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Model S 2017 - Behind Back Seat Open Panels - Quality Fail

bob_p

Active Member
Apr 5, 2012
3,738
2,944
Our 2012 S P85 was built during the first "end of year" push to get as many cars built as possible before January 1. There were rumors those cars had lower quality because of the rush to get so many cars built quickly. So I was concerned about the quality of the car when it was going to be delivered. This was exacerbated because when the car would be delivered (by UPS) to the house, there wouldn't be anyone from Tesla present to help inspect the car (the nearest Service Center was over 1000 miles away at that time).

The concerns were unfounded - the car was in excellent shape, primarily needing a detailing (which Tesla did at our house) to clean up the car after transport.

If/when we are ever able to pick up our S 100D (today's delivery appointment will likely be cancelled due to the EPA hold), I will be looking very carefully at the fit and finish when we inspect the car before accepting it for delivery. This time, the delivery will be at a Service Center, and, if possible, we would not make the payment for the car until we've had an opportunity for a thorough inspection. And, if we see numerous paint issues (reported on another thread) or many trim issues (like reported above), we will strongly resist accepting the car. None of the luxury cars we've purchased ever had these issues.

I've been assured by our DS that our car appears to be in great shape. And if we do have to cancel today's delivery appointment, based on the concerns expressed in several of the TMC threads, I may still make the 2 hour round trip drive to the Service Center to do a thorough inspection of the car, to allay our concerns about quality. Though doing that could make the wait even more frustrating, if the EPA hold lasts a lot longer (days? weeks? months?).
 

P85DBeast

Side tEsLa
Mar 29, 2015
625
328
Atlanta, GA
2015, mine doesn't have this issue.

The new post-facelift cars seem to be very poorly built. I can't wait to hear about their reliability record in a couple of years.

I totally agree with you. The newer car's with were supposed to be better in QC area than the older cars my P85D had less QC issues than some of the 2017 Cars being delivered. Tesla is supposed to be improving not failing. When delivery day for our P100D came around we noticed gaps between panels that our "older" cars dont have and we were not impressed. So far to me it seems like the "Older" cars are better design wise than all of the new cars being delivered. We are afraid about what we are going to endure with our 100D when we order it. Which is why we haven't ordered it yet still trying to wait and see if Tesla QC improves. Honestly since our P100D has been in to the SC like 10 times already for QC issues. That my wife doesn't know if she want's to replace her 85D anytime soon with a car thats going to have poor quality. Its truly sad that Tesla is going backwards instead of forward. These cars are not CHEAP. And people are getting pissed of since they are paying so much and getting poor quality out of these cars I know I sure as hell would be pissed off. Like I am with my P100D with its QC.........:mad:
 

stace

Member
Feb 1, 2015
34
15
Chicago, IL
Man, I've gotta tell ya. It drives me absolutely insane to be sitting in the front seat of my beautiful, self-driving, technological marvel knowing that if I were to engage autopilot, reach into the back seat, pull the seats down and stare at the area normally covered by the rear seat back I might be able to see a gap where the carpet meets the trim piece.

I'm never going to be able to look at this car the same way again.

Literally undrivable.
 

N5329K

Active Member
Aug 12, 2009
1,863
3,764
California
Do you think BMW/Audi/Mercedes would deliver a car with these basic fit and finish issues?
"You're buying into the revolution in automotive design," and "You're buying a crown jewel of technology" is enough for some. But I don't think "You're also buying a very expensive car" should be overlooked on the way to the revolution.
Robin
 

kort677

Banned
Sep 17, 2015
4,801
2,996
florida.
This is a symptom of the same old problem with Tesla.
ZERO competition. If Tesla had to compete with other manufacturers, they'd fix these sorts of things, or they wouldn't keep selling so many cars.
But until there's competition, they really can do anything they want.
competition is coming, tesla better be prepared to compete. as soon as the "big boys" get into the ev game the only thing that tesla will have going for them is their wide supercharger network and with the expansion of commericial charger networks that too will change in time
 

SocalMS

Member
Feb 22, 2017
227
375
Los Angeles
I don't care enough to go check my car. This isn't something that I'd ever see under normal usage.

I agree it shouldn't be that way, and the QC sucks, but I see no need in making a mountain out of a molehill.

I respectfully disagree.

It's like saying, "there's a dried up cockroach in the trunk of my car.. but who cares since I don't notice it.."

We need to hold Tesla accountable.

I know I've had my share of conversations w/ the service manager, service personnel, sales personnel, and emailed Fremont.

