A tech YouTuber Taras Maksimuk has performed a very interesting experiment on a Tesla Model 3, the center touchscreen display was smashed to pieces during the drive (video and replacement cost below).
This test gave us a couple of new findings about the durability of the screen and what happens when a Tesla car’s center infotainment screen malfunctions or breaks while driving.
The outcomes of this experiment should also be considered valid for the other Tesla vehicles in the line, the Model Y, Model S, and Model X as well. Tesla Model Y actually has the same screen as the Model 3 because of platform sharing between the two Teslas.
Kudos to Taras who took the courage to destroy a beautiful thing such as the Model 3 center screen with a hammer.
The center touchscreen in the Model 3 and Model Y is the only display for both the instrument cluster (speed, Autopilot, light indications, etc.) and the Tesla UI for functions such as HVAC, in-car entertainment, maps, etc. The higher-end Model S/X have separate screens for the instrument cluster and the UI elements, in fact, the new 2021 Model S and Model X vehicles have 3 screens.
The center screen of the Tesla sustained the light to medium hits very well, just a few signs of the bruises on the area where the hammer was continually hit (see pic above).
After receiving multiple medium hits, the screen was still functioning and the user interface kept working, even the touch sensitivity was not lost. The car also kept driving without any issues or warning or a nagging sound that there is something wrong being done with the car.
It took a couple of really hard hits of the hammer to completely shut off the Tesla center screen, it peeled off the mounting panel afterward and even when the cable behind it was unplugged, the car kept driving without any problem.
It is proved that the Tesla Model 3 and Model Y center touchscreen display is quite durable even if it looks like an externally mounted iPad and the car is still drivable with the fully damaged and unplugged center screen.
More interestingly, the driver of the Model 3 was able to drive the car even after parking it for about half an hour.
Using the Tesla Mobile App, the driver was able to see vital information like speed and temperature and even change HVAC settings, play music, etc.
Cost of replacing the damaged Tesla Model 3 screen
To get the details of the cost of this damage, Taras took the Tesla Model 3 to a Tesla service center in California to find out the cost of its replacement (see table below). This cost should be considered the same or very close for the Model Y as well.