Welcome to Tesla Motors Club
Discuss Tesla's Model S, Model 3, Model X, Model Y, Cybertruck, Roadster and More.
Register
  • Want to remove ads? Register an account and login to see fewer ads, and become a Supporting Member to remove almost all ads.
  • The final cut of TMC Podcast #27 is available now with topics time-stamped. We discussed: Consolidation in LiDAR manufacturers; Volvo EX90 shipping with LiDAR; FSD Beta Full Release in N.A.; FSD detecting autopilot cheats, Gwen Shotwell directly overseeing SpaceX Starship; and more. You can watch it now on YouTube. We should have it published to podcast networks shortly.

All anecdotes and discussion about Fit and Finish

dakh

Active Member
Supporting Member
Jun 14, 2015
1,145
2,615
Seattle, WA
Cutting close but made it to quarter end. Renton WA center is completely full of new cars, double parked, triple parked, just piles of new Testas. Mostly M3s, they had only one other blue Y on the lot. They told me all this goodness is gonna be gone by end of the month. And it's not a small lot there. Amazing, just think how much time and personnel would it take for a traditional dealership to move this much inventory in such a short period of time. I'd say at least 3x if not 5x.

Investment advice: buy high. As in, buy your tesla when the stock is high.

I guess I'll continue since it's investment related. They haven't quite figured out Model Y production in Fremont. Nothing glaring but after checking the car out closely, there are substantial things not quite aligning right. The trunk is skewed maybe 2-3mm, both back edges of the front doors kinda bow out vs. the front edges of the rear doors, same deal maybe 3mm. Found 2-3 spots that needed a whack to get plastic pieces to clip in completely. Strange design on the tow hitch cover, it takes a screwdriver and quite a bit of force to get the cover off, clearly this is not made to be a routine procedure. But at the same time it looks pretty ugly without the cover. Will have to come up with something better. None of this bothers me much, just FYI on where we are with build quality based on a sample of 1. A friend who had an early build Model 3 and is a lot more focused on his stuff being all straight and pretty, checked out my car and said it is a whole lot better than what he had to deal with.
 

Singuy

Well-Known Member
Jun 28, 2018
7,058
65,184
US
I guess I'll continue since it's investment related. They haven't quite figured out Model Y production in Fremont. Nothing glaring but after checking the car out closely, there are substantial things not quite aligning right. The trunk is skewed maybe 2-3mm, both back edges of the front doors kinda bow out vs. the front edges of the rear doors, same deal maybe 3mm. Found 2-3 spots that needed a whack to get plastic pieces to clip in completely. Strange design on the tow hitch cover, it takes a screwdriver and quite a bit of force to get the cover off, clearly this is not made to be a routine procedure. But at the same time it looks pretty ugly without the cover. Will have to come up with something better. None of this bothers me much, just FYI on where we are with build quality based on a sample of 1. A friend who had an early build Model 3 and is a lot more focused on his stuff being all straight and pretty, checked out my car and said it is a whole lot better than what he had to deal with.

Sounds about right. My 53k vin Model 3 definitely had panel alignment issues which I had them fix twice. I wouldn't expect perfection yet.
 

Mo City

Active Member
Jul 17, 2016
1,909
11,884
near Houston
I guess I'll continue since it's investment related. They haven't quite figured out Model Y production in Fremont. Nothing glaring but after checking the car out closely, there are substantial things not quite aligning right. The trunk is skewed maybe 2-3mm, both back edges of the front doors kinda bow out vs. the front edges of the rear doors, same deal maybe 3mm. Found 2-3 spots that needed a whack to get plastic pieces to clip in completely. Strange design on the tow hitch cover, it takes a screwdriver and quite a bit of force to get the cover off, clearly this is not made to be a routine procedure. But at the same time it looks pretty ugly without the cover. Will have to come up with something better. None of this bothers me much, just FYI on where we are with build quality based on a sample of 1. A friend who had an early build Model 3 and is a lot more focused on his stuff being all straight and pretty, checked out my car and said it is a whole lot better than what he had to deal with.
This makes me feel stronger in my conviction to wait until January to give my wife a Model Y.

Mods will probably moved both of our posts.
 

bkp_duke

Well-Known Member
May 15, 2016
8,197
41,672
San Diego, CA
This makes me feel stronger in my conviction to wait until January to give my wife a Model Y.

Mods will probably moved both of our posts.

All this makes me want a Made in TX Model Y.

Honestly, when has Freemont not had fit and finish issues? Made in China Model 3 doesn't have these issues (by report, I haven't seen one of course), but Freemont has been "notorious" for fit and finish problems since the beginning, with every single model. Something just isn't right there, it almost speaks of a systemic issue that someone should have found by now.
 

