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Did Tesla mess up your paint job?

Discussion in 'Model S: Interior & Exterior' started by ribsandbbqbeef, Jan 2, 2014.

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How did you take delivery of your MS?

  1. I asked Tesla not to wash / detail my MS, and they did it anyway & damaged the factory paint job

    4 vote(s)
    7.4%
  2. I asked Tesla not to wash / detail my MS, and they honored my request

    2 vote(s)
    3.7%
  3. Tesla washed & detailed my MS, & there was no damage to the factory paint

    42 vote(s)
    77.8%
  4. I did not request anything, & Tesla did not wash / detail my vehicle prior delivery.

    6 vote(s)
    11.1%
  1. ribsandbbqbeef

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    There are multiple threads with owners who picked up MS's with significant swirl marks from Tesla after their detailers ruined the original factory pain job. When you picked up your MS, did Tesla wash & detail your car, or was it left as is after manufacturing? I requested Tesla not to touch my car after manufacturing short of removing the plastic adhesive body panel protective wrapping; however they insisted on washing the car at the very least & caused massive swirl mark damage to the entire car. I had to pay extra & have my detailer polish out the damage they did. Left an extremely sour taste to my delivery experience. So trying to find out if anyone was successful in getting their MS without Tesla's incompetent detailers destroying the factory paint. I mean, come on, it's one thing if I'm requesting extra work for them to clean & detail my car, but I was asking them to do less work & leave the car alone & they refused. The stated it was Tesla's policy to deliver a presentable vehicle to their buyers. I don't have a problem with that, but if that's the case do a good job detailing, don't hire incompetent staff that destroy the factory paint (which did not have swirl marks until they laid their hands on the car). If I'm paying $100k+ for a car, I should have the right to tell Tesla not to touch the car after manufacturing. :cursing: /endrant
     
  2. yobigd20

    yobigd20 Well-Known Member

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    You're missing an big option for "Tesla washed & detailed my MS, and there was damage to the factory paint" and/or "I did not request anything, and there were factory paint defects". I guess what I'm trying to get at is 2 different things: 1) microswirls caused by improper washing and 2) factory paint defects. You don't have options for either of those in your poll and they are the two biggest issues. I have a dozen or so "blotches" underneath the clear coats on delivery, which look more like factory paint defects than damage caused by improper washing. I never got either of them fixed and was too excited about my delivery to be a stickler about the little things.
     
  3. Krugerrand

    Krugerrand Active Member

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    Then you also had the right to not accept the car if the "incompetent staff destroy(ed) the factory paint", right? :rolleyes:
     
  4. SeminoleFSU

    SeminoleFSU Member

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    overall I'm shocked at how easily my car is scratched or swirls can be introduced... yes, I have black and it is a color that shows these imperfections more easily- but the clear coat on my car seems almost non-existent.... that or it's really really soft.. I've never had a car that is so easy to scratch
     
  5. brandonmbeard

    brandonmbeard Member

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    Yes the clear on the car is soft. I had my car coated in OptiCoat Pro to protect the paint.
     
  6. brianstorms

    brianstorms Member

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    Back in September I was told by a rep at the San Diego Tesla Service Center that the first thing they do when they get cars is take it over to this nearby Shell gas station car wash. This automated car wash features plastic "brushes" that swirl around and slosh and scrape against the surface of the car. I was astonished, especially considering Tesla's own product manual says DO NOT use such car washes.

    So, yeah, I can't do this poll because my then brand-new car went thru the Shell car wash without my knowledge, and yes, the paint has swirls galore ever since I took possession.

    I should add that I do not know if they still do this. I made a pretty big stink about it then.
     
  7. mjtgroup

    mjtgroup Member

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    Unfortunately, the roof of my car had to be repainted just after delivery. Not sure if it was a poor paint job or bad detailing: uneven appearance with dull spots, etc. Looks good now, though.
     
  8. EarlyAdopter

    EarlyAdopter Active Member

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    My car had some minor swirls on delivery. Nothing that wasn't easily corrected by my detailer before they put on my Xpel Ultimate self healing paint film. Now I never have swirls or scratches, one year on and still strong.

