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Can't "Unsee" These Defects...

dstroot

Member
Nov 28, 2017
18
16
California
My wife saw a new 3 at the local supermarket today. Since we have two on order she was naturally excited and took some pictures. Many of the pics I have seen of the 3 exhibit these issues and this car had them as well:

1) A pillar transition and gaps are really bad
2) Door alignment off

I am now leaning towards waiting as long as possible before the tax credit runs out and hope that Tesla irons these issues out first.

Cheers!
 

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clmason

Member
Sep 29, 2011
602
1,014
San Diego
Even Michelangelo's David can be picked apart. Yet, it is one of the great masterpieces humanity has produced.

I'd personally be happy to take this car. A few small details do not ruin the greater whole for me. It an affordable electric car with unmatched range. Its beautifully designed. Has amazing tech features. Performance... Safety... etc. Those small details don't bother me one bit.
 

omgwtfbyobbq

Active Member
Aug 24, 2013
1,450
1,612
Southern California
When you say door alignment, do you mean the trim, or the door itself? Based on your picture, I agree that the trim needs to be reseated, but if the door alignment is off, it's only by a fraction of an inch, and something I've seen in many other new cars, albeit in other places.

Also, were the panel gaps different on the other side? If so, Tesla should adjust them. If not, that's probably just how the car is designed.
 

ElecFan

Member
Sep 25, 2017
861
699
Netherlands
My wife saw a new 3 at the local supermarket today. Since we have two on order she was naturally excited and took some pictures. Many of the pics I have seen of the 3 exhibit these issues and this car had them as well:

1) A pillar transition and gaps are really bad
2) Door alignment off

I am now leaning towards waiting as long as possible before the tax credit runs out and hope that Tesla irons these issues out first.

Cheers!
Seems to happen once in a while. All other delivered M3s I've read about seem to have no problems with fit and finish.
 

fr100

Member
Dec 27, 2017
485
552
Northern CA
My wife saw a new 3 at the local supermarket today. Since we have two on order she was naturally excited and took some pictures. Many of the pics I have seen of the 3 exhibit these issues and this car had them as well:

1) A pillar transition and gaps are really bad
2) Door alignment off

I am now leaning towards waiting as long as possible before the tax credit runs out and hope that Tesla irons these issues out first.

Cheers!

Agree.
 

Tforme

Member
Mar 30, 2017
236
182
Spring Lake Fl
BE73CCEE-5828-43A7-93F8-61E3BAC1CF30.jpeg
Not so sure waiting is going to result in better assembly quality. Here’s (one of several) examples from the brand new (dec 17) S100D I had recently as a loaner. It was discouraging to easily spot several assembly issues with it. My Dec 13 S85 actually has better overall assembly quality.
 
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MrBigSmiles

Member
May 22, 2015
67
41
United States
IMG-2458.JPG IMG-2457.JPG F10D3B25-AC04-4F4C-8A50-441133AB6D70.jpeg 8BD86DC1-0BCE-4F5B-A3A5-2C548E00A975.jpeg I just picked up my model 3. Well, QA is still a bit off the mark. Here you can see some examples of how panels are still not exactly lining up.
 

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juanmedina

Active Member
Mar 31, 2016
2,017
4,833
SC
View attachment 276396 View attachment 276397
That’s disturbing to see. My Bolt actually has better panel stamping accuracy, panel alignment, and trim alignment than my Model S. But both are better than the pictures in #8. Nothing should leave the factory looking like BigSmiles car

Because they have a larger gap?

How do you know is not as designed? Maybe the material that Tesla uses has a larger thermal expansion.

On that picture you posted the panel clearance looks consistent all around. I wouldn't be complaining...
 