Mo City

Active Member
Jul 17, 2016
1,909
11,884
near Houston
All this makes me want a Made in TX Model Y.

Honestly, when has Freemont not had fit and finish issues? Made in China Model 3 doesn't have these issues (by report, I haven't seen one of course), but Freemont has been "notorious" for fit and finish problems since the beginning, with every single model. Something just isn't right there, it almost speaks of a systemic issue that someone should have found by now.
I have a feeling build quality at Giga Berlin and Tera Texas will follow Giga Shanghai and blow Fremont out of the water.

Hopefully GA5 will be the end Fremont's issues if they aren't solved sooner.
 
  • Like
Reactions: bkp_duke

jerry33

(S85-3/2/13 traded in) X LR: F2611##-3/27/20
Supporting Member
Mar 8, 2012
20,662
28,498
Texas
All this makes me want a Made in TX Model Y.

Honestly, when has Freemont not had fit and finish issues? Made in China Model 3 doesn't have these issues (by report, I haven't seen one of course), but Freemont has been "notorious" for fit and finish problems since the beginning, with every single model. Something just isn't right there, it almost speaks of a systemic issue that someone should have found by now.
Anecdotally, neither of the two Fremont made cars I've purchased have had fit and finish issues. Obviously any that have issues get a lot of press, but I wonder just how common it actually is.
 
Anecdotally, neither of the two Fremont made cars I've purchased have had fit and finish issues. Obviously any that have issues get a lot of press, but I wonder just how common it actually is.

same here. have a couple of friends that work in QA for legacy auto and they went over my Teslas with a very greedy eye and were overall surprised by the much-better-than-anecdotal fit
 

kbM3

Active Member
May 22, 2017
2,096
12,067
Orlando
same here. have a couple of friends that work in QA for legacy auto and they went over my Teslas with a very greedy eye and were overall surprised by the much-better-than-anecdotal fit

Anecdotal fit and finish problems is no surprise. Some time back the Tesla Smear Campaign started a coordinated messaging attack across comment sections and social media... Any positive news they try and derail the article’s comment sections with quality issues. Over enough time even fans start to think they are a major problem.

It’s so despicable.
There was probably some truth as several reviewers have mentioned it, but the campaigners exaggerate. I’ve read car reviews, and car magazines for many years, and had never seen comments or mention about panel gaps until Tesla.
 

Nocturnal

Well-Known Member
Supporting Member
Aug 23, 2018
8,088
51,973
Deepening Crisis!
Anecdotal fit and finish problems is no surprise. Some time back the Tesla Smear Campaign started a coordinated messaging attack across comment sections and social media... Any positive news they try and derail the article’s comment sections with quality issues. Over enough time even fans start to think they are a major problem.

It’s so despicable.
There was probably some truth as several reviewers have mentioned it, but the campaigners exaggerate. I’ve read car reviews, and car magazines for many years, and had never seen comments or mention about panel gaps until Tesla.
If I had a dollar for every "it's a fact go look on Youtube" comment I've seen, I could buy another few thousand shares.
 
J

jbcarioca

Guest
same here. have a couple of friends that work in QA for legacy auto and they went over my Teslas with a very greedy eye and were overall surprised by the much-better-than-anecdotal fit

Tesla buyers are usually nearly fanatical, even now. Thus, we are critical of every single flaw and regularly imagine those flaws to be nearly universal. When quite a few people have difficulty managing the technology-intensive user design, many view those as flaws.

I am reminded of owner pilots. Specifically those with Cessna Citations (in the 5xx, single pilot certified) who fly themselves. We all drive manufacturers crazy with every flaw. A couple decades ago I personally drove Tesla, Sonata and Robinson a bit crazy with complaints about things corporate buyers ignored.

From the beginning Tesla buyers ahem expected much much more and have almost all been very satisfied. When a 12V battery or other things fail we tend to become irate. When the torrid growth rate and direct distribution interfere with an easy local call to resolve a problem we become upset. When an accident happens we become irate over parts and support failings. There are horror stories abounding about delivery issues, especially at Quarter-ends.

Just as with the owner pilot analogy, all those obsessive owners do absolutely improve the company. As irritating as the complainers are, they serve a major role in helping improve Tesla. Oddly, we should all be grateful to them.

FWIW, I have had a few bizarre experiences with Tesla service myself. OTOH, my two vehicles have been the best two vehicles I have ever owned.
 

Rb48888

Here’s your sign.
Supporting Member
Jul 14, 2018
151
1,780
Tennessee
Another reason Teslas get extra QA scrutiny in the media is that they get compared with competition based on initial cost, rather than TCO, plus early reviews are typically of first-available, higher-cost performance trim.

That said, even SR+ model 3 panel gap comments are prefaced with, “For a car that can cost up to $70k...”

