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Build inconsistencies

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Active Member
Jul 8, 2020
One thing is certain from reading this forum is that we can’t agree on pretty much anything!

Get me thinking though: are Tesla’s built inconsistently or do we all just have different expectations and needs from our cars.
There are things like soundproofing that I think is ok (although maybe it’s because I’ve only undertaken one long journey) that almost everyone else doesn’t think is good enough. The auto wipers that do a job for me but poorly some people like and some people hate and the auto main beam which doesn’t work in the slightest for me but some people find OK.

I’m wondering if our cars are that different or we all just expect different things from them?
I think it's a case of both.

Lets focus purely on the build inconsistencies. It very much appears like Tesla's approach to a PDI isn't what anyone wants or expects, if it even exists or is followed.

If we take the extreme end then, it's clear that some people receive cars with dents and scratches to the paintwork, which is obvious. Most don't. Some people have boots that when opening hit the bodywork and damage it. Most don't. Some people have malfunctioning cameras which need replacing - apart from the early 2021, most don't.

So yes, clearly there are inconsistencies one what is given to people.

If you then take the more moderate cases, a slightly misaligned panel a slight scratch on a piece of trim (not painted)... then we get into the different expectations people have. There are a few of those sorts of things on my car, but you know what... I don't really care. They aren't major, and saves me making the first "imperfection" and the annoyance that brings. But others wouldn't agree, they'd want it perfect. And there are inbetween various levels of acceptance.

When you add in "stated range" vs "real world range" things get even more murky. Me, I don't care... others do.

So yes, cars are different (and they shouldn't be), people are also different (and will always be).
That makes sense. I genuinely never got the obsession about stated range. I can't ever remember anyone complaining about not getting the Manufacturers stated MPG on an ICE vehicle (except maybe VW owners)

I just assume my range is going to be less than stated, just as my MPG was always less than stated, because I'm a "spirited" driver. I guess people are reacting because temperature effects range much more than in an ICE car.
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I totally agree with you on range. And you're spot on, stated MPG, especially in the NEDC days was miles off. These days, nah, I'm not fussed. I only usually do ~40 miles per day, so it's not like I'll run out, and when I go visit my parents etc, I plan a stop nearby at a supercharger, so I can at least arrive with something full. I purely see the stated mileage figures as something to compare, not something you'll live with.

But others take it as a stated fact and seek to verify it, and then get upset when it's not. Their call.
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Depends very much on what someone's prior experiences may be I think. For example, I owned three Toyota's between 2005 and 2018, then a BMW i3 for a year, then the Model 3. I expected the i3 to be a bit more noisy than the Toyota's, and have a bit bumpier ride (although it turned out to not be as noisy as I expected). I did expect the Model 3 to be as well put together as the Toyota's (after all, it was ~£20k more expensive) and for it to be quieter. In reality it was neither, unfortunately.

This does seem to be another regional difference. I lived and worked in the USA for a time, and have driven many thousands of miles there, pretty much always in fairly new US made cars, although some were rental cars that seemed to have had a harder life than hire cars here. Build quality has, IMHO, always been somewhat poorer on US made cars. Trim fit and finish, NVH, etc never seemed to be as well sorted as on Japanese made cars. The flip side was that cars cost less in the US, sometimes a great deal less.
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