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So.... I rejected my collection car today :(

TL;DR at the end...

Woke up today feeling like Xmas morning with a collection planned at Bham. Everything went smoothly and I have to say the staff onsite were all incredibly welcoming, friendly and professional - very impressed by all the staff I talked to today.

At first glance, my M3P looked absolutely perfect with that perfect California shine in the mid-morning sun :p Was feeling very pleased about my decision to purchase.

Then came the first knock... a deep scuff on the rear bumper where the paint had been taken down to the metal. It was about the size of a 5p coin so noticeable, but not the end of the world... quickly noted by the staff and I was advised they would probably just book a service and have the entire rear bumper replaced.

Ok, fine... but since I'm now inspecting the back of the car, I notice the boot lid is sitting proud from the rear window. Checked against some other M3s next to me, and mine was about 5-6mm out, with others being almost perfectly flush. The panel gaps on the boot lid were also horrendous.

Meanwhile, at the same time, my Wife notices both rear door frames were slightly misaligned... nowhere as bad as others that I've seen, but again, noticeable. Ok, so now we're up to 4 items and I've not even sat in the car yet...! Tesla onsite technician came out to inspect and agreed that the boot lid, and rear doors all needed aligning but "were in the tolerance range" - that old chestnut! (he was very good though, so can't knock him)

Made our way into the car and everything was better, but did spot what looked like a thumbprint on the Rear headliner near the coat hook... again, nothing major, but against an otherwise flawless roof lining, noticeable.

Pulled out my inspection sheet to start ticking things off ... I was still giddy with excitement but I now had this nagging feeling this was a dreaded "Friday car". I know it's illogical, but I just got the feeling this build hadn't received any love during production! I stepped out to inspect the frunk...

Well, as it turns out, I was so distracted by the fact my car had the new frunk/froot design (which I think looks much better btw), that I completely forgot to look at the underside of the bonnet.... it wasn't until the same technician who was helping me earlier just happened to walk past and let out an audible "ooohhff"! He pointed out that entire sections of the underside of the bonnet hadn't been painted, and worse still, the two corners of the bonnet where a small rubber screw is housed were just exposed metal! He advised me immediately that the entire hood wood need to be repainted or likely replaced... at which point my wife noticed one headlight had a rather large blemish on it. Hard to explain it but it looked like when you melt plastic and you're left with a clump of hardened plastic, and then you try and file it down.... which now meant, this "post collection" service apt would end up having to replace the rear bumper, bonnet and headlight. :(

Believe it or not, at this point, I was still considering taking the car.... mainly on the assurance the staff were giving me that they would "pull out the stops" until everything was sorted. The technician even advised putting his name on the service notes so he could personally address it. As stated above, the staff were superb.

But then, since there were so many items being listed, the technician did his own walk around of the car and together we spotted that the windshield was (a) not aligned correctly but (b) on the driver side, as it approach the roof, the actual glass was "deformed" for lack of a better way to describe it, which he said would "definitely require a new windshield". The seals between the 3 glass sections were also all over the place compared to other models on the car park. At this point, both the technician and the sales rep said how disappointed they were this car had been allowed to pass QA and actually advised me not to take the car (secretly, I was still considering it, but Wife has made her mind up to reject it 3-4 items prior!)

So, after all the build up and excitement, we rejected the car and Tesla are going to try and find another one for me. I have to say, as disappointed as I am, I'm also frankly a little relieved that the technician took his time to help inspect the car with me. They see so many M3s every day so it's useful to have them "on side" and being frank and candid about the condition of the car. I did note that another M3P had a very misaligned bootlid, but on otherwise flawless windshield and roof, so it did get me thinking about how many new owners check the fundamentals before driving off.

I did talk to one other new owner who accepted his car but also had to book a service apt to address 3-4 small items (mostly panel alignment and paint issues) - he was also considering rejecting but ultimately, as the defects were mostly cosmetic, he accepted the car and had them log the issues to repair later.

My biggest takeaway from today is that Tesla have some wonderfully dedicated staff, but the build quality of the product is severely compromising the brand. One one hand, it speaks volumes to the desirability of their product that despite all these defects, I was still considering accepting the car... but on the other... it was frankly a little embarrassing that an almost £60k car had such misaligned panels and missing paintwork.