Rather than: “For a car that costs $5k less to own than a Camry...”
 
  • Like
Reactions: bpjod

ZachF

Active Member
Mar 31, 2016
3,464
40,003
Park City, UT
Another reason Teslas get extra QA scrutiny in the media is that they get compared with competition based on initial cost, rather than TCO, plus early reviews are typically of first-available, higher cost performance trim.

Even SR+ model 3 panel gap comments are prefaced with, “For a car that can cost up to $70k...”

Rather than: “For a car that costs $5k less to own than a Camry...”

All the auto journalists be like "Muh panel gaps" while their beemer is in the shop again and depreciates like Lehman Bros stock....
 

bkp_duke

Well-Known Member
May 15, 2016
8,197
41,672
San Diego, CA
Anecdotally, neither of the two Fremont made cars I've purchased have had fit and finish issues. Obviously any that have issues get a lot of press, but I wonder just how common it actually is.

Both of our cars had fit and finish issues, especially the very early VIN P85.

Another reason Teslas get extra QA scrutiny in the media is that they get compared with competition based on initial cost, rather than TCO, plus early reviews are typically of first-available, higher-cost performance trim.

That said, even SR+ model 3 panel gap comments are prefaced with, “For a car that can cost up to $70k...”

Rather than: “For a car that costs $5k less to own than a Camry...”

To take your Camry example - the consistency of Camry fit and finish is on average better than a Model 3. That's just the facts.

For the non-anecdotal data point - - I have a close friend that works at Telsa, not on the assembly line. Tesla management is aware of the fit and finish problems (which if you look at statistical surveys DO EXIST compared to other brands). There are some "systemic" issues that they are trying to design the new factories around to reduce fit and finish problems.

As others have pointed out, Freemont was not custom designed to Tesla's needs, and they have to work around a lot of things there that just don't exist in Shanghai (and soon Berlin and Austin).
 

humbaba

sleeping until $7000
Aug 25, 2018
2,249
13,249
planet earth
Both of our cars had fit and finish issues, especially the very early VIN P85.



To take your Camry example - the consistency of Camry fit and finish is on average better than a Model 3. That's just the facts.

For the non-anecdotal data point - - I have a close friend that works at Telsa, not on the assembly line. Tesla management is aware of the fit and finish problems (which if you look at statistical surveys DO EXIST compared to other brands). There are some "systemic" issues that they are trying to design the new factories around to reduce fit and finish problems.

As others have pointed out, Freemont was not custom designed to Tesla's needs, and they have to work around a lot of things there that just don't exist in Shanghai (and soon Berlin and Austin).

Kid on a cellphone hit my Tesla so I'm now driving a Camry. Please do not try to suggest that Camry is in any way comparable -- fit & finish or otherwise -- to a Tesla. I got my Model 3 in December 2018 and I'm reasonably certain it has hyuuuge panel gaps. The funny thing is no one, and I mean no one has ever said anything about it. I get comments about it being a gorgeous, beautiful car. Because it is. Even the folks I know (some family) who are firmly anti-EV and think Musk is the anti-Christ haven't ever suggested that car is anything other than good looking. You don't get that for a Camry.

My point is, sure, you can get out a micrometer and nit pick that something is millimeters off. Sure. But the set of people who do that has little to do with the general population. And a Toyota Camry *****. I don't care if it had a TCO half that of a Tesla, don't buy them, they're garbage.

/rant off
 

Robocop

Member
Jul 10, 2017
241
1,627
US
Kid on a cellphone hit my Tesla so I'm now driving a Camry. Please do not try to suggest that Camry is in any way comparable -- fit & finish or otherwise -- to a Tesla. I got my Model 3 in December 2018 and I'm reasonably certain it has hyuuuge panel gaps. The funny thing is no one, and I mean no one has ever said anything about it. I get comments about it being a gorgeous, beautiful car. Because it is. Even the folks I know (some family) who are firmly anti-EV and think Musk is the anti-Christ haven't ever suggested that car is anything other than good looking. You don't get that for a Camry.

My point is, sure, you can get out a micrometer and nit pick that something is millimeters off. Sure. But the set of people who do that has little to do with the general population. And a Toyota Camry *****. I don't care if it had a TCO half that of a Tesla, don't buy them, they're garbage.

