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2021 Model 3 Performance quality review

I have owned my model 3 performance since June 2021 and I've done 20,000km in it. I thought after almost a year and a half of owning it I'd post about how it's fairing. From a driving and running concern I can't fault the car. From a build point of view its probably the worst car I've ever owned comparing against, Toyota, Lexus, BMW and Mercedes. Out of all those brands I never had a build quality problem. So far with my Tesla after only 20,000km I've got cracking in my timber trim on the front dash, creeking drivers seat, the vegan leather steering wheel at the 3 o'clock and 9 o'clock positions is stretched and when the cabin is warm is bubbling up, the carbon attachment to the boot is starting to come away on one side and the car seems to be developing a creeking/rattle behind the rear seats. It happens when the road is dead flat and being so quiet in the cabin any rattles or noise are extremely frustrating. I've tried to locate the sound it almost sounds like it's coming from part of the rear frame. Also, whenever driving in rainy weather the air-conditioning stinks for the first minute or so after starting the car. Obviously all these items will need to be attended to by the service department, but it's extremely disappointing compared to all the other cars I've owned. I have to ask if there's this much wrong after 20,000km how much more will there be after another 20,000km. Don't get me wrong I love the car, but for a $100k spend, I expect it to be holding up better than it does.
 
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Dat Too,
I was hoping for a I got all this fixed for $1k. All of this stuff is
somewhat covered in the forum, from stinky air conn to seat noise.
Tesla should be able to fix all this. There is no need to bring up
other car makes, we have all had good and bad cars over the years.
It is a fun and very fast car, You can search here to get ideas of issues
or take it to Tesla. I hope you come back in 20k after all is fixed with
more better stuff. Any problem you can fix with money is a good one.
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Moderator
Nov 28, 2018
17,512
23,483
Riverside Co. CA
I have had my own Model 3 Performance since December of 2018. It has 38k miles on it (so 61k km) and has none of those issues described by the OP. Its a bit noiser than other cars I have owned (and noisier than my wifes 2022 Model Y) but it has been a great car for me.

I only say this because, most of the time, people join websites like this to either get info or "air grievances", while people who dont have these issues dont typically post "My review after 61k km... everything is fine, yep".
 
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Reactions: Lindenwood
Outside of the initial quality problems my M3P has been pretty solid. My only gripes are the rattles in the interior are bad for a vehicle this new, the paint is very delicate, sometimes the front suspension can be a little noisy, and the auto wipers function is broken and useless in anything other than clear summer weather.
 

Vines

Active Member
Jul 20, 2018
3,075
3,958
Silicon Valley, CA
I have owned my model 3 performance since June 2021 and I've done 20,000km in it. I thought after almost a year and a half of owning it I'd post about how it's fairing. From a driving and running concern I can't fault the car. From a build point of view its probably the worst car I've ever owned comparing against, Toyota, Lexus, BMW and Mercedes. Out of all those brands I never had a build quality problem. So far with my Tesla after only 20,000km I've got cracking in my timber trim on the front dash, creeking drivers seat, the vegan leather steering wheel at the 3 o'clock and 9 o'clock positions is stretched and when the cabin is warm is bubbling up, the carbon attachment to the boot is starting to come away on one side and the car seems to be developing a creeking/rattle behind the rear seats. It happens when the road is dead flat and being so quiet in the cabin any rattles or noise are extremely frustrating. I've tried to locate the sound it almost sounds like it's coming from part of the rear frame. Also, whenever driving in rainy weather the air-conditioning stinks for the first minute or so after starting the car. Obviously all these items will need to be attended to by the service department, but it's extremely disappointing compared to all the other cars I've owned. I have to ask if there's this much wrong after 20,000km how much more will there be after another 20,000km. Don't get me wrong I love the car, but for a $100k spend, I expect it to be holding up better than it does.

My M3P has after 117k miles none of the issues you mentioned except the noisy cabin. I listen to the music loud so it's not such a big deal most times. I also do a lot of my own work, so I know how to deal with the stinky AC, and the door check straps that need replacement every 60k or so. I am super glad I have the older leather steering wheel honestly.

The worst of my issues was after a rat chewed some wires in my main harness, I replaced that through Tesla. However, they never could get the USB to work reliably; it had been an ongoing problem since before the wiring issue. They ended up replacing the computer at their expense even though it was just out of warranty since the problem started under warranty.

Total things that actually broke or wore out so far:
Both front door check straps
Front Aeroshield, Replaced with MPP skid plate
6 Air Filters
1 Set of Wipers
1 Set of Factory Brake Pads
1 Set of UP Street/track pads
MPP rotors replaced stock ones all around at about 100k
MCU - Warranty
Cabin Microphone assembly
Front Upper control arm bushings both started creaking badly at about 20k - Warranty
Front wheel bearing started clicking badly when I had an off-track excursion - Warranty
Springs and Dampers replaced with MPP Sport Adjustable coilovers at 60k
I have had 4 rock chips in the windshield filled so far, but the overall surface is a bit pitted.

The trunk lid had some holes in the body sealing from the factory was the only real major quality issue, that was also fixed under warranty and they replaced the trunk carpet where it was moldy. I knew the paint was thin so I run pretty large mudflaps now after some paint damage at the rear wheel area.

I suspect I need to go through all the suspension bushings at this point the next time something needs servicing with the suspension.
 
