Tesla Model Y Problems: 9 Known Issues (Explained)

Following its release in 2020, the Tesla Model Y has become the manufacturer’s best-selling vehicle. The vehicle has similar features to Model 3 but boasts more space created by additional row seats.

Like other vehicles, people have reported various issues with this model, as explained below.

1) Touchscreen Issues

Screen problems are part of the common problems with Tesla. The Tesla Model Y’s screen has various features and settings which affect the vehicle’s drivability.

Some owners have complained about the screens going blank or restarting themselves when driving.

The car doesn’t have an instrument cluster or dash display because most features are controlled through the screen.

When the screen goes blank or restarts, you will lose functions such as:

  • the speedometer,
  • turn signal noise,
  • battery gauge capacity,
  • windshield wiper setting,
  • and defrost control.

Therefore, it’s a major issue for Tesla owners.

While the problem might affect the car’s reliability while driving, you can follow simple techniques to solve it.

The issue of the touchscreen going blank or restarting is commonly caused by software errors. If the screen goes off, restart it by pressing the two buttons on the steering wheel and wait until it boots up.

You can also solve the problem by unplugging all USB devices and closing apps.

If the problem doesn’t seem to disappear after these attempts, consider updating the screen. However, you should be keen during this process because an Over the Air (OTA) update could worsen it.

Tesla has played a role in solving this problem.

The earlier Model Y vehicles had MCU2, the computer responsible for running the touchscreen. The computer had a higher frequency of crashing. Tesla solved the issues using the MCU3, which is more efficient and has fewer chances of crashing.

You should also check the 12-volt battery which powers the MCU.

A mechanic has the necessary experience testing the battery’s voltage or replacing it whenever necessary. If the battery is faulty or doesn’t have enough voltage, it can cause the screen to boot or switch itself off.

We have also seen this issue with Tesla Model S cars.

2) Tesla Model Y Charging Problems

A battery that won’t charge is among the problems reported by some Tesla Model Y owners.

However, this should not be a major cause of concern. When it happens, you can’t drive for long distances before getting the necessary help.

However, you should keep long-distance driving out of the options.

The charging issues in your Tesla could be caused by a faulty charging port, power source, or vehicle hardware or software.

If your vehicle is having charging issues, its green Tesla a long time wouldn’t turn green. The screen would also display a notification, indicating that the vehicle wouldn’t charge.

The initial troubleshooting solution is to push the charger into the charging port or check for obstacles inside the port.

If these solutions don’t work, try a different charger to establish whether yours has a problem. You should also try a Tesla supercharger. You can check here whether it’s free to use Tesla’s superchargers. If it works, the electrical circuit you use at home is faulty.

When all the solutions fail, take the vehicle to a service center for further diagnosis.

3) Tesla Model Y Alarm Going Off

Some people have reported that the Tesla Model Y alarm can go off at the sound of loud thunderstorms or random noises.

The vibrations from the vehicle’s A/C system and heater can trigger the alarm.

The Sentry mode could be triggered by various things such as:

  • rain,
  • flashing lights,
  • snow,
  • or other objects,

This can make it send false alerts.

If you are assured of the car’s safety, consider switching off the Sentry mode. The vehicle uses GPS to determine its location.

Therefore, it would automatically turn off the Sentry mode when parked in the excluded locations you’ve set, such as the garage or work. You could also switch off the vehicle’s alarm.

A hard reset is yet another option that could eliminate any bugs that could cause the alarm to go off for no apparent reason.

4) Braking Issues

Phantom braking refers to a situation whereby a self-driving or advanced driver assist system (ADAS) applies brakes without a valid reason.

In some cases, the system might detect a collision or object on the road. When this happens, it applies brakes to avoid hitting the object or a collision.

Some Tesla Model Y users have reported this as one of the problems they face while driving their vehicles.

The owners claim to experience the issues when the Tesla is on Traffic-Aware Cruise Control (TACC), operating on full self-drive features, or Autopilot mode. The vehicle would slow down unexpectedly even when no obstacle was on the road.

The Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) and the Forward Collision Warning (FCW) features can cause this issue in Tesla Model Y.

These systems use the vehicle’s camera to detect objects on the road. If the camera gives false feedback about the presence of an object, the system will get into action, thus slowing down the car.

Given the unpredictable nature of these systems, some people don’t use them. Tesla is yet to eradicate the phantom braking issue in their Model Y. However, following the removal of the radar system, the issue has been highly reduced in vehicles released after 2021.

The company recommends that the driver override the automatic braking system by stepping on the accelerator.

You may also want to read about how a Tesla can charge itself (with regenerative brakes).

You may also want to read our article about whether Teslas crash more than other cars.

5) Suspension Problems

Some Tesla Model Y owners have complained about creaks and squeaks from the suspension.

The problem could be caused by the bushing ball joint of a failing control arm. Some owners also consider the Model Y ride quality as firm.

Tesla issued a recall for 2022, 2021, and 2020 models to tighten the loose bolts in the suspension before causing the knuckles to fracture of suspension to fail.

They believed the loose bolts to be a major cause of the squeaking noises.

The suspension issues don’t cause major concerns about your car. An experienced mechanic can inspect your vehicle to determine whether it has loose bolts to tighten.

When you take the vehicle to a Tesla center, they will seal the bolts and replace the parts causing the noises. For instance, they might replace the sway bars or control arms, depending on the extent of the issue.

