Some New Tesla Cars Are Reportedly Showing Up Without USB Ports, Only Holes

Some New Tesla Cars Are Reportedly Showing Up Without USB Ports, Only Holes
Photo: David Gannon / AFP, Getty Images

Imagine you spent more than $59,000 for a new car — and in some cases more than $147,900 — only for it to arrive at your home without all its USB ports. In some cases, there are only holes where the USB ports are supposed to be. That’s purportedly what’s been happening to some Tesla owners who got their cars delivered in November, and it is probably not pleasant.

A new Electrek report breaks down the case of the missing USB-C ports in new Tesla Model 3s and Model Ys, which the company is supposedly attributing to the global chip shortage. In recent days, the outlet came across a number of complaints from new Tesla owners on social media who had received deliveries beginning Nov. 11. However, it’s not clear how widespread the problem is.

It appears that the cars are missing the USB ports on the back wall of the centre console, though there are some reports of the rear seat USB port being MIA, too. As if that weren’t enough, the outlet notes that owners without centre console USB ports also can’t get wireless charging to work. Nonetheless, Electrek reports that it appears the cars are not completely without USB ports, they just don’t have all of them.

Some of the affected owners were given a heads up about the missing USB ports, while others discovered them for themselves once they had their new car.

“Just got a call from Tesla about my Model Y LR. I am set to take delivery tomorrow, and apparently there are no USB ports installed in the car due to shortage,” a Tesla Model Y owner wrote on Reddit. They added: “I guess I’m looking for reassurance that the car is actually ready to go and wondering if anyone else has taken delivery on an ‘incomplete’ car like this.”

In a later update, the Model Y owner said their car was missing the USB-C port in the front and centre console, but that it had its respective ports in the back seat and a USB-A in the glove box. Nonetheless, their wireless charging pad didn’t work. The owner said they were told they could schedule a service appointment to have the ports installed “hopefully sometime in next few weeks.”

According to Electrek, Tesla’s service has told some affected customers that they can schedule an appointment when the parts are available, which should be sometime next month. A different Model Y owner got in touch with Tesla support and was told the retrofit and installation of the USB ports would be free. I mean, good, but it’s a shame that needed to be asked.

If you look at the bigger picture, it’s not the end of the world. In most cases, if you can’t charge your phone in the centre console or via wireless charging, there are other ports in the car you can use (you might need a very long charging cable, though). Yet, you’ve paid a ton of money for a new car, it’s not finished when it gets to you, and you don’t even know whether you’ll have to pay to get the ports and wireless charging you were promised.

That’s freaking annoying. Like Elmo burning in hell meme level annoying.

Gizmodo reached out to Tesla for comment on Saturday. It’s unlikely we’ll get a response since the company disbanded its PR department last year, but we still tried. We’ll update this blog in the rare case that we hear back.