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Reactions: DocHolliday
I've had my 2022 black M3P and I'm pretty happy with it. Drives great. Wish the suspension was a touch lower and stiffer. But I can fix that.

Really only two gripes: 1) everyone and their grandma drives a 3/Y in the Bay Area. 2) not fond of Elon.

Such is life.
I installed H&R springs and the height is perfect, just a touch firmer than stock.
1. They are the best electric cars you can drive (charging network, development).
2. Ever read Ayn Rand? lol. You can learn a lot about Elon in her books.

C'est la vie
 

KenC

Active Member
Sep 4, 2018
4,864
4,637
Maine
I have owned my model 3 performance since June 2021 and I've done 20,000km in it. I thought after almost a year and a half of owning it I'd post about how it's fairing. From a driving and running concern I can't fault the car. From a build point of view its probably the worst car I've ever owned comparing against, Toyota, Lexus, BMW and Mercedes. Out of all those brands I never had a build quality problem. So far with my Tesla after only 20,000km I've got cracking in my timber trim on the front dash, creeking drivers seat, the vegan leather steering wheel at the 3 o'clock and 9 o'clock positions is stretched and when the cabin is warm is bubbling up, the carbon attachment to the boot is starting to come away on one side and the car seems to be developing a creeking/rattle behind the rear seats. It happens when the road is dead flat and being so quiet in the cabin any rattles or noise are extremely frustrating. I've tried to locate the sound it almost sounds like it's coming from part of the rear frame. Also, whenever driving in rainy weather the air-conditioning stinks for the first minute or so after starting the car. Obviously all these items will need to be attended to by the service department, but it's extremely disappointing compared to all the other cars I've owned. I have to ask if there's this much wrong after 20,000km how much more will there be after another 20,000km. Don't get me wrong I love the car, but for a $100k spend, I expect it to be holding up better than it does.
The rattle might be the rear seatback latch. Put the seatbacks down to see if the rattle goes away.
 
My M3P has after 117k miles none of the issues you mentioned except the noisy cabin. I listen to the music loud so it's not such a big deal most times. I also do a lot of my own work, so I know how to deal with the stinky AC, and the door check straps that need replacement every 60k or so. I am super glad I have the older leather steering wheel honestly.

The worst of my issues was after a rat chewed some wires in my main harness, I replaced that through Tesla. However, they never could get the USB to work reliably; it had been an ongoing problem since before the wiring issue. They ended up replacing the computer at their expense even though it was just out of warranty since the problem started under warranty.

Total things that actually broke or wore out so far:
Both front door check straps
Front Aeroshield, Replaced with MPP skid plate
6 Air Filters
1 Set of Wipers
1 Set of Factory Brake Pads
1 Set of UP Street/track pads
MPP rotors replaced stock ones all around at about 100k
MCU - Warranty
Cabin Microphone assembly
Front Upper control arm bushings both started creaking badly at about 20k - Warranty
Front wheel bearing started clicking badly when I had an off-track excursion - Warranty
Springs and Dampers replaced with MPP Sport Adjustable coilovers at 60k
I have had 4 rock chips in the windshield filled so far, but the overall surface is a bit pitted.

The trunk lid had some holes in the body sealing from the factory was the only real major quality issue, that was also fixed under warranty and they replaced the trunk carpet where it was moldy. I knew the paint was thin so I run pretty large mudflaps now after some paint damage at the rear wheel area.

I suspect I need to go through all the suspension bushings at this point the next time something needs servicing with the suspension.
What usb could they not fix? I just took delivery of my car and after a month tesla has not been able to fix my usb port that holds the dash cam and sentry camera
 
What usb could they not fix? I just took delivery of my car and after a month tesla has not been able to fix my usb port that holds the dash cam and sentry camera
The same one which holds the dashcam, music files, sentry mode and my PS4 controller. Replaced all the wires and the USB controller box to no avail. Replacing the computer fixed the issue.

The issue presented itself as a USB that sometimes worked then would randomly drop and a 2 button reset would fix it usually. This got worse and worse and then the 2 button reset did nothing. I waited for a few firmware updates but nothing worked.

New MCU worked though.
 
The same one which holds the dashcam, music files, sentry mode and my PS4 controller. Replaced all the wires and the USB controller box to no avail. Replacing the computer fixed the issue.
The issue presented itself as a USB that sometimes worked then would randomly drop and a 2 button reset would fix it usually. This got worse and worse and then the 2 button reset did nothing. I waited for a few firmware updates but nothing worked.
New MCU worked though.
Mine works but I have a error message that says the usb is slow. My car has less than 500 miles. Did replacing the cpu take a long time or is it a one day job?
 
Mine works but I have a error message that says the usb is slow. My car has less than 500 miles. Did replacing the cpu take a long time or is it a one day job?
It is a few hour job in my 2018, not sure about yours.

You have tried to replace yours with the Tesla factory USB? What about another known good USB which works in another Tesla?
 
It is a few hour job in my 2018, not sure about yours.

You have tried to replace yours with the Tesla factory USB? What about another known good USB which works in another Tesla?
Yes I had tesla try multiple usb sticks and also got the glove box swapped out. I also tried the Samsung ssd… interesting enough the error message went away today for the first time since owning the car.. is it possible tesla did a ota update to resolve?
 

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