The Model 3 had a design flaw that can cause the rear bumper to fall off in the rain.
The automaker issued a service bulletin recently obtained by Electrek that repeatedly claims the problem is “rare” but confirms that repairs are covered by the car’s warranty.
“In rare instances, certain components on Model 3 vehicles built at the Fremont Factory before May 21, 2019, might be damaged when driving through standing water on a road or highway with poor drainage or pooling water,” the document reads. “In these rare instances, the rear fascia might detach from the vehicle and harnesses and/or body fasteners/mounts might also be damaged.”
In May 2019, Tesla seems to have changed the design of the fascia in response to reports of sand and water getting stuck in the underbody, according to Electrek. The new bumper cover includes a cutout that improves drainage.