26 October 2021

Automotive - Tesla’s Vegan Leather is Starting to Bubble

Tesla owners are complaining that their vegan leather upholstery is bubbling, and that the automaker refuses to do anything about it, writes Nadeem Muaddin on The Higg Ring 

 

 

Community members on Tesla Motors Club, a popular forum for Tesla owners, say the upholstery on their seats is not up to par.

 

One member, Gidster99, recently said that the upholstery on her driver seat’s insert panel has formed an unsightly bubble.

 

When Gidster99 contacted Tesla about the issue, they said the bubble was her fault, and therefore not covered under warranty.

 

According to Gister99, here’s Tesla’s response: “After submitting the photos supplied of your driver seat concern for investigation with our engineers, the root cause has been advised is due to ‘Anything from lotions, sunscreen, hair sprays or gels, hand sanitizers, e-cigarette or vape pen liquid, cleaning products, swimming pool chlorine.’ Due to the issue not being a manufacturing defect, we’re unable to process a replacement seat as a warranty claim.” 

 

 

Gidster99 said Tesla’s answer is inadequate because she didn’t use any lotions or chemicals on the seat, and none could have rubbed off from the portion of her body that touched it.

 

She asked other Tesla owners if their vegan leather upholstery also bubbled. Many said it did, especially on the headrests.

 

Envchem, one forum member, said a Tesla rep told him that the damage to his headrest was caused by hair products. “When I mentioned that I have no hair, they claimed it was the oils from my skin,” he said.

 

“At the end, they replaced it under warranty as a gesture of goodwill one time only,” he said. “I was advised to wipe the headrest each time I am off the car… ended up putting on a seat cover. Looks ugly, but saves me the trouble.”

 

GRiLLA, another member, shared an excerpt from his Tesla’s handbook, which cautions: “Using solvents (including alcohol), alcohol-based gel products (such as hand sanitizer), bleach, citrus, naphtha, or silicone-based products or additives on interior components can cause damage.”

 

A Tesla owner told Drive Tesla Canada that when he experienced similar issues, a company rep told him oily skin and beauty products have an adverse effect on Tesla’s brand of vegan leather.

 

“The root cause is related to the vegan polyurethane resin being susceptible to swell under the action of certain chemicals, some of which are found in cosmetics and head oil within a certain pH spectrum,” the owner said he was told. “When there is extended contact with the chemical at high temperature (a hot car), the chemical diffuses into the coating, it swells, overwhelms the adhesive holding the coating to the textile, and the coating delaminates. A bubble is formed.”

 

We reached out to Tesla to clarify the issue, but have not heard back.

 

Regardless, it’s an interesting development, especially with how popular Tesla’s vegan leather has become.

 

But as one member of the Tesla Motors Club forum pointed out: “If a product which you sit on can’t cope with the oil from people’s skin [or ordinary beauty products], then it’s surely not fit for purpose!”

 

Draw your own conclusions and maybe you should choose an auto manufacturer that does not impose vegan or synthetic materials and interiors on you and gives you the choice to have a real, durable leather interior.

關於亞太區皮革展 ​

我們為皮革、物料及時裝業界創造面對面洽談的機會,爲客戶締造實質商機。我們雲集世界各地的商家,讓他們尋找新的合作伙伴,發掘潛在客戶或供應商,並掌握業界最新發展。   我們主辦多個專注時尚及生活潮流的商貿展覽會, 為這不斷變化的行業,提供最全面的買家及參展商服務,方便他們了解急速轉變的行業環境,並預測來季趨勢。

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