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2021 M3 LR Rocker Panel Paint Peeling

cmmd11483

Member
Jan 18, 2021
22
13
UK
I took delivery of a pearl white 2021 Long Range Model 3 on 16th December 2020 and it's not even done 600 miles since.

Washing it today, to my dismay, the paint has started to peel/flake on the rocker panels on both sides. It is worse on the passenger side and looks to me like it is separating from the primer. The paint seems very thin and soft to me, I am really disappointed . I am really careful washing my cars and this isn't what I would expect from a £47k car.

I am going to get in contact with support tomorrow to start a warranty claim. I am based in Scotland so it will be Newbridge in Edinburgh that is my nearest service center.

Reading online December deliveries have been having paint issues so I am hoping that they don't try to deny liability.

Has anyone got any experience of this issue? I'd really appreciate some guidance.

Thanks

Craig

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contourrob

Member
Dec 5, 2020
54
39
Lexington, SC
Did you have any paint flake off above the rock guard cut line? I’ve also had paint issues on the rockers (see pics), but nothing above that line where the paint changes texture.
 

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cmmd11483

Member
Jan 18, 2021
22
13
UK
No nothing above the line either. Yours looks very similar albeit a different primer colour. How are you getting on with getting it repaired?
 

elptxjc

Member
Dec 15, 2019
752
142
El Paso, TX
The paint is absolute crap on this car. I removed the 'DUAL MOTOR' letters, and one of them barely touched the paint when my fingernail slipped from the other side. The freaking paint peeled off all the way to the bare metal. I was going to say it's paper thin, but I wish it was paper thin. And it's also soft as butter. I'm highly disappointed at the paint on this car. And mine is white too, and 2021. Wonder if the other colors are the same. And/or other years.
 

stopcrazypp

Well-Known Member
Dec 8, 2007
10,025
4,954
This is what I worry about buying base paint (I got MSM instead), but seeing that red example (which is most expensive) have similar issues is a bit worrying. I'm going to install PPF soon myself (I should note the rocker panels get the most crud on it in driving so would be the worst affected most likely in daily driving).

From the PPF threads, the clear coat needs a couple weeks to cure/harden (30 days if it's a fresh repaint) and it's best not to do anything to it while in that period (although I guess when you install PPF it's protecting it also even if it hasn't been cured). Properly baked this shouldn't be the case, but in the year end rush, Tesla may not give it enough time, and that would lead to soft paint until it cures properly. However, it's been well over a month already, so the paint should have cured a long while ago.

This also doesn't look like the typical road salt corrosion that sometimes causes this, especially given the short time.
 
Last edited:

KenC

Active Member
Sep 4, 2018
3,495
3,178
Maine
I took delivery of a pearl white 2021 Long Range Model 3 on 16th December 2020 and it's not even done 600 miles since.

Washing it today, to my dismay, the paint has started to peel/flake on the rocker panels on both sides. It is worse on the passenger side and looks to me like it is separating from the primer. The paint seems very thin and soft to me, I am really disappointed . I am really careful washing my cars and this isn't what I would expect from a £47k car.

I am going to get in contact with support tomorrow to start a warranty claim. I am based in Scotland so it will be Newbridge in Edinburgh that is my nearest service center.

Reading online December deliveries have been having paint issues so I am hoping that they don't try to deny liability.

Has anyone got any experience of this issue? I'd really appreciate some guidance.

Thanks

Craig

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Yeah, not good. For whatever reason, there's been some issues lately with paint adhering to the softer primer they use on the rockers below the line.
 

contourrob

Member
Dec 5, 2020
54
39
Lexington, SC
No nothing above the line either. Yours looks very similar albeit a different primer colour. How are you getting on with getting it repaired?

I reported the issue to Tesla via the app, however the appointment to inspect was going to take a few weeks (which would have only been a diagnostic visit), and the service center is a 2-hour drive for me. So i decided to have the paint repaired locally at my expense. I didn’t have the patience to wait weeks, perhaps months, and fight the battle to try to get it repaired. The local paint repair job is perfect and I can’t tell it was ever repainted.

i put carbon fiber mud flaps to help reduce the probability of paint chips from rocks and waited 30 days for the paint to cure prior to putting PPF on top of the rockers.

Unfortunate that this happened in the first place. There is a clear issue with the paint adherence below that rocker chip line.
 
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Reactions: KenC

cmmd11483

Member
Jan 18, 2021
22
13
UK
I have an appointment booked for the 25th of February. I am going to continue to wash the car at the weekend as normal and keep an eye on it for further peeling.

Thank you for your replies. Contourrob, I am glad your car is sorted now.
 
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XLR82XS

D M C
Jul 26, 2019
3,110
1,737
SWFL | Vegas
Another example of terrible Tesla paint. Once it is sorted I suggest PPF immediately. I dropped my Teslas at my installer the day I purchased my cars for full PPF install. Utilized the BTP method before I drove out of the delivery center.
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cmmd11483

Member
Jan 18, 2021
22
13
UK
The car has been with Tesla for a week now and has just returned from their bodyshop back to the service centre. No arguments and was given a model s 90d for the week as a loaner.

I'll post what they did and how the job turned out once I collect the car.
 

chrisf60526

Member
Dec 9, 2019
91
88
Chicago, IL
See my thread below. My M3 is garage kept and not run through brush car washes. I have paint peeling on the bottom passenger door. Not thrilled but I made a service appt that is about 10 days out to see what they say.

I was worried about the fit and finish on these cars and now I see it.
 

jriv

Member
Mar 17, 2019
40
13
Puerto Rico
I reported the issue to Tesla via the app, however the appointment to inspect was going to take a few weeks (which would have only been a diagnostic visit), and the service center is a 2-hour drive for me. So i decided to have the paint repaired locally at my expense. I didn’t have the patience to wait weeks, perhaps months, and fight the battle to try to get it repaired. The local paint repair job is perfect and I can’t tell it was ever repainted.

i put carbon fiber mud flaps to help reduce the probability of paint chips from rocks and waited 30 days for the paint to cure prior to putting PPF on top of the rockers.

Unfortunate that this happened in the first place. There is a clear issue with the paint adherence below that rocker chip line.
How much was it to have the rockers repainted?
 

nobznss

Member
Sep 10, 2017
193
138
Utah
Because of threads like this I actually wrapped mine in PPF right after delivery. Worst case, it's not needed, best case it's protected.
 

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