    To the OP - email ownership and your service center manager to let them know of the problem. Many people probably never notice/don't care and so they might not be aware of the problem they are creating. Tesla has been known to reimburse individuals who had to have their paint corrected right after delivery.
     
  9. MoeMistry

    MoeMistry Local Vendor - SoCal

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    This is a VERY touchy subject at the moment. I hope I can shed some light on the situation.

    Tesla is manufactured here in CA and the OSHA guidelines are EXTREMELY strict. To try and compare it to a painted surface by Mercedes, Porsche, BMW, Audi, etc. is simply not realistic as those cars are painted in Europe. With that being said, the paint job on a Tesla is quite good. I'm talking about orange peel, color, clarity, etc. Is it soft, yes...very soft. But, I believe they're still working on the whole process and if you give them a few years, the technology will be better.

    Now, as far as what happens once the car leaves the factory, well, that's where it leaves much to be desired. Unfortunately, not many are skilled enough to work on any of these high-end cars, let alone one that already has certain temperaments such as the soft Tesla paint. I wish someone at Tesla would put the same care they do in training their an ASE Certified Tesla Mechanic to wrench on the car as they do the guys in the back to properly care for the paint. Not anyone can "wash" a car. Just because you can brush your teeth, doesn't mean you're a dentist ;)

    So, best thing you can do is get the car to the service center direct from factory. Be very specific to your SC and sales guy that they are allowed to do a PDI, pre delivery inspection, but are NOT allowed to wash, wax, molest the car. You will take it home no matter how filthy it is. Then, take it to a reputable facility and do a New car prep. Make sure the detailer documents every imperfection prior to him working. If there are buffer marks, sand marks, imperfections in the paint, take high res photos prior to remedying the imperfection, then send the bill to Tesla and see if they will honor the repair. Don't expect them to, but at least it'll be documented what condition it was prior to anyone touching it after the car was made.

    I hope this helps you guys to put things in perspective. On a brighter note, if it makes you feel any better, even brand new Porsches, Ferrari, Lambo, Aston Martin, etc. etc. that come into our studio, have the same, if not worse, imperfection direct from the factory. The problem is merely compounded when a dealer prep is done.
     
  10. yobigd20

    yobigd20 Well-Known Member

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    I got a call from Tesla service because of my comments above here. This is the second time I've posted something on these forums and got a call from Tesla less than a few hours later. They wanted to know more about the defects and want me to bring in my car to the Norristown service center so they can take a look. She said that she was informed by Tesla HQ to give me a call and make sure I was happy and if there were any factory issues they'd take care if it. I just chuckled and said that this basically confirms my suspicion that someone's full time job out there is monitoring these forums. She replied "yes , I've worked for other car companies before Tesla and I'll just say that Tesla is very proactive about making sure their customers are happy."

    She offered to send a ranger out for free to inspect it and I basically said these were cosmetic and not to worry until I'm due for service. I explained what they were and how they are prevalent mostly on the A and B pilIer areas and can really only see them under certain lighting and that I don't care too much about fixing the blotches under the clear coat but if they can do it easily sure why not.

    I did say there were other issues i'd rather have fixed, specifically the high pitched balloon squeal at heavy accel and high pitch whine at any speed in sync with the accel pedal. I told her I captured these sounds and loaded them in an audio spectral analyzer and can visually see and hear them and that I posted these on YouTube. She gave me her email and asked if I could forward these to her so that she can forward them to their engineering team for further analysis.

    So I was very surprised about all that and happy to see Tesla being very proactive about things like this!
     
  11. AmpedUP

    AmpedUP EV Nut

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    @yobigd20 That's amazing feedback from Tesla, and very encouraging. From all that I've read, this is about the CA environmental constraints that @MoeMistry noted, and Tesla is doing the best it can. When I take delivery, my plan is to keep them from washing it before. I will take delivery and immediately drive the car to a local detailer (one with vast MS experience) for detailing and Opti Coat.
     
  12. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

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    Great posts, guys. Thanks!
     
  13. kevincwelch

    kevincwelch Active Member

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    I don't know how Tesla's paint compares to other high end vehicles, but I've done paint thickness measurements on my car, compared them to measurements taken on other Model S's and then to measurements on other cars.

