According to dozens of refresh Model S owners (both Long Range and Plaid) on the TMC forums and many more on Reddit and Facebook, the electric sedan suffers from a pronounced vibration in the accelerator and yoke steering wheel, extending through the center console and into the front passenger area.
This vibration differs from the legacy S/X “acceleration shudder” in that it mostly occurs at travelling speeds between 30mph-50mph or under slight acceleration.
It also appears to get worse as time goes on, extending beyond the quoted speed range above and even during regenerative braking.
Many of these owners have taken their vehicles to Service Centers where technicians have verified the vibration and attempted to fix it by performing the same repairs as recommended for the legacy shudder – replacing the front drive unit halfshafts.
According to service documentation provided to Drive Tesla by one of our readers, his front drive unit halfshafts were replaced in November. While that did eliminate the vibration, it returned just a few days later.
Similar experiences have been recounted on social media by others who have had the same repairs performed. The issue has gone far enough that it has been escalated to Tesla engineers, who have been performing case studies on several cars to try and determine the cause.
Our reader tells us the customer service they have received over the months from the local Service Center manager has been excellent, and that they appear to be equally frustrated with the issue and that they have so far been unable to resolve it.
With the problem recurring, the owner asked Tesla to purchase his car back under the Lemon Law, a request which the automaker has since denied.
In a recent email exchange between the owner and manager, Tesla has changed their position, now saying the vibration “is a normal characteristic of the Plaid,” and that while they continue to investigate “no repairs are recommended.”
They backed this up by saying the vibration is “not a safety concern” and “does not affect the drivability of the vehicle.”
The owner hopes that by shedding more light on this issue Tesla is not only able to come up with a fix for their situation, but to also prevent other owners from having to go through the same experience with their new car.
Have you experienced a similar vibration in your refresh Model S? Have you also been told it is a “normal characteristic”? Let us know in the comments below or reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.