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Protruding headlights: Did Tesla fix this on your 3?

azred

Active Member
Apr 12, 2016
2,143
3,298
Chandler, AZ
There are so many issues with my 6 weeks old car that have yet to be addressed but I wondered if it will do me any good to complain about the least of my concerns, i.e., , protruding headlights. Has anyone gotten any relief for this common issue?

I am frequently reminded of American cars I bought in the 70’s, before Japanese imports raised expectations. There were so many quality control issues, no one expected anything different and you would just wear yourself out for nothing if you complained. I’m kind of getting that way with the 3. I’m sick of hearing from Tesla techs about items that are within their tolerances. I guess Tesla has about the same tolerances as Chevrolet and Ford in 1970.
 

azred

Active Member
Apr 12, 2016
2,143
3,298
Chandler, AZ
I just love the “disagree” button. No point in trying to engage in discussion. Hopefully someone with the protruding headlight issue will actually add a comment. I am assuming the disagreement had to do with my comparisons to 1970 Ford and Chevy — and the person is from Australia! Priceless.
 
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azred

Active Member
Apr 12, 2016
2,143
3,298
Chandler, AZ
My car was in for service. I listed this as a check item as I had no comparison and thought odd. They said in spec. Was also verified with other M3's in SC.
Kind of what I expect to hear when I mention it. I wonder if that answer will change when tens of thousands of these cars are produced and the number of complaints goes up exponentially.
 
My service center rep felt two other model 3s in the parking lot and proclaimed my bulging headlights to be “normal”! I know of no other auto manufacturer including Fiat that would find this acceptable. (I owned a Fiat 500E.)

However, because one of these two parked 3s did not have a sunken hood (a 29xx VIN by the way), my sunken hood was deemed not normal and a body shop will be inspecting it.
 

S3XY

Active Member
Supporting Member
Nov 24, 2015
2,192
7,457
Buffalo, NY
My service center rep felt two other model 3s in the parking lot and proclaimed my bulging headlights to be “normal”! I know of no other auto manufacturer including Fiat that would find this acceptable. (I owned a Fiat 500E.)

However, because one of these two parked 3s did not have a sunken hood (a 29xx VIN by the way), my sunken hood was deemed not normal and a body shop will be inspecting it.
Well, they used a rather small sample but isn't that the definition of normal?
 

azred

Active Member
Apr 12, 2016
2,143
3,298
Chandler, AZ
My service center rep felt two other model 3s in the parking lot and proclaimed my bulging headlights to be “normal”! I know of no other auto manufacturer including Fiat that would find this acceptable. (I owned a Fiat 500E.)

However, because one of these two parked 3s did not have a sunken hood (a 29xx VIN by the way), my sunken hood was deemed not normal and a body shop will be inspecting it.
Yep, that’s what my SC said this morning about headlights. I asked the tech to run his hand around the headlights of other cars in the Center and he said each of them indeed did bulge above the fender. Not only isn’t this normal for other car brands, it isn’t normal for other Teslas. My Model S headlights are flush with the fender.

Tesla is going to get a huge wake up call as they get production ramped up and thousands of customers descend on the SC. Instead of getting these fit and finish issues sorted out over the past six to eight months they seem to be just crossing their fingers that large numbers of customers won’t notice. Good luck with that approach.
 
Yep, that’s what my SC said this morning about headlights. I asked the tech to run his hand around the headlights of other cars in the Center and he said each of them indeed did bulge above the fender. Not only isn’t this normal for other car brands, it isn’t normal for other Teslas. My Model S headlights are flush with the fender.

Tesla is going to get a huge wake up call as they get production ramped up and thousands of customers descend on the SC. Instead of getting these fit and finish issues sorted out over the past six to eight months they seem to be just crossing their fingers that large numbers of customers won’t notice. Good luck with that approach.

A picture would help as I don't have a Model 3 yet. Is this bulging in 1 dimension, 2 dimensions, or 3 dimensions? To the front, upwards, to the side, some combination of those?
 
I’ve brought this up to Santa Clara SC back in January and got the usual response like everybody else (within spec compared to other cars)

Learned to live with it. Similar to my sunken-hood (also within spec compared to the few other ☰ in the SC)

Have SC appointment tomorrow for other stuff, maybe I’ll ask them again and see what they have to say this time around.
 

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I’ve brought this up to Santa Clara SC back in January and got the usual response like everybody else (within spec compared to other cars)

Learned to live with it. Similar to my sunken-hood (also within spec compared to the few other ☰ in the SC)

Have SC appointment tomorrow for other stuff, maybe I’ll ask them again and see what they have to say this time around.

Thanks for the pictures, now I know what I'm looking for when the time comes.
 
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I’ve brought this up to Santa Clara SC back in January and got the usual response like everybody else (within spec compared to other cars)

No way is this within specs. And if it is, there is something very wrong with their specs. This bulge looks extreme, and very different from the many Model 3s that we have seen pictures of in this very forum where the headlights seem to be perfectly flush, as should be expected.
 
No way is this within specs. And if it is, there is something very wrong with their specs. This bulge looks extreme, and very different from the many Model 3s that we have seen pictures of in this very forum where the headlights seem to be perfectly flush, as should be expected.
I was just at the service center to drop off my 3. Can't do anything about the sunk-in hood and headlights
1. they don't do body/cosmetics adjustments, JUST YET.
2. i politely "complained" to the tech that this is not acceptable. i'm fine being the guinea pig but they better fix this for future cars. it's unacceptable to keep saying this is within spec, this just means their spec is way off the chart.

at the end of the day the car still drives GREAT, so it is just cosmetic.
 
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ecarfan

Well-Known Member
Moderator
I asked the tech to run his hand around the headlights of other cars in the Center and he said each of them indeed did bulge above the fender.
I noticed that issue a few months ago and ever since I have checked the headlight fit on at least six 3’s. Well over half the headlights I have checked have had at least part of the edge raised enough above the body so that it was easily detectable with my fingers. It was hard to detect visually from 3 or 4 ft away, and I think very few people would notice it looking at the car.

It is certainly an issue that Tesla should address, but in the scheme of things it’s pretty minor.
 

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