    My car averages about 2.75 mils, but it is thickest on the roof, where it is about 3.9 mils. This is what I've seen for other Model S cars: 2.7-3.5 mils all around. In contrast, my wife's Subaru Outback ranges 5-5.5 mils, which is a lot thicker. In microns, this is about 70 microns for the Tesla and about 130 for the Subaru. It's almost impossible to scratch my wife's car. Unfortunately, it's easier to scratch the Model S. The problem is not so much the swirls and scratches, it's your ability to level those things when they do occur.

    A little bit of swirling, and you're talking only a couple of microns for a fine polish. Bad swirling, and your talking about a compound and an aggressive pad, which will take off a lot more.

    There is definitely a need to coat these cars or wrap them with Xpel. I'm very happy that I coated mine with Gtechniq C1 and EXOv2 and either Carpro Reload or Gtechniq C1.5 after that. I've babied it every weekend with a 2BW and when it got colder, ONR with Ultima Waterless Wash in between. Now that it's cold outside, I'm getting to it once every 3-4 weeks, and I have to say that the dirt and salt just comes right off given the coating. Paint still looks great (when it's clean).
     
  14. DrDave

    DrDave Member

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    Are you sure that what you measure with is a dual probe used for both ferrous and non-ferrous substrates?
     
  15. pwillemse78

    pwillemse78 Member

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    #15 pwillemse78, Jan 5, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2014
    Same here. Bad looking paint all around at delivery. Opticoat detailer inspected a car, and needs to polish the whole car before he can start protecting the paint... Did not have this on my 5 series... The Tesla already looks worse then my BMW did after three years of carwash...
     
  16. kevincwelch

    kevincwelch Active Member

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    Yes.

    Qnix 4500.

    It's a little unnerving to know, and as I said somewhat limits the amount of correction one can do - - ultimately enforcing the need to coat the car.
     
  17. MoeMistry

    MoeMistry Local Vendor - SoCal

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    Don't have any photos of the measurements we take when correcting paint on MS, but I don't believe I've seen them that low.

    We got two coming in today so I'll check them out again and report back.

    Just so you know, the chemistry of the paint plays a big role as well. For example, Ferraris have low readings, sometimes in the 90-100 microns, but they've also got the ceramic clearcoat making it extremely durable.

    In contrast, Porsche are around 120-140s, Mercedes around 200-300s...seen some in the 500s (SL63), BMWs are somewhat low as well, around 80-120s
     
  18. kevincwelch

    kevincwelch Active Member

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    I don't profess to know a lot about the paint process; however, I can say that it scratches easily and there's not a lot to work with if you like to detail a couple times per year (ie, polish). The point is that the car should be protected by a detailer with some sort of coating or film.
     
  19. Cinematechs

    Cinematechs Member

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    I was told by my Opti-Coat Pro detailer to NOT have the Tesla delivery team touch the paint. I listened to him and requested it to my DS. He seemed puzzled that I didn't want the car detailed, but he granted my request. Opti-Coat was the best decision that I made on any of my vehicles and will not own another car without it. It's been over 2 months since i've taken delivery. I'm still ecstatic about my S, and the paint and wheels look amazing. I'm flabbergasted at the amount of chip and ding issues that I read about on these forums. I'm very impressed by Tesla overall, but I do feel that they have serious issues with their delivery system.
     
  20. Brett

    Brett Member

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    #20 Brett, Jan 5, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2014
    I too have been very disappointed with the quality of the paint. I have many swirls and abnormal color shading changes. When I took delivery at the Factory on 08/30/2013, under the fluorescent lights, there was a very noticeable splat: Model S Delivery Update - Page 557. It ended up having to be buffed out.

    After pouring through the forums I see that I am not alone with the swirls. After 5 months of staring at the swirls every time I look at it, I decided to finally pick up the phone and I scheduled a 2-day detail session with Show Car Detailing in Anaheim. I live in Santa Monica, so it will be a hassle to leave it there, get a ride, etc. but worth it. From the looks of this operation, these guys know what they're doing with Tesla Paint: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10152132644991133.1073742204.157160866132&type=3

    I'm scheduled to take it in later this month and will post before / after pics on this thread (or create a new one).

    I'm really looking forward to enjoying my car the way it SHOULD have been delivered in the first place.

    Tesla if you're reading - PLEASE - make improvements to the paint. You can do better.
     

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