Automaker Tesla and the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have issued a recall for more than 9,000 Model X cars because of a problem with two appliques, one just behind the windshield, and the other between the gull wing doors on the roof. The cars affected were manufactured before August 2016.
Both appliques are attached using a polyurethane adhesive. If a primer is not applied, the adhesion may weaken, causing them to separate from the vehicle. Although the company is not aware of any accidents or injuries resulting from the problem, there is the potential to create a road hazard for following cars if it fails.
The problem was first noticed by Field Quality in September 2020, and a month later Tesla concluded that the problem may well have been insufficient primer at the polyurethane-to-applique interface when produced by a supplier.
Tesla is to inspect the affected vehicles, and apply a retention test to the appliques. If they pass, there is sufficient primer and no further action is necessary. If it fails, primer will be applied as a remedy.
The company’s supplier implemented new processes to standardize and document primer application in July 2016, and cars made after this date are not affected.