/rant off

Not gonna lie, as a generally poor person, I had never heard of 'panel gaps' in a car until joining the Tesla community. (Subreddits, here, etc.) seem to very concerned with mm of change in door gaps from Fremont, but every car I've had in my life has had way wider gaps and big dumb parts. Like it never occurred to me that a gap next to a door was a thing I could judge, if that makes sense. Will be ordering a Y as soon as I can, and could care less about that aspect of fit/finish. I don't think it is a widely noticed problem IRL. Just my two cents as a non-owner!
 

henchman24

Active Member
Dec 18, 2019
1,459
10,666
Wyoming
My Model 3 certainly isn't perfect (hood/fender gaps were the worst) and there was some minor adjustment needed to get it to acceptable... but I wouldn't consider mine any worse than a number of other cars I've owned. I've owned new Fords, Subarus, BMWs, Chevys, Mazdas... and really all of them had flaws. The best gaps were probably on the Subarus, but they were also the least reliable cars (probably my fault). I think it has become such a thing to look out for that people are just all over the car trying to find flaws. Every video or buying guide just has to make mention on checking the gaps! When most of them are so minor that a simple loosen a couple bolts, slight bit of pressure, and retighten solves most of it. Which is something that Tesla should be doing prior to delivery, but the constant rush and need for every delivery to be made by the quarter causes them to skip over it. Hopefully as they get bigger, this need starts to dwindle and they can sacrifice a few days of deliveries to make the adjustments prior to delivery.
 

bkp_duke

Well-Known Member
May 15, 2016
8,197
41,672
San Diego, CA
Kid on a cellphone hit my Tesla so I'm now driving a Camry. Please do not try to suggest that Camry is in any way comparable -- fit & finish or otherwise -- to a Tesla. I got my Model 3 in December 2018 and I'm reasonably certain it has hyuuuge panel gaps. The funny thing is no one, and I mean no one has ever said anything about it. I get comments about it being a gorgeous, beautiful car. Because it is. Even the folks I know (some family) who are firmly anti-EV and think Musk is the anti-Christ haven't ever suggested that car is anything other than good looking. You don't get that for a Camry.

My point is, sure, you can get out a micrometer and nit pick that something is millimeters off. Sure. But the set of people who do that has little to do with the general population. And a Toyota Camry *****. I don't care if it had a TCO half that of a Tesla, don't buy them, they're garbage.

/rant off

Rant aside, the stats don't lie.

There are a lot of publications here we call biased against Tesla, but JD Power is not one that I have seen with that title:
Tesla ranks lowest on J.D. Power 2020 quality study, 250 problems per 100 cars - Electrek


Also, if you look at Sandy Munroe's teardown of both the Model 3 and the Model Y, he finds things that . . . you just shouldn't find. Fortunately they are all F+F (on the Y), and relatively minor, but they are most certainly there, and they are "more the norm" than the exception.
 

dakh

Active Member
Supporting Member
Jun 14, 2015
1,145
2,615
Seattle, WA
Kid on a cellphone hit my Tesla so I'm now driving a Camry. Please do not try to suggest that Camry is in any way comparable -- fit & finish or otherwise -- to a Tesla. I got my Model 3 in December 2018 and I'm reasonably certain it has hyuuuge panel gaps. The funny thing is no one, and I mean no one has ever said anything about it. I get comments about it being a gorgeous, beautiful car. Because it is. Even the folks I know (some family) who are firmly anti-EV and think Musk is the anti-Christ haven't ever suggested that car is anything other than good looking. You don't get that for a Camry.

My point is, sure, you can get out a micrometer and nit pick that something is millimeters off. Sure. But the set of people who do that has little to do with the general population. And a Toyota Camry *****. I don't care if it had a TCO half that of a Tesla, don't buy them, they're garbage.

/rant off

/rant on -- what in the world are you talking about? Panel gaps/misalignments is how you tell a car has been hit and not repaired properly. Or that it's a Tesla apparently. Since the whole issue started to get discussed a while ago, I have specifically paid attention to this in the cars I've encountered. All the stuff I've looked at that was made in Japan including an Infiniti that we own, panel gaps are essentially perfect. Some made in Mexico stuff, pretty good but not perfect. This one, you kinda have to second-guess if the door is ajar or that's just how it came from the factory. Don't bunch all this in one big ball of wax, yes the cars are great technology but clearly they haven't gotten the body line on Model Y working well yet.

Edit: and to Tesla buyers being fussy.. I bet someone shopping for a Lexus would flip out and demand their money back if they were presented with a vehicle with such panel gaps.
 

Attachments

  • 20200929_110941.jpg
    20200929_110941.jpg
    660.7 KB · Views: 21
Last edited:
  • Love
Reactions: bkp_duke

About Us

Formed in 2006, Tesla Motors Club (TMC) was the first independent online Tesla community. Today it remains the largest and most dynamic community of Tesla enthusiasts. Learn more.

Do you value your experience at TMC? Consider becoming a Supporting Member of Tesla Motors Club. As a thank you for your contribution, you'll get nearly no ads in the Community and Groups sections. Additional perks are available depending on the level of contribution. Please visit the Account Upgrades page for more details.


SUPPORT TMC
Top