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Do Tesla engineers lurk on these forums? Are they aware of the recurring issues I keep reading about on here?

I've got a LR MY on order and have been reading everything on this forum and other Tesla forums and I keep seeing the same issues over and over, including for cars delivered in the past two weeks:
  • Phantom braking on vision-only cars
  • Rear hatch stops causing buffeting, ear pain, pressure issues, low frequency noise
  • Loud humming from HVAC system when car is off
  • Foul smells from evaporator coil for HVAC system, requiring regular coil cleanings
  • Hood latch issues causing dents in hood by logo
  • and I'm sure I forgot some and I chose not to include paint and panel gaps here
So, do we know if Tesla design/engineering is internally aware of these issues or does knowledge of these issues just stop at the service centers and technicians and not get back to HQ? Are they reading these forums and working on these issues? I think we would all just appreciate an acknowledgment that these issues are known and they are working on fixes, even if the fixes are difficult and may take some time.
 

glide

Active Member
Jun 6, 2018
4,739
6,573
USA
And TBH, some of those issues have only been apparent to relatively few owners, the humming noises and buffeting specifically. I have had a few PB incidents on my radar car, but have experienced exactly -zero- of the other issues in over 10k miles.
I wouldn’t say these other issues are limited to “a few” owners.

Panel gap, alignment, and road/wind noise are the top items people make service appointments for.
 
@DanDi58, I will acknowledge that some of the issues may be overstated because those experiencing these issues are more likely to post about their experiences than those with no problems. That being said, many of the issues I listed have threads with hundreds of pages in this forum, indicating they are impacting at least a sizable minority of customers.

I don't expect a formal acknowledgement by Tesla, but it would be nice if someone could unofficially say they are aware of the issues and anonymously say, "us engineers are proud of our work here at Tesla and want to produce the best product we can, so we take these seriously, even if Elon/the company don't formally mention them" or something to that effect.

For example, Ford has an official account over at MachEForum and regularly responds to posts about issues people are having. Also, there are Ford engineers that occasionally post as well. Ford's head of EVs even asked people to email him directly if they have issues buying a Mach E or other issues and people have stated that he responded. Obviously, Tesla has a completely different view of customer relations than Ford, but I just thought we would at least have some back channels to some engineers frustrated by reading these issues.

I am an engineer myself, though not in design or automotive, and I certainly want to improve my work and make changes when someone finds a mistake to improve the overall quality because I want to stand by my work. I am in consulting, so customer service is mandatory or we would be out of business. We don't make physical products in extremely high demand, allowing us to ignore bad customer experiences.

Maybe most of the issues I listed are very rare and may be only 200 cars out of 200,000, but the phantom braking issues seem to be impacting all vision only cars and are directly related to the move to vision only. I think Tesla has no plans to improve AP until FSD's highway code is fully refined, then they will move that code over to AP.
 

DanDi58

Active Member
Jun 22, 2020
1,991
1,593
Dayton NJ
@DanDi58, I will acknowledge that some of the issues may be overstated because those experiencing these issues are more likely to post about their experiences than those with no problems. That being said, many of the issues I listed have threads with hundreds of pages in this forum, indicating they are impacting at least a sizable minority of customers.

I don't expect a formal acknowledgement by Tesla, but it would be nice if someone could unofficially say they are aware of the issues and anonymously say, "us engineers are proud of our work here at Tesla and want to produce the best product we can, so we take these seriously, even if Elon/the company don't formally mention them" or something to that effect.

For example, Ford has an official account over at MachEForum and regularly responds to posts about issues people are having. Also, there are Ford engineers that occasionally post as well. Ford's head of EVs even asked people to email him directly if they have issues buying a Mach E or other issues and people have stated that he responded. Obviously, Tesla has a completely different view of customer relations than Ford, but I just thought we would at least have some back channels to some engineers frustrated by reading these issues.

I am an engineer myself, though not in design or automotive, and I certainly want to improve my work and make changes when someone finds a mistake to improve the overall quality because I want to stand by my work. I am in consulting, so customer service is mandatory or we would be out of business. We don't make physical products in extremely high demand, allowing us to ignore bad customer experiences.

Maybe most of the issues I listed are very rare and may be only 200 cars out of 200,000, but the phantom braking issues seem to be impacting all vision only cars and are directly related to the move to vision only. I think Tesla has no plans to improve AP until FSD's highway code is fully refined, then they will move that code over to AP.
Part of the issue is that Tesla has no PR or communications department, so we are essentially reliant on Elon responding to a few texts occasionally. Tesla did used to sponsor a forum on Tesla.com but that closed last year. I'm not sure they ever officially responded to anything over there either.
 
