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2021 Model 3 Problems

travesty

Member
Dec 9, 2020
31
23
VA
First off, I want to love my M3P.

This is my first Tesla, and I took delivery of it on 23 Dec. Upon delivery, there were a couple issues. Minor scratch/gouge on front bumper, spoiler wasn't stuck on well, and after getting home, realized there was some type of overspray on all of the glass surfaces. Additionally, there was a software update that downloaded but failed to install twice. After this, the option to update the software went away.

Scheduled service appointment, and they took care of all of it. Front bumper replaced, cleaned windshield, and rear spoiler was replaced or re-adhered to the trunk lid. Computer needed to be replaced, but they had to order the parts so had to schedule another appointment. Also received my homelink kit, so mobile service was available for both.

Mobile service arrived, but realized they had a 2020 M3 computer vs the 2021. Installed homelink but advised I'd have to bring it in for service to have the computer replaced.

The first warmer day, I washed the car for the first time. I also razor bladed the top glass surfaces because they did not do a good job removing the overspray from them. After drying the car, I realized the overspray was not only on the glass, but covering the entire car (including side glass). Included this in the next service request.

Next service visit, computer was successfully replaced and software updated as it should. Got another software update shortly after and everything installed/worked fine. They said the resolution for the paint was to have a full detail at a tesla approved detailing shop, which I had to schedule separately.

Detailing shop had to clay bar the car, which did extensive damage to the paint, requiring more paint work than originally thought. In the end, they got the paint as good as they could, but there was etching in the clearcoat that could not be repaired, leaving dull dots all over the car where the overspray previously was.

In addition, I've had numerous random reboots of the touchscreen while driving or just after getting in the car. I also had one instance where the passenger side camera was not recognized, which disabled autosteer for a while. The camera was not blocked, there was just a spinning circle on the camera display for a couple drives. Later that day, it started working again. Also, the tesla arcade games said waiting for update and would not update after connecting to wifi, thumbwheel reboot, etc. Another service appointment...

Discussed the paint and other problems. They pushed new firmware to clear up the arcade problems, and could not reproduce the other problems. Tech is escalating the paint problems and "once he comes to a resolution with my internal body repair on what the next steps would be if there is any, he will let me know."

I picked up the car on Tuesday 9 Feb. That afternoon, had another screen reboot. Today, the car was in the garage charging, and I opened the door. Screen would not come on and the heat was running. Haven't drove the car since Tuesday. I hit the brake and tried a scroll wheel reboot (nothing happened). Putting the car in gear worked, but the screen did not come on or respond in any way.

Sorry for the long post, but wanted to put everything out there before asking if this is "normal". Most everyone I've talked to has had zero problems with their model 3. I have every option on this car minus red paint and white interior, and feel that these problems are not normal.

Has anyone else had anything like this happen to them?
 

GreenHokie

Member
Sep 26, 2019
279
337
central Virginia
Man, sorry to hear about all the problems. They certainly greatly diminish the experience/excitement of owning what is normally an awesome EV. Sadly, the problems you’ve listed are not uncommon. However, it is not normal that someone would have/experience all these problems together. Honestly, if it were me (and assuming it’s still an option), I would reject/return that vehicle and order another new/different one.

Good luck and keep us posted!
 
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travesty

Member
Dec 9, 2020
31
23
VA
Thanks for the confirmation. All said, I understand that things happen, and I want to be understanding, but I’ve got 1,700 miles on the car and I’ve been through all this. I’d say almost 500 of my miles are to or from Tesla for service.

don’t know if that’s an option, or how I’d go about requesting that, but seems like that may be the only way I get this fixed.
 

GreenHokie

Member
Sep 26, 2019
279
337
central Virginia
Thanks for the confirmation. All said, I understand that things happen, and I want to be understanding, but I’ve got 1,700 miles on the car and I’ve been through all this. I’d say almost 500 of my miles are to or from Tesla for service.

don’t know if that’s an option, or how I’d go about requesting that, but seems like that may be the only way I get this fixed.

I would suggest having an in-person conversation with the sales manager. You may technically be just outside the normal window for returns. However, discuss your concerns with the manager. There is always some flexibility with return windows, if that is the route you truly want to pursue. Absolutely worth discussing/asking. The worst thing that can happen is Tesla says NO... in which case you could try to push for an extended warranty on your existing vehicle at no additional cost to you.
 