Even though it was all in vain.

Everyone at the local service center agrees that the quality level needs to rise.

Allowing a car company to make a second rate car, just because they happen to be first mover is exactly what crippled the American Car companies in the 70's/80's and allowed German and Japanese cars to dominate marketshare.

As a Tesla owner, there's a level of practicality in dealing w/ a large Corporation that's "settled" in allowing their tolerance levels to fall, but in no way am I happy about this.

* To answer another poster's question -- no, this cannot be fixed by "tucking it in"... It's "unfixable" unless they change the size/shape of the panel cover.
 

Sir Guacamolaf

The good kind of fat
Mar 15, 2016
1,150
1,918
Not in a Tesla
..This isn't something that I'd ever see under normal usage.

That's the same approach we are taking to our national debt!

Here is the real issue - this "gap" means a poorly put together car. Over time as things move around, heat and expand with temperature changes, the car will make all sorts of noises and squeaks! And when you see such glaring issues on the surface, you really have to wonder what else is the car hiding.
 

SocalMS

Member
Feb 22, 2017
227
375
Los Angeles
Except the national debt does affect me and you in many ways.



Speaking of the national debt and economics...

I don't think anyone can tell me what the national debt is based on how they "feel".

There is no direct correlation, unless you lose your job or it spikes the price of goods, to the point where you can't buy groceries.

It's a number that none of us can directly relate to.

So, yes and no.. it does affect us.. but no - we can't really feel it because it's not DIRECT.

50 people get shot up in a restaurant and you hear it on the news.. yes it indirectly affects you...

50 of your close friends and family gets shot in a restaurant.. quite a different story.

Is this loose panel affecting any of us? Yes.... because it's like the national debt rising and increasing and you know it's symtom of something bad.

Will it prevent the car from going from A to B? No... Could it mean that there's other parts of this vehicle that's been haphazardly put together? Probably...

and that's what's most BOTHERSOME.

So these quality issues SHOULD NOT BE OVERLOOKED AND DISMISSED.
 

MS16

Member
Jan 23, 2017
330
352
Calif
Telsa SC and Tesla HQ both saying that this is "within tolerance" is even more troubling because it reveals Tesla's state of mind when it comes to quality.

If they can't even acknowledge that they have a problem, what hope is there that things will ever get fixed?
 
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bakchod87

Member
Sep 25, 2016
79
43
Chicago
Kort - please provide examples of Tesla's excellent quality control? are there any? I really want Tesla to succeed but owning 2 of them has been an exercise in extreme patience and one that will not let me recommend the cars to anyone. Our 2015 is going to Dania on wednesday for a failing ac compressor and non responsive door handle. The 2016 is in the process of getting sold back to Tesla via the lemon law. Please explain how Tesla's QC is getting better.
Would you mind sharing the problems with the 2016 car that made you invoke the lemon law? What all issues it had? Sorry to hear your experience. It definitely is concerning to see Tesla not taking care of basic quality control issues. I am seeing wildly different experiences. Some people love their car and have NO issues whatsoever and some people have very glaring and basic functional issues that should NOT be there. As an owner and investor, this doesn't make me too comfortable knowing that this car is in its 5th year of production and yet many customers are having these issues.
 
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SocalMS

Member
Feb 22, 2017
227
375
Los Angeles
Would you mind sharing the problems with the 2016 car that made you invoke the lemon law? What all issues it had? Sorry to hear your experience. It definitely is concerning to see Tesla not taking care of basic quality control issues. I am seeing wildly different experiences. Some people love their car and have NO issues whatsoever and some people have very glaring and basic functional issues that should NOT be there. As an owner and investor, this doesn't make me too comfortable knowing that this car is in its 5th year of production and yet many customers are having these issues.

No issues? You positive about that?

A couple of weeks ago, I was at a Supercharger station and was talking to another X owner. He was quite happy with the car.

We were talking and I mentioned some of the quality issues I notice that Tesla's had and said that I hoped Tesla would get their act together..

He said he must be "lucky" because he had NO problems w/ his car... I said.. "are you sure, let's go take a look..."

So we went over to his X that was charging up a few stalls away from mine, and I must have pointed out at least 3 fitment/trim issues he didn't notice, including a piece of plastic somewhere on the rear body that was obviously "loose"..

He was shocked and LIVID....

I reminded him to be calm and bring it up to the service center... Explained to him again, that Tesla's just do not appear to be manufactured w/ the highest level of standards you'd expect from a Lexus, MB, Audi BMW etc..

