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Red - paint quality issues

Daniel in SD

Well-Known Member
Jan 25, 2018
7,385
10,938
San Diego
How can this be said? Many posters on TMC have stated that Tesla's paint is (insert any number of negative comments previously posted). Tesla, especially with an 'improved' paint shop, paints vehicles at an astounding rate. There is no paint-specialist painting each car, making sure it's perfect. Add to this, 'paint' is not something for which Tesla is known to excel. Previous posts on this subject are not hard to find ;)

A good "paint shop" could likely produce a better paint job than the stock paint job... even 'multi-coat red'. Making readers afraid that only the factory can paint your car will scare people unnecessarily. Case-in-point: Post #37

I know. My FWDs were repainted by an awesome paint shop, and they are flawlessly perfect.
From what I understand it costs about $10k to get a factory quality paint job. Not really very practical. You have disassemble a large portion of the car. If I get paint like OPs I'll definitely reject it. Most other stuff is easy to fix.
I suppose it might be cheaper to get a Tesla factory quality paint job. haha.
 

Skione65

Active Member
May 5, 2016
1,623
851
Kentucky
Ludalicious - I agree that on the basis of the many post .... Tesla does indeed have a "fantastic service system." It is reassuring that they appear to be able to quickly correct most problems. I would point-out, however, having to rely on the service centers does have a consequence in the overall profitability of the company.

My point is obvious .... it should not be up to the service center to correct the defects that should never have left the factory.
Understand, I am a supporter (I am a reservist), but I am disappointed when I read post after post of owners having to take their brand new cars back to the service center. It really causes me pause, because I'm 2 hours from the service center.

Now the positive: My brother owns an S. I have asked him, and he has had no issues whatsoever .... which is great. I can understand and excuse some defects on a first year production M3, but the paint issues shown on this thread are inexcusable.
Tesla just announced an upgrade of the robot paint machine .... maybe/hopefully that will solve the problem.

Now finally, I concede that many other cars may have defects needing correction, but my experience over several decades with Toyota, Honda and Acura .... the ONLY service required has been oil changes, new tires and new windshield wipers. Reliable, trouble-free
transportation is available.

I sincerely hope that Tesla can get a handle on the assembly defects before I take delivery. It seems to be a "crap shoot" some cite defects and others report no issues.

@Stirfelt,

How do we not know that the Paint Robot ISNT the problem.....I watched the vid. Looked cool...but man that thing flew! And as I was watching the thin mist of spray of paint it put down while whipping all around the car I was alittle perplexed.
OR was the Paint Robot installed to help “get a handle” on these horrific paint issues? I’m an MCR config as well and to say I’m NERVOUS would put it mildly.

Ski
 

wws

Active Member
Aug 11, 2014
1,132
1,418
Northern California
The Tesla Service Center that I went to in Sunnyvale, CA does do detailing. They have a full-time detailer on staff. I complained about some etchings in the paint. It looked like bird droppings left on too long and they buffed it out using a polisher and some Meguiar's compound. I'm not sure if all Tesla Service Centers have a detailer though. I don't expect them to be at the quality of a high-end detailer but they should be able to buff out anything that is just on the clear coat.

The day after I took delivery of my red Model 3, I drove it over to the detail shop I use (Dave Thorpe in Campbell) to set up an appointment for "new car paint correction" and Opticoat. It was the first Model 3 they'd seen up close - though they've done a lot of Model S's and X's over the years. They went over the paint pretty carefully and found four places where it hadn't been sanded out quite right. One each on the rear quarter panels, and two on the trunk lid. If you looked at them carefully in the sun, the clear coat looked a bit 'smudgey' in those spots.

I took it to the Sunnyvale Service Center, and they did a high speed polish to make it look good - at least to me. But when I drove back over to Daves shop he could see exactly where they had used the polisher... So he is going to have his guys go over it again when they do the correction and Opticoat next week. Funny thing is that in the mean time, another person with a red Model 3 showed up at his shop. He found about a dozen places on her car with the same 'smudges'. More on hers, but not as deep as the ones on mine. Rather than having her take it over to Tesla like I did, he is going to deal with it himself.