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It looks like at least some Tesla (or former) engineers have questioned the safety of Autopilot and Tesla is being investigated by the SEC (for solar panels) and NHTSA (Autopilot).

The New York Times also reported that Tesla engineers questioned the safety of the company’s Autopilot system, which is the subject of an investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Tesla shares down

NY Times Article regarding Autopilot
 
Food for thought: I've read about a million rattles my car doesn't have. And trust me: I'd be the first to complain about it if my car did have these problems.




So, assuming all that stuff is real and people aren't making it up, why doesn't my car have these problems?

As glide said, some of it is inconsistent assembly. That is itself a type of engineering. Then there are the fixes implemented in design that make it impossible to assemble the vehicle wrong. Like the fix they did for the pesky rattling cable in the driver's door. Maybe one day they'll fix the stupid door trim design too (two pieces of plastic spot welded together that rattle).

Phantom braking is an interesting case. Tesla got screwed over by the chip shortage and didn't have enough radars to keep shipping cars. So they had to move to vision-only autopilot before they were ready. It's a shame, but this is the real world. They have to keep shipping cars or they die. So maybe hold off on buying a Tesla until the software improves again (or they give up and go back to using radar!). Seems like plenty of other people will keep the company afloat in the meantime.
 
Food for thought: I've read about a million rattles my car doesn't have. And trust me: I'd be the first to complain about it if my car did have these problems.




So, assuming all that stuff is real and people aren't making it up, why doesn't my car have these problems?

As glide said, some of it is inconsistent assembly. That is itself a type of engineering. Then there are the fixes implemented in design that make it impossible to assemble the vehicle wrong. Like the fix they did for the pesky rattling cable in the driver's door. Maybe one day they'll fix the stupid door trim design too (two pieces of plastic spot welded together that rattle).

Phantom braking is an interesting case. Tesla got screwed over by the chip shortage and didn't have enough radars to keep shipping cars. So they had to move to vision-only autopilot before they were ready. It's a shame, but this is the real world. They have to keep shipping cars or they die. So maybe hold off on buying a Tesla until the software improves again (or they give up and go back to using radar!). Seems like plenty of other people will keep the company afloat in the meantime.
I think those are all fair points and I find them somewhat reassuring. My EDD is still months out, so there is a good chance some or all of these issues will be non-factors by the time I get my MY. It may even come from Austin (maybe with entirely different assembly issues unique to the new production line), hopefully solving the Fremont assembly and paint inconsistencies. I won't need AP right away, as I have a gas car for road trips and can slowly phase in the MY for longer travel, so as long as they fix it in the next year or so, I would be happy.
 
@DanDi58

I don't expect a formal acknowledgement by Tesla, but it would be nice if someone could unofficially say they are aware of the issues and anonymously say, "us engineers are proud of our work here at Tesla and want to produce the best product we can, so we take these seriously, even if Elon/the company don't formally mention them" or something to that effect.
Sounds like a great way to become an ex-Tesla employee
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Moderator
Nov 28, 2018
14,231
17,966
Riverside Co. CA
I've got a LR MY on order and have been reading everything on this forum and other Tesla forums and I keep seeing the same issues over and over, including for cars delivered in the past two weeks:
  • Phantom braking on vision-only cars
  • Rear hatch stops causing buffeting, ear pain, pressure issues, low frequency noise
  • Loud humming from HVAC system when car is off
  • Foul smells from evaporator coil for HVAC system, requiring regular coil cleanings
  • Hood latch issues causing dents in hood by logo
  • and I'm sure I forgot some and I chose not to include paint and panel gaps here
So, do we know if Tesla design/engineering is internally aware of these issues or does knowledge of these issues just stop at the service centers and technicians and not get back to HQ? Are they reading these forums and working on these issues? I think we would all just appreciate an acknowledgment that these issues are known and they are working on fixes, even if the fixes are difficult and may take some time.

I have no idea of tesla DESIGN AND ENGINEERING people read TMC. I do know, however, that there are various tesla employees who read here occasionally, so this site is known to many tesla employees even though its not affiliated with Tesla.

Before anyone asks me, no I am not going to provide any detail on how, or why I know this. I will just state that I am not making a guess that some Tesla employees occasionally read TMC, I am making a statement.

===============================

(personal opinion follows)

As far as the question "are they aware", these are the most connected cars in the world, collecting likely petabytes of data. Anything that happens on the road they likely become aware of, as well as how prevalent it actually is (not how prevalent a forum makes it seem).

For things like panel gaps etc, they will have metrics on how many cars are brought back for re work / delivery issues etc. So, yes, they will know. Whether they want to spend the money it takes to resolve these things (or whether they decided that the amount of re work they have is cheaper than doing extensive pre delivery inspection / work) is another thing.
 