GreenHokie

Member
Sep 26, 2019
279
337
central Virginia
Firstly, sooo glad I got a late 2020 instead of an early 2021.
Secondly, that’s all.

Well, as a whole, the 2021’s are better than your 2020... just like your 2020 is better than my 2019.

I don’t like taking jabs at someone’s buying choice, especially when they don’t have much say on timing and the model year.
However, I would not trade my existing 2019 for any 2020 or 2021 model. No way, no how...
 
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travesty

Member
Dec 9, 2020
31
23
VA
@GreenHokie Understand your point, but I took no offense. I was really happy about the 2021 because of the heat pump, and the black trim was a plus. If I had the choice to buy a pre or post refresh 2020/2021, I would have chosen the post-refresh every time.
 

Needsdecaf

Active Member
Dec 16, 2018
1,266
1,787
The Woodlands, TX
Firstly, sooo glad I got a late 2020 instead of an early 2021.
Secondly, that’s all.

@UncertainTimes About now, the heat pump, black trim and new console don't seem like that great of upgrades given they come with all these troubles.

Honestly it's more luck of the draw than anything. Changing to the heat pump and some interior trim bits aren't going to cause paint issues, camera issues, MCU issues, etc.

@GreenHokie Understand your point, but I took no offense. I was really happy about the 2021 because of the heat pump, and the black trim was a plus. If I had the choice to buy a pre or post refresh 2020/2021, I would have chosen the post-refresh every time.

Yeah. I think sometimes you just get a bad one.

Which is totally unacceptable, just not related to any model refresh.
 
Sep 23, 2020
480
415
Sacramento CA
Total empathy from this end too -- am sorry your car is the poster child for what ails Tesla these days.

Tesla should take back their lemon, though I know it is so much easier said than done.

As others have suggested - I would start with a little heart-to-heart with the SC General Manager. Then start marching up the ladder, though that can be difficult with Tesla's secretive and non-communicative culture.

If you need someone to help with particularly nasty correspondence, I would be happy to help. I've had too much experience myself with my Model S maladies.
 

medphys3

Member
Feb 10, 2020
74
43
Northwest Ohio
That's interesting on the paint "dull dots." My car had a similar overspray issue and I clay-bar'd it myself and also have those dots now. However, in my case, they are removable. It takes A LOT of elbow grease though. Have you personally tried to buff them yourself? Just curious.
 

jeremymc7

Active Member
Feb 3, 2013
1,333
601
U.S.
Sorry to hear about all the headache, especially with a P version.

Makes me less envious of the 2021 changes coming out literally a month after I took my 2020. I love Tesla's constant changes instead of with a new model year. But it would be NICE if you new they were coming 2-6 in advance so there was less buyer remorse. Things like removing auto dimming for a few months only to add it back, or putting out a 2020 with a revised (MY) console again for a beat only to have it replaced with all the 2021 changes.

Anyway...

I AM glad to hear that Tesla is working to get all this fixed and in a pretty reasonably timely basis. I would let them work though the issues with you and in the end you'll have a better car than someone with one straight off the assembly line. The paint however is the deal breaker here. It sounds like they need to repaint the whole car. If so I have concerns they will do it, or that it will come out right. In that case I personally would push for them to take it back noted all the issues JUST SO FAR.

Best of luck. Try and not stress. I know I would, but it doesn't help.

Let us know how it goes. Really interested to hear the play by play on this one.

But as mentioned before it seems you are getting ABOVE AVERAGE post sales support here. Go with it as long as you can. You should be happy in the end.
 

travesty

Member
Dec 9, 2020
31
23
VA
That's interesting on the paint "dull dots." My car had a similar overspray issue and I clay-bar'd it myself and also have those dots now. However, in my case, they are removable. It takes A LOT of elbow grease though. Have you personally tried to buff them yourself? Just curious.
I have not, but as I understand, if you compound/buff enough you could potentially get rid of them. The problem is that in the process of getting rid of the pitting, you could potentially go through the clear coat - especially with how thin Tesla paint is know to be.

I’d be worried to do it myself, cause damage, then the issues not be taken care of by Tesla.
 