In most cases, tightening the bolts works well; therefore, the issue should not worry you.

6) Moisture Build-Up in the Head and Tail Lights

Condensation in the vehicle’s head and tail lights is yet another common problem some owners report.

The problem also applies to the Tesla Model 3 because both use similar lights. The condensation would appear like mist covering the head and tail light glasses in most cases. In other cases, although rare, the condensation appears in the form of water droplets.

The only challenge with the moisture build-up is that it blocks the drivers’ visibility behind your car.

When moisture accumulates inside the light assembly, it can damage the electronics.

The issue is common between the 2020 and 2021 Model Y vehicles.

The best part about this issue is that the condensation would eventually evaporate, leaving the glass clear and visible to other motorists.

When the issue persists, it’s best to take your vehicle to a service center to have the issue repaired.

If your vehicle has an active warranty, you can return it to the manufacturer for light replacement at no cost.

However, this is only applicable if a manufacturing defect causes the issue.

7) Quality Issues of Glass Used on the Vehicle

The quality of glass used in different areas, such as the windshields, windows, and the panoramic roof, has become part of the complaints from some owners.

They complain of wavy distortions from the rear windshield, which could sometimes distract their visibility.

Some owners also point out that the wavy distortions can cause dizziness, especially in motion-sensitive individuals. This has also been an issue with the Model S:

Other people have also complained about the glass roof and windshield developing hairline cracks. These lines could be caused by various things, such as road debris and rock chips.

As a result, some Tesla Model Y owners have replaced these glass sections more than once.

When you notice a crack in the glass sections, take your vehicle to the service center for an examination.

If they determine that a manufacturing defect caused it, it’s replaced under the warranty’s cover. Sometimes, the company will deny the warranty claim if you’ve tinted your glasses. Also, you will pay from your pocket if an external impact caused the issue.

Another option is to use a repair kit or take the vehicle to a mechanic before the crack gets bigger.

Read also: Do Teslas ever arrive earlier than estimated?

8) Body Quality Issues

Newer Model Y vehicles faced various quality issues concerning body quality.

Tesla received these complaints positively but is yet to correct all of them. The recently released vehicles have minimal complaints about their body quality.

Here are some of the quality issues some owners have companied about the Model Y Tesla.

  • Poor body panel fitment with panel gaps
  • Overspray and thin pain
  • Steering wheel off-center
  • Squeaks and rattles
  • Different alignment problems
  • Mismatched paint jobs/light paints
  • Leaky seals
  • weather stripping

The best solution to these issues is to inspect your vehicle on delivery to ensure it’s in good condition.

If the car has issues, you should have it returned for exchange or the necessary repairs. It’s also advisable to make these complaints while the car is under warranty.

Failure to which, you might be forced to pay for the repairs using money from your pockets.

You can check here what the Tesla warranty covers.

You could also take the vehicle to a mechanic to correct the issues.

As long as you’ve got the replacement parts, repairing these sections shouldn’t be challenging. You should also apply a paint protection film to ensure the vehicle’s paint lasts long.

The most important thing about solving these issues is taking good care of your vehicle by having every problem solved independently.

9) High-pitched whining sounds

Another issue some new Tesla owners have complained about is high-pitched sounds. You can see more about this issue in this video:

General Pros and Cons for Tesla Model Y


  • Electric power facilitates quick acceleration
  • Ideal for maneuvering different terrains
  • Frequent software updates
  • Spacious with three storage compartments and optional third-row seating
  • towing capacity of 3500 pounds (towing capacity for all Tesla models)
  • A wide range of 326 miles
  • Availability of Tesla Supercharger network
  • EV tech and software


  • Touchscreen going blank or restarting while driving
  • Phantom braking
  • Suspension problems
  • Moisture build-up in the head and tail lights
  • Quality issues of glass used on the vehicle
  • Body quality issues
  • Charging problems
  • Alarm going off

We have an article here on how often Teslas have problems.

What Do the Reviews Say?

Tesla Model Y vehicles have an amazing Autopilot mode which eases the driving process.

It can help increase your safety and reduce the number of accidents you experience.

“And all Model Ys get Tesla’s Autopilot system as standard – Level 2 driving assistance with traffic-aware motorway cruising and braking, and automatic steering to keep you in lane.”

(Source: carmagazine.co.uk)

The Tesla Model Y vehicle scored high on the vulnerable road users test. The vehicles have reported minimal accidents with other cars.

“The Model Y camera-only Vision system performs remarkably well in preventing collisions with other cars, cyclists and pedestrians.”

(Source: forbes.com)

What’s the Resale Value on Tesla Model Y

Year Mileage Price
2022 1,375 $71,985
2021 30,450 $63,950
2020 17,950 $61,700

While Tesla Model Y might have several issues, the company is working to eliminate them as they arise.

Most of the common problems affecting the vehicle model can be corrected by a mechanic.

Therefore, this makes the Tesla Model Y among the best vehicles.

GO BACK: Problems per Tesla model.

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ⓘ  The information in this article is based on data from National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recall reports, consumer complaints submitted to the NHTSA, reliability ratings from J.D. Power, auto review and rating sites such as Edmunds, specialist forums, etc. We analyzed this data to provide insights into the best and worst years for these vehicle models.