Tesla under fire over “vegan leather” quality

United Kingdom
Published:  23 December, 2021
Credit: Tesla

Tesla owners in the UK are complaining after synthetic seats have begun to “bubble” in reaction to lotions, hair sprays, hand sanitisers and other products used on the hair and skin.

The Times reports that many Teslas imported into the UK are now being retrofitted with genuine leather following the complaints from customers. The company announced in 2019 that it was replacing leather across its range with synthetic alternatives derived from plastics.

Drivers also complained that the company is not addressing these issues, which reports suggest most often happen on the headrest, which costs hundreds of pounds to replace.

One member of the online forum Tesla Motors Club, under the username Gidster99, said that she was quoted more than £1,400 (US$1,878) to fix bubbling on her seat, according to The Times.

Meanwhile, Tesla is said to have advised drivers to wipe clean seats and headrests after every journey and claims that it is not liable as the issue is not a manufacturing defect. Images of the surface bubbling away from the main substrate on Tesla seats and headrests have been shared widely on social media.

Base prices of a Tesla, depending on the model, are between $58,000-$94,000 new to buy in North America + optional extras. Leather, which is famed for its longevity in use and wearability, is still regarded by most premium vehicle makers as a mainstream material option.

Source: The Times