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Needsdecaf

Active Member
Dec 16, 2018
1,266
1,787
The Woodlands, TX
I have not, but as I understand, if you compound/buff enough you could potentially get rid of them. The problem is that in the process of getting rid of the pitting, you could potentially go through the clear coat - especially with how thin Tesla paint is know to be.

I’d be worried to do it myself, cause damage, then the issues not be taken care of by Tesla.

I'd take the car to any very well known and respected detailer in your area. You ought to be able to find one. Not a fly by night guy. Look for one that does high end cars. Ask around to the local Porsche, Ferrari, Lambo owners.

Take it to them. Have them assess and get you a quote. Tesla isn't going to use that guy, they're going to use the hack with a polisher. If the pro says it can be fixed (and this would involve paint depth readings and probably a test spot done in an inconspicuous location) then I'd wait until Tesla says we're ready to use our "detailer" and ask how much they are paying. Tell them you want to use your guy and get a credit against what he is charging. Even if you're not whole, I can guarantee you you'll be much happier with the results.
 

RedWhite19

Member
Aug 17, 2020
517
309
Los Angeles
Well, as a whole, the 2021’s are better than your 2020... just like your 2020 is better than my 2019.

I don’t like taking jabs at someone’s buying choice, especially when they don’t have much say on timing and the model year.
However, I would not trade my existing 2019 for any 2020 or 2021 model. No way, no how...
It would be nice if Tesla released bits of information like a refresh months or a year prior. I know they do this a major refresh but little ones here and there would be nice. It just shows up on their website out of the blue.

Personally, I’m glad I got a late 2020 as well. I’m not a fan of the wheels on the 2021s. And I’m debating about the chrome delete.

But one that really annoyed me was them releasing a Model Y Sr+ with premium audio. I would’ve waited a few months if I knew they were going to do this. But Tesla works in darkness and needs to fatten its pockets.
 
Aug 7, 2020
622
1,302
USA
Sorry forgot to use the sarcastic type font.
OP you’re probably a victim of what was laid out in this article
Don’t buy Teslas during a production ramp, Elon Musk says
“Musk also said that Tesla was making cars so fast near the end of 2020 that it was messing up the paint jobs.”

I’ve got numerous paint defects from the factory but I've given up on achieving paint perfection on my daily driver. These cosmetic issue seem to be more or less “within spec”. The electrical problems seem pretty egregious though. Hopefully your service center continues to work with you. I can’t imagine the nightmare it’d be to take it up the chain at Tesla.
 
Sep 23, 2020
480
415
Sacramento CA
Sorry forgot to use the sarcastic type font.
OP you’re probably a victim of what was laid out in this article
Don’t buy Teslas during a production ramp, Elon Musk says
“Musk also said that Tesla was making cars so fast near the end of 2020 that it was messing up the paint jobs.”

I’ve got numerous paint defects from the factory but I've given up on achieving paint perfection on my daily driver. These cosmetic issue seem to be more or less “within spec”. The electrical problems seem pretty egregious though. Hopefully your service center continues to work with you. I can’t imagine the nightmare it’d be to take it up the chain at Tesla.

If anyone has had actual success taking it up the chain at Tesla - I'd love to hear about it.

I've gotten used to taking it up the you-know-where with these guys.

If Fremont corporate wasn't sealed off because of Covid - I would have driven there more than once at this point to cause a stir.
 

Irata

Member
Oct 16, 2020
400
234
UK
The fender camera issue may return. This is a common fault on 2021 models. I had both sides fail, so had both fender cameras replaced. Mine started at one that was intermittent, like you experienced, but it got worse. The other side just suddenly stopped working. Always a spinning icon during the fault. When you see it spinning on the display and the fault is intermittent, take a photo as proof.

I haven't had any resets or reboot issues.

Interesting to hear the computer part has changed. I wonder why.
 
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travesty

Member
Dec 9, 2020
31
23
VA
On the detail work, the shop Tesla sent me to is a high end detailer, and does a lot of supercars, so I trust their opinion. Their recommendation was to have Tesla paint the car or buy it back based on the condition. If it wasn’t for all these other issues, I would almost overlook it since it is my daily driver and it’s going to get a chip or scratch. This on top of the other issues makes it something I’m not willing to live with.

only other option for the paint is a wrap, which I’ve considered, but some paint correction would have to be done prior due to all the chips in the rocker panels or it would look like crap.
 
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