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Tesla Updates Model Y Tail Lights with Amber Turn Signal [Updated]

Screen Shot 2020 08 24 at 12 53 52 PM

Tesla looks to be continuing the evolution of its vehicle design, as its Model Y compact SUV now has some slightly modified tail lights.

Recently, users on Reddit had noticed Tesla had started shipping August 2020 Model Y deliveries with new tail lights.

We finally have a video comparison of the ‘old’ and new Model Y tail lights thanks to Reddit user Cocoa_Linguine, who took delivery of the latter with VIN 39XXX.

The user video shows the new updated Model Y tail light with a casing where the red appears to be brighter, while the turn signal now flashes in amber instead of red, as seen below:

“Took delivery of Vin 39xxx. Side note, car does include updated tail lights which are beautiful,” said the user earlier this week. In describing the new Model Y tail lights, the user says they look like they are slightly less tinted versus earlier versions. This is for a Model Y delivered in Los Angeles, California, in the USA.

Some have speculated the change might be to meet European Union standards for amber turn signals instead of red. The Model Y is expected to be produced at Giga Berlin.

You can check out the video below in 720p and see the differences yourself:

Model Y updated tail light comparison. from r/teslamotors

Tesla also recently redesigned its frunk inside the Model 3, making it slightly smaller, adding speculation a heat pump may make its way into future iterations of the electric vehicle.

Update: Here’s a new video from the same Reddit user showing the Model Y tail lights illuminated. The old version of this on the Model Y had the brake light as the inner LED bar, same as the turn signal on U.S. cars. But now, you can see the brake light is the whole outer part of the housing, looking like the letter “C”, while the LED bar inside for the turn signal is now amber. The more visible brake light will definitely make it easier for other drivers to see new Model Y builds now, to go with the amber turn signal colour.

Model Y updated taillights Part 2- Illuminated. from r/teslamotors

Here’s another video of /Cocoa_Linguine’s Model Y and the new tail lights at night:

Tesla Model Y – Exterior Lights from r/teslamotors

Some Tesla Model Y Owners Seek Fix for Random ‘Popping Sounds’

Early Tesla Model Y owners have been voicing concern about the vehicle’s build quality and more recently, some are complaining about annoying ‘popping sounds’.

“What’s causing this popping sound? It’s driving me crazy! Need help,” writes u/bizarroJames on Reddit. The sound in the video shared is a weird popping sound that is hard to exactly pinpoint.

What’s causing this popping sound? It’s driving me crazy! Need help from r/TeslaModelY

Three other Tesla Model Y owners chimed in on the Reddit thread to voice they also experienced the popping sound, which appears to coming from behind some plastic covering, near the passenger sun visor area. The popping sound is loudest on curvy two lane roads.

As for a possible fix for this popping sound in the Tesla Model Y?

“I have this exact same sound. I noticed that if I roll the passenger window down a fraction it stops, so for me it’s the window rattling at the top or in the door at the bottom. Already had my first service appointment scheduled and added this to the list. Hope it’s an easy fix,” added ‘cbdnola’.

Another user, ‘ReshKayden’ said they also had the popping issue but it was fixed by a Tesla technician, who noted, “Found the passenger side mirror assembly to be popping when driving or rough roads or flexing the body. Adjusted the mirror assembly and insulated the mounting points to correct concern.”

As for other Model Y strange sounds, other owners on the TMC Forums noted back in June of ‘crackle sounds’ at low speeds.

In this particular situation, it turns out the crackling noise was coming from aero wheel covers on the Model Y Long Range AWD Gemini wheels. Removing the wheel covers did fix the noise for most owners complaining about this scratching sound.

Are you experiencing any popping sounds or strange noises in your Model Y?

Will Tesla Model Y 19″ Gemini Wheels Fit the Performance Model?

Tesla gemini wheels

While the Model Y Performance variant features 21-inch Uberturbine wheels, some owners want to downgrade to smaller rims for a more comfortable ride or to create a ‘sleeper’ version of the car.

The Model Y Long Range AWD comes with standard 19-inch Gemini wheels and aero covers. Some Model Y owners have considered these on their Performance Model Y—but do the Gemini wheels fit?

The answer is yes, according to Nick Boards, who shared the following video detailing 19-inch Gemini wheels on his Performance Model Y. According to Nick, the “wheels do clear the [performance] brakes”. He bought the Geminis off Craigslist and slapped on some winter/all weather tires in preparation for fall and winter driving.

As for improving range with the 19-inch Gemini wheels? Nick responded to a YouTube comment to say, “Normally with the Model 3 you can go into the computer and swap the wheels manually. Not yet on the Model Y. When you contact Tesla and have them swap the 21s to the 19s within the computer/GUI it bumps your actual “Range” to the 316 miles of the LR AWD.”

“Although I put some stickier tires/all weather winterish tires on the Geminis so the range bump wasn’t as great as expected. I’ll do some testing later on to compare the 21s. They just bumped the total range for the 21s/performance from 280 miles to 291 (on website and also via update for me) and the 21s are actually pretty efficient so far (lifetime average of 265wh/mi ish on 21s). I also will do a video detailing the differences shortly,” he added.

According to Nick, when he went to buy tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) sensors for the Gemini wheels, he was told they wouldn’t work. But they do in fact work. The Model Y has Bluetooth TPMS, so you will need to buy OEM Tesla sensors.

As for ride quality and noise with the 19-inch Geminis on his Performance Model Y? Nick says noise and comfort “definitely is quieter” and not as harsh when driving over bumps on roads in general.

Tesla’s Fremont Factory Installs ‘Biggest Casting Machine Ever’ for Model Y Production

Model y rear underbody

During Tesla’s Q1 2020 earnings release, the company shared how the Model Y rear underbody was made from two pieces of metal, and would be eventual be a single piece, thanks to a new casting machine.

Compared to the Model 3 rear underbody at 70 pieces of metal, a new “giga press” used by Tesla for Model Y would increase production efficiency in a major way.

This morning, Tesla CEO Elon Musk responded to a tweet from @WholeMarsBlog, with the latter citing the company’s single piece casting machine had been installed at its Fremont factory in California.

Musk replied, “Will be amazing to see it in operation! Biggest casting machine ever made. Will make rear body in a single piece, including crash rails.”

Back in June, Automotive Engineering shared more details about Tesla’s so-called “giga press”.

Tesla will be sourcing the large machine from Italian company IDRA Group, with the EV maker being the first customer for the massive OL6100 CS casting machine.

This casting machine has an upgraded locking force to handle Tesla’s special casting, while it also measures 64 feet long (19.5m) and 17 feet tall (5.3m), weighing in at a whopping 401 tons.

“The single-piece casting has no CNC machining—it doesn’t even have datums. It took us a lot of iterations, by the way, to get there” said Musk on Third Row Tesla Podcast back in April .

Musk also previously described the huge casting machine as, “It’s the size of a small house, basically,” adding, “it has a big effect on the ease of manufacturing.”

With the “giga press” installed at Fremont, the second will be soon installed at Tesla’s Shanghai Gigafactory in China. There are only two of these giant castings made and Tesla will have two of them, with its upcoming Gigafactory in Berlin to eventually follow suit.

A giant casting machine able to make a rear body in a single piece will save labor costs and reduce footprint for Tesla’s factory. Musk previously stated the IDRA machine will decrease its body shop size by 30% and will eventually transfer to the Model 3 well.

The cons of producing a vehicle with a single piece for the rear body? If there’s a major accident, castings don’t repair well and the entire vehicle could be written off. Alas, that’s the price to pay for driving a piece of technology from the future, today.