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Minor Paint Issues turned Major

NorCalChris

Member
Jul 4, 2019
51
59
Sacramento
Took delivery of my AWD LR Multi-cost Red Model 3 on September 21. At delivery I noticed 4 minor paint issues and they were noted on a due bill. Fast forward to last week, I dropped the car off to the Tesla approved body shop for paint repairs.

This Tuesday I was told the car was done and went to pick it up. They informed me they had to repaint the front and rear bumpers. And when inspecting the car I notice a huge difference in both the color and metallic/pearl layer between the bumper and other panels. I voiced my displeasure and to the body shops credit they agreed to look into why it’s not matching and have it redone.

Today I got a call requesting that I come down to the body shop to talk options. Long story short when examining the car with the body shop manager, paint manager and service manager from Tesla it was determined the car needed to be completely repainted. Basically the factory base layer was painted to inconsistent and even within each panel there is a huge difference from one area to another. When I looked at the car again it was clear that some areas were closer to pink then red because of not having enough paint (I wish I had paid more attention when I first picked up the car).

So now I’m without the car for a minimum of 3 more weeks. And I’m furious. I stopped by Tesla after meeting with the body shop and voiced my displeasure. Basically told them I want a new car or compensated for the time and hassle of not having this one. The delivery manager I set with wasn’t that helpful, but I did convince him to escalate it up to the regional manager.

what does everyone think I should do for next steps? Keep on top of the delivery manager? Can I escalate it myself to corporate? Think it’s even worth keeping this car, or should I insist on a new one?
 

Nogasmn

Member
Dec 8, 2018
232
126
Rochester
Are there any other problems with the car's fit and finish? If not keep it, yeah its three weeks but at the end of it, if the shop cares about it's work, you may get a better painted car than what can come from the factory. Are they going to take off the trim, lights, and glass? Find out how "deep" they are willing to get this car painted. I wouldn't worry about door jams those are usually painted by hand anyway.
 

jonquiljo

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Sep 26, 2019
1,064
527
SF Bay Area - Marin
Crap, that’s terrible. You have every right to be angry - or furious! Will they not provide you with a loaner at this point? If there was ever a reason for a loaner, you’ve got one! Tesla should be ashamed with the paint job. The whole car is f’d up?

I agree with Nogasmn, you will most likely get a better painted car than ever possible from the factory. If its getting escalated to a regional manager, thats about as high as you likely can go and still get someone who understands the problem. Corporate tends to be about policy. I would definitely keep after all of them.

Document everything should this go south. If you’ve had it four times in the shop for the same thing (paint) then you are good for a lemon law claim. I wouldn’t go for a lemon law claim, but it’s good leverage as Tesla doesn’t need the bad rep this will add to regarding fit and finish.

But definitely yell for a loaner. Tesla owes you - and no car for 3 weeks is a PITA. Good luck.
 

NorCalChris

Member
Jul 4, 2019
51
59
Sacramento
Have a loaner... Model S 75d through enterprise. It’s a nice car, but no autopilot, can’t control things with the app, etc. Plus range wise is a struggle for me on some days as I drive a ton. They keep insisting it’s the only option.

As far as fit and finish the car is great. I have no other problems at all with it. Body shop said they will be removing everything, including glass to have it repainted. I’m confident it will be done right.

the big issue is the time I’ve wasted dealing with this. And being without my car for a month. I’m glad I have the model s to drive, but when I decided on a Tesla I fell in love with the 3, and how it drives and feels. And now I basically have a used model S to drive around.
 
Last edited:

OCR1

Active Member
Jan 28, 2018
3,764
4,279
Southern California
This has been discussed over and over again but we continue to get new posts almost daily about this stuff. But I’ll say it again.

Never accept a car from Tesla that requires any visit to the service center or body shop for repairs. What seems like a trivial matter will frequently turn into a major source of aggravation. You take the car in to fix one thing and Tesla breaks two more things in the process. So you rinse and repeat and keep going back chasing all the bugs and blemishes in the car that need repairs. Eventually they will get it right but you will waste far more time than you care to spend fixing this stuff.