He was ready to bite some heads off as soon as he could get to a service center...

So many Tesla owners are so pre-occupied w/ the hype, the 17" screen, the auto-pilot, the battery etc.. that we forget to notice the quality standards we come to expect from any other car company...
 

ShockOnT

⚡️⚡️⚡️⚡️⚡️
Jun 26, 2016
3,413
3,200
Sydney
Do you think BMW/Audi/Mercedes would deliver a car with these basic fit and finish issues?
"You're buying into the revolution in automotive design," and "You're buying a crown jewel of technology" is enough for some. But I don't think "You're also buying a very expensive car" should be overlooked on the way to the revolution.
Robin
Have you seen the BMW i3 "frunk"? It's basically a plastic storage container nail-gunned to the car.

Having said that, my Model S, purchased at the extreme limit of my financial ability, has numerous little quality issues that I do my best to ignore because of my overall fondness for the vehicle.
A little more QC would go a long way.
 

Stirthepot

Member
Jul 18, 2015
239
200
Nj
just checked my 2015 model S. no gap and agree with what someone else said, i wouldnt make a big deal on this one, at least i don't drive around with the seats down so i never see it. would be nice if fit and finish was better overall but i knew that when i bought the car. its obvious when you look at it that its not on par with the other top brands in that category, but for me it buying the telsa was about EVERYTHING the other brands don't offer = electric, technology, autopilot etc etc
 

Ulmo

Active Member
Jan 19, 2016
4,330
4,907
Vienna Woods, Aptos, California
I checked mine.
  1. This is the quality level I have come to expect from Tesla. I would never expect this on Mercedes.
  2. I can clearly see where the gap would be, and why. One side has a half inch gap but not in the same direction yours is; I can't see into it. Only danger is stuff getting in. The other side doesn't have the gap. But I can see that both parts are just placed there, butted against each other; there is no interlocking designed into the system. No glue, clips, bolts, etc.
  3. In my case, I use the trunk a lot, so the cargo has pushed the sides of the trunk outward, which would help to keep these pieces in place. If you have been relatively light on the usage of your car, I can see why these may have more readily warped in the inward direction, due to lack of cargo, and revealed their lack of designed attachment.
  4. Eventually some type of Velcro solution seems like a way to deal with this, unless it starts detaching while driving (that would get noisy), in which case a glue or sandwich part riveted or bolted on might work; bolted seems better for future removal. Perhaps some back bolts exist. Not sure how to attach them. I'm not good with this type of mechanics; a body shop might have better ideas than I could ever dream of without becoming an expert.
 
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Mattzilla

Member
Mar 17, 2016
461
675
Allyn, WA
It's interesting that my car doesn't have this issue. But to date, I've taken my car to a service center numerous times for the following issues:

- Faulty mobile charger (they replaced free of charge)
- Very loud rattles from the center console (fixed after 2 visits)
- Very loud rattles from the headliner (fixed after 1 visit)
- Very loud rattles from the panoramic roof (mostly fixed after 3 visits - they treated me like I was crazy and didn't believe me until finally one technician admitted there was an issue and was able to mostly fix it)
- Tire misalignment detected immediately after delivery (they charged me for the alignment)
- Driver side rear door handle misaligned and squeaking when extended/retracted (fixed after 1 visit)
- LED headlight failed after a few weeks of ownership (they replaced free of charge)
 

Ulmo

Active Member
Jan 19, 2016
4,330
4,907
Vienna Woods, Aptos, California
Very loud rattles from the panoramic roof (mostly fixed after 3 visits - they treated me like I was crazy and didn't believe me until finally one technician admitted there was an issue and was able to mostly fix it)
I think the types of people they end up hiring for a car manufactured with this level of quality are people who deny problems and blame you. They did that to me, rudely, at my first service center (I've since found a much nicer service center). It turns into a how can you prove it game.

The cold feet problem (feet get cold at extended higher speeds in cool weather) I had was a show stopper, and they refused to fix it, but I finally found multiple threads here on TMC about it (because every Model S has the problem), and some member solutions worked.

Things I can prove I bring in. Everything else I try to go elsewhere. It makes the whole process easier and more deterministic.

I'm actually enjoying the body repair shops in comparison: the problems are easy to identify, and they don't treat me crazy either; they just explain it in a nice human way and write a quote. Repairs work out well.

I think it's a dealer vs competitive shop experience; of course the monopoly will mess with you. The private shop wants your business, and knows you could go elsewhere. (It helps that there are dozens of Tesla certified body shops in California.)
 
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