They also found a very tiny 'dot' in the paint that few would ever notice unless it was pointed out. I did NOT want Tesla to do anything about it. Tesla would have to repaint the quarter panel, blend in the doors and trunk lid, etc. It is just not noticeable enough to justify a repaint - and have it start to look mismatched after a few years - if that long. With some miles, the nose of the car will eventually look way worse. Not to mention the imminent first door ding...

Thing is, most people would never see these issues - at least on my car. And when he Opticoated my Volt when it was new, he had to do a lot of 'correction' on it too. The Volt when clean, still looks great. So I am pretty anxious to have him finish the Model 3.
 

Mod3l 3

Member
Jan 27, 2018
51
7
Texas
I’ve had a lot of paint issues on mine too. Mainly buffing issues from the service center. There is a spot on the passengers side mirror where there is paint missing but it’s looking unlikely that they will fix it. Response from the Tesla team so far has been “sucks that you didn’t spot it” nothing we are going to do about it. Some portions still have the protective paint wrap over the defects so I’m hoping that convinces them to fix those sections at the very least.

Also have a trim piece misaligned in the front bumper, loose trim piece by the passenger side mirror, missing the composite undershield below the drive unit along with a plastic trim piece under the rear control arm and loose drive stalk trim. I’ll be adding pictures once I’m on a computer.

The car itself is fantastic and a joy to drive and my wife is now set on getting a Model Y but my future relationship with Tesla is going to be based on how they handle these issues.
 
Brian's ReX - Your comment is appreciated.

I think my position is why should a new expensive sedan in this day and age .... require a service center to correct paint faults ?(examples shown several post back)
My second point is why some vehicles leave the factory pristine? and other leave with defects?

I just hope they get things straightened out before mine is assembled.
 
I just read a comprehensive survey on Insideev.com entitled Tesla Model 3 Owners Survey Reveals New Details.

It is very encouraging. It refers to overall owner satisfaction based on VIN and date of delivery. It appears that Tesla is on the road to major overall improvements and satisfaction. That is what we all want to hear.
 
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Brian's ReX

Member
Jun 26, 2018
281
352
Seattle
I think my position is why should a new expensive sedan in this day and age .... require a service center to correct paint faults ?(examples shown several post back)

Couldn't agree more. Over $100K for my car, and I spent over $5K wrapping and coating so I didn't have to worry about the paint.

Has anyone had any success stories with needing body shops to do paint work with red multi coat? I'm bringing my car into service on Monday to correct some issues and I'm pretty nervous about the car coming back worse.

Yes. My FWD's needed repainting because I purchased an inventory model with 2K miles on it - all driven during winter months in the Pac NW, so there was some serious chipping in the paint (a very common issue, unfortunately. See another poster's pics here: MX Paint Damage --- this is exactly what happened to mine, as well as many others).

I asked Tesla who they work with to do their repainting, and I went with that shop. Months later, I couldn't be happier. The paint is flawless, and their multi-coat is probably as good (if not better) as the factory paint.

So I wouldn't worry about repainting, as long as you vet the body/paint shop. Ask your SC who they work with, and you'll have an end result that you'll be very happy with, I believe.

I say this often, so apologies to those of you who have heard me say this before... but if you protect nothing else on your X, PPF your FWD's!!! (again, see pic link above) This is not from 4X4'ing, or driving on the beach... It's just from road grime getting sprayed all over the flare of the FWD's.

I'm waiting for a nice looking aftermarket replacement for a flared bottom trim runner that goes between wheel wells. I like this one ( Tesla Model X Limited Edition - T Largo ) but don't much care for all the superfluous flaring, etc., so I'll hold out.
 
@Stirfelt, How do we not know that the Paint Robot ISNT the problem.....I watched the vid. Looked cool...but man that thing flew!

Have been thinking about your post ..... I have no assurance that the robot isn't the problem.

BUT .... every manufacturer (as near as I can determine) uses paint robots. I presume Tesla would not go to the expense of a new robot if they didn't think it would improve the paint quality. From pictures posted on this thread .... the paint looks great overall .... then there are places where it appears the paint was never applied. I would presume that is a problem easily resolved by a program correction. All robots do exactly what they are programmed to do.