Just reject the car and wait for another one. Period.
 

jonquiljo

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Sep 26, 2019
1,064
527
SF Bay Area - Marin
What is it with Tesla and paint? Why do they keep having so many problems of this nature? :oops:

Painting a car is a time consuming, labor intensive process requiring skilled professionals. It is not easy to do correctly. Tesla wants to slam out cars one after another and likely cuts many corners.

So Tesla probably spends more time fixing paint defects than it would to just paint the cars correctly in the first place. Not a very cost effective way of doing things, but Tesla has it's own ways.
 

woodguyatl

Member
Oct 3, 2018
446
378
GA
Took delivery of my AWD LR Multi-cost Red Model 3 on September 21. At delivery I noticed 4 minor paint issues and they were noted on a due bill. Fast forward to last week, I dropped the car off to the Tesla approved body shop for paint repairs.

This Tuesday I was told the car was done and went to pick it up. They informed me they had to repaint the front and rear bumpers. And when inspecting the car I notice a huge difference in both the color and metallic/pearl layer between the bumper and other panels. I voiced my displeasure and to the body shops credit they agreed to look into why it’s not matching and have it redone.

Today I got a call requesting that I come down to the body shop to talk options. Long story short when examining the car with the body shop manager, paint manager and service manager from Tesla it was determined the car needed to be completely repainted. Basically the factory base layer was painted to inconsistent and even within each panel there is a huge difference from one area to another. When I looked at the car again it was clear that some areas were closer to pink then red because of not having enough paint (I wish I had paid more attention when I first picked up the car).

So now I’m without the car for a minimum of 3 more weeks. And I’m furious. I stopped by Tesla after meeting with the body shop and voiced my displeasure. Basically told them I want a new car or compensated for the time and hassle of not having this one. The delivery manager I set with wasn’t that helpful, but I did convince him to escalate it up to the regional manager.

what does everyone think I should do for next steps? Keep on top of the delivery manager? Can I escalate it myself to corporate? Think it’s even worth keeping this car, or should I insist on a new one?


Basically, you are going to end up with a car that has a better paint job than any of the ones leaving the factory. Tesla factory paint quality is terrible. Any good body shop does a much better job than the factory. Be patient. Tesla is a pain sometimes but it is worth it.
 
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Reactions: Needsdecaf

woodguyatl

Member
Oct 3, 2018
446
378
GA
This has been discussed over and over again but we continue to get new posts almost daily about this stuff. But I’ll say it again.

Never accept a car from Tesla that requires any visit to the service center or body shop for repairs. What seems like a trivial matter will frequently turn into a major source of aggravation. You take the car in to fix one thing and Tesla breaks two more things in the process. So you rinse and repeat and keep going back chasing all the bugs and blemishes in the car that need repairs. Eventually they will get it right but you will waste far more time than you care to spend fixing this stuff.

Just reject the car and wait for another one. Period.


I had to have a few panels panted on my new Model 3. The body shop I used is excellent. I worked a deal and had them paint the entire car for a few extra bucks. The paint on my car is dramatically better than any factory job. It is very obvious when I park next to another Model 3. The OP can either wait for another car with average Tesla paint or wait the same time for a better paint job from the shop. I'd choose the latter.
 

jkoya

NA2 NSX
Nov 21, 2018
3,626
1,569
Northern CA
Took delivery of my AWD LR Multi-cost Red Model 3 on September 21. At delivery I noticed 4 minor paint issues and they were noted on a due bill. Fast forward to last week, I dropped the car off to the Tesla approved body shop for paint repairs.

