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Model 3 Build Quality - What's your experience?

After hearing so many "horror stories" about M3 build quality and regularly being asked by friends what problems the car came with I figured I would start a post on the subject. This is mainly due to the amount of "negative" information floating around about how inconsistent the build quality is on the Model 3. The intent of this thread is to get new Model 3 owners to share their experiences and provide new buyers with a source of first hand information. Hopefully over time this will show a pattern in Tesla quality control direction and give new buyers a reference point for helping them in their buying (brainwashing 😂) process.

My experience... (Shanghai Gigafactory M3LR 2021/22)
I ordered a Model 3 Long Range Black with Black interior on October the 28th. The initial time to delivery was estimated at November 22nd to December 10.
Regular updates from Tesla continued to narrow the delivery estimate window and I finally scheduled my pickup time and date to the 30th of November.
It's easy to be excited on the day of pickup and miss any major blemishes or gap/alignment issues. I certainly fell into the excited camp so spent a few minutes having a look for anything obvious before jumping in and driving off.
I picked my car up from Mulgrave. The warehouse is not well lit so you really won't see any major paint issues inside so you are better off driving outside and doing a thorough check or driving home and reporting anything you find immediately.
On pickup you will have already installed your Tesla app on your phone and as you approach your car the app and the car connect to each other and you are pretty much good to go.

Exterior - My first "proper" checks were done at home. I really couldn't see any major defects in the paint apart from some residue from whatever the cover the car in to protect it in transport. Nearly every panel was well aligned so overall I would say the build quality was excellent! The only thing my amateur inspection could find was a very slight discrepancy in the tail lights. The right tail light gap between the boot lid was marginally wider and slightly further out than the left, but you really had to be looking to notice this.
The real paint inspection was done at Peninsula Tint where I had the car paint corrected and ceramic coated and tinted. Under lights there were a couple of small blemishes. On the right passenger quarter panel there was a circle about 5cm in diameter that could be seen under the inspection light. I have seen these circles on a youtube video from a black model 3P in the US. No idea what they are, possibly from transport or maybe even from the paint gun? Although I know it's there you can't see it unless you are looking for it and have a really good light. There were a couple of dust nibs on the left passenger front door sill which buffed out during paint correction.

Interior
Inside I couldn't find any issues with roof panel and trim alignment or gaps as I have previously seen on reviews. Seats and carpets were all blemish free. The first item I found that would be a "fault" was under the drivers seat. I purchased the dust covers for the air vents from Tessories and when I installed them I noticed the drivers vent was "floating". I'm not sure if this is how it's meant to be as the passenger side is definitely locked in place. I have contacted Tesla and they will be sending a service agent to check next week. The only other gripe I have with the interior is a slight rattle on course chip surfaces. Maybe it's the floating vent?

Overall I would say the car deserves an 8 to 8.5 out of 10 for delivery quality. I have bought many brand new cars over the years and none have been "perfect" and to be honest I was expecting the Tesla to be have more issues than I found, but I went in with my eyes open as it were and all I can say is that I am pleasantly surprised. It will be interesting to hear others experiences and see how quality is improving over time.
 
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I went over my now almost 3 month old 3LR fairly carefully- 'though I am not an expert. But I do have an eye for detail and am fussy about imperfections.

I found no issues inside or outside my car.

The only slight gremlin was that the second card key was not working (it appeared to have failed). Tesla was going to send Mobile Service to replace it but I thought this was overkill and said I would be happy to receive by post. They overnight-couriered a new card to me very quickly with no fuss.

I also ordered a new fascia-receiver (stone cover) for under the car because I wanted one with a "door" for the Stealth Towbar. This was a painless experience and ordering/payment/collection very smooth and quick.
 
My M3LR I picked up last week had no real issues. After a thorough check and if I was being super fussy there were a few tiny yellow spots in the white paint that I didn't see until applying some NV Jet coating up close. The gap between the dash and the door is ever so slightly larger on the drivers side.
Nothing worth worrying about. Not quite up to the Volvo XC90 I picked up in 2020 which was essentially flawless but the Tesla is very good.
It seems most Tesla's with build quality issues originate in the US. Anecdotally, Shanghai seems to have a higher build quality.
 
M3P in the US with no panel or paint issues. Some primer or e-coat showing in the door jamb hinge area which is not a great thing to have but there it is.

Thought I had some bubbles in the rear glass and scheduled a dealer visit. It turned out to be some type of overspray which they fixed.

Had to reboot the car on day 3 because I tried to use the electronic owner's manual. This is a known issue that really should be corrected.

