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Makes me sad to hear many reviews of the New S complain about build quality!

kizamybute'

Member
Aug 24, 2019
228
548
Los Angeles, CA
Have watched countless reviews of the new refreshed Model S, I guess in hopes that somehow I might be convinced to stick with Tesla after 9+ years already, once my current lease is up next year. Unfortunately, most are just re-iterating my decision that my current Model S will sadly be my last. I've already spoken to the reasons several times.

But what does make me sad....., I've been with Tesla since the start. Regardless of whether I can bring myself to buy another one of their current offerings, I will still always root for their success. After watching every review complain about Tesla's build quality, many saying it's actually gotten worse, rather than better, I'm saddened to see it. After 10 years, there's no reason they couldn't have improved by now.

I was able to drive a new Plaid and sadly, I have the same view as most of the online reviews. The one I drove was worse than my 2019. Paint was horrible! Seeing many, many, many complaints that the paint quality is worse than ever. Bubbles, mis-matching colors, over-spray, etc, etc.. I thought maybe it was just the "ONE" I happened to see, but sounds like it's most of them coming off the line today.

What shocked me most however, was to discover that while Tesla did away with all the chrome, which I am a huge fan of (chrome is so 90's), only to discover that they really didn't do away with the chrome after all!!! Shocking that they made the decision to have all black trim, so why not simply produce these pieces out of black molded plastic like every other manufacturer in the world does???. NO, THEY PAINTED THE FRIGGEN CHROME PIECES BLACK! Very thinly I might add. The car I drove, despite having only 2,100 miles on it, had massive chips all along the front edge of the black PAINTED mirrors!! Revealing the chrome below. The door handles, when they popped out, show some chrome as well, very cheap looking. What were they thinking? Has to be MORE EXPENSIVE to paint the chrome pieces, adding another step to the process, rather than just using black plastic to start with!! WOW. I'm sure the Tesla fanboi's will have some excuse for why it makes sense. I can usually forecast what those excuses will be. But, in this case, I can't even come up with a bogus reason of why that makes sense!

Add that to trim pieces being rolled over inside, roof liner being mis-aligned. Typical uneven fender gaps. And yes, for a car that's increased to a whopping $145,000, even me, having long ago accepted that Tesla is not a "luxury" car and has always demonstrated some build quality issues, I have to agree with the reviewers, it simply is unacceptable for a $145,000 car to present itself in such a manner. It's not acceptable for a $50,000 car (Model 3), let alone one that costs 3 times as much.

Sadly, some of it won't change right away as Tesla is still able to sell more cars than they can build, especially in current times with parts shortages all over. As much as I love what the cars are, after 9 years, I'm finally jumping off the bandwagon next year. Tesla will always be better in range and acceleration, but, 3.0 0-60 is still way more than I need and 250-300 miles of range is still more than my bladder can handle. So, having a car that does 1.9 0-60, other than for party tricks to show off to new passengers, and one that goes 400 miles instead of 300 miles, really has no benefit to me, and likely most. Maybe for some that travel long distance on a very regular basis. But for me, 99% of the time, 250-300 miles in range more than gets the job done just fine. Charging infrastructure is expanding and not really much of an issue anymore. Tesla's AP is better than most, but, the appeal of true hands off driving is more appealing and now being offered by most other manufacturers. I never use AP on the streets anyway. So, the must haves that kept me with Tesla for so long (Range, charging, AP), there are now viable alternatives that do it in a much fancier package (with actual "luxury", unmistakably better build quality, and actual "DRIVER FRIENDLY" cars that you don't have to go fumbling through the screen to do EVERYTHING). I have no problem with a few buttons, allowing for 1-step control versus Tesla's 3-4 taps to get where you need.

When Full Self Driving is actually a reality, as these cars were designed for (ahead of their time), then I'll likely be back. But, unfortunately, true FSD won't be a reality for quite some time, thus I still need a car to be simple to use and have driver friendly simplicity and capability. My 2019 Model S is a perfect balance of both. The Model 3, not so much. The new Model S, just amplified all the things I didn't like about the Model 3, and then some.

I have no doubt Tesla will continue to be successful. But, with viable competition that now exists (and many more coming), some changes will certainly have to be made in the future for that to continue much longer. I hope to be back someday. But for now, $140,000+ certainly opens me up to quite a few intriguing options that are available or coming very soon.
 

kizamybute'

Member
Aug 24, 2019
228
548
Los Angeles, CA
Don't care. Small things can be fixed. Car is amazing
You are exactly the customer's Tesla is hoping for. Me, sorry, I don't want to have my $140,000+ car repainted before driving it home, nor have to go repaint or wrap the trim pieces after they've chipped away within 2,000 miles. But hey, that's just me. I expect a little more when spending that kind of money on a car. I got my Model S Long Range Raven for $75,000. At that price, was a little more forgiving.
 

