Tesla begins notifying Model 3 owners to proactively address upper control arm issues [Update]

Tesla has begun contacting some Model 3 owners in an effort to proactively address a common upper control arm issue.

If you are not familiar with the issue, older Model 3 vehicles have a tendency to develop a loud squeaking noise emanating from the upper control arm ball joints. The issue does not pose any safety risks, but the noise is loud and annoying, and is only amplified by the silent nature of Tesla vehicles.

Late last year Tesla began performing a preemptive fix when working on vehicles for other concerns. The fix involves resealing the upper control arms with a urethane paste, in the area seen in the picture below when we had it done in February to our 2019 Model 3.


Now the automaker has begun proactively contacting customers to complete the work. Drive Tesla has been notified by several of our readers about a message they received in the mobile app saying there was a “mandatory bulletin” and that an appointment had already been scheduled for them (h/t Adam).

Control arm issue There is no charge for the service, and only applies to Model 3’s built up to a certain date when Tesla began sealing the part at the factory.

UPDATE: Thanks to one of our readers, we now have a copy of the ‘Reseal Front Upper Control Arm Ball Joints’ Service Bulletin from Tesla, known internally as SB-20-31-006 R3. According to the bulletin it applies to 2018-2020 Model X, Model 3, and Model Y vehicles.

If you fall into one of those categories and haven’t been contacted by Tesla, you can refer to the code when requesting your service using the mobile app.

Tesla describes the issue in the bulletin as follows:

On certain Model 3, Model Y, and Model X vehicles, there may be a water ingress path to both front upper control arm ball joints that, over time, could possibly lead to surface corrosion of these ball joints. This may result in a creaking sound coming from the front suspension when steering at low speeds under high loads. This is exclusively an NVH condition only and does not result in premature failure of the ball joints.

control arm SB
Image via @SeasonedTech /Twitter

Have you received a similar message? Let us know in the comments below.

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