I'm feeling more confident that Tesla will solve the paint issue. They are on the butt end of a lot of criticism in the media.
Best of luck to all that have experienced problems. I hope your concerns will be completely corrected.
 
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Skione65

Active Member
May 5, 2016
1,623
851
Kentucky
Tesla has been building cars for what... 10ish years now? This paint crap is so unacceptable.

@TheLocNar,

Agreed 100%. I don’t know if it’s the “rush” to quota and 10,000/wk or what. But PLEASE already. I’d rather wait alittle longer to slow down the line and get better quality than this hell’s fire, damn the torpedoes full speed ahead mantra. My other thought is...are the MCR paint issues all P models off the notorious tent line or not? I mean the paint booths are in another building correct? Then do they bolt the panels on manually on the P line. Or what’s the process exactly?

Ski
 

Skione65

Active Member
May 5, 2016
1,623
851
Kentucky
Has anyone had any success stories with needing body shops to do paint work with red multi coat? I'm bringing my car into service on Monday to correct some issues and I'm pretty nervous about the car coming back worse.

@Wubbles,

This is my concern as well..... as matching or blending that MCR post manufacture in a body shop in my mind just doesn’t sound possible....correct me if I’m wrong.

Ski
 

Shizzrock

Member
Jul 3, 2018
481
460
Boston
Have been thinking about your post ..... I have no assurance that the robot isn't the problem.

BUT .... every manufacturer (as near as I can determine) uses paint robots. I presume Tesla would not go to the expense of a new robot if they didn't think it would improve the paint quality. From pictures posted on this thread .... the paint looks great overall .... then there are places where it appears the paint was never applied. I would presume that is a problem easily resolved by a program correction. All robots do exactly what they are programmed to do.

I'm feeling more confident that Tesla will solve the paint issue. They are on the butt end of a lot of criticism in the media.
Best of luck to all that have experienced problems. I hope your concerns will be completely corrected.

It's not the robot, it's the site prep and turnaround speed. My guess is they're putting so many cars through there the area isn't as clean as it should be and the paint isn't as dry as it should be as the cars move around.
 

TheLocNar

Member
Mar 10, 2018
944
924
Chicago
@TheLocNar,

Agreed 100%. I don’t know if it’s the “rush” to quota and 10,000/wk or what. But PLEASE already. I’d rather wait alittle longer to slow down the line and get better quality than this hell’s fire, damn the torpedoes full speed ahead mantra. My other thought is...are the MCR paint issues all P models off the notorious tent line or not? I mean the paint booths are in another building correct? Then do they bolt the panels on manually on the P line. Or what’s the process exactly?

Ski

I *think* the tents are for assembly only and that painting is done at the main site still. I wonder how much all this rushing out of crappy painted cars is hurting their bottom line. Perhaps they aren't letting the paint dry long enough before transferring to the tent. That would be my guess. And hopefully it's an easy solution.

I'm just waiting for December. Wouldn't surprise me to see a lot more bad cars make their way through to customers in an attempt to unload damaged inventory because of the full tax credit. I really hope I don't have to refer back to this post in 4 months to say "I told you so".
 
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Picking up at the Marina on the 18th. Do they force you to sign first before you get to see the car? Thanks.

I'm anxious to learn the answer to your excellent question.
Personally, I will not sign until after I have seen and driven the vehicle. If that is not possible .... then a Tesla may not be in my future (as much as I hate the thought).
 
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I hope white M3s have limited paint problems. Picking up at the Marina on the 18th. Do they force you to sign first before you get to see the car? Thanks.

I'm anxious to learn the answer to your excellent question.
Personally, I will not sign until after I have seen and driven the vehicle. If that is not possible .... then a Tesla may not be in my future (as much as I hate the thought).

They did have me sign first, THEN showed me the car and took it outside to look again. Seemed to be the norm. So if you’re iffy....don’t sign until after you’ve seen it. Though I’m not sure if they are not allowed to show you it/take it outside unless “it’s yours”?
 

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