Sbaimo

12/15 LR black/white 21” no FSD delivered 6/30
Jan 26, 2021
652
1,862
Hancock Park Los Angeles
I may just be lucky, but my LR seems to be in as good shape as any other car I have purchased over the past 10 years. Some of the software like
My home link garage opener does not
Work consistently but I assume a future sw update will take care of that. There is also one area around one of the door windows where the mounding looks a little funky but doesn’t seem to affect noise or fit. When I find enough issues that might bother me I will have them addressed at service.
I don’t find it unusual to have a minor flaw or 2. My last 2 MB’s had some small issues also. I did appreciate the MB service
Centers being very customer friendly and am not looking forward to any Tesla service. Maybe ill be surprised.
This is my first EV and I am loving it more
Than my last MB which was an AMG-gts. I am excited every time I get in the cat.
 

headcase

Member
Jan 23, 2015
584
1,109
Raleigh, NC
I'm waiting to hear others confirm whether they are finding chrome under the black trim, which doesn't make any sense to me.

As for build quality, every Tesla redesign / new model has had build quality issues in the first few production runs. And as much as we want to hope otherwise, I didn't expect things would be any different with this refresh of the S for the first few fiscal quarters. In fact, I have always felt that Tesla treats their car releases like a software release: ship early beta builds out into the wild with bugs and all, then refine in subsequent builds. Certainly not acceptable, mind you.
 
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D33pDish

Member
Aug 17, 2021
13
3
Chicago, IL
From everything I have read, Tesla cars are a mix of compromises. Insane performance for slightly to moderately questionable workmanship. For some this equation is pretty simple, performance is all that matters, but for others quality vs. price is of utmost importance. I guess it comes down to what matters most, performance vs. quality.

Just out of curiosity, what other cars are you considering in the 140k range?
 
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NoGasNoBrakes

Member
Aug 4, 2021
30
160
Los Angeles
Shocking that they made the decision to have all black trim, so why not simply produce these pieces out of black molded plastic like every other manufacturer in the world does???. NO, THEY PAINTED THE FRIGGEN CHROME PIECES BLACK!

Add that to trim pieces being rolled over inside, roof liner being mis-aligned. Typical uneven fender gaps.
Well Tesla is still using metal pieces for their cars, so I think they'd have to paint over the pieces, since metal isn't naturally black. Though I can't imagine actually painting over the chrome instead of just having a black finish. I'm surprised the quality of paint/paint job is as poor as you described, as I got to see one of the first Plaid cars in-person a month or two so ago, and it seemed to be in pristine condition, with none of the issues you described.

However, I do think that whenever Tesla releases a new car, the production quality is really rough around the edges; it definitely improves over time and hopefully they fix all these issues and continue to not do the same in the future. But I have seen many positive reviews of the Plaid, including the one by Marques Brownlee on Youtube, so I do think Tesla has been improving in that aspect. Definitely tradeoffs.
 
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VolcanoTacos

Member
Jul 6, 2021
105
295
Oregon
Although they did switch to black on the model 3 and have been doing it in the model y without a problem so I don’t really see how this is different
 

whitex

Well-Known Member
Sep 30, 2015
6,789
8,624
Seattle area, WA
From everything I have read, Tesla cars are a mix of compromises. Insane performance for slightly to moderately questionable workmanship. For some this equation is pretty simple, performance is all that matters, but for others quality vs. price is of utmost importance. I guess it comes down to what matters most, performance vs. quality.

Just out of curiosity, what other cars are you considering in the 140k range?
Porsche Taycan or Audi eTron GT or Mercedes EQS are decent substitutes, depending on what your priorities are. Personally I'm planning to replace my Model S with Taycan Cross Turismo Turbo, but the EQS came in second, and eTron GT RS came in third but would have been first if it was a hatchback (important to me, not important to everyone). Corporate Tesla profit centered service policies (which used to offset the bad build quality by fixing everything while providing loaners) combined with the yoke with all touch buttons is what pushed me over the edge to another brand. Waited a long time for good enough alternatives, finally they are (almost) here.

Tesla, you finally have competition! Let the game being.