Cruise is better since the update but I am not a heavy user. I don't use it where I normally would which is to keep myself from speeding on secondary roads. Also something that is a serious shortcoming for some drivers.

Turned off the auto high beams. They respond too late and not nearly as well as my former M6.

Otherwise I like the car and have driven several other brands with equal or worse "minor" quality issues.

Infiniti was far and away the best quality and dealer service I've ever had. MINI was the absolute worst by every measure. Audi and BMW fall somewhere in between depending on the model. Tesla is currently the winner for fewest mechanical/drivetrain issues so we'll see how it goes.
 
My September delivery M3 LR seems fine. I am quite fussy about these things, and had heard all the horror stories, so I did a full inspection when I got home. I got front ppf and ceramic coat, plus front and rear mud guards to protect from stone chips. This will be a long term keeper, so I intend to look after it.

No squeaks or rattles.

I too had the reboot when looking up the manual online.

Navigation is hopeless at picking up correct speed limits. It shows 40 near schools even at weekends and 60 (for trucks) when it should be 80.
 
After hearing so many "horror stories" about M3 build quality and regularly being asked by friends what problems the car came with I figured I would start a post on the subject. This is mainly due to the amount of "negative" information floating around about how inconsistent the build quality is on the Model 3. The intent of this thread is to get new Model 3 owners to share their experiences and provide new buyers with a source of first hand information. Hopefully over time this will show a pattern in Tesla quality control direction and give new buyers a reference point for helping them in their buying (brainwashing 😂) process.

My experience... (Shanghai Gigafactory M3LR 2021/22)
I ordered a Model 3 Long Range Black with Black interior on October the 28th. The initial time to delivery was estimated at November 22nd to December 10.
Regular updates from Tesla continued to narrow the delivery estimate window and I finally scheduled my pickup time and date to the 30th of November.
It's easy to be excited on the day of pickup and miss any major blemishes or gap/alignment issues. I certainly fell into the excited camp so spent a few minutes having a look for anything obvious before jumping in and driving off.
I picked my car up from Mulgrave. The warehouse is not well lit so you really won't see any major paint issues inside so you are better off driving outside and doing a thorough check or driving home and reporting anything you find immediately.
On pickup you will have already installed your Tesla app on your phone and as you approach your car the app and the car connect to each other and you are pretty much good to go.

Exterior - My first "proper" checks were done at home. I really couldn't see any major defects in the paint apart from some residue from whatever the cover the car in to protect it in transport. Nearly every panel was well aligned so overall I would say the build quality was excellent! The only thing my amateur inspection could find was a very slight discrepancy in the tail lights. The right tail light gap between the boot lid was marginally wider and slightly further out than the left, but you really had to be looking to notice this.
The real paint inspection was done at Peninsula Tint where I had the car paint corrected and ceramic coated and tinted. Under lights there were a couple of small blemishes. On the right passenger quarter panel there was a circle about 5cm in diameter that could be seen under the inspection light. I have seen these circles on a youtube video from a black model 3P in the US. No idea what they are, possibly from transport or maybe even from the paint gun? Although I know it's there you can't see it unless you are looking for it and have a really good light. There were a couple of dust nibs on the left passenger front door sill which buffed out during paint correction.

Interior
Inside I couldn't find any issues with roof panel and trim alignment or gaps as I have previously seen on reviews. Seats and carpets were all blemish free. The first item I found that would be a "fault" was under the drivers seat. I purchased the dust covers for the air vents from Tessories and when I installed them I noticed the drivers vent was "floating". I'm not sure if this is how it's meant to be as the passenger side is definitely locked in place. I have contacted Tesla and they will be sending a service agent to check next week. The only other gripe I have with the interior is a slight rattle on course chip surfaces. Maybe it's the floating vent?

Overall I would say the car deserves an 8 to 8.5 out of 10 for delivery quality. I have bought many brand new cars over the years and none have been "perfect" and to be honest I was expecting the Tesla to be have more issues than I found, but I went in with my eyes open as it were and all I can say is that I am pleasantly surprised. It will be interesting to hear others experiences and see how quality is improving over time.
After hearing so many "horror stories" about M3 build quality and regularly being asked by friends what problems the car came with I figured I would start a post on the subject. This is mainly due to the amount of "negative" information floating around about how inconsistent the build quality is on the Model 3. The intent of this thread is to get new Model 3 owners to share their experiences and provide new buyers with a source of first hand information. Hopefully over time this will show a pattern in Tesla quality control direction and give new buyers a reference point for helping them in their buying (brainwashing 😂) process.