Zaphod

Galaxy President (former)
Dec 10, 2015
2,160
1,958
Austin, TX
This is one thing Tesla still needs to work on unfortunately. Some of it is just sloppy assembly, but I think main issue is their tooling and stamping dies are just not quite up to par with the legacy manufacturers. Most manufacturers go through a couple iterations of the stamping dies to dial in the tolerances and panel fitment. This is called "soft" tooling. Once the parts are dialed in, they create final dies which is called "hard" tooling. I recall with the 3, they skipped the soft tooling phase and went right to hard tooling to speed up production launch. It was a big gamble. Not sure if it is paying off. Even so, disappointingly we still fitment issues on the S which has been built for going on almost 6 years.

Tesla’s big Model 3 bet rides on risky assembly line strategy
 

SMAlset

Well-Known Member
Mar 4, 2017
9,072
9,787
SF Bay Area
I have to say of the half dozen/dozen Model 3s I've seen they all looked pretty good to me. Trim and door panels I don't think are a big deal to have adjusted. Most of the photos I've seen are of that type of complaint.
 
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aaron0k

Two failed MCU's on a S40 & S70D; both at 84k.
Apr 1, 2013
665
607
-
When I picked up my 3, I did a full inspection.. everything was perfect except the lower chrome trim on the driver side window was misaligned (easy to fix yourself).

However, I was looking at the other 3's next to mine and noticed some fairly ugly panel gaps on most of them (as our DS said under his breath "you got lucky...")

I don't think it's the panels/stamping... most likely the assembly/quality process needs some extra attention.
 
  • Informative
Reactions: Carnook

omgwtfbyobbq

Active Member
Aug 24, 2013
1,450
1,612
Southern California
This is one thing Tesla still needs to work on unfortunately. Some of it is just sloppy assembly, but I think main issue is their tooling and stamping dies are just not quite up to par with the legacy manufacturers. Most manufacturers go through a couple iterations of the stamping dies to dial in the tolerances and panel fitment. This is called "soft" tooling. Once the parts are dialed in, they create final dies which is called "hard" tooling. I recall with the 3, they skipped the soft tooling phase and went right to hard tooling to speed up production launch. It was a big gamble. Not sure if it is paying off. Even so, disappointingly we still fitment issues on the S which has been built for going on almost 6 years.

Tesla’s big Model 3 bet rides on risky assembly line strategy
Do you have any references for it being a stamping/parts problem rather than a assembly/alignment problem?
 

valakos

Member
Dec 10, 2015
21
5
Sydney
The author of this thread is being a little pedantic imo - when you zoom into 100x on a panel trying to find a millimeter or so imperfection it seems like the author can only be described as someone who would NEVER be satisfied and should probably not buy a model 3 imo.
In the wide shot, the car looks absolutely fine, then they zooms in trying to find a few millimeters difference .PULEZZZZZZZ!
 
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Zaphod

Galaxy President (former)
Dec 10, 2015
2,160
1,958
Austin, TX
When I picked up my 3, I did a full inspection.. everything was perfect except the lower chrome trim on the driver side window was misaligned (easy to fix yourself).

However, I was looking at the other 3's next to mine and noticed some fairly ugly panel gaps on most of them (as our DS said under his breath "you got lucky...")

I don't think it's the panels/stamping... most likely the assembly/quality process needs some extra attention.
Yes, lot of it does come back to sloppy assembly like for instance with the trim around the side windows. I think that has been a trademark issue with all Teslas. But even on some cars that have very aligned panels there are a few anomalies that stick out in my opinion. Three that I can think of are 1) hood curvature to both fenders, 2) A-pillars to fenders, and 3) rear doors to rear quarter panels. I believe these have gotten better with newer builds as they don't jump out at me like they did during early production, but I don't see them totally gone. I can try to find some examples.

Yes, I may be bit more critical than they deserve, but I think Tesla should strive to make a quality product and best they can. I think Elon would agree.
 

valakos

Member
Dec 10, 2015
21
5
Sydney
to reinforce the point these panel gap threads are usually populated by overly pedantic people unsatisfied with anything, here is a random MB GLA 250 I photographed this morning - when you zoom in on any panel you will see mm imperfections only an overly pedantic person would notice, however in the wide shot its fine. Some of the examples I'm seeing in this thread are a little ridiculous imo
 

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