PS> If you are interested purely in straight line acceleration drag race, Tesla is still unbeatable with the Plaid. Personally, I never drag race, so will take Ludicrous level "only" acceleration but with things like all-wheel-steering, HUD, night vision, better handling, better build quality, faster charging, more repeatabe performance, no vaporware (all features work on delivery day, novel idea, I know), Apple Car Play or Android Auto, etc.
 
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juanmedina

Active Member
Mar 31, 2016
2,474
7,122
SC
You are exactly the customer's Tesla is hoping for. Me, sorry, I don't want to have my $140,000+ car repainted before driving it home, nor have to go repaint or wrap the trim pieces after they've chipped away within 2,000 miles. But hey, that's just me. I expect a little more when spending that kind of money on a car. I got my Model S Long Range Raven for $75,000. At that price, was a little more forgiving.

You are being a drama queen. Do you think the Model S gets painted in a different paint boot than the other Tesla models? or they use different paint on the Model S? My Model 3 has 21k and only PPF on the front bumper and it probably has 5 chips, 3 on the hood and couple on one fender. The mirrors are unprotected and they are all fine. My paint looks great after 3 years.
 

juanmedina

Active Member
Mar 31, 2016
2,474
7,122
SC
I'm waiting to hear others confirm whether they are finding chrome under the black trim, which doesn't make any sense to me.

As for build quality, every Tesla redesign / new model has had build quality issues in the first few production runs. And as much as we want to hope otherwise, I didn't expect things would be any different with this refresh of the S for the first few fiscal quarters. In fact, I have always felt that Tesla treats their car releases like a software release: ship early beta builds out into the wild with bugs and all, then refine in subsequent builds. Certainly not acceptable, mind you.

Look at the Ford Bronco or Taycan 🤣 . No new car when released is going to be perfect when released there is going to be issues that will take time to iron out.
 
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CapeOne

Active Member
Jun 14, 2016
1,047
732
New England
Tesla will continue to have build quality issues as long as enough customers continue to accept the build quality issues. Same goes for customer service issues. As Tesla starts to face more and more EV competition, they will need to put more effort into quality, customer service, etc. If they can't or won't, their future may not be as bright as some think.

Sure, there will always be some who don't care much about appearance/cosmetics, quality, customer service, etc. but most will and if Tesla doesn't get its act together, these buyers will choose other brands. Competition will be good for consumers, including current and future Tesla owners, and competition is on the way!
 

theslimshadyist

Trampa!
Jan 4, 2016
1,248
812
Tampa, FL
Porsche Taycan or Audi eTron GT or Mercedes EQS are decent substitutes, depending on what your priorities are. Personally I'm planning to replace my Model S with Taycan Cross Turismo Turbo, but the EQS came in second, and eTron GT RS came in third but would have been first if it was a hatchback (important to me, not important to everyone). Corporate Tesla profit centered service policies (which used to offset the bad build quality by fixing everything while providing loaners) combined with the yoke with all touch buttons is what pushed me over the edge to another brand. Waited a long time for good enough alternatives, finally they are (almost) here.

Tesla, you finally have competition! Let the game being.

PS> If you are interested purely in straight line acceleration drag race, Tesla is still unbeatable with the Plaid. Personally, I never drag race, so will take Ludicrous level "only" acceleration but with things like all-wheel-steering, HUD, night vision, better handling, better build quality, faster charging, more repeatabe performance, no vaporware (all features work on delivery day, novel idea, I know), Apple Car Play or Android Auto, etc.

You'll love the Taycan! I have a 2021 that I purchased when a 911 owner backed out due to being nervous of going electric. I ended up liking the car so much that I decided to build and order a config based on all of the items to my liking. The end result will look like the following photos. So excited, can't wait until she arrives!
 

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razh

Member
Dec 11, 2017
277
427
Ottawa
I went outside to see if I can find any chips in my Model Y's "black painted chrome pieces" and there are plenty, but I don't see any chrome underneath. There is one deep enough where the cream-coloured primer is barely visible, but there's no sign of chrome. I touched it up with a sharpy and it looks good enough.

Does anyone have pictures of this problem? Is this fake news?
 
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TessP100D

Member
Jan 15, 2018
576
597
La Quinta, Ca
You are being a drama queen. Do you think the Model S gets painted in a different paint boot than the other Tesla models? or they use different paint on the Model S? My Model 3 has 21k and only PPF on the front bumper and it probably has 5 chips, 3 on the hood and couple on one fender. The mirrors are unprotected and they are all fine. My paint looks great after 3 years.
Sorry to tell you this… it your Model 3 is not in the same league as a Model S.
 

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