Last edited:

DanDi58

Active Member
Jun 22, 2020
1,991
1,593
Dayton NJ
I think those are all fair points and I find them somewhat reassuring. My EDD is still months out, so there is a good chance some or all of these issues will be non-factors by the time I get my MY. It may even come from Austin (maybe with entirely different assembly issues unique to the new production line), hopefully solving the Fremont assembly and paint inconsistencies. I won't need AP right away, as I have a gas car for road trips and can slowly phase in the MY for longer travel, so as long as they fix it in the next year or so, I would be happy.
In my view, it's the 80-20 rule - 20% of the people have issues and create 80% of the postings about them. Most of the people I know personally that have a Tesla haven't experienced any* of the issues noted by the OP.

*Exception is phantom braking - most everyone I know has experienced it at least a little, like myself.
 
Sounds like a great way to become an ex-Tesla employee
I did say "anonymously." It's not like they would be a corporate whistleblower, they would just be acknowledging that they are working on solutions to problems customers are reporting. If Tesla did try to hunt down the anonymous user, I don't think they would be fired for that once they found them. Plus, the company-wide quarterly emails from Elon always leak to the press, so some people are clearly sharing internal information.

@jjrandorin's excellent post answers my original question. I believe jj's statements are true and that's what I was looking for. Time will tell how Tesla reacts to information on the forums, service data, data from the cars themselves, etc. and which issues begin to fade away. Like I mentioned above, there may be a whole new batch of issues to complain about with cars coming out of Austin!
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Moderator
Nov 28, 2018
14,231
17,966
Riverside Co. CA
I did say "anonymously." It's not like they would be a corporate whistleblower, they would just be acknowledging that they are working on solutions to problems customers are reporting. If Tesla did try to hunt down the anonymous user, I don't think they would be fired for that once they found them. Plus, the company-wide quarterly emails from Elon always leak to the press, so some people are clearly sharing internal information.

@jjrandorin's excellent post answers my original question. I believe jj's statements are true and that's what I was looking for. Time will tell how Tesla reacts to information on the forums, service data, data from the cars themselves, etc. and which issues begin to fade away. Like I mentioned above, there may be a whole new batch of issues to complain about with cars coming out of Austin!

My personal (no inside knowledge at all) opinion on, for example, the change to heat pump heating vs resistive, is that they got data on how much range actually decreases for everyone over winter, and took that data and started looking for solutions to cabin heating that would be less impactful.

Its also likely why homelink is not included and must be purchased separately now. They have publicly said "we have data on how many people actually use it". Because installing homelink in each car is not just a hardware thing, but a license to the license holder for homelink, someone in accounting likely ran some numbers and determined that it was cheaper to have people buy it and install it after, along with either shop time or a truck roll, than it was to license every car for it.

$325 is pretty darn cheap of a cost for not only a part, but either a truck roll for mobile, or shop time. they cant be making much if anything on that. My guess is, they are loosing money (only a little) on this, but the overall gain in not licensing it for everyone more than pays for it.

These are just personal opinions, from observing things change over time.

They definitely know about everything. What they are going to take action on or not, is a completely different thing, though. Forums totally amplify some things as was said, and mute others.
 
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jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Moderator
Nov 28, 2018
14,231
17,966
Riverside Co. CA
One more thing I will say on this subject. There used to be a poster here who worked at one of the gigafactories, and occasionally they would chime in on some topic or other, but they stopped posting. I am not them, but believe they stopped due to what I would call "negative interaction" directed toward them or information they would share.

Thats just my opinion though, it could have been some other reason.
 
I did say "anonymously." It's not like they would be a corporate whistleblower, they would just be acknowledging that they are working on solutions to problems customers are reporting. If Tesla did try to hunt down the anonymous user, I don't think they would be fired for that once they found them. Plus, the company-wide quarterly emails from Elon always leak to the press, so some people are clearly sharing internal information.

@jjrandorin's excellent post answers my original question. I believe jj's statements are true and that's what I was looking for. Time will tell how Tesla reacts to information on the forums, service data, data from the cars themselves, etc. and which issues begin to fade away. Like I mentioned above, there may be a whole new batch of issues to complain about with cars coming out of Austin!
Not sure you understand how NDA's work but seems like you've got the answers you're looking for so...all good.
 

DanDi58

Active Member
Jun 22, 2020
1,991
1,593
Dayton NJ
One more thing I will say on this subject. There used to be a poster here who worked at one of the gigafactories, and occasionally they would chime in on some topic or other, but they stopped posting. I am not them, but believe they stopped due to what I would call "negative interaction" directed toward them or information they would share.

Thats just my opinion though, it could have been some other reason.
'Negative interaction'? From here?! Hard to believe.... :cool:
 

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