Fingers crossed my next allocated car is a "Monday car" ;)


Rejected my car upon collection today due to the following issues:

- scuff on rear bumper down to the metal (new bumper required)
- misaligned bootlid, sitting proud from rear window
- misaligned rear door window frames
- smudge/thumbprint inside headliner (very minor as could be cleaned I'm sure)
- missing paint under the frunk lid/bonnet (including areas of exposed metal)
- weird but prominent mark on passenger side headlight (including scratches around the same headlight)
- windshield misaligned and slightly deformed on driver side

Tesla staff were very helpful and apologetic and are currently looking for another car to assign to me. I strongly advise everyone takes a checklist when they collect their car - half of the items above I wouldn't have noticed without one as you do get overwhelmed with excitement and tend to overlook things.

Glan gluaisne

Active Member
Supporting Member
Sep 11, 2019
What a dreadful disappointment, but, with the benefit of hindsight in having had to have several manufacturing defects fixed on mine, I think you have definitely made the right decision.

It sounds very much as if, as I think many of us suspect is the case, Tesla do not do any form of Pre Delivery Inspection (PDI) at all. Mine had very visible paint defects, misaligned glass etc, and with hindsight I should have just refused to accept the car until it was sorted, as the hassle involved in making long trips back to the nearest service centre just isn't worth it.

Like you, I've found all the staff extremely helpful, but I can't help feeling sorry for them when they have to constantly deal with defects in the cars that just should never be there in the first place.

Hopefully Tesla will sort you out with a replacement car ASAP, fingers crossed!
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Active Member
Jan 11, 2020
Well done for doing the right thing. It is really frustrating but you would be feeling even worse if you took it home and then had to take responsibility yourself for organising all the fixes, trips and waiting time.

It;s their problem now, they don’t get to count the sale unless they stand up a vehicle to your satisfaction.

Sorry to hear you have had a crap outcome but it is the right one from the description you have given.
This is the sort of stuff that as people have said just isn't acceptable and taints the experience- such a shame.

Does anyone have any idea how many cars get rejected? I appreciate a forum will often have the negatives as we come here for advice and to vent...but i do wonder how bad the situation is at a UK national level


TM3 SR+ | MSM+Black | No FSD
Jan 20, 2020
Good for you for rejecting the car. Must have been tough given how much you've been looking forward to it but ultimately, you don't want/need the bother of getting all these items corrected. Hopefully the defects on yours will be fed back to a QA system somewhere or at least count as a stat against someones performance metrics.
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Well-Known Member
Aug 19, 2019
Oh dear ... that's a truly sorry tale. The SC staff must surely be feeding this back ... it must be depressing for them too. It makes me wonder if the staff are discouraged from doing basic PDI checks ... if I worked at a SC I would want to do anything that could improve the chances of a successful sale/transfer of the vehicle. The car has such huge potential and I'm so grateful that I didn't have to go through a similar experience.
This is just not acceptable and too many of us are putting more weight on the 'exciting, leading edge of technology' rather than what are ICE auto industry standards of perfection. The problem is we are being offered vehicles where WE have to find the problem rather than a dedicated team at the factory or dealership. When I returned mine to the authorised Tesla bodyshop for fixing after delivery, the owner was very clear: 'It's a problem with M3's and far less so with X and S'. Action needs to be taken, these are not 'cheap' cars.
This is the sort of stuff that as people have said just isn't acceptable and taints the experience- such a shame.

Does anyone have any idea how many cars get rejected? I appreciate a forum will often have the negatives as we come here for advice and to vent...but i do wonder how bad the situation is at a UK national level

I actually asked the very same question... I was advised that very few people reject on the basis that they quickly try to resolve issues post-collection, but he did acknowledge that many cars usually require a post delivery service for corrections o_O:( (I think he was trying to make me feel better as I was still considering taking the car at that time)
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Reactions: OneTinyFish
Well done for doing the right thing. It is really frustrating but you would be feeling even worse if you took it home and then had to take responsibility yourself for organising all the fixes, trips and waiting time.

Thanks, buddy! And you're spot on... I knew if I drove it home I'd be constantly irritated by the fact 4 major parts of the car all need to be replaced and likely won't be for another 2-3 weeks (best case scenario).
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I did a walk around of some of the other cars on site and interestingly it was the Performance models that had visible issues like misaligned bootlids/frames and hideous panel gaps... so hopefully your LR will be perfect! Fingers crossed for you

Another interesting one....are the faults specific to a model like you say? And are they worse at different service centres? (Suggesting they arrive the same...but wonder if some centres fix more issues before collecting).

I feel bad for you though! Hope they sort soon


Man from another place
Nov 23, 2018
Pacific Northwest
Sorry to hear about your issues! Sounds like you made the right decision, though.

One thing that perplexes me is the smudge on the headliner. Our M3 was delivered in November 2018, and has the same smudge. I didn't notice it during walkthrough, and have been quietly ignoring it.

But, lately more and more people are reporting the same smudge in the same location. How strange.

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