I see you are in Sacramento. By any chance, is your car being worked on by Kniesel's Collision - Rocklin ? If so, they had my DBM Model 3 for 2 weeks this past February. I think they had to respray almost half of the car, according to Kniesel's. My car was delivered with several paint defects. Anyway, Kniesel's did an excellent job and I was happy with their work. Color match was excellent and they did a great job in realigning the frunk.

With that said, they forgot to reapply the driver's side door sill plate, the door jamb sticker with the tire info and the door jamb sticker with the VIN, date of manufacture, etc. So, keep an eye out and make sure they reapply and reinstall everything.....
 
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Reactions: cwerdna

NorCalChris

Member
Jul 4, 2019
51
59
Sacramento
I see you are in Sacramento. By any chance, is your car being worked on by Kniesel's Collision - Rocklin ? If so, they had my DBM Model 3 for 2 weeks this past February. I think they had to respray almost half of the car, according to Kniesel's. My car was delivered with several paint defects. Anyway, Kniesel's did an excellent job and I was happy with their work. Color match was excellent and they did a great job in realigning the frunk.

With that said, they forgot to reapply the driver's side door sill plate, the door jamb sticker with the tire info and the door jamb sticker with the VIN, date of manufacture, etc. So, keep an eye out and make sure they reapply and reinstall everything.....

Yep, that's exactly where my car is. I've talked to two other local Tesla owners that have had paint work done there and they have been happy as well. Fingers crossed for a good outcome!
 

jkoya

NA2 NSX
Nov 21, 2018
3,626
1,569
Northern CA
Yep, that's exactly where my car is. I've talked to two other local Tesla owners that have had paint work done there and they have been happy as well. Fingers crossed for a good outcome!

I was leasing a Honda Fit EV and I got rear ended on I-80. Kniesel's did that repair as well and they did an excellent color match job on the Metallic Blue paint of the Fit EV.

For my Model 3, I picked the car up at Kniesel's on March 1st, 2019 and didn't notice the two door jamb labels were missing until the middle of June. I called Kniesel's and they ordered the decals for me. I had them by the following week. I was very happy with their Customer Service.
 

AdamVIP

Member
Mar 4, 2019
535
314
California
If you are getting a free respray from a shop that will be better than rolling the paint lotto again. All factory paint sucks so I would keep it if Tesla is footing the bill for a shop to paint.
 

jkoya

NA2 NSX
Nov 21, 2018
3,626
1,569
Northern CA
Today I got a call requesting that I come down to the body shop to talk options. Long story short when examining the car with the body shop manager, paint manager and service manager from Tesla it was determined the car needed to be completely repainted. Basically the factory base layer was painted to inconsistent and even within each panel there is a huge difference from one area to another. When I looked at the car again it was clear that some areas were closer to pink then red because of not having enough paint (I wish I had paid more attention when I first picked up the car).

Was at the Sac Auto Show yesterday at the SMUD Electric car exhibit and saw a red Model 3 there. As you described, this car also had color variations from panel to panel. The front bumper and hood looked red, but the left front fender had a more pinkish hue. The color difference was noticeable to the 4 of us looking at the car....
 

mswlogo

Well-Known Member
Aug 27, 2018
6,162
5,318
MA, NH
Now maybe it’s statistics of lots of red and white cars. But it most always seems to be red or white cars that have the bulk of paint issues. Even when black was the standard color it rarely came up. Black, Midnight Silver and Blue just don’t come up that often. And I know there are tons of Midnight Silvers. Just an observation. I know there examples of good and bad in any color but it seems to be a bit of a pattern.
 

XLR82XS

D M C
Jul 26, 2019
3,155
1,955
SWFL | Vegas
Now maybe it’s statistics of lots of red and white cars. But it most always seems to be red or white cars that have the bulk of paint issues. Even when black was the standard color it rarely came up. Black, Midnight Silver and Blue just don’t come up that often. And I know there are tons of Midnight Silvers. Just an observation. I know there examples of good and bad in any color but it seems to be a bit of a pattern.
FWIW I have seen videos and photos online of some really bad black paint jobs.
 

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