Tesla delivers £64,990 cars without USB phone charging ports

The electric carmaker owned by Elon Musk seems to have skipped installing USB-C ports for new Tesla EVs – owing to the global chip shortage.

Drivers paying up to £64,990 for new Teslas report not being able to charge their phones in their electric cars.

Last week, Tesla owners took to social media to complain about their brand new Tesla deliveries missing some basic parts.

On November 12, one Reddit user noticed that the wireless charging feature wasn’t working in their Tesla Model 3. 

They also found that the USB-C ports were also missing from the front centre console. In a picture attached to the post, empty slots in the console were visible where the ports for the charging cord should be.

‘Called support today and they informed they are aware of this issue. Due to a shortage of usb chips, new cars are coming out without center console usb-c, that’s why wireless charging is not working as well,’ wrote the Reddit user.

Tesla also told him that the chips were supposed to come in mid-December and they would ‘probably start retrofitting after that’.

Another user was reportedly told by Tesla customer support that they would fit the USB ports for free after delivery. 

One member of the Tesla Motors Club forum said their Tesla Model Y was delivered last Wednesday with the same empty holes where the USB-C ports were supposed to be. Wireless charging also wasn’t working, the member said in the post.

Another Reddit user posted on Friday that Tesla had contacted them to say that their new Model Y Long Range would be delivered the following day without any USB ports because of a ‘shortage’. 

The Tesla owner’s manual for the Model 3 and Y lists two front USB-C ports, along with two in the back.

According to Tesla, supply chain issues and a chip shortage are slowing down deliveries and some cars were arriving with ‘non-crucial components’ missing. 

A Tesla Service Centre in San Francisco told Mashable that affected owners would be notified once the parts were ready and that owners would be advised to bring the car in for service to fill in any ‘gaps’. They also said some parts were already being shipped and should be available for installation in the coming weeks.

According to South China Morning Post, Tesla is reportedly shipping the electric vehicles with defective USB ports from its Shanghai Gigafactory.

The chip shortage is also hitting other carmakers, with General Motors scrapping its heated seats and BMW forgoing touchscreens in some of its cars.

The worldwide chip shortage started in late 2020, as foundries misjudged the demand of employees working from home and increasing demand for electronic gadgets amid the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Chips are widely used in cars in everything from key fobs to entertainment systems and navigation controls. In Electric Vehicles (EV) like Tesla, chips are everything so it’s no wonder that the electric car maker is struggling.

Experts say that the automotive chip shortage should start easing in the second half of 2021, but the pressure will persist throughout 2022.

CEO Elon Musk said during the company’s earnings call in April that Tesla had ‘insane difficulties’ with its supply chain over the first quarter of 2021. 

Tesla risks the violation of consumer rights by not giving advance notice to the buyers about the missing ports.

New owners are being advised to check all parts of the car to see if anything was missing. If so it’s essential to log a service request immediately so there’s a record on your account.

New Tesla owners are worried that there’s no official statement from the company that they will retrofit the parts for free. In contrast, BMW has announced a $500 credit on their cars to make up for their cars having no touchscreens.

With the Tesla Model 3 starting from £42,500 and Model Y costing between £54,990- £64,990, it seems like an expensive mistake that buyers will be paying for.

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