Pinch Me
(Click to enlarge)
Rear Harness Recall
for our Model 3

Mark D Larsen

October 26, 2022

Several months ago, Tesla announced a “proactive recall” on early Model 3 vehicles to inspect and repair the rear wiring harness in the trunk lid. Apparently opening and shutting the lid over time could eventually pinch and damage that cable, which would disable the rear camera. Moreover, if the camera were disabled, Traffic-Aware Cruise Control and Autopilot would no longer function.

I had noticed in my Tesla app that this recall automatically appeared as a service item. When Mobile Service came to initialize some new key cards for us, the technician also tried to prevent the harness failure by installing a “sleeve” around the cable to keep it from getting pinched. Unfortunately, that didn’t work, as a couple of weeks later Correcaminos’ rear camera stopped working. I therefore scheduled another Mobile Service visit to fix the problem once and for all.

NOTE: You can click on any of the following photos to enlarge them.

Here is the “sleeve” that the technician had wrapped around the cable in a first attempt to address the recall on the previous visit. Lamentably, it proved insufficient, and the entire cable needed to be replaced with a newer, more robust version.

To replace the cable, the technician first had to remove the inside panel of the trunk lid, and you can see the wiring attached with clips.

This is the insulated backside of the panel that he removed.

He then unclipped the wiring from the lid and pulled out the cable.

Here is the cable and its disconnected wiring hanging out of the car.

And here is the entire harness removed.

Now came the tricky part. He had to also feed a new harness through the hole to the inside of the car. To do so, he had to remove several panels along the trunk and ceiling pillar, exposing the side airbag in the rear

These are some of the panels he had to remove

To effectively reach underneath and attach the new harness, he had to use inflatable “bladders” to hold up the trunk’s cover.

Here is the new harness fed through the hold, ready to mount its wiring to the trunk lid.

The new wiring was much easier to attach, because the harness came with improved clips. The inside panel was replaced and… voilà! The recall was completed.

Because the original harness had been disconnected, I had to recalibrate the car's cameras by driving it a few miles.

Yay! The rear camera is working again, and hopefully the problem is solved. You can see the new harness in the photo at the top of the page and might notice that it has an inner sleeve that twists slightly to prevent any more pinching. The technician did a great job replacing the faulty harness, and in record time. He well deserved the five-star rating I gave him. Cost for the repair? $0.00 —as it was a proactive recall. Very glad to see Tesla recognize that they had installed faulty equipment, and seek to fix the problem at no cost to the owner. I only wish they’d do the same with my PCS dispute currently in arbitration.