Is Tesla's highly-anticipated Model Y SUV hiding a serious design flaw?
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There are no two ways about it, Tesla has been at the cutting edge of car design and functionality ever since the iconic Model S sedan first hit showrooms around the world, but the internet may have just uncovered a significant design flaw in its new vehicle.
Having on hit US roads in the past week or so, most Model Y vehicles are still in the possession of motor journalists who seem to be giving the electric crossover excellent ratings across the board, but then you get to the tailgate.
To allow for 'slide-in' rear loading, the rear hatch extends down past the rear bumper. In a perfect world, there's no issue here, but when someone runs into the back of the Model Y, a hefty repair bill may be on the cards.
As with other Tesla vehicles, safety isn't compromised by this feature, but instead, the whole hatch assembly will be buckled and bent by a rear collision, meaning significant damage across the rear end.
If you look at the rest of the SUV/crossover market, most manufacturers lift the hatch above the rear bumper for this very reason. Tesla did this in the Model X SUV just a few years back, so missing this massive design flaw seems bizarre.
Tesla Model X owners revealed that replacing the bumper covers on the crossover usually sets them back between NZ$2,000 - NZ$2,500 over in America, and replacing the whole bumper unsurprisingly costs a fair bit more.
As the Model Y is a similar product, we'd expect to see similar pricing, and would hate to think how much it would cost to replace the whole hatch assembly.
It's unknown as to how much this will increase insurance premiums on the electric crossover, but then again, the perfect safety rating and suite of safety features should negate some of that.
Despite this, at some point, someone is going to get into a fender bender and bend that rear hatch, and all we can hope is that the results are posted on the internet.