Hard Feelings: Two Canadian Tesla owners report missing brake pads on brand-new cars

Ottawa, Ontario — Not one, but two Canadian Tesla owners with brand-new cars were left shocked and confused when they each discovered their new rides were missing brake pads on delivery.

It wasn’t long after April Gilmore received her Tesla Model 3 in December that she noted a strange sound from her driver-side wheel while the car was in motion. She reported the issue to Tesla, but they informed her the next available appointment at her local service centre was three weeks out.

The automaker’s reps asked her to submit a video of the issue. Gilmore’s Tesla service advisor then told her a few technicians had listened for the alleged problem and all reached the same conclusion–that her brakes were operating as normal.

“Brakes on performance Model 3s and Ys are known to be louder than on standard vehicles due to the size of the larger brake pads,” wrote the service advisor.

“Obviously, nothing is normal about the noise,” said Gilmore.

Gilmore ended up towing her vehicle to a local independent Tesla facility where a technician removed the wheel to discover the left rear corner brake pad was missing. Her vehicle was fixed with a new rotor and brake calliper, in addition to a new brake pad.

A second Tesla owner has since come forward with similar complaints to Gilmore’s. The story was first reported by Drive Tesla Canada.

The vehicle owner, referred to as Alex in Drive Tesla Canada’s article, received his Tesla Model 3 Performance in late December. At first, the only issue he noted was a small malfunction with the driver-side coat hook, which was fixed before he drove off the lot.

By February, Alex had taken notice of a strange sound coming from the rear of his car while braking. At this point, he recalled reading Gilmore’s tale of Tesla woes. To diagnose the problem, Alex removed his rear passenger wheel and immediately noted the inner rear brake pad was missing.

“The brake calliper was just shaving off metal and carving deep into the inner side of the rotor,” he said.

The second instance of missing brake pads has raised longstanding questions about quality control at Tesla.

Trunk and frunk panel gaps are among common cosmetic problems noted with Tesla vehicles, though the automaker also suffered heat in Québec after a Tesla Model 3 owner reported peeling paint on the bottoms of his vehicle’s doors and body. A class-action lawsuit was proposed, which claimed it would cost nearly $5,000 to fix the vehicle’s paint job. Tesla responded by launching a paint protection product less than 24 hours after the lawsuit was proposed.



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