My experience... (Shanghai Gigafactory M3LR 2021/22)
I ordered a Model 3 Long Range Black with Black interior on October the 28th. The initial time to delivery was estimated at November 22nd to December 10.
Regular updates from Tesla continued to narrow the delivery estimate window and I finally scheduled my pickup time and date to the 30th of November.
It's easy to be excited on the day of pickup and miss any major blemishes or gap/alignment issues. I certainly fell into the excited camp so spent a few minutes having a look for anything obvious before jumping in and driving off.
I picked my car up from Mulgrave. The warehouse is not well lit so you really won't see any major paint issues inside so you are better off driving outside and doing a thorough check or driving home and reporting anything you find immediately.
On pickup you will have already installed your Tesla app on your phone and as you approach your car the app and the car connect to each other and you are pretty much good to go.

Exterior - My first "proper" checks were done at home. I really couldn't see any major defects in the paint apart from some residue from whatever the cover the car in to protect it in transport. Nearly every panel was well aligned so overall I would say the build quality was excellent! The only thing my amateur inspection could find was a very slight discrepancy in the tail lights. The right tail light gap between the boot lid was marginally wider and slightly further out than the left, but you really had to be looking to notice this.
The real paint inspection was done at Peninsula Tint where I had the car paint corrected and ceramic coated and tinted. Under lights there were a couple of small blemishes. On the right passenger quarter panel there was a circle about 5cm in diameter that could be seen under the inspection light. I have seen these circles on a youtube video from a black model 3P in the US. No idea what they are, possibly from transport or maybe even from the paint gun? Although I know it's there you can't see it unless you are looking for it and have a really good light. There were a couple of dust nibs on the left passenger front door sill which buffed out during paint correction.

Interior
Inside I couldn't find any issues with roof panel and trim alignment or gaps as I have previously seen on reviews. Seats and carpets were all blemish free. The first item I found that would be a "fault" was under the drivers seat. I purchased the dust covers for the air vents from Tessories and when I installed them I noticed the drivers vent was "floating". I'm not sure if this is how it's meant to be as the passenger side is definitely locked in place. I have contacted Tesla and they will be sending a service agent to check next week. The only other gripe I have with the interior is a slight rattle on course chip surfaces. Maybe it's the floating vent?

Overall I would say the car deserves an 8 to 8.5 out of 10 for delivery quality. I have bought many brand new cars over the years and none have been "perfect" and to be honest I was expecting the Tesla to be have more issues than I found, but I went in with my eyes open as it were and all I can say is that I am pleasantly surprised. It will be interesting to hear others experiences and see how quality is improving over time.
I’m really surprised by this, I took delivery of a 2021 M3P with FSD about 2 months ago. The car cost upwards of 74k and I’m shocked at the issues I’m having with the car. The wind blowing through the cabin is quite shocking in comparison to other vehicles I’ve owned. Granted, this is my first EV, and I wasn’t sure what to expect based on some of the posts I’d read, but I thought I would be driving in a much quieter car. I‘ve also had issues with the camera system not working when in reverse, I am currently not able to use Autopilot or FSD, I have the beta, because of some kind of camera calibration issue. My windshield wipers currently will not work on auto, and my Sentry feature doesn‘t work either, half the time I’m driving around without a screen, it just turns off, I don’t even have 2000 miles on it yet!! Extremely disappointed in almost all aspect of the car and I don’t think I would ever buy another until something has been done about the quality issues. Made an appointment to take the car in but even that is a big headache, I can’t even get an appointment for 3 weeks!! I’m not typically a complainer and I really wanted to love my new car but this is just unacceptable.
 
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Vostok

Active Member
Jul 1, 2017
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Sydney
I’m really surprised by this, I took delivery of a 2021 M3P with FSD about 2 months ago. The car cost upwards of 74k and I’m shocked at the issues I’m having with the car.

Sounds like you’ve unfortunately got a bit of a lemon. It happens. Not that that’s any consolation. Even if it’s 1 in 100,000, it still very crappy for the 1 who ends up with it.

Model 3 is not the world’s quietest car - you do hear the tyre noise above about 40 km/h, but that is partly due to the fact that there’s no noisy ICE to mask it. It doesn’t bother me, I find the car quiet enough. Never heard “wind blowing through the cabin” without the windows open 🙂.

Wipers were initially hit-and-miss when I first got my car, but subsequent software updates have made it fine In my experience.

No rear camera issues, and no issues with the screen randomly turning off.

Service might be able to fix all the issues. Hang in there.
 

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